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Craft Brewing and Distilling News for April 2, 2018

April 2, 2018

•Craft brewers and beer retailers dispute the idea that craft beer is on the wane. Still, with competition fiercer than ever and beer shelves crammed with choices, the days of indiscriminately adding new SKUs are over. According to equity analyst Consumer Edge Research, the number of active beer SKUs in tracked channels was down about 3% in fall 2017 compared to the year-earlier period, while active craft SKUs showed an almost 6% drop in the same period (the group defines an “active” beer SKU as one that has monthly sales of more than $100). The group’s senior analyst, Brett Cooper, attributes much of that streamlining to distributor and retailer efforts to create efficiencies. Beer retailers are rethinking the idea that increased choice drives traffic, Cooper explains. Market Watch has a full report on the craft beer retail landscape.

•Boulder, Colorado’s Upslope Brewing Company has launched Rocky Mountain Kölsch, its latest limited release. The 5.1%-abv ale is brewed with Lemondrop and Mosaic hops, Colorado honey, and sage. Rocky Mountain Kölsch is available through June in 6-packs of 12-ounce cans at Upslope’s taprooms in Boulder and throughout the brewery’s Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, Arizona, Wyoming, and Montana distribution footprint.

•Marietta, Georgia’s Red Hare Brewing Company has opened its second brewery, the 34° North Experiment Station in Shallotte, North Carolina. The new brewery will focus on experimental beers that use local yeast and bacteria. Red Hare’s brewers, Roger Davis and Bobby Thomas, visited breweries in Belgium and Oregon to learn more about cultivating wild yeast and spontaneous fermentation before opening the 34° North Experiment Station. The new brewery will feature experimental brews alongside Red Hare’s core lineup of SPF 50/50 India Pale Radler, Soft J IPA, and Long Day Lager.

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