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Craft Brewing and Distilling News for August 15, 2014

August 15, 2014

•Eugene, Oregon-based Ninkasi Brewing Co. is releasing a pair of new lagers for the fall season. The first, Oktoberfest, is the latest entry in the brewer’s Seasonal Release series. Oktoberfest is a 5.9%-abv Bavarian lager made with Willamette Valley-sourced hops, which are intended to mimic the flavor of traditional German hops. The second brew, Venn, marks the third offering in Ninkasi’s Prismatic Lager series, and is billed as a 5.1%-abv Dortmund-style lager made with Northwest-grown hops. Both labels will roll out in September, with Oktoberfest available in 22-ounce bottles, 12-ounce bottles and on draft through October and Venn available in 12-ounce bottles and on draft through December. Ninkasi Brewing’s U.S. footprint currently includes Oregon, Alaska, California, Idaho, Montana, Washington and Nevada.

•Atlanta’s SweetWater Brewing has revamped its glass bottle packaging. The new design, inspired by a traditional Belgian bottle profile, features a signature “water wave pattern” on the neck and the SweetWater motto “Don’t Float the Mainstream” on its label. Launching this month, the bottles will initially debut with SweetWater’s 420 Extra Pale Ale and India Pale Ale, before expanding across additional labels over the next few months. Concurrent with the package update, SweetWater Brewing has also embarked on a new bottle-conditioning program, designed to carbonate beer naturally and extend its freshness on the shelf. The brewer’s first batch of conditioned bottled beers are set to begin rolling out this week. The move follows SweetWater’s decision to begin conditioning its canned beers earlier this year.

•Sierra Nevada Brewing and Boulevard Brewing have unveiled the latest iteration of their collaborative Terra Incognita beer. First made in 2012, Terra Incognita features a blend of fresh and aged ales. This year’s 9.8%-abv expression, which marks the brewers’ third edition, is made with 55% wine barrel-aged ale, 32% Bourbon barrel-aged ale and 13% fresh ale, and does not include the usual late addition of Brettanomyces wild yeast. Terra Incognita will launch later this month, available at retail in 750-ml. bottles across Sierra Nevada’s nationwide distribution network.

•Seattle-based Fremont Brewing Company will move most of its production to a new facility that will increase its brewery space tenfold to 80,000 square feet. The family-owned company will begin renovation of the new building—located in Ballard just outside Fremont—next May with expectations to be fully operational by fall 2015. The new production space will include a brewhouse and canning and bottling lines and employ 35 to 50 full-time workers. The current Fremont brewing facility will continue as an experimental brewery. Meanwhile, the company’s Seattle tasting room and beer garden is being expanded and will reopen next month, featuring 20 tap lines.

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