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Beer from Utepils is now available at liquor stores

It hit store shelves Wednesday.

Now you'll be able to get beer from one of Minnesota's newest breweries just by heading to the liquor store. 

Utepils Brewing opened in Minneapolis back in February as one of the largest breweries in the state. And now it has started distributing three of its most popular beers in cans to local liquor stores. (Find one that sells Utepils here.) 

You'll be able to get Alt 1848 (a Düsseldorf-style altbier); Copacetic (a kölsch), and Ewald the Golden (a Bavarian-style hefeweizen) in four packs of 16-ounce cans.

Brewer Eric Harper says the've gotten a "tremendously positive" response to the beers in the taproom, and they're "excited about sharing Utepils with a wider audience."

GoMN's Melissa Turtinen and Josette Elieff visited Utepils earlier this year. Check out their video report:

Utepils owner Dan Justesen has always been about making his beer part of a larger experience that's shared between friends, and being in cans will help with that. 

"By making our beer available at retail, people can make a Utepils moment happen any time," Justesen said in a news release.

The canning trend

Craft brewers have long relied on two packaging formats – bottles and draught, the Brewers Association said in 2015.

Bottles are still the most popular option, the Brewers Association said in January. But over the past few years cans have become more common, thanks in part to the idea that they can be brought to more places than bottles can, as well as the diminishing stigma that canned beer is cheap and doesn't have much flavor.

Ryan Petz, the CEO and co-founder of Fulton Brewing in Minneapolis and a member of the Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild board, told GoMN last fall he’d guess probably about a quarter to maybe half of Minnesota’s breweries offer at least some of their beer in a can.

But that hasn’t always been the case. Petz said back in 2009, when he started Fulton, only a couple of breweries were canning. 

The same trend is seen nationwide, with the Brewers Association reporting smaller craft breweries are canning more often than larger craft brewers, and are choosing to start out with a canning line instead of a bottling line. In 2011, the Brewers Association said about 2 percent of craft volume was in cans, but by 2014, it had increased to 10 percent of total craft volume.

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