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Craft Brewing and Distilling News for January 4, 2018

January 4, 2018

•Blue Moon creator Keith Villa is retiring from MillerCoors, effective January 5. Villa, who created Blue Moon’s core Belgian White brew in 1995, has been serving as Blue Moon’s head brewmaster and global brand ambassador. After his retirement he plans to spend more time with his family and pursue new creative ventures. Blue Moon Belgian White now sells about 1.7 million barrels in the U.S. annually, ranking among the top 20 beer brands marketwide.

•St. Paul, Minnesota–based Summit Brewing Co. has launched its 2018 IPA Collection. Summit’s popular 5.1% abv Sága IPA headlines the range, which also includes three new releases: Wee IPA, a sessionable 4.7% abv beer; Experimental Hop IPA, a 6% abv brew made with unique hops and a complex grain bill; and Imperial IPA, a West Coast–style offering and the strongest of the four beers at 8.5% abv. Packaged in a variety box of twelve 12-ounce cans, the 2018 IPA Collection will be available at Summit’s Beer Hall later this week and is set to hit retail shelves and limited draft lines by the end of the month.

•Ventura County, California-based Anna’s Cider was devastated in the recent Thomas Fire that battered parts of Southern California in December, but has announced plans to rebuild. The company was formed in November by Anna and Dominic O’Reilly (director of winemaking at Topa Mountain Winery) with the goal of producing ciders from locally-farmed, organic apples. After losing its facility and equipment in the fire, Anna’s Cider has launched an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign to raise funds for a new taproom and cider facility in the historic downtown of Santa Paula, California.

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