Indianapolis, Ind. (May 1, 2012) – Indiana-based Sun King Brewery and Colorado-based Oskar Blues Brewery have been working together for months and are excited to bring you Chaka, a limited-release Belgian-style ale — the first craft beer to be packaged in the Alumi-Tek® re-sealable pint bottle from Ball Corporation. Chaka will be released in limited quantities at the Craft Brewers Conference in San Diego on May 2, 2012 and then in each brewery’s home markets the following week.
“Until we undertook this project, only large breweries and beverage companies had access to this type of packaging,” said Clay Robinson, Sun King co-founder. “Sun King and Oskar Blues worked closely with Ball Corporation and Cask Brewing Systems to design and build a simple, functional small scale system that will allow craft brewers to take advantage of this unique packaging option.”
Oskar Blues is a pioneer in the craft canning movement as the first American craft brewery to can their beer with the release of Dale’s Pale Ale in 2002. They have grown to become the largest American craft brewery to package beer exclusively in cans, producing 59,000 barrels of beer in 2011.
Sun King began crafting beer in the summer of 2009 and has grown to become one of Indiana’s largest breweries, producing nearly 10,000 barrels of beer in 2011. Sun King was the first Indiana craft brewery to can their beer and the first brewery ever to create a customizable can for their seasonal and specialty beer releases.
The connection between these two breweries is deeper than the fact that they both can their beer. Oskar Blues head brewer, Dave Chichura, began his professional brewing career in Indianapolis fifteen years ago where he became friends with Dave Colt and Clay Robinson, the two brewers who created Sun King. The three friends have been talking for years about working together on a collaborative beer, so when the opportunity came to assist in the introduction of a new packaging option for craft beer, it was an easy yes.
The end result is a delicious Belgian-style ale crafted with a blend of ingredients from each brewery’s home state: Shagbark Hickory syrup from Hickoryworks in Trafalgar, Ind.; grain from Colorado Malting Company; and a special yeast blend from Brewing Science Institute, also in Colorado. Brewers from both breweries worked together to formulate the recipe and traveled between Colorado and Indiana to brew at both locations.
“Unique packaging like the Alumi-Tek bottle provides both Oskar Blues and Sun King the differentiation we need to make our limited-release beers distinct from our core lines. Plus, the sleek, bottle shape is appealing to our customers,” said Chad Melis, marketing director of Oskar Blues Brewery. “Craft beer in aluminum bottles is another step forward in the evolution of beer.”
About Sun King Brewing Company
Sun King Brewing Company is the brainchild of Dave Colt and Clay Robinson. With the help of family and friends – Omar Robinson, Andy Fagg and Steve Koers – the first keg of Sun King beer rolled out the door for delivery in July 2009. Sun King is the first full-scale production brewery in Indianapolis since Indianapolis Brewing Company closed its doors in 1948. Now available on tap and in cans at hundreds of locations around central Indiana, Sun King has grown into the third-largest beer brewer in the state of Indiana. The company’s commitment to handcrafted seasonal and specialty beers has been rewarded with multiple medals at the Indiana Brewers Cup, Great American Beer Festival and World Beer Cup competitions. Visit www.sunkingbrewing.com for more information.
About Oskar Blues Brewery
Founded by Dale Katechis in 1997 as a brewpub and grill, Oskar Blues Brewery launched their craft-brewed beer canning operations in 2002 in Lyons, Colo. They were the first American craft brewery to can their beer. Today more than 173 craft breweries are canning their beers. The original crew used a hand-canning line on a tabletop machine that sealed one can at a time. Oskar Blues Brewery in Longmont packaged 41,000 barrels in 2010 and grew to 59,000 in 2011. Visit www.oskarblues.com/ for more information.
About Ball Corporation
Ball Corporation is a supplier of high quality packaging for beverage, food and household products customers, and of aerospace and other technologies and services, primarily for the U.S. government. Ball Corporation and its subsidiaries employ more than 14,500 people worldwide and reported 2011 sales of more than $8.6 billion. For the latest Ball news and for other company information, please visit http://www.ball.com
About Cask Brewing Systems
Cask Brewing Systems launched the canned craft beer revolution when it introduced affordable, small footprint, high-performance canning systems. Cask Brewing puts cans in the hands of craft brewers and their customers worldwide. Visit www.cask.com for more information.