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Craft Brewing and Distilling News for January 9, 2015

January 9, 2015

•Atlanta, Georgia’s SweetWater Brewing Company increased volume 33% to 192,500 barrels in 2014 and this year is looking to expand to new markets in the western U.S., beginning with Texas. Marking its 18th anniversary this year, the company will also move more of its craft offerings to cans, such as Take Two Pils and an all-can version of its Tackle Box variety 12-pack. It will also debut new a 750-ml. cork-and-cage line beginning with an anniversary sour Belgian ale next month. Cans of SweetWater 420 Extra Pale and IPA accounted for 25% of total packaged sales of those offerings in 2014. In other company news, SweetWater is bringing back Happy Ending Imperial Stout this month as part of its Catch and Release seasonal lineup. The 9%-abv brew is created with Centennial and Willamette hops and finished with a dry-hopped addition of Cascade and Simcoe hops. It’s available in six-packs, 22-ounce hand-waxed bombers and on draft through February.

•Wisconsin-based Stevens Point Brewery will invest $1.5 million in brewery renovations and upgrades in 2015 to keep up with consumer demand. The brewery says its volume production was up double-digits in 2014, with strong sales coming from its Ciderboys hard ciders. Included in this year’s improvements will be a new can filler ahead of the summer season and brewery and quality-control equipment like a 300-barrel bright beer tank. The company will also hire two additional salespeople and a quality-control technician. Facility improvements are set to begin this month and expected to conclude in May. This year marks the sixth consecutive year of expansion for Stevens Point and follows last year’s identical $1.5 million investment, part of a $7 million outlay to boost operations since 2010.

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