Canning Continues to Fuel Growth

Oskar Blues Brewery, the first US microbrewery to brew and can its own beer, continues its strong growth curve with an increase in sales of 76% in the first half of this year.

“Mighty fine,” said company spokesperson Marty Jones. “We’re pretty sure we’ll reach the 100% growth mark by end of the year.”

The company was one of only four brewpubs in the US to enjoy triple-digit growth in 2004 with an increase of sales of 123%.

The Lyons, Colorado brewery, located 18 miles of Boulder, began canning three years ago. Now, over a dozen US microbreweries are canning their own beer.

Founded in 1996 by Dale Katechis and his wife, Christi, Oskar Blues beers are distributed through ten states.

“Oskar Blues’ success has caused the entire brewing industry to take a bigger look at packaging innovation, “says Brewers Association president, Paul Gatza. “The company has led large and small brewers to look at packaging as a fresh way to create consumer excitement.”

In 2004, Oskar Blues produced 2,600 barrels of beer, up from 1,168 barrels in 2003. This year, Oskar Blues Brewery has already produced over 3,500 barrels of beer, and is expecting to hit 5,200 barrels by year-end.

“Oskar Blues has led the shift in perceptions of what canned beers can be,” Paul Gatza says. “Canned craft beers can be hoppy, malty and flavorful.”