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Craft Brewing and Distilling News for December 10, 2014

December 10, 2014

•Boston Beer’s Angry Orchard has added Hop’n Mad Apple—a new dry-hopped cider—to its year-round portfolio. Inspired by craft brewing techniques, Hop’n Mad Apple is made with Strisselspalt and Galaxy hops, which are added post-fermentation to recreate the dry-hopping process often favored by craft brewers. The 5%-abv entry is currently available in select markets on draft, and is set to expand nationwide in six-packs ($7.99-$9.99) by March. Hop’n Mad joins Crisp Apple, Green Apple, Traditional Dry and Apple Ginger in the core Angry Orchard stable. The largest cider brand in the U.S., Angry Orchard sold 8 million (2.25-gallon) cases last year, according to Impact Databank, to account for about half the cider category.

•The Massachusetts Beverage Alliance (MAB) has partnered with five new artisanal producers from around the Northeast to further bolster its craft portfolio. Vermont’s Foley Brothers Brewing Company, Maine’s Hidden Cove Brewing Company, New York’s Grimm Artisanal Ales, and Massachusetts’s Brewmaster Jack and Maine Craft Distilling have all now joined the MAB portfolio. The alliance consists of a partnership of five wholesalers: Atlas Distributing Inc., Burke Distributing, Colonial Wholesale Beverage, Commercial Distributing Company and Merrimack Valley Distributing Company. According to MAB, craft beer now accounts for 8.5 million cases annually in Massachusetts, representing a 22% share of the overall beer category, markedly higher than the national average.

•San Diego brewer Tomme Arthur is launching a new brand of craft beers in 2015 under the name Hop Concept Brewing. Making its debut in February, the newest concept follows the Port Brewing and Lost Abbey product lines from the brewer and his team. Hop Concept will launch with The Hop Freshener Series, a hop-forward line of quarterly releases meant to simplify India Pale Ales and showcase hop varieties. Limited release Dank and Sticky IPA begins the series, which will continue with small batches of Citrus and Piney IPA in May, Lemon and Grassy IPA in August and Tropical and Juicy IPA in November. Hop Concept’s offerings will be available on draft and in bottles throughout Port Brewing/Lost Abbey’s distribution footprint.

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