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Sociable Cider Werks Hoping Cans Will Bring Cider to a New Audience

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Craft cider is getting easier to come by in Minneapolis, as Sociable Cider Werks' new canning line is up and operational.

See also: A Cider Boom Is Coming, with Dan Kelly's and Republic Igniting the Fuse

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The new line, built by Inline Automation in Princeton, Minnesota, has been installed in Minneapolis's only cidery/brewery combination, and 16-ounce four-packs are already available in six area stores, with distribution coming to more as the company familiarizes themselves with their new toy. They're starting with their "dry apple" Freewheeler, with plans to add Hop-a-Wheelie (hopped apple) and Spoke Wrench (stout apple) soon.

"We really think cider is supposed to be a draft beer alternative," says co-founder Jim Watkins. "Right now people are buying high quality beer in 16-ounce four-packs and we're making what we believe is a high quality beer alternative so we want to package likewise."

Cans, notes Watkins, keep their cider fresher and free of light, and choosing aluminum over glass benefits recycling programs. "The can has proven itself as the superior container," he says.

The cans have a sticker label — much like glass bottles do. Sociable will be canning multiple recipes, and to do so they would need separate wholesale orders of cans for each style, which is both cost prohibitive and requires ample storage. Instead, they have created a generic can to use for all their ciders, with a label that can change with the brew.

Jim Watkins fills pre-label cans

Jim Watkins fills pre-label cans

Sociable Cider Werks' Freewheeler can be found in four-packs of cans at Clocktower, Elevated, France 44, Stinson WBS, Surdyk's, and Zipp's.

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