Craft Brewing And Distilling News for December 11, 2012December 11, 2012
•Ocean vodka has opened a new organic farm and craft distillery on the slopes of Mount Haleakala in Maui. Set to begin public tours and tastings in February 2013, the new facilities will allow for the organic farming of the sugar cane used to produce Ocean vodka, a Martini garden for the growth of fresh drinks ingredients and solar panels that will power 100% of the operations. It will also allow for a “ten-fold increase in business and new opportunities to expand production into rums and whiskies,” according to the company. Originally launched on Maui in 2006, Ocean vodka ($32.99) is owned by the Smith family and handled by Aveníu Brands.
•Colorado state representative Kevin Priola is readying legislation that could allow craft brewers to sell full-strength beer (above 3.2% alcohol by weight) in the state’s grocery and convenience stores, according to local news reports. The bill, which would grant craft beer licenses primarily to locally-owned establishments, is intended to support the expansion of microbreweries and help them better meet consumer demand. Currently, Colorado law prohibits the sale of full-strength beer, wine and spirits in most grocery and convenience outlets. The state, however, is home to more than 160 breweries, with 60 more in the planning stages, according to data from the Colorado Brewers Guild. Priola’s legislation—slated to be introduced early next year—follows the introduction of a similar bill (HB 1284) by representative Larry Liston last year, which was ultimately rejected by the House in April 2011.
•Bend, Oregon-based Deschutes Brewery is commemorating its 25th anniversary with the limited edition “Class of ’88” series, featuring four collaborations. Each of the participating breweries—California’s North Coast Brewing Co., Oregon’s Rogue Brewery, Chicago’s Goose Island Beer Co. and Ohio’s Great Lakes Brewing Co.—were also founded in 1988. The series will debut in March, with the launch of three versions of a barley wine (available in 22-ounce and 750-ml. bottles) created in partnership with North Coast and Rogue. In May, Class of ’88 will follow with two versions of a Smoked Imperial Porter (available in 22-ounce bottles and on draft) with Great Lakes, and sometime in the fourth quarter of next year, two versions of a Belgian-Style Strong Golden Ale (available in bottles and on draft) with Goose Island. Deschutes Brewery—best known for its core Black Butte Porter and Mirror Pond Pale Ale labels—has distribution in 19 states and annual volume of approximately 250,000 barrels.