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Craft Brewing and Distilling News for August 29, 2014

August 29, 2014

•American Spirit Whiskey founders Charlie Thompson and Jim Chasteen have agreed to purchase a 60,000-square-foot space in the brand’s hometown of Atlanta, and intend to invest $5 million to develop it as a distillery and storage space. Currently produced in Charleston, South Carolina, the white whiskey brand is present in 500 retail accounts and a host of restaurants in Atlanta. The new space will also include a 16,000-square-foot event space. Future plans for the company also include expansion into aged whiskey products and locally-sourced peach, apple and grape brandies. American Spirit expects the new facility to be fully operational within 18 months and in the meantime will continue production in South Carolina.

•Charlottesville, Virginia-based Starr Hill Brewery has introduced Sabbath Black India Pale Ale, the latest entry in its limited edition All Access series. Made with Amarillo, Citra, Simcoe and Falconer’s Flight hops from the Pacific Northwest, Sabbath is a dry-hopped Black IPA featuring notes of lemon, orange and grapefruit. The 7.2%-abv brew will be available in 22-ounce bottles and on draft starting September 1. Sabbath Black India Pale Ale marks the fifth entry in Starr Hill’s 2014 All Access series, following June’s release of King of Hop Imperial India Pale Ale. Starr Hill Brewery’s portfolio is currently available across Virginia, Delaware, Georgia, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Washington, D.C.

•Portland, Oregon-based Eastside Distilling LLC is set to start construction on a new production facility. The company, founded in 2009, currently operates out of a 3,000-square-foot building with capacity for 18,000 nine-liter cases a year. It will be moving into a former glass factory in Distillery Row on Portland’s southeast side (surrounded by a half-dozen other craft distillers) with 41,000 square feet of space and capacity for 750,000 cases a year. Construction should be finished by December, according to CEO Steven Earles. He says the company, which has concentrated its distribution until now around Oregon, is poised to go national. “We’ve got deals to come to the states of Washington, Pennsylvania, Minnesota and Georgia, and we’ll soon be in Texas and Florida. We plan to be in all 50 states within 24 months,” he said. The master distiller is Mel Heim and the most popular labels are the Below Deck Spiced Rum ($20 750-ml.), Cherry Bomb Whiskey ($34) and Portland Potato Vodka ($23).

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