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Craft Brewing and Distilling News for March 29, 2018

March 29, 2018

•San Diego-based Green Flash Brewing has closed its Virginia Beach brewery and reduced its distribution footprint to just eight states, down from 50, as it grapples with a burdensome debt load precipitated by the Virginia Beach expansion. As a result, the company has laid off 43 employees for a total of 76 so far in 2018. The $20 million Virginia Beach facility, which is capable of producing 100,000 barrels a year, is being auctioned by Heritage Global Partners. Green Flash says it has secured financial backing from an unnamed investor group and will still open its planned Lincoln, Nebraska brewpub in April. In 2017, Green Flash was the 43rd largest craft brewing company in the U.S., according to the Brewers Association.

•Blue Moon founder Keith Villa and his wife Jodi are launching Ceria, a new brand of cannabis-infused non-alcoholic craft beverages containing THC, a key psychoactive chemical from cannabis plants. The Villas say that Ceria’s products will be “designed to deliver a consistent user experience with the same onset time as alcohol.” Based in the Denver suburb of Arvada, Colorado, the plan is for Ceria to launch at least three variants of “cannabis beers”—light, regular and full-bodied—where legal by the end of 2018. Ceria is partnered with cannabinoid research firm Ebbu, also based in Colorado. Villa retired from MillerCoors in January after 32 years with the company.

•Correction: Tuesday’s issue incorrectly stated that Celis Raspberry will be available nationwide when it launches April 2. In fact, it will be distributed only in Texas.

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