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Craft Brewing and Distilling News for April 21, 2016

April 21, 2016

•Wauconda, Illinois-based Small Town Brewery and Wisconsin Brewing Company have partnered for the release of a new higher-alcohol version of Small Town’s popular Not Your Father’s Root Beer. The 10.7%-abv release is the third national launch from Small Town, following last year’s debut of the original Not Your Father’s Root Beer (5.9% abv) and Not Your Father’s Ginger Ale. The higher-alcohol expression had previously been available in limited quantities in the Chicago area, but the partnership with Wisconsin Brewing allows production to scale up for a national rollout on draft and limited edition 22-ounce bombers ($7.99) beginning next month. Small Town says the 5.9%-abv Not Your Father’s Root Beer has become the number-one selling (six-pack bottle) craft beer in the U.S., with Nielsen data for the year-to-date through March 26 showing the offering comprising a third of the segment’s growth during that time.

•Chicago-based Rhine Hall Distillery, known for its fruit brandies, is introducing a fortified apple cider called La Normande, a French pommeau-style cordial due to launch on May 1. The cider, aged for nine months in Bourbon barrels from Heaven Hill, is bottled at 18% abv and priced at $33 per 750-ml. bottle. The company, owned by the father and daughter team of Charlie and Jenny Solberg, distributes only in Illinois, Indiana and Utah. Its lineup includes peach, plum, cherry, pear and mango brandies as well as grappa.

•Colorado’s Oskar Blues Brewery has collaborated with New Orleans-based NOLA Brewing to launch The Wolf And The Lamb, a new limited release. A Double Pilsner-style lager, the 7%-abv brew is made with Pilsner malt and Czech Agnes and Styrian Wolf hops, and is packaged in cans featuring Jazz Fest-inspired artwork by New Orleans native J. Pierre. The Wolf And The Lamb is currently available for a limited time throughout Colorado and Louisiana.

•Truro, Massachusetts-based Farmer Willie’s is launching its Alcoholic Ginger Beer throughout markets in Massachusetts and Rhode Island following a local test run last summer. It’s made with a blend of cold-pressed ginger, cane sugar, lemon juice, molasses and nutmeg. The hard ginger beer will be available on- and off-premise at select accounts throughout the metro Boston area, as well as Cape Cod, Nantucket, Martha’s Vineyard, the South Shore of Massachusetts and Providence and Newport, Rhode Island. Farmer Willie’s (4.5% abv) retails for about $8.99 a four-pack of 12-ounce cans.

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