20120619

MA partners making beer-based whiskies

Berkshire's spirits line.
Two Massachusetts adult beverage makers are teaming up to create a pair of craft beer-based whiskies.

Berkshire Mountain Distillers Inc., located in Great Barrington, and the Boston Beer Company, brewer of Samuel Adams, on Monday announced their collaboration in a multi-year project.

The two brews -- Samuel Adams Boston Lager and Samuel Adams Cinder Bock -- will be triple distilled in Great Barrington, then barrel-aged in wood. The collaboraters said because whiskey aging is a very complex and multi-faceted process it is difficult to pinpoint an exact release date. The projected timeline is for 2015.

Representatives of both companies tasted several beer styles and their distilled products from trial distillations before deciding which Samuel Adams brews to use. The two brews have markedly different taste profiles. The hopes are to create two whiskies just as different from each other.

"There are many parallels between making spirits and brewing beer," said Jim Koch, founder of Boston Brewing. "Marrying the two not only makes sense, but will also produce a drink that beer- and spirits-lovers alike can enjoy."

Berkshire Mountain Distillers was created in 2007. It produces Greylock Gin, Ethereal Gins, Ragged Mountain Rum, Ice Glen Vodka, Berkshire Bourbon and New England Corn Whiskey in the Berkshires' first legal distillery since Prohibition.

The Boston Beer Company was founded in 1984 and has become an iconic craft brewing brand. It brews more than 50 styles of beer.

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20120609

Drinking scene rejiggered in Kansas

TOPEKA, KS -- The Jayhawk State's drinking scene is in the midst of major changes.

Under a bill signed into law by Governor Sam Brownback, changes effective July 1 include:

• Liquor stores will be allowed to offer free wine, beer and liquor tastings as of Sunday, July 1.

• Dinner railway cars can obtain a liquor license. State Rep. TerriLois Gregory, R-Baldwin City, said the measure was aimed at luring a Nebraska dinner train business to operate between Baldwin City and Ottawa.

• Drinking establishments may offer "happy hour” specials. Previously, could offer special drink prices, but those charges had to last all day.

• Micro-distilleries will be allowed to to sell and serve their products on their premises.

Another provision of the law, that went into effect on May 31, allows visitors at wine tasting festivals to taste samples and buy bottles of those same wines at the event. Previously, wine tasting visitors had to go to the individual wineries to purchase those same wines.

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