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Craft Brewing and Distilling News for January 27, 2014

January 27, 2014

•Portland, Oregon’s Clear Creek Distillery has been acquired by Hood River Distillers Inc. in a deal that will close at the end of the month. The craft distiller produces fruit brandy, grappa, brandy, liqueurs and whiskey. In 2013, Clear Creek generated $2 million in revenue. Clear Creek will continue to operate out of northwest Portland and will combine its nine-employee staff with Hood River’s 70 employees. However, its leadership will change. Hood River’s Brad Whiting will become general manager and founder Steve McCarthy will remain involved as brand adviser and spokesman. As one of Oregon’s largest distillers, Hood River’s brands include Pendleton Whisky, 1910 Rye Whiskey, Sinfire Cinnamon Whisky and HRD Vodka, among others.

•Craft beer distributor Massachusetts Beverage Alliance saw sales rise 97% last year, to 186,000 cases, including a 44% organic increase and more than 50,000 cases from new business. This year, the company has added a state sales manager, Dogfish Head and Magic Hat veteran Keith O’Hara, to help drive growth, and will add two new breweries to its portfolio in the coming weeks: Massachusetts-based Spencer Trappist Ale and San Diego’s Coronado Brewing. Spencer Trappist Ale, an unfiltered, unpasteurized 6.5%-abv brew, comes from what’s said to be the first U.S. Trappist brewery, home to a community of Trappist monks in Spencer, Massachusetts. Coronado, meanwhile, is making its Massachusetts entry with its West Coast-style beers, led by Mermaid’s Red IPA (5.7% abv), Idiot Imperial IPA (8.5% abv), Blue Ridge Coffee Stout (5.4% abv) and limited quantities of recent release Jurata Baltic Porter (8.0% abv).

•Spokane, Washington-based No-Li Brewhouse more than doubled production to 5,800 barrels last year, and expects continued strong growth in 2014. Also this year, No-Li will enter Texas through Andrews Distributing, beginning in April, adding to an existing footprint that includes Washington, Idaho, Oregon, Alaska, Colorado, Ohio, Maryland, Delaware, Washington, D.C., North Carolina, Hawaii and Canada.

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