Canned Craft Beer Takes Center Stage At GABF

The world of canned craft beers is about to explode.

Sun King Brewing Co., the first production craft brewery in Indianapolis since the Indianapolis Brewing Company closed its doors in 1948, took home an impressive 8 total medals at this year’s GABF — 4 of which were gold.

Sun King Brewing single-handedly propelled the state of Indiana to the highest winning percentage (19.2%) by state, with 8 of 10 medals won for the 52 beers that were entered.

But it’s the fact that a brewery which stands behind packaging its products in cans that signals a ‘changing of the guard’ in the way beers will be presented to the consumer.

While Sun King led the charge amongst breweries that can their suds, other breweries such as Oskar Blues -which took home three medals – and San Francisco based 21st Amendment — who secured two medals — also helped bring the package greater recognition.

Oskar Blues GABF

“I think once again this shows that the package of craft beer in a can is not a gimmick,” said Oskar Blues Head Brewer Dave Chichura. “This is not a flash in the pan kind of thing.”

Oskar Blues confirmed that it would be releasing Deviant Dale’s IPA in 16 oz. cans in 2012 — a beer that took home a silver medal in a crowded IPA category with the most entries ever submitted (176).

“We got a silver medal for a beer that we hand-canned for this competition,” “That right there shows how well a can works as a package for craft beer.”

Oskar Blues helped pioneer a package that is now embraced by more than 130 craft breweries nationwide, including Sierra Nevada which announced earlier this year they would be canning both their Pale Ale and Torpedo brands.

“Canned craft beers are coming up more and more with craft brewers and it is a definitely a package to watch,” said Julia Herz, the Craft beer Program Director for the Brewers Association.

Other notable craft brewers who can -Maui Brewing, Upslope Brewing, SanTan Brewing and Ska Brewing – also took home medals at this year’s GABF.

Official Brewers Association Press Release can be found here.

Upslope Brewing
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