Craft Brewing And Distilling News for January 30, 2013January 30, 2013
•Houston, Texas-based Saint Arnold Brewing Co. has reported a 22% rise in shipments for 2012, to more than 49,000 barrels. The increase marks the second consecutive year that shipments have risen by roughly 9,000 barrels, as well as the eighth time in the past nine years that they have risen by more than 20%. Growth was driven primarily by Saint Arnold’s seasonal lineup, which boosted production by 32%. Louisiana, Austin, Dallas/Fort Worth and San Antonio emerged as the brewer’s fastest-growing markets. In other company news, Saint Arnold is prepping the launch of Bishop’s Barrel No. 2, a small-batch ale aged in Chardonnay barrels rolling out next month, as well as a new entry in its rotating Saint Arnold Icon series due in March, Cascadian Dark Ale. The new offerings join the brewer’s five year-round brews—including its top-selling Fancy Lawnmower label—and five seasonals.
•Wirtz Beverage Illinois has agreed to become the statewide distributor for Greenbush Brewing Co., effective February 1. Sawyer, Michigan-based Greenbush initially will focus on building the brand in the on-premise in Chicago. It also plans on packaging its Anger, Dunegras, Closure, Distorter, Brother Benjamin and Retribution brands, which will roll out this month in Michigan and then in Illinois. With the new deal, Greenbush’s distribution footprint will include Michigan, Illinois (it was already previously available in Chicago) and northern Indiana. Wirtz is currently expanding its craft beer portfolio to include local, regional and national partners. In Illinois, the company added a new dedicated craft beer team in December ahead of its move to distribute the Deschutes Brewery portfolio.
•Seattle-based Elysian Brewing Co.’s summer seasonal, Loser Pale Ale, is going year-round. It will become part of Elysian’s core portfolio beginning March 1, available on draft, in 22-ounce bottles and in six-packs. Loser (7% abv) initially was launched in 2007 as a collaboration with Seattle’s Sub Pop Records, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, and is made with Sorachi Ace and Crystal hops. It joins a lineup that includes five core beers—Dragonstooth Stout, The Immortal IPA, Zephyrus Pilsner, Perseus Porter and Avatar Jasmine IPA—as well as Night Owl Pumpkin Ale, Bete Blanche Belgian-Style Tripel and BiFrost Winter Ale seasonals.