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Craft Brew Alliance Enters Burgeoning Cider Category, Adds Longboard Lager Cans

April 3, 2013

Craft Brew Alliance (CBA) is set to enter the fast-growing cider category with next month’s launch of Square Mile Cider Company. Starting May 9, Square Mile will begin test-marketing its two debut ciders—The Original and Spur & Vine—in California, Oregon and Washington. The Original is billed as a classic hard cider, while Spur & Vine is a Northwest version made with Galaxy hops. The two 6.7%-abv offerings will be available on draft, as well as in 22-ounce bottles.

In related news, CBA’s Kona Brewing Co. is launching its flagship Longboard Island Lager in 24-ounce cans for the first time this month. Initially rolling out across the West Coast, the new format will be available at convenience stores, sports stadiums and outdoor venues, allowing Kona to tap more active, on-the-go drinking occasions. Longboard’s 24-ounce can is the third can launch for the Hawaii-based Kona, following the debut of its Hang 10 Pint Pack last month, and the Longboard Island Lager six-pack cans in 2012. Kona, which has a distribution footprint of 36 states, grew shipments 27.3% last year to 220,000 barrels, with Longboard accounting for roughly half of that volume.

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