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Craft Brewing and Distilling News for March 11, 2014

March 11, 2014

•Paso Robles, California-based Firestone Walker Brewing Co. has released Opal, a new dry-hopped saison. Featuring both Belgian and West Coast influences, Opal is made with Belgian saison yeast, Weyermann Pilsner malt, malted and unmalted wheat and Styrian Golding, Amarillo and Hallertau Blanc hops. The 7.5%-abv brew will be available year-round starting this month, retailing for around $5.99 a 22-ounce bottle. Opal marks the latest entry in Firestone Walker’s Proprietor’s Reserve series, which also includes the brewer’s Double Jack and Wookey Jack labels.

•Longmont, Colorado’s Left Hand Brewing Co. has reported a production increase of 32% in 2013, to 65,000 barrels. For 2014, the brewer is projecting a sales rise of 30%, bolstered by its entry into the Maryland and Washington, D.C. markets last month. In other company news, Left Hand has appointed Thomas Ruprecht chain sales manager. Ruprecht, who joins Left Hand from New Planet Brewing, will be responsible for driving sales growth and developing partner relationships. Currently in 27 states, Left Hand Brewing’s portfolio includes its Milk Stout, Sawtooth Ale, 400 Monkey IPA, Black Jack Porter, Polestar Pilsner and Stranger Pale Ale labels, among others.

•The St. Louis City Council last week approved a conditional use permit for a new $7.5 million brewery to be developed by O’Fallon Brewery’s owner and head Jim Gorczyca, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Anheuser-Busch veteran Gorczyca plans to convert a 2.2-acre industrial site in the Maryland Heights neighborhood into a microbrewery that can produce 25,000 barrels of beer annually—nearly 10 times the current production at O’Fallon—and will employ 25 people. Plans for the 40,000-square-foot facility include a 50-barrel brewhouse, kegging and packaging lines, a tasting room, brewery tours and product merchandise. O’Fallon Brewery also has beer produced for it under contract with Wisconsin’s Stevens Point Brewery.

•Loveland, Colorado’s Grimm Brothers Brewhouse is set to debut its popular Little Red Cap offering in cans for the first time. Starting in April, Little Red Cap will roll out in 12-ounce can six-packs throughout Colorado and Nebraska, marking the brewer’s first foray into canned beer. Expansion to additional states is slated to follow. A Dusseldorf Altbier, Little Red Cap is available year-round as part of Grimm Brothers’ Legend series, alongside portfoliomates 3 Golden Hairs, Snow Drop, The Fearless Youth and Master Thief. Grimm Brothers plans to release The Fearless Youth—a Munich Dunkel—in cans later this year.

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