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Craft Brewing and Distilling News for April 24, 2015

April 24, 2015

•Hawaii’s Kona Brewing Company, part of the Craft Brew Alliance (CBA), is expanding with a $15 million project that includes a new 30,000-square-foot brewery. The move will increase capacity to 100,000 barrels a year once the new brewery is fully operational, expected by early 2017. Kona is currently considering possible locations for the new facility in its home state. The Kona brand, which includes Longboard Island Lager, Big Wave Golden Ale and Castaway IPA, saw sales rise 13% last year, and eclipsed 1 million cases in its home state for the first time. News of the Kona expansion closely follows CBA’s recent announcement that it would invest $10 million to boost its Oregon-based Widmer Brothers brewery to a capacity of 750,000 barrels. Together, the Kona and Widmer projects are expected to increase CBA’s production capability by 300,000 barrels by 2017.

•Stevensville, Maryland-based Blackwater Distilling has extended its craft spirits lineup with the launch of Picaroon Maryland rum. Made with raw sugar cane syrup, the Picaroon Maryland range includes white and gold expressions, both of which are unaged. Picaroon Maryland’s white and gold rums—priced at $28.99 and $32.99, respectively—join Blackwater’s existing Sloop Betty Handcrafted vodka and Sloop Betty Honey vodka offerings. Blackwater Distilling’s portfolio is currently available throughout Maryland and the District of Columbia, where it’s handled by Republic National Distributing Co.

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