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News Briefs for April 11, 2013

April 11, 2013

•Tennessee looks set to slow the rate of growth of its beer taxes, with its Beer Tax Reform Act heading to the desk of governor Bill Haslam, who is expected to sign it into law. Introduced by state representative Cameron Sexton and state senator Brian Kelsey in January, the new legislation ties Tennessee’s wholesale beer taxes to volume rather than price. Proponents of the bill say it will create a more “business-friendly” environment and attract new brewers and jobs into the state. Tennessee’s current system—which, at $37 a barrel, has the nation’s highest effective beer tax rate—effectively punishes brewers and wholesalers when prices rise due to fuel, labor and material cost increases, the measure’s backers say.

New Belgium Brewing has unveiled its newest summer seasonal, Rolle Bolle Ale. The brew is available in 12-ounce bottles and on draft in most New Belgium markets. Named for a favorite Belgian game, Rolle Bolle (5.2% abv) is brewed with monk fruit and soursop, as well as Cascade and Centennial hops. New Belgium is currently in expansion mode, having recently begun the process of building a second facility in Asheville, North Carolina, which is slated to begin producing beer in 2015. The brewer also recently expanded into Alaska and Louisiana, bringing its distribution footprint to 31 states and Washington, D.C.

•International Beverage USA has introduced a new premium Thai rum, Phraya, to the U.S. market. It is available now in luxury and specialty retailers in California, Illinois, Washington and New York for a suggested retail price of $49.99 a 750-ml. International Beverage will expand the brand into Florida and Texas this June. Distilled in the province of Nakhom Pathom, Phraya is aged for seven to 12 years in “fired” oak barrels using a maturation technique that was designed for the tropical climate of Southeast Asia. International Beverage’s other brands include the Old Pulteney, Speyburn, Balblair and AnCnoc single malts.

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