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Credit: Cigar City Brewing

Cigar City Brewing, one of the preeminent brands in the CANarchy portfolio, is expanding its distribution reach ever further with the addition of Missouri. Starting in May, 2019, Missouri craft beer fans will be able to purchase kegs and 12 oz. cans of Jai Alai IPA, Guatabera Citra Pale Ale, Maduro Brown Ale, and 12- pack mixers now that Cigar City has inked a deal with St. Louis based Major Brands.

Cigar City Brewing is already the best- known craft brand in the Tampa area and arguably the entire state of Florida and the first quarter of 2019 has been especially productive for the brewery. Record sales and continued growth convinced Cigar City to look for new territories and Missouri happened to be the place selected for expansion. Cigar City Brand Manager Neil Callaghan says Missouri was an obvious choice for distribution given the state’s strong ties to malt beverages.

“If there’s a state that knows its beer, it’s Missouri,” said Callaghan. “To bring our Florida-inspired beers to the craft beer lovers of Missouri is an incredible opportunity, and we know that there’s no better team than the folks at Major Brands to seize that opportunity. With their help and the help of our CANarchy brothers and sisters, we’ll be able to get the freshest, highest quality beer possible into Missourians’ snifters and pint glasses.”

Major Brands chairman Sue McCollum can’t wait to send the first shipment of Cigar City beer to restaurants, stores, and bars within her home state.

“We are thrilled to partner with a respected brand such as Cigar City,” said McCollum. “We look forward to helping expand Cigar City Brewing’s presence across Missouri and bringing these quality craft beer products to consumers statewide.”

With Missouri added to the distribution family, Cigar City beer is now available in 31 U.S. states as well as Puerto Rico, Norway, Sweden, Finland, France, the UK, and Canada. The brewery plans to hold special launch events throughout the Show Me state of Missouri during the month of May. To learn more about Cigar City Brewing, its expansion schedule, and other news, visit online at www.cigarcitybrewing.com.

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Credit: NPS.gov

Sierra Nevada Brewing is once again demonstrating what a true corporate citizen should be as it launches Pale Ale for Trails, a conservation effort aimed at preserving America’s trail and river systems.

Pale Ale for Trails strives to improve trails and rivers through funding and cleanup. First, the effort will help fund organizations that are dedicated to conservation. Second, Sierra Nevada is calling on its own fans and other concerned citizens to take park in national cleanup efforts. To start things off, Sierra Nevada is partnering with the American Hiking Society and is launching a trail clean-up pledge program, on National Trails Day, June 1. Everyone is encouraged to support local trails on this day by signing up to clean a trail near them.

Sierra Nevada Brewing founder Ken Grossman feels the time to work toward conservation is right now, both for our own well- being that the good health and enjoyment of future generations.

“Spending time in the wild is good for the body, mind and soul,” said Ken Grossman. “We have an obligation to enjoy these places in the least impactful way, and to protect them for generations to come.”

Participants in the Pale Ale for Trails program are encouraged to share photos of their cleanup efforts to Instagram, using the hashtag #Palealefortrails. Sierra Nevada will randomly select three winners each month, from April through June. Each will receive a custom trail kit complete with gear, snacks, and other surprises.

Sierra Nevada’s partnership with the American Hiking Society is the first of several initiatives planned for the summer. Many might not be aware of this, but Sierra Nevada Brewing actually has its own Corporate and Social Responsibility division, which happens to be led by Ken’s daughter, Sierra Grossman. Again, it illustrates the brewery’s honest commitment to making the world a better place through positive corporate action.

To learn more about the program and sign the pledge, visit www.sierranevada.com/pale-ale-for-trails.

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Credit: Bryan Carey

Greetings, Great Beer Now fans and followers! This is the eighth and final entry in a multi- part series of blog posts relating to the Great Beer Now Rock and Roll Out the Barrel Beer Tour, which took place in Cleveland, Ohio. I traversed the Cleveland, Ohio area making my way to some of the best known and most award- winning breweries in the United States, along with several hidden gems and up- and- comers. Open a can or bottle of your favorite beer and follow along on my journey through one of Ohio’s largest cities. Cheers!

