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Craft Brewing and Distilling News for June 3, 2015

June 3, 2015

•New craft brewing legislation in Illinois that lifts production limits for on-premise brewers is making its way through the state legislature and is likely to be passed next week. Craft brewers operating their own pubs and taprooms have been limited to annual production of 30,000 barrels. The new rules will raise that cap to 120,000 barrels and allow each brewer to operate as many as three retail facilities. The change had been sought as companies like Chicago-based Revolution Brewing saw production levels exceed the 30,000-barrel limit. Revolution made some 50,000 barrels last year and is projected to surpass 70,000 barrels this year.

•Louisville, Kentucky-based Copper & Kings American Brandy Co. has expanded its footprint in the Northeast with three new markets. Starting this month, Copper & Kings is launching in Rhode Island with Johnson Brothers, in New Jersey with Allied Beverage Group and in Pennsylvania with Majestic Wine and Spirits (a subsidiary of Allied). The move brings the craft distiller’s reach to 18 states. Specializing in copper pot-distilled brandy and absinthe, the Copper & Kings lineup includes Craft Distilled Brandy ($35), Immature Brandy ($30), Absinthe Blanche ($55) and Un-Aged Apple Brandy ($30).

•Escondido, California’s Stone Brewing Co. has reintroduced its limited edition Stone Saison label. Billed as a modern take on a traditional Belgian farmhouse ale, this year’s Stone Saison recipe differs slightly from last year’s debut version, featuring adjusted amounts of lemon zest, grains of paradise, lemon thyme, lavender and habanero peppers. The 6%-abv entry will be available in 12-ounce bottled six-packs and on draft across 42 U.S. markets starting this week.

•Providence, Rhode Island’s Narragansett Beer has launched Del’s Black Cherry Shandy, the second offering in the brewery’s shandy lineup. Part of Narragansett’s Hi Neighbor Mash Up series of local collaborations, the latest shandy (4.7%-abv) is a combination of Narragansett’s Lager and black cherry juice created in collaboration with fellow Rhode Island company Del’s Lemonade. It’s available for a limited time only in Rhode Island in six-packs of 16-ounce cans for $8.99-$9.99. Narragansett’s other beers are sold in all the New England states as well as New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Washington, D.C., Maryland, North Carolina, Florida, Oregon and Tennessee.

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