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Craft Brewing and Distilling News for January 21, 2015

January 21, 2015

•Washington-based Seattle Cider Company says it far exceeded its 2014 goals by producing more than 7,000 barrels of cider in its first full year of production. The company is now embarking on an expansion that’s expected to more than triple capacity to 44,000 barrels and gearing up to enter at least six new states this year. Seattle Cider has reworked its product lineup for 2015, making semi-dry Oaked Maple (6.5% abv) the new winter seasonal, available now through the end of February, while moving last year’s spring seasonal, Gin Botanical (6.5% abv), to a year-round offering. Basil Mint, an off-dry cider fermented with basil and mint, will be this year’s spring seasonal, available March through May. The cidery’s offerings are made from a custom blend of 100% fresh pressed Washington apples and can be found at retail and on draft throughout Washington, Oregon, Alaska, California, Illinois and Texas.

•Scottish craft brewer Innis & Gunn is bringing back its popular Irish Whiskey Aged Stout as its first seasonal of the year. The 7.4%-abv offering is made with Scottish malts and aged over Irish whiskey-soaked oak. The stout features dark chocolate and coffee flavors and is made with the brewery’s pioneering oak maturation vessels known as Oakerators, which are similar to coffee percolators, according to Innis & Gunn. Irish Whiskey Aged Stout is available now in four-packs for about $9.99 and in kegs for about $6 to $7 a 12-ounce pour. The Edinburgh-based brewer specializes in oak-aged beers, such as its popular Toasted Oak IPA. The Irish Whiskey Aged Stout is available in limited quantities in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Maine, Florida, Georgia and Las Vegas, with some distribution in a handful of more states.

•Providence, Rhode Island-based Narragansett Beer has partnered with New England’s Revival Brewing Co. to release Lovecraft Honey Ale, the first in a series of brews inspired by author H.P. Lovecraft. Made with a honey malt base, the collaborative 7%-abv entry is billed as a sweet honey-colored ale with herbal hop notes. Lovecraft Honey Ale will be available throughout Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, New York, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., North Carolina and Portland, Oregon in six-packs of 16-ounce tallboy cans, priced at around $10.99-$11.99 a six-pack. Additional entries in Narragansett’s Lovecraft Series are set to follow, with each brew’s recipe and name inspired by Lovecraft’s stories.

•Wolcott, Connecticut’s Shebeen Brewing has expanded its production facilities and is entering new markets. This month, the brewery launched in South Carolina through a partnership with P. Lacerra & Sons and has registered in New York, although a launch date has not yet been set. Shebeen has also expanded from a one-barrel brew system to a 15-barrel system, with four 30-barrel fermenters added last year, and also opened a new 1,000-square-foot visitor center. The brewery recently started canning its Black Hop IPA with last year’s addition of a canning line, and cans of Irish Pale and Turbo IPA are slated to launch in February. Meanwhile, debuting this month is the rebranded brew JavaPig, originally called Bacon Kona Stout, which is an oatmeal stout brewed with ingredients from local Connecticut businesses.

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