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Craft Brewing and Distilling News for January 15, 2015

January 15, 2015

•Connecticut-based Barrell Craft Spirits, LLC is extending its portfolio of small-batch craft whiskies with the release this month of Barrell Whiskey Batch 001. The latest offering follows the successful launches last year of Barrell Bourbon Batch 001, 002 and 003, with each batch of about 500 cases selling out, according to the company. Whiskey Batch 001, which retails for about $55, is blended from 7- and 8-year-old whiskies and bottled at 122.5 proof. It’s distilled in Indiana and aged in Kentucky in ex-Bourbon barrels with about 800 cases available. “Within the category, the high end is clearly driving everything,” Barrell Bourbon founder Joe Beatrice recently told SND. “We have the barrel-proof proposition and want to use that as a differentiator and a way to expose people to this kind of quality product.” Barrell Bourbon products are currently distributed in five states and available in an additional 37 states through online retailers such as Caskers. The company is planning to release Barrell Bourbon Batch 004 in the early part of this year.

•Baltimore, Maryland’s Heavy Seas Beer has unveiled its Desert Island Series, a new lineup of limited edition draft-only brews. Crafted by individual brewers within the Heavy Seas team, the Desert Island Series will feature one-off beers available on draft at select locations within the brewer’s 18-state footprint. Each launch in the series will be limited to 100 barrels, with a new entry rolling out each month. The first Desert Island Series offering will be an 8%-abv Scottish Ale, which is set to debut in February, followed by a Schwartzbier (April), American Honey Amber Ale (June), New World Saison (August), Smoked Dunkel (October) and Dopple Sticke Alt (December).

•Eugene, Oregon’s Ninkasi Brewing Company has linked with new wholesalers in the downstate Oregon and western Washington markets. In downstate Oregon, Ninkasi brews will be handled by Bigfoot Beverage Distributors effective January 26, and in western Washington The Odom Corporation will take over as the brewer’s distributor February 9. In both markets, Ninkasi’s beers were formerly handled by Anheuser-Busch-owned wholesalers.

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