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Craft Brewing and Distilling News for August 12, 2014

August 12, 2014

•As a three-year drought in California takes its toll on agriculture, the burgeoning craft brewing industry is also contemplating its future in the state, according to the Los Angeles Times. More than 400 craft breweries currently call California home, with a combined $4.7 billion in sales in 2012, according to the California Craft Brewers Association. But breweries average about 4 to 7 gallons of water in making 1 gallon of beer, leading some to question whether price increases are necessary to continue producing in California, the newspaper reports. Breweries such as Chico-based Sierra Nevada and Petaluma-based Lagunitas Brewing Company—which uses almost 2 million gallons of Russian River water annually for brewing—have opened facilities in other regions (North Carolina and Chicago respectively) with more secure water supplies. Other breweries are capping their annual water usage, such as Cloverdale-based Bear Republic, which is maintaining an 8-million-gallon water cap in brewing while revising its growth projection for this year from 35% to 15%.

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