Yes, We CAN!

Canned craft beer festival is 100 percent recyclable fun

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

This Fourth of July, the Yes We, CAN! Canned Craft Beer Festival returns, and it’s expected to be much bigger and even better than last year.

This celebration of community, country and delicious craft beer—all for a great cause—will feature beer from 50 craft breweries, music from bluegrass/Americana-stomp bands Polecat and Wild Rabbit, live performances from the Bellingham Circus Guild, games for the kids, local food trucks, and one of the best views in town of the fireworks show.

“Yes, We CAN! Canned Craft Beer Festival is a family-friendly event focused on changing consumer perception of canned beer,” says Hannah Coughlin, Manager of Communications and Development for RE Sources and organizer of Yes, We CAN! “Aluminum cans contain a higher percentage of recycled materials, require less energy to recycle and less fuel to transport, and they are  infinitely  recyclable.  We want shoppers to think more carefully about the source and destination of the packaging their goods come in. And we want to have fun while doing it!” 

In 2002, Oskar Blues Brewery in Lyons, Colo., canned Dale’s Pale Ale, and ever since then, canned craft beer has surged across the country.

According to, which provides the web’s only database of all craft beers currently in cans, there are now more than 500 breweries packaging nearly 2,000 different beers in cans.

As canned craft beer has become more widely adopted throughout the nation, the Pacific Northwest has been a bit behind the curve, but it’s making up for lost time. In just a few years, the number of breweries in Washington that package in cans has grown from just a handful to now more than 20. And that growth shows no signs of slowing.

Three breweries in Bellingham package some of their beer in cans. Boundary Bay Brewery has canned some of its specialty beers, including Ski to Sea ESB and Traverse Red IPA. Aslan Brewing began canning its Batch 15 IPA last month, with more beers to come. And Kulshan Brewing, which just opened a second brewery in Bellingham with its own canning line, has been canning Bastard Kat IPA for some time now. Recently, it released Full 90 Session Ale in cans, and it plans to can more of its beers in the future.

“When it comes to packaging, we see canning as the superior, more sustainable option,” says Jack Lamb, CEO/Owner of Aslan Brewing Co. “Cans keep beer fresher, they don’t break, they chill faster, they’re easier to pack in and out of the outdoors, and they’re friendlier for the environment.”

David Vitt, owner/founder of Kulshan Brewing Co. in Bellingham, agrees. “The benefits of cans far outweigh those of glass bottles,” he says. “In addition to preventing light penetration, which can degrade the quality of the product, canning is a more sustainable and environmentally friendly practice. The lighter weight reduces fuel in freight transit, and aluminum cans require significantly less energy to recycle.”

Since 1972, aluminum cans have gotten 38 percent lighter. Today, an empty 12-ounce bottle weighs about 7 ounces, whereas an empty 12-ounce aluminum can only weighs about a half ounce.

According to a recent study released by the Aluminum Association titled, “The Aluminum Can Advantage: Key Sustainability Indicators 2015,” making cans from recycled aluminum uses 92 percent less energy than making cans from new aluminum.

“Environmentally, canned beer is the best option—from beginning to end,”  Coughlin says. “This festival is about crushing the can stigma in this region and raising funds for RE Sources’ conservation efforts.” 

RE Sources helped to start curbside recycling in Whatcom County decades ago, and it’s constantly working on new ways to conserve more, reuse more and recycle more. This event will feature some of the RE Store’s innovative solutions to the problem of excessive waste. 

“As breweries continue to discover the economic benefits and product integrity that aluminum cans offer, we want to see this smart packaging choice rewarded by consumers,” Coughlin says. “And we want to see breweries standing tall and proudly announcing, ‘Yes, We CAN!’”

Yes, We CAN! tickets are only $20 in advance ($25 at the door), and admission includes 3 drink tickets. Kids 14 and under get in free. Buy tickets online at or in person at Community Food Co-ops, Kulshan Brewery, Elizabeth Station, Aslan Brewery or The RE Store. For more information, visit All proceeds benefit RE Sources for Sustainable Communities. Yes, We CAN! is sponsored by Alcoa, RDS, 92.9 KISM Classic Rock, Puget Sound Benefits, The Adam Vwich Agency, Ball Corp, Community Food Co-op, Nuu-muu, Boundary Bay Brewery, Bellingham Tap Trail, Aslan Brewing, Kulshan Brewing, Backcountry Essentials, Johnson Team Real Estate, Rice Insurance, NW Recycling, Muds to Suds, and Elizabeth Station.

More News...
State of the Sound
Progress in Whatcom County, but poor marks for the Salish Sea

As the number of endangered Southern Resident orca whales continues to decline and Puget Sound Chinook salmon remain threatened, officials say the need to save the two species is becoming dire.

A leading theory is the whales are starving because they cannot find enough Chinook salmon, the…

more »
Jail Fail
Rejected by voters, jail proposal gets legal challenge

The jail tax got knocked down by voters, and a number of legal challenges may cause the initiative to struggle to its feet again.

Voters rejected Proposition 2017-6 by 57.7 percent in early returns Tuesday evening.

