Three years after jumping in early on the craft beer boom, a canning company is ramping up volume with new equipment and more space at its Hanover County headquarters.
Old Dominion Mobile Canning expanded its warehouse and storage facility at 9825 Atlee Commons Drive in Hanover from 3,600 square feet to 5,400 square feet. Owner Mike Horn said the extra space will accommodate a third mobile canning line and third truck that are being delivered this month.
“We’re getting into some new markets now,” Horn said.
Old Dominion offers a mobile on-demand canning service for breweries that don’t invest in their own canning system. The company has 34 clients spanning from Roanoke to Virginia Beach and from Washington, D.C., to North Carolina.
It started in 2013, canning for Virginia breweries just as craft beers began taking off. Since then, Old Dominion has diversified its portfolio to reflect a craft beverage industry that includes hard cider makers like Bold Rock and cold brew coffee companies like Confluence Coffee Co. in Manchester.
In the Richmond market, Old Dominion cans for Lickinghole Creek Craft Brewery, Hardywood Park Craft Brewery and The Veil Brewing Co. More breweries plan to announce they’re contracting with the company later this year, Horn said.
“There has been tremendous growth in craft beer,” Horn said, adding beer makes up 90 percent of Old Dominion’s business. “Hard ciders are taking off.”
He said one canning line could package 40 cans per minute, or eight barrels an hour. Old Dominion’s new canning line and truck cost about $250,000. Horn said Old Dominion could do more than 17,000 cans daily for 8-, 12- or 16-ounce cans. It has six full-time employees.
Horn would not comment on revenue figures. He said Union Bank & Trust financed the company’s purchase of the equipment.
Horn said business has taken a hit, as breweries like Devils Backbone and Three Notch’d have brought beer canning in house. But that comes with the territory for a business that has lowered entry barriers for brewers.
“We like to see our breweries graduate,” Horn said. “It validates what we do for them.”
With the growth of the brewery industry showing few signs of saturation, Horn said Old Dominion continues to add clients to make up for any it loses, and a satellite location in Raleigh, North Carolina, is in the works.
As for continued growth in the Virginia market, Horn said the craft beer glass is half full.
“There’s certainly room for twice what we have,” he said of the number of breweries. “It’s got to be a quality product and it’s got to find a niche.”