Water is alluring. I’m not talking about the water we drink, although it does have significance to the brewing of beer. No, I am talking about bodies of water, whether they are lakes, oceans, rivers, or bayous. A waterfront view can enhance most any food and beverage experience and one establishment that takes its waterfront location seriously is Collision Bend Brewing, a brewing and dining establishment located at 1250 Old River Rd. in Cleveland, Ohio.

Around the Bend

Collision Bend Brewing is located on the banks of the Cuyahoga River and takes its name from the often treacherous twists and turns of the river and the frequent accidents that occurred in the past as ships tried to navigate and sometimes ended up colliding with a bridge or hitting another ship. Today, the river is much safer for navigation and, through its naming, Collision Bend Brewing honors the river’s past reputation while also reminding guests of Cleveland’s economic progress as a post- industrial era city.

This brewery is every bit a restaurant as much as a place that brews beer and the inside has a look that is more in line with that of a nice restaurant. The brick exterior and interior keep the industrial memories alive but there are also contemporary elements, like the bright yellow, upholstered bar stools that provide an interesting contrast. There is a nice outdoor patio, too, where you can sit and take in the fresh air while watching the occasional barge slowly make its way down the river, carefully navigating those hairpin turns.

Collision Bend Brewing serves Southern California street food to accompany the hand crafted beer, with salads, pizza, sandwiches, and other small plate items, as well as dessert. They serve Saturday and Sunday brunch also, perfect for a midday weekend break.

Credit: Bryan Carey

Beer with a View

Collision Bend serves about 12 of its own beers on tap, along with bottles and cans of competitor’s beers. Here is a listing of the beers I tried, listed alphabetically by name, followed by the style and my Untappd rating on a five point scale:

  • Blu Lu, Double IPA, 4.25
  • 8 Crazy Nights, Winter Ale, 4.25
  • Lake Erie Sunset, Pale Wheat Ale, 4.25
  • Negative Gravity, Brut IPA, 4
  • Orpheus, Red IPA, 4.5
  • Red Moon Rising, Rauchbier, 3.75
  • Saison De Bruell, Saison, 4
  • Sixth City Alt, Altbier, 4

Overall Average Rating: 4.13

I really liked the beer I tried at Collision Bend Brewing. Orpheus Red IPA was the standout for me, but I also found Lake Erie Sunset, 8 Crazy Nights, and Blu Lu noteworthy and deserving of a second helping.

Waterfront Food and Brew

Collision Bend Brewing is one of Cleveland’s many breweries/brewpubs to open in the past few years and it is one of the few among them to take advantage of the abundance of waterfront in Cleveland to enhance the guest experience.  Knowing that this brewery was part of the waterfront, in the famous Cleveland “Flats” area, was enough to convince me to add it to my visitation list.

With Collision Bend, guests get a combination brewery and full- service restaurant and this makes it perfect for families and others who may not necessarily be in the mood to drink beer, but are nevertheless hungry and/or wanting a beverage of a different sort. Collision Bend Brewing serves wine and specialty cocktails from its bar and the well- trained bartenders are ready to shake up whatever you want, served either inside the main dining area or out on the patio where you can watch the ships cruising by and the seagulls soaring high.

Credit: Bryan Carey

The beer brewed at Collision Bend Brewing is certainly one of its top selling points and a large part of the reason is the man behind the mash tun, brewmaster Luke Purcell. If you are familiar with Cleveland craft beer, then there is a good chance you already know this name. Luke Purcell was the head brewer at Great Lakes Brewing for many years and was largely responsible for its rise to prominence. At Collision Bend Brewing, Purcell continues his brewing prowess, crafting delicious suds and working with the chefs to create beer that complements the foods on the menu, for the ultimate dining and drinking experience.

