For more than 26 years, employees of Meheen Manufacturing Inc. have churned out bottle upon bottle of beer, soda and juice in the Tri-Cities.
But that ended last month, as Meheen moved its equipment and operations from 325 N. Oregon Ave. in Pasco to Colorado.
As part of a combined business with Wild Goose Canning – which had been in Boulder, Colorado – the two companies have relocated to Louisville, Colorado, into a 37,000-square-foot building at the Colorado Technology Center.
It’s the end of an era in the Tri-Cities.
Meheen Manufacturing was founded by Dave Meheen in 1992.
Meheen started Meheen & Collins craft brewery in the late 1980s.
But Meheen had problems with the available options to fill bottles. So he designed, engineered and manufactured bottling technologies that could meet his standards.
Meheen sold the microbrewery to Mike Hall and Bill Jaquish in the 1990s (it was later renamed Ice Harbor Brewing) so he could concentrate on the packaging aspect of brewing.
Meheen Manufacturing engaged in designing, engineering, manufacturing and selling carbonating and bottle-filling machines. It also offered replacement parts.
The company bottled various liquids: beer, cider, juice, soda, tea and water.
Meheen machines are in all 50 states and around the world. Some filling machines, fully automated, can bottle up to 2,300 bottles per hour within weeks.
In 2015, the company introduced a new bottling labeling technology.
In September 2016, Meheen Manufacturing merged with Colorado’s Wild Goose Canning, renaming the company Wild Goose Canning-Meheen Manufacturing.
Dan Cleary was the president of Meheen at the time, and he served as CEO of the combined company during and after the merger.
The merger allowed both companies to streamline operations, and share resources yet still reap the rewards of the expanding craft brewery boom.
Meheen also gained access to the booming canning market.
Many small breweries have been getting into aluminum.
In 2011, fewer than 2 percent of craft brews were canned, according to the Brewers Association in Boulder, Colorado.
By 2015, it was up to 10 percent.
Meheen is now owned by Mangrove Equity Partners in Tampa, Florida, the Daily Camera newspaper of Boulder reported.
Chris Fergen became the company’s new CEO in November, as Cleary moved out of the industry.
Company representatives failed to return multiple phone calls and emails seeking additional information.
Daily and Monthly NewsSign up now!