Blue Owl Brewing: Redefining Sour Beers

Blue Owl Brewing

Blue Owl Brewing is an all-sour brewery in Austin, Texas, and has been working with Petainer since 2019.

Owners Jeff Young (brewer) and Suzy Shaffer (business) started Blue Owl in 2015 with the ambition to create unique, delicious, and approachable sour beers. Soon after, Meike Rossman, a well-known female Head Brewer joined the business and has since worked with the team to release beautifully balanced sour-mashed brews ranging from light and refreshing pale ales to stouts.

"We are always trying to be unique and we love to create. Doing something new and exploring the limits of beer styles is what excites us. There's still so much to explore in what it means to be sour beer."

Jeff Young, Blue Owl Brewing Owner

The brewery prides itself on its one-of-a-kind "pre-fermentation" souring technique, using naturally occurring bacteria and yeast from grain husks to inoculate the wort (sweet, unfermented beer).

Owners Jeff Young and Suzy Shaffer started Blue Owl in 2015.

Blue Owl Brewery uses a variety of packaging solutions in its distribution arsenal: Petainer one-way kegs, cans, and a fleet of steel kegs for local accounts. The brewery started working with Petainer when it began expanding and transporting products over long distances:

"The deciding factor for using PET kegs is distance. When we send kegs to the far reaches of Texas, having our stainless-steel kegs tied up in the distribution channel can hurt our business. With the PET kegs, we can fill them, send them out, and then forget about them. Same goes for keg sales through the tasting room. The ability for a one-time sale to a customer rather than dealing with the hassle of a keg rental program has been a huge benefit to us."

Suzy Shaffer, Blue Owl Brewing Owner

Not having to clean and sanitize the shells is an excellent benefit.

Meike Rossman, Blue Owl Brewing Head Brewer

No keg losses, no additional return logistics: using lightweight Hybrid kegs has also brought tremendous cost-savings to business. It has significantly reduced its carbon emissions and transportation costs, and eliminated the need to store, repair and wash the kegs.

Petainer kegs arrive sterile, pre-purged and ready to fill, removing all risks of cross-contamination, a critical aspect when it comes to working with wild and sour beers. Hybrid kegs offer excellent product protection and preserve the integrity of each brew during filling, storage and transportation. Once emptied, the kegs are easy to disassemble: the keg itself is sent for recycling, while its chimes (made of 100% recycled PP) can be recycled or reused on new kegs.

Product-wise, Blue Owl Brewing has been using 20 L Petainer Hybrid Kegs for over a year and has recently started using other packaging solutions such as the 10 L Mini Keg and beer growlers.