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Craft Brewing and Distilling News for January 27, 2015

January 27, 2015

•Downingtown, Pennsylvania’s Victory Brewing Company is expanding distribution for its Helles Lager, previously only available in the Philadelphia region, to its full 35-state footprint. Made in the traditional German style, the lager was originally known as Brandywine Valley Lager upon its debut in 1996. Victory Helles Lager (4.8% abv) has notes of whole flower hops and a straw-blond coloring, the company says. It’s available year-round on draft and in six-packs of bottles for about $9.99. In addition to its 35-state distribution network, Victory also exports its craft beers to 10 countries.

•U.S. hop growers produced more hops in 2014 than any time since 2009; however, prices continued to rise amid increased demand for hops in craft beers, according to a recent report from the Hop Growers of America. Growers planted an additional 3,600 acres of hops last year for a total of 38,011 acres, but yields were down nearly 5%. Because of an unseasonably hot July in the Pacific Northwest, which harvested 98% of all commercially grown hops in the U.S., lighter cones were produced and yields in some varieties were down as much as 40%. The CTZ variety made up 23% of hops planted, while Cascade was the next most popular at 16.6% of hops. An additional 5,000 acres are expected to come online this year for a record 40,898 acres of hops planted, with the majority already contracted by merchants for brewery customers.

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