When I visited Collision Bend Brewing, I was aware of its waterfront credentials, but knew little else about the establishment. I took a quick liking when I walked inside. I loved the contrasting traditional and contemporary elements and I loved the patio next to the river. I did get to witness a barge passing by and the hundreds of seagulls that followed. The patio is definitely the place to be when the weather is nice but no matter where you happen to take a seat, Collision Bend Brewing staff is ready to make your visit memorable. I visited during a slower time of the day and I was given extremely attentive service from the wait staff. They filled me in on the history and the future of Collision Bend Brewing and I learned much about the Cleveland craft beer scene and its steady rise as a contributor to the local economy.

Water does make a difference when you’re enjoying food and beer. Collision Bend Brewing’s waterfront status on the banks of the Cuyahoga help enhance an already memorable experience, adding new layers of enjoyment to what is already a solid foundation. It has the great beer, food, views, and atmosphere that today’s consumer demands so be sure to visit Collision Bend Brewery the next time you’re in the Cleveland, Ohio area. And tell them Great Beer Now sent you.

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Credit: Bryan Carey

Greetings, Great Beer Now fans and followers! This is the seventh entry in a multi- part series of blog posts relating to the Great Beer Now Rock and Roll Out the Barrel Beer Tour 2018, which took place in Cleveland, Ohio. I traversed the Cleveland, Ohio area making my way to some of the best known and most award- winning breweries in the United States, along with several hidden gems and up- and- comers. Open a can or bottle of your favorite beer and follow along on my journey through one of Ohio’s largest cities. Cheers!

 

Do you like things that are saucy? It’s an adjective that can mean many things. Sure, it could mean a food that is covered in a generous amount of sauce but it can also mean something that is bold, lively, and even stylish in its attitude or features. There is a brewery in Cleveland that could be defined by all of the above definitions and thus it is aptly named Saucy Brew Works, a brewing and dining establishment located at 2885 Detroit Ave. in Cleveland, Ohio.

Positive Vibes

Saucy Brew Works is a comfortable place for beer and pizza. Founded by brewmaster Eric Anderson and entrepreneur Brent Zimmerman, Saucy Brew Works is located inside the Steelman Building, an older building that once housed a machine shop and later a warehouse. The building was vacant for some time until Saucy Brew Works opened up in 2017.

This brewery is extremely cozy and welcoming, with communal- style seating, a fireplace, and even a second level lounge. The wrap- around bar is situated with the brewhouse behind it, in open view, so no matter where you sit, you can see the shiny steel containers and imagine which delicious beer is brewing or fermenting inside.

Saucy Brew Works has skeeball and pinball for entertainment and several televisions for sports viewing. The second level lounge and the back section, on the other side of the fireplace, have comfy chairs and couches for alternative seating. And if you’re looking for Saucy Brew Works beer, they presently distribute in Ohio and North Carolina with plans to open a brewpub in Columbus, Ohio this summer.

Credit: Bryan Carey

Lively Brews

At Saucy Brew Works, guests can expect to find about 16 beers on tap. Here is a listing of the beers I tried, listed alphabetically by name, followed by the style and my Untappd rating on a five point scale:

  • Bahston, Imperial Stout, 4
  • Festbier, Marzen, 3.75
  • I Can’t Even, New England IPA, 4
  • IPA ASAP, American IPA, 4.25
  • Resilience Butte County Proud, American IPA, 4
  • Separate Czechs, Pilsner, 4
  • Three Hos, Spiced beer, 3.75

Overall Average Rating: 3.96

Saucy Brew Works brews solid offerings all- around. The IPA ASAP was my personal favorite, but I liked everything and my taste preference during my visit was more a matter of mood than anything. Serve me the same set of beers on other visit and I would likely select a different beer as my fave, and this is proof positive of the overall quality of everything Saucy Brew Works brews and serves.

