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Craft Brewing and Distilling News for March 4, 2016

March 4, 2016

•Juneau’s Alaskan Brewing Company is rolling out its newest year-round beer, Kicker Session IPA. The 4.5%-abv brew is dry-hopped with Amarillo, Centennial, Citra, Simcoe and Mosaic hops. It’s the first year-round release from Alaskan Brewing since 2013. Kicker Session IPA is available in six-packs throughout the company’s 17-state distribution footprint. Alaskan’s other year-round offerings include Amber, White, Freeride IPA, Ice Bay IPA and Hopothermia, among others.

•California-based Graton Distilling Company, part of Purple Wine + Spirits, is introducing its first craft spirits offering, D. George Benham’s Sonoma Dry gin. The new product is created with 12 botanicals including juniper, coriander, citrus and locally grown Meyer Lemon and Buddha’s Hand. Young’s Market Company’s Craft Spirits division will handle Sonoma Dry in California, where it will retail at $40. Purple Wine + Spirits founder and CEO Derek Benham founded Graton Distilling last year.

•Massachusetts craft brewer Wachusett Brewing is offering an alternative to the burgeoning hard soda category with the national launch of Nauti, a 110-calorie, 5%-abv “hard seltzer” brand. Nauti, which comes in raspberry, grapefruit, lemon lime and cranberry flavors, is made from a clear malt base and will hit retail shelves in April through St. Killian Importing, marketed in 12-ounce six-packs of cans. A variety 12-pack will follow in the fall. Wachusett president Ned LaFortune said the company is aiming high with Nauti, which will have annual production capacity of 4 million cases.

•Georgia’s Richland Rum is planning to open a second distillery in the coastal city of Brunswick. The new 6,400-square-foot facility, slated for completion early next year, will house two copper pot stills and produce a new Virgin Coastal Georgia Rum—essentially an unaged variety of Richland’s existing Old South Georgia Rum, which is made solely from sugar cane grown on the company’s Richland, Georgia estate, and distributed in 10 states.

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