The measure would authorize a sales and use tax of two-tenths of one…

more »
The Sum of Nothing
Port race ponders a wasted waterfront

It is axiomatic, there’s very little agreement in politics. Yet the current Port of Bellingham Commission and the candidates who seek the position in the November election alike all agree: They’re not happy with the pace of development of Bellingham’s central waterfront. Their answers…

more »
Home for the Holidays

5:00pm|Ferndale Events Center

The 39 Steps

7:00pm|Sehome High School Little Theatre

Little Women

7:00pm|Ferndale High School

Peter and the Star Catcher

7:00pm|Squalicum High School

Romeo, You Idiot!

7:30pm|Heiner Theater


7:30pm|Mount Baker High School

Craft Bazaar

9:00am|American Legion Post #43

Holiday Festival of the Arts

10:00am|Meridian Street

Hot Cider & Cool Art

10:00am|Morgan Block Studios

Used Book Sale

10:00am|Everson Library

Red Barn Handpicked Holiday Market

12:00pm|Northwest Washington Fairgrounds

Holiday Gifts from the Kitchen

3:00pm|Lynden Library, Ferndale Library

It's Where the Sidewalk Ends

6:00pm|Bellingham Arts Academy for Youth

New Music, New Dance

7:30pm|Performing Arts Center Concert Hall

The Big Short One-Act Festival

7:30pm|McIntyre Hall

Bellingham Repertory Dance's Emerge

7:30pm|Firehouse Performing Arts Center

Backyard Brawl

8:00pm|Upfront Theatre

VFW Breakfast

8:00am|VFW Hall

Pancake Breakfast

8:00am|Ferndale Senior Center

Pancake Feed

8:00am|VFW Post 1585

Holiday Bazaar

9:00am|Hillcrest Chapel

Christmas in the Woods

9:00am|Garden Spot Nursery

NSEA Work Party

9:00am|Acme Elementary School

Turkey Trot

9:00am|Squalicum Creek Park

Climate Reality

10:00am|Bellingham Public Library

South Fork Winterfest

10:00am|Van Zandt Community Hall

Fall Gardening

10:00am|Lynden Library

Cheese Fest

10:00am|Everybody's Store

Bellingham Farmers Market

10:00am|Depot Market Square

Rexville Grange Holiday Art Show

10:00am|Rexville Grange

Holiday Farmers Market

10:00am|Port of Anacortes Transit Shed Event Center

Lynden Book Club

10:30am|Everson Library

Salmon Sighting

12:00pm|Haynie Creek

Conquering Writer's Block

2:00pm|South Whatcom Library

Fishboy Holiday Show

2:00pm|FishBoy Gallery

NaNoWriMo and Indie Publishing

3:00pm|Everson Library

Skagit Wine & Beer Festival


Homeless Summit and Cold Weather Giveaway

3:00pm|Maritime Heritage Park

i.e. artists talk

3:30pm|i.e. gallery

Small Works Opening

4:00pm|Matzke Fine Art Gallery and Sculpture Park

Smith & Vallee Artist Talk

4:00pm| Smith & Vallee Gallery

WA 129 Poetry Reading

6:00pm|Maple Hall

Giving from the Heart

7:00pm|Depot Art Center

A Light in the Darkness

7:00pm|Church of the Assumption

Welcome Home Celebration

7:00pm|Village Books

Ruach Consort

7:00pm|St. Paul's Episcopal Church

Contra Dance

7:00pm|Eagles Hall

Michael Kaeshammer

7:30pm|Mount Baker Theatre

Legends of the Blues V

7:30pm|Byrnes Performing Arts Center

Peter and the Star Catcher

7:00pm|Squalicum High School


7:30pm|Mount Baker High School

Holiday Festival of the Arts

10:00am|Meridian Street

Bellingham Repertory Dance's Emerge

7:30pm|Firehouse Performing Arts Center

Rexville Grange Holiday Art Show

10:00am|Rexville Grange

Cheese Fest

10:00am|Everybody's Store

Holiday Farmers Market

10:00am|Port of Anacortes Transit Shed Event Center

Rabbit Ride

8:00am|Fairhaven Bicycle

Community Breakfast

8:00am|American Legion Post #43

Rabbit Ride

8:30am|Fairhaven Bicycle

Getting in on the act


Sound of Music Singalong

1:00pm|Lincoln Theatre

A Musical Thanksgiving

2:00pm|McIntyre Hall

Harmony from Discord with Whatcom Symphony Orchestra

3:00pm|Mount Baker Theatre

The 25th Hour

4:00pm|Village Books

Southside Community Meal

5:00pm|Our Saviour's Lutheran Church

Way North Comedy Showcase

7:00pm|Farmstrong Brewing Co.

Rutie Dornfeld, John Miller

7:00pm|YWCA Ballroom

Cascadia Weekly Subscribe Ad 1 Village Books
Holiday Festival of the Arts

10:00am|Meridian Street

Wander + Camber Beer Dinner

6:30pm|Camber Cafe

Rocks & Gems

7:00pm|Bloedel Donovan Community Building


9:30pm|Green Frog

see our complete calendar »

Trove Village Books Cascadia Weekly Subscribe Ad 1 Kaeshammer Bellingham Farmer’s Market