A Saucy State of Mind

Cleveland’s Saucy Brew Works is a relaxing and ultra- friendly brewery located west of downtown. Opened only two years ago, the brewery has made great strides and is growing and expanding at a fast clip thanks directly to its solid lineup of beers, tasty pizza, welcoming personnel, and extremely chill atmosphere.

I visited Saucy Brew Works as part of my Cleveland beer tour based on the advice of others and the brewery’s reputation for both quality beer and food. I was ready for lunch and knowing Saucy Brew Works specialized in pizza, I knew there would be excellent, compatible food to go along with my beer. And with a name like Saucy Brew Works, the fact that pizza was the specialty made sense and I couldn’t wait to sink my teeth into a delicious pizza pie while also flooding my palate with the goodness of fine craft brew.

Credit: Bryan Carey

Walking into Saucy Brew Works I felt so much at home it was indescribable. The warmth, the fireplace, the relaxed vibe, the non- pretentious folks and so many other factors made me feel like I walked into the living quarters of an old friend. I was tempted to sit right next to the fireplace on the couch, but since I was in a chatty mood and wanted to learn more about Saucy Brew Works and its place in the Cleveland, Ohio beer scene, I decided it was best to make my way to the bar. I went with my usual flight of beer and loved the fact that it was served in a cupcake/muffin baking pan. Again, it’s the little touches like this that make you feel at home when you visit Saucy Brew Works. You want to pull out your cell phone, call up your friends, and invite them all to join you for good beer, good food, and good times.

Saucy Brew Works isn’t just a place for finding great beer and food. Like any great brewery, they also support many causes, like Breakthrough Schools, and they donate spent grains to Fresh Fork Market, for use as animal feed. And when I visited, they were tapping their own version of Resilience Butte County Proud IPA, the Sierra Nevada Brewing inspiration that swept the nation and helped the California fire victims. The emphasis on community and the unyielding support of Cleveland and its economic revival are even more positive reasons to admire Saucy Brew Works and support its mission.

To say something is saucy can mean many different things and while Saucy Brew Works does, indeed, serve up saucy pizza pie, it’s the other side of saucy, the bold and lively side, that fits this establishment best and make it so endearing. It’s a place where you are certain to feel right at home even though you’re in the company of complete strangers, so be sure to pay a visit Saucy Brew Works the next time you’re in the Cleveland, Ohio area. And tell them Great Beer Now sent you.

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Credit: Pexels.com

If you are travelling to New York City then you probably already know that there is an abundance of things to do throughout the day. There are timeless attractions such as the Empire State building, the Statue of Liberty and even Central Park. You do however want to make sure to set aside plenty of time for nighttime action as well so that you can make the most out of your day and also really take in the atmosphere.

KGB Bar

The KGB bar is a place you really want to go if you want to have a good time. It’s a great place to have a beer and they also have nightly readings too. Some of the speakers that go there are literary stars and you can even meet other people who have the same interests as you. If you have never been to this bar before then you certainly need to give it a shot because there really are endless things for you to enjoy.

Citizen’s Brigade Theatre

This theatre is one of New York City’s best and it features some of the finest comedians around. A lot of them choose to do improvisation and they also have a lot of new talent as well. Some of the famous comedians who have performed there include Amy Poehler, Matt Besser and even Matt Walsh. It is recommended that you make a reservation here because it can be quite hard to get in if you don’t. You also need to book more in advance than you’d think because this location is really popular.

Credit: Pexels.com

Union Hall

This bar is based in Brooklyn and it is also known as “The Slope”. It’s a playground for adults and they have a ton of stand-up comedy shows, literary readings and in some instances, musical performances. The ground floor has plenty of seating and you also have a beer and wine cocktail list. If you want a relaxing night where you can just sit back and soak up the atmosphere of New York City, then this is certainly the location for you.

