Boston Beer Company to Produce Whiskey
Over the past two decades, craft beer has sustained continuous growth. With the number of active breweries in America climbing to over 2,000, there is no doubt that craft beer is thriving (For more on the growth of craft beer check out Can The Craft Beer Market Continue to Thrive). Now, with exponential expansion over the past five years, craft distilleries are joining the party and aiming to meet consumer needs more effectively than distillery giants. Earlier this week the craft beer and craft distillery movements collided, as craft brew stalwart, Boston Beer Company, partnered with Massachusetts based Berkshire Mountain Distillers, in a projected to distill two Samuel Adams beers into whiskies.
Three months ago, Chis Weld, owner and founder of Berkshire Mountain, contacted The Boston Beer Co. about the possibility of a partnership. Jim Koch, Boston Beer Co. head, showed immediate interest and the two began to plan out what became a multi-year project, which is expected put a final product on liquor store shelves by 2015. The plan includes the distillation of 12,000 gallons of Samuel Adams Boston Lager and Cider Bock into over 500 gallons, or 12,000 bottles, of whiskey. According to Weld, the Lager whiskey will accentuate the beer’s sweet, fruity flavors, while the Cider Bock whiskey will be much smokier.
While it may seem unorthodox for a beer company to enter into the spirit market, Boston Beer Co. has had plenty of creative business ventures in the past. Some of Boston Beer Company’s boldest moves have included its Angry Orchard Ciders and Twisted Tea, which have broadened the company’s range of beverages and opened the door for their entry into the whiskey market. But why whiskey?
Well, lets just say Koch must have done his homework. The whiskey market is booming. Domestic whiskey volume grew 1.8% in 2011, a bigger jump than rum, gin, brandy, or cognac. This is a result of people moving towards darker spirits and away from vodka and less exciting clear liquors. Furthermore, whiskey is beer’s logical extension into spirits. Koch explains, “distilled beer is whiskey, just like distilled wine is cognac.”
Regardless of the reasons behind this partnership, it could be the first of many between craft breweries and distilleries. Partnerships of this sort could very well help both the craft beer and craft distillery markets, as their joint products will act to further differentiate these companies from industry giants and satisfy consumer needs. One thing is for sure—the craft movement is still climbing. Here at Beer Universe, we’ll just sit back and enjoy the ride.
Your Choice. Your Beer. Drink Up.
- Beer Universe