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Craft Brewing and Distilling News for December 3, 2014

December 3, 2014

•Craft Brew Alliance (CBA), one of the West Coast’s leading craft brewers with its Widmer, Redhook and Kona brands, has formed a strategic alliance with North Carolina’s Appalachian Mountain Brewery, Inc (AMB). Under terms of the deal, the two publicly traded brewers will “explore potential opportunities to drive business growth and shareholder value through sharing resources in key strategic areas including, but not limited to, brewing, purchasing, distribution, and sales,” according to a statement issued by the Portland, Oregon-based CBA. While it remains to be seen how the partnership between CBA and AMB will take shape, CBA’s CEO Andy Thomas told Brewbound that more concrete plans would be revealed in the next six months. “It isn’t an acquisition at this point,” he added. “The qualifier doesn’t say it will be or won’t be. For right now, there is a meeting of the minds.”

•Juneau-based Alaskan Brewing Co. has unveiled a new trio of dark beer offerings ahead of the winter season. Launching as the latest entry in the brewer’s Alaskan Pilot Series, Alaskan Brewing’s new Double Black IPA is made with Northwest hops, dark malts and roasted grains. Concurrently, Alaskan Brewing has released the 2014 vintage of its annual Smoked Porter, which is produced by smoking malt in a smoker originally used for salmon. Lastly, the brewery has introduced its Smoked Porter Vintage Pack, featuring bottles of the 2013 and 2008 Smoked Porter vintages and a pair of tasting glasses. All three winter offerings are currently available in 22-ounce bottles for a limited time.

•Santa Rosa Beach, Florida’s Grayton Beer Company has opened a new taproom featuring a 40-foot bar and 25 taps. The company’s specialty small-batch beers will be available exclusively in the taproom, as well as guest taps from other craft breweries and collaboration beers. The taproom marks the latest upgrade to Grayton’s 30,000-square-foot brewery, which includes a 30-barrel brewhouse and new equipment such as a 125-bottles-per-minute bottling line and a state-of-the-art lab. Grayton’s brewery has an annual production capacity of 10,000 barrels. The company was founded in 2011.

•Portland, Oregon-based Reverend Nat’s Hard Cider has added a new year-round offering, Revival, to its portfolio. Revival is made with a blend of Washington state apples and multiple blended fermentations and uses fermented Mexican Piloncillo Negro for flavor depth. The result is a hard cider with layers of tropical fruit such as pineapple, guava and peach alongside a crisp apple base, according to the company. Revival (6% abv) is available on draft and in 500-ml bottles throughout Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Southern California and Alaska. Other cider offerings from the company include dry-hopped Hallelujah Hopricot and quinine-bittered Deliverance Ginger Tonic.

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