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Craft Brewing and Distilling News for January 8, 2015

January 8, 2015

•Oskar Blues Brewery is entering five new markets early this year, raising its profile in the Midwest and New England regions. This week, the Colorado-based company’s beers—including year-round offerings Dale’s Pale Ale, Pinner Throwback IPA, Mama’s Little Yella Pils, Old Chub Scotch Ale and others—will roll into Iowa, Nebraska and downstate Illinois (supplied by Oskar Blues’ Colorado brewery). Vermont and Maine will also soon see their first shipments, supplied by the craft brewer’s new North Carolina production facility. With the additions, Oskar Blues’ distribution footprint now spans 40 states, and the company says more new markets will be announced soon.

•Fort Collins, Colorado’s New Belgium Brewing has launched Portage Porter, its latest spring seasonal. Made with Pale, Munich, Black and Chocolate malts, as well as Target and Nugget hops, the 6%-abv brew is billed as an American-style Porter with notes of coffee, chocolate and almond. Portage Porter will be available through March, packaged in 12-ounce bottles. The label’s debut comes on the heels of New Belgium’s recent winter seasonal rollouts, including the return of the brewer’s Accumulation White IPA, 2° Below Winter Ale and Frambozen labels in November.

•Downingtown, Pennsylvania-based Victory Brewing Company is rolling out a new brew, Anniversary 19, in honor of its 19 years in business. A session IPA, Anniversary 19 is brewed with Simcoe, Chinook and Citra hops paired with two-row German malts. The 4.5%-abv offering is available January through March in both on- and off-premise accounts throughout the company’s 35-state distribution network. It retails for about $9.99 a six-pack. Victory Brewing opened its doors in February 1996 and recently opened a second brewery in Parkesburg, Pennsylvania to expand production capabilities.

•Charlottesville, Virginia’s Starr Hill Brewery is introducing a new limited-release Debut Series for 2015 with a Belgian Tripel. The Debut Series will feature six styles of beer introduced every other month throughout the year exclusively on draft at select locations within the company’s distribution footprint. The new Belgian Tripel (9.5% abv) is a version of a classic Trappist ale brewed with Saaz hops, crushed coriander and fruit for citrus notes, the company says.

•Houston, Texas-based Saint Arnold Brewing Co. is bringing back its Divine Reserve No. 5 label in two new iterations. A Russian Imperial Stout first released in 2007, Divine Reserve No. 5 has been recreated and reformulated by Saint Arnold and then aged for a year in Woodford Reserve Bourbon barrels, with the resulting brew to be released as Saint Arnold Bishop’s Barrel No. 8 next week. Later this month, a non-barrel-aged version of the beer is set to launch as Saint Arnold Divine Reserve No. 15. Bishop’s Barrel No. 8 will be available at bars and restaurants in 12-ounce bottles throughout Texas and Louisiana, while Divine Reserve No. 15 will be available in bottles at retail and on draft at bars and restaurants. According to Saint Arnold, the pair can either be consumed right away, or aged for five years or more.

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