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Indiana breweries push for increase in production limit

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Demand is high for craft beer in Indiana.

“Our market share continues to grow as people seek out more and more better and flavorful beers,” said Clay Robinson, one of the founders of Sun King Brewery.

But in many cases, keeping up with that demand would be against state law.

Currently, craft breweries are limited to producing 30,000 barrels of beer each year.

At the end of last year, Sun King was forced to cut off its distributors outside of Indianapolis and central Indiana.

“As we were calculating our numbers and looking at our production, we realized we were making beer at the maximum rate of production for sale and distribution in Indiana,” Robinson said.

To keep the beer flowing, they’re teaming up with 3 Floyds Brewery to push legislators to increase the limit.

“We’re kind of at that point where we have very little room to grow in the next year. The Floyds have very little room to grow and sell more beer in Indiana,” said Robinson.

It’s a new problem. 30 years ago, Indiana law banned craft breweries entirely, but now it’s a booming industry.

Robinson says in 2009 there were 33 breweries in the state, now there are 99.

“I don’t think that anyone ever thought that it would be what it is today,” Robinson noted.

The two breweries are asking fans of their beer to pressure their legislators to keep up with the times.

They’ve already received some help through social media and hope to get more through their new website.

“I’m sure there are people that continue to wonder why we need to make more beer, and it’s not that we need to make more beer. It’s that there’s a demand for our beer and people are starting to care more about where their beer comes from and they’re supporting local companies,” said Robinson.

State Senator Carlin Yoder says he plans to introduce a bill to increase the limit this spring.

So far, no legislators have publicly come out in opposition of the plan.