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Craft Brewing and Distilling News for September 22, 2015

September 22, 2015

•Delaware-based Dogfish Head is expanding with the launch of a new spirits line under the Dogfish Head Distilling Co. banner. Debuting in November, the portfolio will include Dogfish Head Analog Vodka (80 proof), Compelling Gin (88 proof) and Whole Leaf Gin (90 proof), with a rum and a whiskey expected to follow. The well-known craft brewer has been distilling spirits on a small scale at its Rehoboth brewpub since 2002, but these new offerings were created at its new Milton-based distillery, which includes two 500-gallon copper stripping stills and a 250-gallon copper vodka column. The Dogfish Head Distilling Co. lineup will be available on- and off-premise throughout Delaware by Thanksgiving, with distribution to other mid-Atlantic markets planned for 2016.

•Oskar Blues Brewery continues to see rapid growth for its craft beers so far in 2015. The Colorado-based company expects that its expansive canned lineup will help it reach 200,000 barrels this year. Overall, the company’s depletions are up 28% year-to-date, and its distribution footprint has increased to 44 states, with nationwide reach expected by the middle of next year. Dale’s Pale Ale accounts for about half of the Oskar Blues business and continues to advance by double-digits, with especially solid growth in supermarket channels, while newer labels Pinner Throwback IPA and Oskar Blues IPA are also making strong gains. Oskar Blues is currently ranked 24th on the Brewers Association Top 50 Breweries by beer sales volume.

•A new €10 million ($11.25m) Irish whiskey distillery is in the planning stages, to be located at Powerscourt Estate, Enniskerry, County Wicklow. The Powerscourt Distillery, a joint venture between Powerscourt Estate and local entrepreneurs Gerry Ginty and Ashley Gardinery, will eventually have an annual capacity of 1 million bottles. The partners expect to lay down their first pot-distilled whiskey to mature by the end of next year. Powerscourt Estate and Gardens, owned by the Slazenger family, sees half a million visitors to its grounds each year.

•Houston-based Saint Arnold Brewing Company is releasing Bishop’s Barrel No. 11, a new barrel-aged IPA that will see a wider rollout than previous Bishop’s Barrel beers. The 10.4%-abv offering is made with a base of Saint Arnold Endeavour Imperial IPA aged for five months in gin barrels sourced from Smooth Ambler Spirits craft distillery. Bishop’s Barrel No. 11 is brewed with Pale, Two Row and Caramel malts with Columbus, Simcoe and Centennial hops. It’s launching throughout Texas and Louisiana in 12-ounce bottles and on draft. Future releases of Saint Arnold’s Bishop’s Barrel series such as an Old Ale and Belgian Quadruppel are currently aging in the company’s 2,000-square-foot barrel room, which holds more than 200 barrels from California, Kentucky, West Virginia and France.

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