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Craft Brewing and Distilling News for June 30, 2016

June 30, 2016

•California-based Lagunitas Brewing has linked with three smaller brewers across the country on new alliances. In Santa Rosa, California, Lagunitas has entered a joint venture with Moonlight Brewery, with plans to help expand Moonlight’s reach. Lagunitas has also aligned with Austin, Texas-based Independence Brewing, and will help grow Independence’s brewing capacity. Finally, Lagunitas is under contract with Charleston, South Carolina’s Southend Brewery and Smokehouse to convert Southend’s existing brewpub into a new Lagunitas Taproom and Beer Sanctuary, which will be “the cornerstone location for Lagunitas in the Southeast,” according to the company. The slate of new ventures follows Lagunitas’s sale of a 50% stake to Heineken last fall.

•Montreal, Canada’s Unibroue is adding to its Éphémère series of fruit beers with the limited release of Éphémère Blueberry. The Belgian-style white ale featuring blueberries is available in the U.S. and Canada in 750-ml. cork-and-cage bottles retailing at $8-$9, as well as on draft. Unibroue, based in Quebec, brews more than 15 beer brands including La Fin du Monde, Blanche de Chambly and Trois Pistoles.

•Hawaii-based Kona Brewing Company, part of Craft Brew Alliance (CBA), is introducing its flagship Big Wave Golden Ale in 12-packs of 12-ounce cans nationwide for the first time this summer. Big Wave (4.4% abv) is brewed with Caramel 20 and Pale 2 Row Premium malts and a blend of Millennium, Galaxy and Citra hops. The Kona brand has been a growth driver for CBA, posting a 17% rise in shipments in 2015 and 19% depletions growth through the first quarter of this year.

•Correction: In yesterday’s news briefs, Washington’s Badger Mountain was incorrectly named among the brands handled by Arizona wholesaler TBK Beverage. In fact, Badger Mountain left TBK a few months ago, and its current Arizona wholesaler is Action Wine.

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