The state’s second-largest brewer is making a big move to increase distribution. Sun King Brewing Co. says two of its beers will soon be available for the first time on grocery and convenience store shelves. The company says a $2 million expansion allows it to produce beer that grocers can stock without refrigeration.
Sun King says Sunlight Cream Ale and Wee Mac Scottish Ale will be available in grocery and convenience stores beginning July 25. The six- and 12-packs of 12-ounce cans are expected to be sold at stores including Kroger, Marsh Supermarket, Wal-Mart, Meijer, Target and Whole Foods.
The brewer’s downtown expansion included new fermentation tanks, canning and chilling equipment. In April, the company said the project would help retain more than 60 workers and add 15 jobs over the next four years. Earlier this year, Sun King announced it would begin distributing statewide thanks to an increased production limit approved last year by the Indiana General Assembly. That legislation boosted the annual craft brewing production limit from 30,000 barrels per year to 90,000.
Co-founder Dave Colt says store-bought Sun King will maintain the taste of beer from the tap. In a release, he said, "By using new brewing technology like our centrifuge and canning processes, we can reduce the presence of oxygen and light below industry standards, which deteriorate freshly-brewed beer at an accelerated rate, and have these beers taste just as delicious and freshly tapped as if it were refrigerated."
Sun King says it will also roll out new boxed packaging for its four-packs of 15-ounce cans, which are available at its breweries and liquor stores throughout Indiana.