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Craft Brewing and Distilling News for February 9, 2015

February 9, 2015

•In an unusual twist, Chicago-based CH Distillery has introduced a spirit distilled from beer. The company borrowed several barrels of the neighboring Ale Syndicate’s du Sable Hoppy Saison, de-gassed the liquid and then distilled it twice before resting it in small rum barrels for five months. The resulting product is called Spirit of du Sable (40% ABV), priced at $11 a 2-ounce pour at CH’s own cocktail bar or $14 paired side-by-side with a 12-ounce pour of the original beer. Bottles in a 375-ml. size are available at retail in Illinois, priced at $30. “We were looking for a way for the hoppy flavor of beer to come through in a spirit,” says CH master distiller Tremaine Atkinson, who’s planning another spirit/beer combination with a different partner, Chicago’s Atlas Brewing Co., later in the winter. Meanwhile, Chicago-based Mercenary Brewing and Distillery, is set to introduce a gin employing the same hops as its pale ale, as well as a whiskey made from stout. Distribution initially will be limited to northern Illinois.

•San Francisco’s Anchor Brewing Company is opening a beer garden at an 18,000-square-foot pop-up food and retail village called The Yard in the city’s Mission Rock Development area. The pop-up, constructed from repurposed shipping containers, will open next month, located adjacent to AT&T Park in Giants Parking Lot A. It will feature a rotating selection of shops and vendors, as well as public space and events, and serve as a prototype for the Mission Rock Development, a mixed-use urban neighborhood headed by the San Francisco Giants. The Mission Rock Development will house an all-new brewing facility from Anchor Brewing at Pier 48. The company will maintain its Potrero Hill brewery, and the two facilities will quadruple Anchor’s annual brewing capacity.

•Hood River, Oregon-based Full Sail Brewing has released its 2015 Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout. This year’s offering (10.5%-abv) has aromas of dried cherry, chocolate and whiskey with a palate of vanilla, cherry and dried figs, the company says. It was aged one year in Bourbon casks from Jim Beam and Four Roses. 2015’s Imperial Stout is available in 22-ounce bottles and on draft. The employee-owned Full Sail Brewery also offers Full Sail Amber, IPA, Pilsner, Pub Series, Session, Session Black, Session IPA and the Session Series.

•In a sign of hard cider’s explosive popularity, this year’s Cider Summit San Francisco on April 25 is relocating to much larger facilities. The event’s organizer, Alan Shapiro of SBS Imports, is moving the event to the Civil War parade ground at the Presidio, a park at the northern tip of the San Francisco peninsula, with views of the Golden Gate Bridge. Last year’s summit was in Civic Center Park across the bay in Berkeley, where 30 cidermakers showed off 100 cider labels to an audience of 1,200. This year’s event at the Presidio is planned for 42 cidermakers and 160 ciders and an attendance of 3,000.

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