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Craft Brewing and Distilling News for January 9, 2014

January 9, 2014

•Chicago’s Virtue Cider, founded in 2011 by former Goose Island brewmaster Gregory Hall, has released its latest vintage of The Mitten, a Bourbon barrel-aged winter cider. Made with Michigan apples and aged for several months in Bourbon casks, The Mitten is later finished with apple juice, resulting in a blend of vanilla, caramel, American oak and ripe apple notes. The entry’s 2013 vintage marks Virtue Cider’s second release of The Mitten, which will be available on draft and in 750-ml. bottles throughout Michigan, Chicago, Kentucky, Los Angeles, New York City, Ohio, Portland, San Francisco and Washington state, priced at around $20.49 a bottle. Virtue Cider also produces the RedStreak, Cidre Nouveau, Percheron, Sidra de Nava, Lapinette and The Ledbury cider labels.

•Florida craft distiller Cape Spirits Inc. is extending its Wicked Dolphin rum brand with a new spiced offering. Wicked Dolphin Florida Spiced ($25.99 a bottle) is crafted from Florida sugarcane and a blend of fresh-ground spices. The 80-proof offering, which joins Wicked Dolphin’s white rum in the portfolio, is distributed by RNDC in Florida, where it’s present in chains like Publix, Total Wine & More, ABC Fine Wine & Spirits, Sweet Bay and Walgreens. Company founder JoAnn Elardo tells SND that the group is also exploring potential expansion into the central and northeastern parts of the country.

•New York’s Shmaltz Brewing Co. is entering the Iowa market via a new partnership with distributor Johnson Brothers. Starting this month, Shmaltz’s flagship He’Brew brand will be available throughout the state, both at retail and on draft. The Iowa expansion will bring the brewer’s reach to around 35 U.S. markets. Shmaltz, which recently opened a new, 20,000-square-foot brewing facility in Clifton Park, New York, is targeting sales of $4 million for 2014.

•Diamond Knot Craft Brewing is re-releasing its popular Slane’s Irish-Style Red seasonal in bottles and on draft across Washington, British Columbia and the 11 other U.S. states it reaches through Total Wine & More. Brewed with 2-row Pale, Flaked Barley, Munich, Chocolate and Caramel Malts and Galena and Willamette hops, Slane’s is at 5.6%-abv. and will be available from February to April. According Mukilteo, Washington-based Diamond Knot, production of Slane’s has been increasing each year and it continues to sell out.

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