Top Stories, News, and Analysis from the Craft Beer Industry

Brewers Association: Craft Beer Sales Up 18 Percent Through June

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The Brewers Association (BA) today reported mid-year growth for the country’s small and independent craft brewers. According to the latest data, craft beer production is up 18 percent through the first six months of 2014. Through June, BA-defined craft brewers have sold about 10.6 million barrels of beer, up from 9 million barrels in 2013, the BA said.

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Brew Talks San Diego: Building Relationships Across Tiers

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To close out the Brew Talks West Coast Tour last week, a panel of publicans in the San Diego area discussed the myriad challenges of building relationships with both brewing partners and customers. Sitting on the panel held at Stone Brewing Co.’s Liberty Station restaurant was Scott Slater, founder of Slater’s 50/50, Scot Blair, founder of Hamilton’s Tavern, and Tom Nickel, owner of O’Brien’s Pub.

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Green Flash Co-Founder Elaborates on St-Feuillien Partnership

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Earlier this week, Green Flash Brewing announced a “handshake agreement” with St-Feuillien whereby the Belgium-based brewery would produce, bottle and ship West Coast IPA for broader distribution throughout Europe. In an interview with Brewbound, Green Flash co-founder Mike Hinkley said he wasn’t sure how to exactly define the new partnership.

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New York Governor Creates Craft Brewer Workgroup

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New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced yesterday the formation of the New York Craft Brewer Workgroup, a collection of brewers and industry representatives close assembled to expand the state’s burgeoning craft beer sector.

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Video: Lost Abbey Partner Sounds Off on Industry Issues

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During the final stop of last week’s Brew Talks West Coast Tour, Brewbound had the opportunity to examine a variety of beer industry trends with Lost Abbey partner Tomme Arthur. Among other top-of-mind issues, Arthur tackled quality concerns, rotating tap handles, and franchise laws.

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Former Firestone VP Tapped as New Reyes Executive

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Reyes Beverage Group today announced it has hired former Firestone Walker vice president of sales Steve Almaraz as its new craft category development director. In the newly created position, Almaraz will be focused on “improving the company’s capabilities against craft beer sales.”

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Press Clips: Climate Change, Expansions and TV Deals

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There’s a lot happening in the world of craft beer this summer so let’s jump right in to this week’s edition of press clips. Yesterday The Washington Post published a profile on Ian Hughes, Goose Island Beer’s environmental safety manager or, as the Post calls him, “the man who wants to make sure climate change doesn’t ruin your beer.”

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Newly Launched Maine Wholesaler Challenges State Franchise Laws

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A new beer and wine wholesaler based in Portland, Me. is hoping to attract small craft brands with an unconventional approach to beer distribution. Vacationland’s co-founder, Jim O’Brien, said he believes it is the first wholesaler in the country to directly challenge state franchise laws by offering beverage manufacturers fixed-length contracts capable of being nullified at any time.

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Heavy Seas to Grow Production Capacity 250 Percent

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Add Heavy Seas Beer to the neverending list of craft breweries that are expanding production capabilities. The Baltimore, Md.-based beer company has secured $6 million in bank financing to install a new 60-barrel, 5-vessel brewhouse and ultimately grow its production capacity by 250 percent. According to a press release, the expansion project — which will be finished by September — will increase potential brewing capacity to 175,000 barrels.

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Brew Talks LA: Fresh & Easy Aims to Sell More Local Craft

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Craft brewers talk a fair amount about building a footprint in a chain account. But at least one chain account, 167-store Fresh & Easy, is much more focused on keeping its craft beer selections as local as possible, rather than looking for chainwide one-size-fits-all offerings.

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Left Hand Brewing Re-Enters Iowa

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Colorado’s Left Hand Brewing Company is once again expanding its distribution footprint and will re-enter Iowa in August. The company, which temporarily left the state in 2011 due to capacity constraints, has signed a wholesale agreement with Johnson Brothers of Iowa.

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Green Flash Partners with St-Feuillien For European Production

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Green Flash Brewing today announced a unique brewing partnership with Belgium-based St-Feuillien. According to a press statement, the two breweries have made a “handshake agreement,” whereby St-Feuillien will brew, bottle and ship Green Flash’s flagship West Coast IPA for broader distribution throughout Europe.

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