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Craft Brewing And Distilling News for August 1, 2012

August 1, 2012

•Craft Brewers Alliance will release a Winter Variety Pack in early October featuring a collection of three winter brews from Redhook Brewery, Widmer Brothers Brewing and Kona Brewing, Shanken News Daily has learned. The seasonal offering will mark the first time that beers from each of those affiliated brewers have been packaged together. The variety pack—to be offered in 12-pack and 24-pack versions, with prices ranging from $14.99 to $17.99 and $24.99 to $28.99, respectively—will include Redhook Winterhook Ale, Widmer Brothers Brrr Seasonal Ale and Kona Pipeline Porter. The variety packs will be available in eastern and western markets, along with Illinois, Ohio, Indiana, Missouri and Minnesota. Anheuser-Busch InBev holds a minority stake in CBA and the craft brews are largely distributed by A-B wholesalers.

•Samuel Adams has announced plans to bring back craft brewing veteran Jack McAuliffe’s historic New Albion Ale for the first time in 30 years. The American pale ale will be brewed by Samuel Adams using the original yeast, which has been preserved at the University of California since 1977. The New Albion Brewing Co., founded by McAuliffe in 1976, had to close its doors after only six years due to a weak economy and lack of financing options, but it’s credited with paving the way for future craft brewers. New Albion Ale will now be brewed, bottled and sold by The Boston Beer Company, but all profits will go to McAuliffe. The brew will available at the Great American Beer Festival in October and in Denver, and nationwide distribution will begin in January 2013. It will retail for $7.99 a six-pack.

•Neighborhood Restaurant Group’s (NRG) newest Washington, D.C.-based venture—the Bluejacket craft brewery and restaurant—is set to unveil its first flagship beer. The brewery will launch its debut beer, Sidewalk Saison, alongside four collaboration brews at NRG’s Birch & Barley and ChurchKey restaurants this week (Bluejacket’s own location is still under construction). Created by Bluejacket head brewer Megan Parisi and NRG beer director Greg Engert, Sidewalk Saison is a Belgian saison-style ale made with a variety of foraged plants and “sidewalk greens,” including violet wood sorrel. The beer was produced at the Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant in West Chester, Pennsylvania. In addition to Bluejacket, Birch & Barley and ChurchKey, NRG currently operates 9 other concepts throughout Alexandria and Arlington, Virginia, and Washington, D.C., including The Evening Star Café, Vermilion, EatBar and Red Apron Butchery.

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