A Year of Deals Has Popular Craft Retailer Restocking Its Shelves

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Effective the first day of the New Year, Craft Beer Cellar, a small chain of craft-centric retailers headquartered in Massachusetts, will no longer exclude beers from its shelves based solely on who owns the brand. Since its inception in 2010, the company has sold only beer that fits the Brewers Association’s (BA) definition of craft beer.

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Flying Dog Plans to Launch Experimental “Farmworks” Brewery in Virginia


As breweries in the craft beer sector continue to flourish, established companies, like the 25-year-old Flying Dog, are doubling down and looking to further capitalize on growth with entirely new brewery ventures. The Frederick, Md. beer company yesterday announced plans to launch Farmworks Brewery, a self-described “unique farm brewery destination” located in Lucketts, Va.

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Bell’s Expands Southern California Footprint


Bell’s Brewery has announced plans to expand its presence in southern California in early 2015 per a partnership with Craft Brewer’s Guild of Los Angeles, a wing of L. Knife and Son’s national craft wholesale network. Beginning Feb. 23, all of Bell’s products will be available throughout Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Ventura counties, depending on their release dates.

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Manhattan Beer’s Windmill Acquisition has New York Bodegas, Beverage Centers Fearful


Two of the largest beer wholesalers in New York City are working to consolidate, creating one company that will control approximately half of the city’s beer market — but not everyone is happy about it. In a note to suppliers, Manhattan Beer Distributors announced Tuesday that it has entered into a formal agreement with Windmill Distributing (Phoenix\Beehive Beverage Distributors), to acquire the company’s beer brand distribution rights.

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SweetWater to Expand Distribution Throughout Chicago


SweetWater Brewing has announced plans to expand distribution throughout Chicago in early 2015, the first in a slew of new markets the Atlanta brewery plans to launch in the first quarter of the New Year. The brewery has partnered with Lakeshore Beverage for coverage in the area, which, beginning in the spring, will distribute draft and packaged offerings — including flagships 420 Extra Pale Ale and SweetWater IPA — throughout the city.

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Press Clips: The South Fights for Legislative Change

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Three Texas craft breweries have filed a lawsuit against the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission in hopes of repealing a 2013 law that made it illegal for brewers to sell their own territorial distribution rights. Prior to the law’s passage, brewers “could negotiate payment from distributors for the exclusive rights to deliver their beverages in a certain area.”

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Founders CEO: Minority Sale Ensures Company Legacy


In an effort to establish itself as a longstanding, multi-generational craft brewery, Founders Brewing today announced it would sell a minority interest to Mahou San Miguel, Spain’s largest brewer. The Michigan-based craft beer company announced Wednesday it would sell a 30 percent stake to the international beer company. CEO and co-founder Mike Stevens described the decision to sell a minority interest as one that would enable Founders to “ensure a legacy.”

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Jack’s Abby Announces Brewery Expansion


Jack’s Abby, one of Massachusetts’ fastest growing craft breweries, is set to embark on a major expansion that will more than triple its brewing capacity. The Framingham-based company today announced its development plans, which will boost annual production capabilities and enable the brewery to expand distribution throughout New England.

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Founders Sells 30 Percent Stake to Mahou San Miguel Brewery


Founders Brewing today announced it has sold a 30 percent stake to Mahou San Miguel Brewery, a Spanish Brewing Company founded in Madrid in 1890. Specific terms of the deal were not disclosed. A full press release with more details is below. Official story to follow.

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Twisted Pine Completes Major Rebranding Effort

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Following a seven-month rebranding effort, Twisted Pine Brewing will enter 2015 with new year-round offerings, a shift in style for its flagship beer, and completely redesigned packaging, the company has announced. In moving forward with a new look and updated lineup, the company, out of Boulder, Colo., has also retired four established products.

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Sun King Splits with Wholesalers, Makes Push for Legislative Change

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Sun King Brewing has severed relationships with three wholesalers outside of Central Indiana, cutting back to Indianapolis and Bloomington from a footprint that had spread across the state. The decision to pull out from those territories stems from a state law that caps production for small brewers at 30,000 barrels per year, a figure Sun King projects to brush against this year.

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John McDonald Opens Up About Boulevard Deal


During last week’s Brewbound Session in San Diego, Calif., Boulevard Brewing founder John McDonald confessed to the audience that, after 25 years in the beer business, he’d become somewhat disengaged. “I was a little bit a part of the problem to keep going and growing,” he admitted.

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