Broadway

You really can’t go to New York City and not see anything on Broadway. It is the best way for you to spend your night and you would be surprised at how easy it is for you to have a good time without going over budget. The best thing about Broadway is that it gives you the chance to dress up and impress, not to mention that you can also sit back and enjoy some of the finest entertainment in the world.  If you want to buy tickets for Broadway then you might want to do this in advance, so that you can get the seats you want. Some tickets do sell out rather fast as well, depending on the show you are going to see, so do keep that in mind.

New York City is an excellent destination for classic attractions, but as you can see, there is much to do at night visiting the various bars, theatres, and other evening attractions and newcomers are often shocked by the larges variety of activities that continue late into the night time hours. Why not visit some of these hotspots for yourself today?

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Credit: Destihl Brewery

Destihl Brewery, the Illinois- based brewery that helped popularize sour beer, has announced the release of two new brands: Wild Sour Series Piña Colada Gose and Hawaii Five Ale. Each of these new flavors brings its own tropical personality to an already established style and both are perfect additions to the warmer weather ahead.

Wild Sour Pina Colada Gose offers a new twist to the Gose style. Destihl Brewery already brews a popular Gose beer, but this new brand adds a new dimension of flavor. The added coconut and pineapple blend with the Gose’s tart, salty, citrusy qualities and its added coriander for a flavor quite different from other beers on the market. The beer is still sour overall, but the sweeter contributions from the pineapple lead to a flavor quite unlike others of this style.

Hawaii Five Ale is another tropically inspired brew. Its name immediately makes me think of the classic 1970’s television series, Hawaii Five-O, starring Jack Lord and while this beer isn’t directly tied to the old television show or its more recent remake, the beer will make you think about Hawaii and the tropics. Hawaii Five Ale is a fruit- accented blonde ale with flavors such as coconut, pineapple, mango, peach, and guava. With a combination like that, craft beer fans will feel like they have been transported to warmer latitudes with every passing sip.

Piña Colada Gose and Hawaii Five Ale are available in 12 oz. cans and on draft throughout Destihl Brewery’s entire distribution network starting April, 2019. Availability will be seasonal in nature, with PiñaColada Gose offered through June and Hawaii Five Ale available through August. Both brands will also be available on draft and in cans at the two Destihl Restaurant & Brew Works locations: Normal, IL and Champaign, IL. They will also be available at the brewery Beer Hall in Normal, IL.

Destihl Brewery Co- Founder and CEO Matt Potts says these seasonal beers are obviously brewed to coincide with the upcoming change in season from warm to warmer.

“We continue to embrace innovation and feel PiñaColada Gose and Hawaii Five Ale will resonate with consumers looking for refreshing, tropical beers which will be perfect for summer occasions,” said Potts.

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Credit: British Airways

Brewdog, Scotland’s premier craft brewery, has partnered with British Airways to create a special beer to commemorate the airlines 100th year in business. Named Speedbird 100, after British Airways call sign, this special Transatlantic IPA holds the impressive distinction as the world’s first beer brewed high in the sky- 40,000 feet of altitude, to be precise.

Brewdog founders Martin Dickie and James Watt teamed up with the British Airways cabin crew and started to brew the beer while cruising 500 miles per hour over the brewery’s native Scotland. They started by combining the water, hops, and barley using the airline’s beverage makers. You can watch a quick overview on YouTube here.

James Watt was honored to partner with the century- old airline on a new beer.

“It’s been incredible to be able to partner with British Airways in their centenary year and create a completely new beer for their customers”

Martin Dickie pointed out that certain qualities of beer are not affected by altitude, like some might believe.

“The key thing is that the bitterness and fruit flavours aren’t really affected by the altitude, so we wanted to play on those two things and ramp up the sweetness. We really hope British Airways customers love Speedbird 100 as much as we do,” said Dickie.

Credit: British Airways

Hamish McVey, Head of Brand and Marketing for British Airways is equally thrilled to partner with Brewdog, one of Great Britain’s best and most highly recognizable malt beverage exports.

