Justin Brandt is a problem solver. An outdoorsy type, he was rafting down the Clackamas River one day, when he got thirsty.

I went to the grocery store, and there weren't any local craft beers in cans, he said.

So, Brandt decided to do something about that.

It isn't rocket science, he said. We can beer.

Justin founded Northwest Canning, which provides a portable production line and crew for small craft beer brewers who can't afford the $90,000 for their own canning equipment.

It feels really good, said Brandt. I entered this business to help out breweries and we're doing just that.

The mobile apparatus is hauled in a trailer and it takes four men to carry it into the brewery. After about 10 minutes of set-up, workers fill two cans at a time with cold beer from kegs. They average about 360 cans an hour.

On this day, they're pouring Dottie's Lager from Seattle's Emerald City Beer Company. It's the first time Emerald City is canning its beers, and they already have orders for 500 cases. Before, they were stuck just selling kegs.

Owner Rick Hewitt said the cans open up a whole new market.

Grocery stores are where most people buy their beers to be consumed at home or on trips. The can package helps us get the beer there, said Hewitt.

Canners are also trying to remove the stigma of canned beer. Redesigned cans with special liners eliminate the tinny taste associated with the beers your grandfather drank. Cans also eliminate exposure to sun and oxygen, which keeps beer fresher longer.

Canned beer also costs less to transport because it's lighter, and because cans are more likely to be recycled than bottles, they leave a smaller carbon footprint.

Northwest Canning is now considering the possibility of canning water -- and even wine.

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