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Craft Brewing and Distilling News for May 9, 2014

May 9, 2014

Craft Brew Alliance (CBA) reported continued sales and volume growth for the first quarter of 2014 ended March 31, the first quarter under a new executive leadership team. Growth from the company’s portfolio—including recent launches such as Widmer Brothers Upheaval IPA, Redhook KCCO Black Lager and Kona Longboard Lager—boosted net sales by 20% to $44 million and total beer shipments by 17% to 183,000 barrels for the quarter. Depletion volume increased 8% over the first quarter last year, while capacity utilization grew to 68% from 58%. CBA expects full-year 2014 depletion growth of 7% to 11% and capital expenditures of roughly $15 million to $20 million with continued investments in capacity and efficiency, as well as restaurant and retail. The company reported 11% depletion growth in 2013 with about $9.9 million in capital expenditures.

•Denver’s Epic Brewing Co. is set to launch its first canned offerings this summer. Starting in June, Epic’s Escape to Colorado IPA and Hop Syndrome Lager will both be available at retail in 12-ounce cans across the brewer’s 15-state footprint. Escape to Colorado IPA, which was created to commemorate Epic’s 2013 move to Colorado, is part of the core Epic Brewing portfolio, while Hop Syndrome Lager is part of Epic’s specialty Exponential Series. Additional 12-ounce canned offerings are currently in the works. Along with its recently-constructed Denver, Colorado-based facility, Epic also operates its original brewery in Salt Lake City, Utah.

•Georgia’s Terrapin Beer Co., minority-owned by MillerCoors, is re-introducing its Liquid Bliss Chocolate Peanut Butter Porter as a year-round entry. First launched in late 2012 as a specialty offering, Liquid Bliss was created in partnership with Nashville-based chocolate maker Olive & Sinclair Co., who helped source cocoa nibs for the 6%-abv brew. The relaunched expression, which also features peanut butter flavoring, will be available in 12-ounce bottled six-packs, 1/6-barrel kegs and 1/2-barrel kegs starting this June. Liquid Bliss joins Hi-5, RecreationAle, Rye Pale Ale, Hopsecutioner IPA and Golden Ale in Terrapin’s existing year-round stable.

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