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Craft Brewing and Distilling News for August 1, 2018

August 1, 2018

•Craft beer production increased by 5% in the first half of 2018, according to the Brewers Association, matching its growth rate for calendar 2017. While craft beer continues to expand in the U.S.—and is aggregating share within the overall beer category—the pace has slowed markedly over the past few years, and the market has grown increasingly crowded. The Brewers Association notes that there were more 6,655 active breweries in the U.S. as of June 30, up 20% from a year ago. In addition, there are an estimated 2,500-3,000 breweries in the planning stages. “The data demonstrate that 2018 is on pace to have the highest number of brewery openings and closings to date,” said Brewers Association chief economist Bart Watson. “However, even as breweries close, openings continue to far outpace the number that shutter.”

•Bell’s Brewery will add Official American Wheat IPA to its core portfolio next February. The 6.4%-abv ale is brewed with Mosaic, Citra, Azacca, Amarillo, and El Dorado hops and packaged unfiltered and hazy. According to the brewery, Official kicks off a series of new releases that will drive innovation for the brand moving forward. Bell’s Official American Wheat IPA will be released in 4-packs of 16-ounce cans, 6-packs of 12-ounce bottles and cans, and on draft in the company’s 40-state distribution footprint.

•Texas-based Garrison Brothers Distillery will release HoneyDew honey-infused Bourbon on August 17. The 40%-abv whiskey is made from Garrison Brothers’ Bourbon and locally sourced Burleson’s Honey. The whiskey is infused through a two-step process: the barrels used to age the Bourbon are first cut into cubes and infused with honey, then the honey-infused wood is steeped in the whiskey daily for seven months. Garrison Brothers HoneyDew will be available exclusively at the company’s Hye, Texas distillery for $70 a bottle.

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