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Craft Brewing and Distilling News for April 29, 2016

April 29, 2016

•Boston’s Harpoon Brewery is introducing Hibiscus Cider as a new summer seasonal, the second offering in its seasonal line of ciders. First created for the company’s employee brewing competition, the apple cider is made with eight pounds of hibiscus flowers for every 320 gallons of cider. Harpoon Hibiscus Cider (4.8% abv) is available in 12-ounce bottles and on draft through August. It joins last fall’s seasonal Pumpkin Cider and Harpoon’s year-round Craft Cider in the company’s cider range.

•Sonoma Cider is releasing a new sour cider in late May meant to resemble the flavors of German Gose beer. The new cider, called Wimble, will be made with sea salt and rhubarb juice added to apples and priced at $11 a four-pack of 12-ounce cans. By August, the company plans to open a tasting room adjacent to its Healdsburg, California headquarters with 25 ciders on draft. Its portfolio includes such flavors as habanero lime, sarsaparilla and absinthe. The company also will soon branch into craft spirits with the launch of an apple brandy that will be produced at nearby Alley 6 Craft Distillery at 42.5% abv and packaged in 375-ml. bottles. As with all its ciders, the brandy will be made solely with organic apples. CEO David Cordtz says Sonoma’s cider volume last year exceeded 100,000 (2.25-gallon) cases, up from 63,000 cases in 2014, the company’s first full year in business.

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