“We are hugely excited to have partnered with BrewDog, another British brand that is committed to bringing the best of Britain to the world. Alongside our £6.5 billion investment program we want to work with industry leaders to ensure travelling with British Airways is an unforgettable experience, so this partnership is a fantastic union,” said McVey.

Speedbird IPA will be available in canned form to British Airways customers on all long- haul and short- haul flights. It will also be served in selected lounges starting on May 1, 2019. And if you live in the United States and don’t have any future plans to fly the British friendly skies, Speedbird IPA will also be served at the all- new British Airway’s Club Lounge at New York’s JFK Airport, Terminal 7.

British Airways passengers will be able to view the ‘Making of Speedbird 100’ on the airline’s inflight entertainment system, starting in July, 2019. The new beer is part of a yearlong centenary celebration that includes partnerships with other British brands. We at Great Beer Now salute British Airways and its 100 years of quality service and look forward to another hundred years- and hopefully more beer partnerships- as the 21st century rolls on.

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Credit: Pexels

If you are thinking of travelling through Asia for your next adventure, then you need to make sure that you have considered all the factors that go into making up this trip. If you don’t do this, then instead of having the best experience of your life, you will have the opposite. It is important that you take the time to plan your travel before you actually head off. We know that you are excited to get going, but this is not always going to be possible without stopping to think ahead. In this article, we are going to be looking at some of the things that you need to do to ensure that you are having the time of your life while you are in Asia.

Budget Well

The very first thing that you need to make sure you have done is budget well. It isn’t very often that you are going to have to sit down and plan to the absolute letter where all your money is going to go, but travelling is certainly one of these occasions. If you are not very good with money, then you need to get someone who is to help you out here. Remember that you need to have a good idea of what you are going to need to spend your money on before you can create a budget. What we mean by this is that you need to allocate a certain amount of money for food, accommodation, souvenirs and so on.

Once you have allocated the funds, you can start looking into specifics of your trip. However, if you do this before you have had the chance to budget, you will find yourself spending more and more money until you can’t afford it anymore. This is what we are trying to avoid, as well as you running out of money halfway through your trip.

Find Somewhere To Stay

The next thing that you are going to need to look at is a place to stay. Once you have figured out how much you can spend on your accommodation, it is time to start looking for places to go. For example, you can look at a single house for rent if money is tight, or if you have someone coming with you there are always larger options. There should always be something that is going to suit your needs, that also fits within your budget.

We know that it can be tough to find somewhere to stay, especially if you are on your own, but there is going to be options available to you.

Have A Plan

Credit: Pexels

After you have done this, you need to make a plan of everywhere that you want to go, and everything that you want to see. Again, this is going to make it easier to get around while you are in Asia, as well as ensuring that you have the money available to do everything on your list. Without a plan, you are going to be wandering through the continent aimlessly, and you could miss out on some of the most magnificent things that it has to offer. If you don’t want this to happen to you, then you should always have at least half of a plan. A bullet-pointed list of the things that you want to do will suffice if you are more of a go with the wind type of person.

Seek Out the Best Beer

No vacation travel is complete without enjoying the local brew. It would be easy to imbibe the familiar brands such as Tsingtao, Chang, and Tiger, but far more adventurous options are available with minimal searching. Some possible beers to be on the lookout for include Dagon, brewed in Myanmar; Angkor, brewed in Cambodia; and Bia Saigon, brewed in Vietnam.

Public Transport

The final thing that we are going to look at is public transport. It is different everywhere, and you need to find out what it is like in each of your destinations. Further than that, you need to start looking at the times you are going to need to be at these stations. For example, if you are planning to move to a different country, you are going to want to be prepared. Once you have your plan and you know what days you are going to be where, then this all becomes a lot easier.

You will also find that this impacts the price. Booking on the day is always going to be more expensive than booking in advance which is why you should try your best to have at least a rough idea of when you need to be in certain countries.

