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Sun King leads push to change state beer distribution laws

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Dec. 15, 2014)-- Sun King Brewing has reached its growth limit.

The company is close to hitting Indiana's cap on small breweries of 30,000 barrels per year, and therefore has terminated agreements with its distributors serving areas outside the Indy metro area and Bloomington.

"At the rate we are brewing currently, we can`t brew legally anymore beer than we are brewing day in and day out for the next year. We are at maximum capacity," said Clay Robinson, who also is president of the Brewers Guild of Indiana.

Sun King will distribute only to Boone, Brown, Hancock, Hamilton, Hendricks, Johnson, Lawrence, Marion, Monroe, Morgan and Putnam counties.

Co-owner Clay Robinson estimates that 300 to 400 bars, restaurants and liquor stores outside of the distribution area will no longer receive shipments of Sun King products.

Robinson is working with state legislators to change the law to allow for more beer production. There are nearly 100 breweries in Indiana.

"There are three times as many breweries today as there were five years ago. Not only in Indiana but in the entirety of the country. In the long run this becomes a problem not just for us but for a whole bunch of people in our industry," explained Clay Robinson.

State Senator Carlin Yoder will introduce a bill next spring to increase production levels for small breweries in Indiana.  The U.S. government defines a small brewery as one producing under 60,000 barrels.

"It doesn`t make sense that you limit private businesses from being able to complete their livelihood. Frankly I think we need to raise the limit. I don`t know what that would be like another 10 thousand or to 60 thousand like the federal guidelines are," said State Senator Carlin Yoder (R).

Check out the video below to get the first look at Sun King's Fistful of Hops IPA in its seasonal blue can: