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Craft Brewing and Distilling News for August 11, 2014

August 11, 2014

•Chico, California’s Sierra Nevada Brewing Company is debuting its second seasonal variety 12-pack of the year, including two new brews. Available through October, The Fall Pack includes newcomers Oktoberfest, a German-style festival beer, and Vienna Lager, a semi-sweet lager, as well as the returning Tumbler (a brown ale with notes of chocolate and toasted bread) and Pale Ale. The brewery expects to release another variety pack later in the year for the holiday season.

•Vermont-based Woodchuck Hard Cider has opened its new $34 million cidery in Middlebury, completing 15 months of construction. The 100,000-square-foot cidery houses 23 cider tanks and a new bottling line, as well as a visitor center, gift shop and tasting center for guests. In 2013, the cider category grew by double-digits to 16 million (2.25-gallon) cases in the U.S. market as Woodchuck finished the year at 2.8 million cases, up 11%.

•Milwaukee’s Lakefront Brewery is set to undertake a $1.2 million expansion project set to break ground August 13. The move, which will add 6,874 square feet to the craft brewer’s existing warehouse space, comes as Lakefront has doubled its production over the past two years, growing its output by 40% in 2012 and 21% in 2013 to roughly 40,500 barrels. Lakefront Brewery, which has a footprint of 35 states, currently produces 11 year-round entries, 10 seasonals, and a variety of organic, gluten-free and limited releases.

•Vice District Brewing Co. is set to begin operations on August 22 in Chicago with a tasting room and brewery set in a historic building on the city’s South Side that once housed a Buick dealership. The firm initially will offer a half-dozen beers on draft, including a black IPA, an extra special bitter IPA and a molasses Porter. Another eight beers will be added to the program gradually through the fall, with an annual capacity of 1,500 barrels and a bottling line filling 22-ouncr bottles as well as growlers. Pint pours will range from $5-$9 on-premise, according to co-owner Curtis Tarver, 32, a former home brewer. He’s partnered with Quint Cole, 40, an attorney. The brewmaster is Charlie Davis, who formerly worked at North High Brewing in Columbus, Ohio.

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