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From Idea to Flight: the Wild Goose Canning Story

It all began on a summer afternoon with one unhappy brewer, five cans a minute, two engineers and a few cold ones. When Jeff Aldred and Alexis Foreman were asked by Boulder’s Upslope Brewing to help troubleshoot the brewery’s faulty canning system, they realized they could not only fix it, but build a better one from the ground up. Setting their idea in flight, they debuted the first Wild Goose Canning system at the 2011 Craft Brewers Conference with only a video, a model and a brochure – and walked away with nearly 200 requests. At the next show they brought two WGC systems and sold them off the floor.

Wild Goose Canning found a sweet spot in the craft brewing industry: the need for a small-footprint system that canned beer dependably, inexpensively and was supported by best-in-class customer service.

Wild Goose helped birth the mobile canning industry. It also revolutionized seaming by creating the smallest, fastest Seamer in the world, providing brewers with the best can integrity in the industry. The company is at the vanguard of canning wine, water and spirits. And every year since, Wild Goose sales have more than doubled.

Meet the Wild Geese

Jeff Aldred, CEO and CoFounder of Wild Goose CanningJeff Aldred | CEO and Co-Founder of Wild Goose Canning

From the start, Co-Founder Jeff has directed Wild Goose Canning product development and design, including the WGC 50, WGC 100, WGC 250, the newly released WGC 600 and all production modules. Investigating water filtration and fluid handling projects has been a central interest of Jeff’s for more than 20 years, dating back to his tenure as Founder of Sweetwater, Inc., a consumer-branded line of water filtration devices, and American Standard, Inc. Jeff’s pursuit of unique machine design and automation projects dates back more than four decades.

Jeff holds nearly two-dozen US patents and, at one time, also held Top Secret Clearance in the US Marine Corps along with active service in Vietnam. He began his engineering studies at Dartmouth and completed both his undergraduate and Master’s degrees in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Colorado Boulder.

Alexis Foreman, COO and Co-Founder of Wild Goose CanningAlexis Foreman | COO & Co-Founder of Wild Goose Canning

With more than 15 years of experience in machine and mechanical design, technical sales, service and manufacturing operations, Co-Founder Alexis Foreman is a natural fit as our Chief Operating Officer.

He and Jeff began working together in 2003, where under Jeff’s mentorship he began doing prototype work for his then employer, pION inc which specializes in laboratory instrumentation and automation for pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical research, in his spare time. While partnered with Jeff at the original WGE Alexis developed several products the scope of which runs from rope descent devices to custom scientific instrumentation/laboratory automation to building control systems and geothermal heating and cooling systems.

Alexis developed the prototype canning line, and was instrumental in the development and implementation of the WGC 50, WGC100 and WGC 250, as well as managing the explosive growth of the company. Over the years He has performed and filled every role from finance/purchasing to electrical/mechanical/interface design to sales and customer support to hiring and building the team of over 40 current employees. Alexis earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Chemistry from Montana State and has completed graduate level studies at University of Colorado Boulder, and has five patents to and several scientific publications his name. A peek into his office reveals a mad workshop of live CAD designs in progress, rafting trip paraphernalia, Fender bass amps, canning seamer parts and mountain bike frames. This is the perfect glimpse into his process as well as a possible hint of what new design surprises he may have in store for Wild Goose Canning.

Jim Sherman, Chief Financial OfficerJames (Jim) Sherman | Chief Financial Officer

Jim Sherman brings more than 30 years of project engineering and business management experience at both the CEO and CFO levels to Wild Goose Canning. As our Chief Financial Officer, Jim has helped guide the company from its inception, providing financial controls and growing it to nearly $7 million by the end of 2014.

Prior to joining Wild Goose, Jim was instrumental in founding several technology startups, including Scanex, a robotics engineering firm, which he took public in 1986. Jim has a Bachelor’s of Science Engineering degree in Computer Engineering from Princeton University and pursued graduate studies in Applied Mathematics at North Carolina State.

Roger Walz, Beer AmbassadorRoger Walz | Beer Ambassador

Over the last 20 years, Roger has gained more than two-dozen memberships to key beer clubs and guilds across the country, and a recognized expert on brewing and packaging. He is often asked to take part in monthly collaborative brews from Arizona to Arkansas and California to the Carolinas.

Roger has been a guest lecturer at UC Davis as well as the Ft. Collins, Colorado Springs and the Montana Brewers’ Guild. He speaks on topics ranging from “Small Scale Packaging, Avoiding Diacetyl and Acetaldehyde Through Proper Secondary Fermentation” to “Fruit, Coffee and Beer: What’s Next on the Horizon for Beer Flavorings?” Before joining Wild Goose, Roger headed the tap room at Avery Brewing in Boulder. The man knows his beer – and how to can it.

Lisa Taylor, Customer RelationsLisa Taylor | Customer Relations

With over 15 years of extensive customer service experience, Lisa builds and maintains relationships with our customers and partners. It looks a little something like this: What are the site requirements for this canning system? Lisa can help. Are you considering adding a second line or upgrading to a twist-rinse with a depal? You should definitely call Lisa. Want to set up a tech visit at your site? Lisa can handle that. Lisa joined “The Goose,” just over three years ago and she’s proven that she can handle everything from urgent service requests to providing product quotes on the fly – and everything in between.

Lisa has been key in architecting Wild Goose Canning’s gold star service group from a single person into a team that services nearly 200 customers worldwide. She and her team are one reason brewers recommend Wild Goose to their friends. They are also why breweries and mobile canners from coast to coast put their trust in us when making their buying decisions. Our team embodies Wild Goose Canning’s commitment to service excellence, which is what truly sets us apart from our competitors.

Sherwin Ghaffarkhan, Director of EngineeringSherwin Ghaffarkhan | Director of Engineering

Anthony Edward Stark Sherwin Ghaffarkhan, the son of wealthy industrialist and head of StarkGhaffarkhan Industries, Howard Stark Ghaffarkhan, and Maria Stark Ghaffarkhan, was born on Long Island. A boy genius, he enters MIT at the age of 15 to study electrical engineering and later receives master’s degrees in electrical engineering and physics. After his parents are killed in a car accident, he
inherits his father’s company.

An American billionaire playboy, business magnate, and ingenious engineer, Tony Stark Sherwin Ghaffarkhan suffers a severe chest injury during a kidnapping in which his captors attempt to force him to build a weapon of mass destruction. He instead creates a powered suit of armor to save his life and escape captivity. Later, Stark Ghaffarkhan augments his suit with weapons and other technological devices he designed through his company, Stark Ghaffarkhan Industries. He uses the suit and successive versions to protect the world as Iron Man.

Bored with the decadence of western society, he shed all his possessions and traveled for a few years in the East. He went into the deep mountains to seek enlightenment as many before. Upon returning after becoming a 7th degree Engineering Black belt and rumored to have gained mystical
powers he went to work for Wild Goose as their Engineering Director.

Canning fact #71

Get the facts

Made from aluminum, the most abundant metal on earth,
cans are 100% recyclable.