All winners from the Indie Beer Can Festival 2016 are now commercially canning their beer. Just four months on from the market’s premier indie canned beer competition, brews from Windsor & Eton, Williams Bros Brewing Co. and Firebird Brewing Co can be purchased and enjoyed in a canned format.
At the final of the Indie Beer Can Festival in May, Uprising Treason by Windsor & Eton was awarded Best Ale and Best in Show. Within hours of the event, Kieran Johnson, head brewer at Uprising (a division of Windsor & Eton for up-and-coming brewers) began investigating canning options; he is now co-packing the beer with another brewer.
Kieran says: “The months since the Indie Beer Can Festival have been a whirlwind of activity as we’ve been working hard to achieve our goal of canning Uprising Treason. We’ve come a long way already, but now is the real test. We are excited to receive the first wave of public opinion – though from early feedback, we are extremely confident that it will be received well.”
Uprising Treason isn’t the first winner from the 2016 Indie Beer Can Festival to start canning its brews; winner of Best Lager, Scottish brewer Williams Brother’s, has also embraced the pack. After installing its own line it has now begun to can its Lager /IPA hybrid, Caesar Augustus. August also saw the winner of Best Other/Speciality beer, Firebird Brewing, begin production of its Fireweisse Weisbier and Noble IPA in a can.
A further finalist in the Best Other/Speciality beer category, Earth Ale, expects to be canning its competition Entry, Spicy Weiss, by the end of September 2016 while Little Beer Co, a finalist in the Lager category hopes to be canning its entry, 1917, by the end of the year.
Martin Constable, Chairman of the Can Makers comments: “When we launched the Indie Beer Can Festival we wanted to demonstrate to independent brewers how cool canned beer could be; we have achieved that. When you see that a brewer, which entered the competition to trial their beer in can, has been convinced of its potential and formally invested in the pack, buying their own line, co-packing with others or outsourcing to filler: that’s when you know you’ve made a positive impression on their business and the market.”
At the time of the Indie Beer Can Festival, Uprising Treason was a described as having a flavour that provides a punchbowl of fruits set against a sweet caramel and crusty bread structure. Its taste finishes with a juicy lingering bitterness. The judging team, which included Lidl’s then beer, wine and spirits buyer, Ben Hulme, praised the beer’s balance of flavours and felt it would appeal to both ale and lager drinkers. They said its gorgeous aromatics translated perfectly onto the palate.
The first Indie Beer Can Festival took place in 2014; of the eighteen finalists never before in a can, from that and the 2016 competition, half now have commercially available canned beers.