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Craft Brewing and Distilling News for May 11, 2015

May 11, 2015

•Craft Brew Alliance (CBA) reported a 5% decrease in net sales and an 8% drop in shipments for its fiscal first quarter ended March 31. Overall, sales amounted to $44.6 million in the first quarter, compared with $47 million a year ago. Depletion volumes, however, rose 1% over last year, driven by Kona Longboard Lager, Widmer Brothers Hefeweizen and gluten-free beer Omission, as well as strong growth within CBA’s home markets of Hawaii, Oregon and Washington, where depletions collectively rose 8%.

•Zeiler Spirits’ Coldcock whiskey is entering the Massachusetts market via M.S. Walker and Kansas via Standard Beverage in June, bringing its distribution footprint to 25 states. The American “herbal” whiskey brand, which retails at $20 a 750-ml. bottle, has also expanded its chain business of late, including multiple major chain placements in Southern California, Nevada, Arizona and New Mexico. Last year, Coldcock sold 13,000 six-pack cases in the U.S., with its 2015 volume projected at 25,000 cases. To help keep up the momentum, the brand has debuted a billboard campaign in its native San Diego, with additional cities to follow.

•Massachusetts-based Jack’s Abby Brewing and Vermont’s Otter Creek Brewing have partnered to launch Joint Custody, a new German-style brew. Billed as a “nouveau pilsner,” the collaborative offering is made with Huell Melon and Mandarina Bavaria hops. Joint Custody will make its official debut in mid-July, rolling out on draft and in 12-ounce canned six-packs across Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Vermont. Limited quantities of the brew will also be available throughout Connecticut, New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, New Hampshire and Portland, Maine.

•Baltimore’s Heavy Seas Beer has joined forces with Philadephia’s Yards Brewing Company to unveil Philtimore. An English-style pale ale, Philtimore is brewed with Bravo American hops and English yeast, then aged with oak. The 5.5%-abv entry is set to launch in early June, at Washington D.C.’s SAVOR: An American Craft Beer & Food Experience festival, with a limited quantity available in bottles and on draft. Concurrently, Heavy Seas will also be serving a pair of additional limited releases—a Double IPA known as Double Cannon and an Imperial Coffee Porter called Blackbeard’s Breakfast—during the SAVOR event.

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