We hope that you have found this article helpful, and now know how to have the time of your life while you are travelling around Asia. We hope that you have a wonderful time, and we wish you the very best of luck.

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Credit: Wikimedia

Eugene Oregon’s Ninkasi Brewing, one of the nation’s largest craft brewing operations has announced the sale of its business to Legacy Breweries, an investment venture headed by Yakima Chief- Hopunion LLC CEO Don Bryant.

Most craft beer fans have likely never heard of Legacy Breweries, but let me first calm your suspicions and relieve the possible spike in blood pressure by explaining that this buyout is not what it might initially seem like. Ninkasi hasn’t sold out to big beer or anything like that. Legacy Breweries is, in fact, similar in structure and strategy to Canarchy, the investment collective that owns Oskar Blues, Utah Brewers Cooperative, Cigar City Brewing, Deep Ellum, Perrin Brewing, and Three Weavers. The collective strategy has worked well for Canarchy and its member breweries and there is no reason that it cannot also work for Legacy Breweries.

Jamie Floyd and Nikos Ridge, the two men who founded Ninkasi Brewing in 2006, will still maintain a significant ownership in their brewery. Legacy Breweries will own the majority of Ninkasi and with the added financial leverage provided by this upstart investment operation, they will be able to help Ninkasi grow and expand its reach at a faster pace and in ways that would have been extremely difficult before.

According to Bryant, Legacy Breweries plans to acquire additional breweries in the Midwest and the Eastern United States. The investment firm is targeting breweries similar in size to Ninkasi, which shipped over 90,000 barrels in 2018. Similar to what Canarchy has accomplished, Legacy Breweries hopes to assemble a portfolio of breweries that have a market edge in specific areas and are complimentary to each other. Once Legacy secures a few larger, regional breweries, the plan is to then look to add another dozen or so smaller breweries to the family. The synergy created by such an arrangement should help all of the breweries reach new levels of success.

Legacy Breweries has access to a massive pool of capital. A family office known as Blue Ocean is supplying part of the funds. The rest is coming from EPR properties, a real estate investment trust that controls billions of dollars in real estate, including more than 150 Megaplex theaters and 32 Top Golf locations. EPR plans to continue partnering with Legacy Breweries and will take part in future craft brewery acquisitions.

Ridge will continue to serve as Ninkasi Brewing CEO following the sale and will remain focused on Ninkasi brands.

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Credit: Brewers Association

America’s craft beer industry continued to move forward in 2018, setting new, modern- era records for percentage of market share and number of breweries in operation, according to newly released Brewers Association data.

As of December 31, 2018, craft breweries produced 25.9 million barrels of beer, a figure that represents a four percent increase over 2017. By volume, the beer brewed by craft breweries now accounts for 13.2 percent of all the beer brewed in the United States. Measured by retail dollars, the figures are even more impressive, with craft beer flexing its economic muscle to the tune of $27.6 billion, or 24.1 percent market share and seven percent growth compared to 2017. All of this growth occurred while the beer market overall witnessed a decline of one percent in 2018.

Brewers Association Chief Economist Bart Watson points to the improvements as a continued sign of the public’s preference for small, independent breweries.

“Craft maintained a fairly stable growth rate in 2018 and continued to gain share in the beer market,” said Watson. “Small and independent brewers continue to serve as job creators, strong economic contributors, and community beacons.”

The number of craft breweries in operation at the end of 2018 was an impressive 7,346, a gain of 856 compared to the 6,490 craft breweries at the end of 2017. There were 219 craft beer closures for the year, but a net gain of 856, or 13.1 percent compared to last year, is a sure sign that the public’s thirst for craft beer has yet to be quenched. And there is still room for more growth, even though the competitive marketplace requires a distinctly different business approach compared to the recent past.

“The beer landscape is facing new realities with category competition, societal shifts, and other variables in play. There are still pockets of opportunity both in terms of geography and business model, but brewers need to be vigilant about quality, differentiation, and customer service,” said Watson.

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