Kona Brewing Company, Appalachian Mountain Brewery and Cisco Brewers to Debut Collaboration Beer at Kona Brewers Festival

KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii and BOONE, N.C. and NANTUCKET, Mass., March 04, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- A first-time collaboration beer between three pioneering American craft breweries that are part of Craft Brew Alliance (“CBA”) (NASDAQ:BREW) will be tapped at the 21st Annual Kona Brewers Festival on March 12, 2016. New England cranberries, North Carolina honey and Hawaiian cacao come together in Konambisco Amber Ale, which was inspired when the craft brewers behind Kona Brewing Co. of Kailua-Kona, HI, Appalachian Mountain Brewery of Boone, NC, and Cisco Brewers of Nantucket, MA. came up with the idea to collaborate on a beer that celebrates the extraordinary places each brewery calls home.

As Hawaii’s largest and longest-running craft brewery, Kona Brewing joined CBA in 2010 and has flourished in today’s competitive craft beer industry, becoming a top 10 national craft beer brand. Appalachian Mountain Brewery, the first craft brewery in Boone, and Cisco Brewers, the first and only craft brewery on Nantucket Island, both entered strategic partnerships with CBA in 2015 to help them build stronger brands in their home markets. As part of CBA, the three breweries had the opportunity to meet, and after discovering how much they shared in common, they set out to brew a beer together.

“This is Kona’s first-ever collaboration, and it’s pretty special to work with two breweries from the east coast, not to mention another island brewery. While we’re literally from opposite sides of the U.S., our deep connection to our homes and our local communities is something we share,” said Sandi Shriver, Brewery Operations Manager, Kona Brewing Co.

“At AMB, the Appalachian Mountains are more than just the backdrop to our brewery, they are part of who we are,” said Nate Kelischek, Brewmaster and Director of Brewery Operations, Appalachian Mountain Brewery. “What makes this collaboration special is that each of our breweries is part of an amazing and beautiful place, and we have drawn inspiration from those very different places to create something that connects us together.”

“We first met the crew from Appalachian Mountain Brewery last year, and we both knew we wanted to do a collaboration together,” said Jay Harman, chief executive officer, Cisco Brewers. “When the opportunity arose to brew with the team at Kona Brewing, let alone do it in a place like Hawaii, there was no chance we were going to turn that down.”

As part of CBA’s strategy to expand its unique portfolio of brands, which includes heritage pioneers of the craft beer movement along with innovative category leaders and emerging brands, the company looks for partnership opportunities to share its resources and expertise with unique brands that have strong local connections. While CBA’s individual brands have collaborated with breweries outside of CBA, Konambisco represents the first collaboration among breweries within the CBA portfolio.

“As we welcome new members to the CBA family, it’s exciting to see our partners’ enthusiasm to learn and grow from each other,” said Karmen Olson, Senior Manager, Emerging Business, CBA. “And what better way to get to know each other than a family brewing vacation in Hawaii.”

Konambisco is an artfully blended, balanced amber ale. New England cranberries add brightness and a mild tartness while the North Carolina honey imparts a floral complexity and sweetness. Hawaii-grown cacao is added to enhance chocolate notes, balancing the cranberry and bringing out the roasted goodness of the chocolate malts. Konambisco will be unveiled at the Kona Brewers Fest in Hawaii on March 12, 2016 and will be available for a limited time on draft at Kona Brewing Co.’s two pubs.

About Craft Brew Alliance

CBA is a leading craft brewing company, which brews, brands and markets some of the world’s most respected and best-loved American craft beers.

We are home to three of the earliest pioneers in craft beer: Redhook Ale Brewery, Washington’s largest craft brewery founded in 1981; Widmer Brothers Brewing, Oregon’s largest craft brewery founded in 1984; and Kona Brewing Company, Hawaii’s oldest and largest craft brewery founded in 1994. As part of Craft Brew Alliance, these craft brewing legends have expanded their reach across the U.S. and approximately 30 international markets.

In addition to growing and nurturing distinctive brands rooted in local heritage, Craft Brew Alliance is committed to developing innovative new category leaders, such as Omission Beer, which is the #1 beer in the gluten free beer segment, and Square Mile Cider, a tribute to the early American settlers who purchased the first plots of land in the Pacific Northwest.

Publicly traded on NASDAQ under the ticker symbol BREW, Craft Brew Alliance is headquartered in Portland, OR and operates five breweries and five pub restaurants across the U.S. For more information about CBA and its brands, please visit www.craftbrew.com.

About Kona Brewing Company

Kona Brewing Company was started in Kailua-Kona on Hawaii’s Big Island in the spring of 1994 by father and son team Cameron Healy and Spoon Khalsa, who had a dream to create fresh, local island brews made with spirit, passion and quality. Today, Kona is Hawaii’s largest and favorite craft brewery, known for top-selling flagship beers Longboard Island Lager and Big Wave Golden Ale and award-winning innovative small-batch beers available across the Islands. The Hawaii born and Hawaii-based craft brewery prides itself on brewing the freshest beer of exceptional quality, closest to market. This helps to minimize its carbon footprint by reducing shipping of raw materials, finished beer and packaging materials.

Kona Brewing has become one of the top craft beer brands in the world, while remaining steadfastly committed to its home market through a strong focus on innovation, sustainability and community outreach. For the second year in a row, the company sold more than 1 million cases of Liquid Aloha in the Islands. To meet growing demand in Hawaii for its beers, Kona Brewing is investing approximately $20 million to build a new 30,000-square-foot high-efficiency brewery in Kailua-Kona capable of producing 100,000 barrels (BBLs) per year. The new brewery will open in 2018.

For more information, call 808-334-BREW or visit www.KonaBrewingCo.com.

About Appalachian Mountain Brewery Inc.

Comprised of two wholly-owned subsidiaries, its craft beer business “Appalachian Mountain Brewery, LLC” is dedicated to making seriously delicious craft beer while focusing its business model on community, sustainability and philanthropy. Winner of numerous medals and awards, the Brewery brews and offers for sale many different craft beers. Its wholly-owned subsidiary “FarmToFlame, LLC” operates a food truck that features a unique wood fired oven in the truck, providing our customers with a casual dining experience that balances innovation and sustainability. Appalachian Mountain Cidery makes a hard cider using third generation locally grown North Carolina apples. Both subsidiaries have received the prestigious official certification by ASAP (Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project) for Western North Carolina grown and produced products. Visit www.appalachianmountainbrewery.com to learn more.

About Cisco Brewers

Cisco Brewers is a craft brewery out to sea that embodies Nantucket's "away off shore" lifestyle. Part of the alcohol trilogy that started with Nantucket Vineyard in the early 1980's, continued in 1995 when winery employees launched the brewery in a shed behind the Vineyard, and expanded further when the partners joined forces to launch Triple Eight Distillery in 2000, Cisco Brewers is a unique operation, proud to be one of the very first producers in the United States crafting beer, wine, and spirits. Over twenty years of quaffing libations together, the five owners (Dean and Melissa Long, Randy and Wendy Hudson, and C.E.O. Jason Harman) and their dedicated team have grown the business organically in ways that value quality, experimentation, and innovation, as well as dogs, families, and fun. Their home base is a major attraction for locals and tourists alike on Nantucket, and perhaps even more impressively, their products are recognized as world-class in a variety of categories. (Most recently, Triple Eight's Single Malt "Notch" was honored as the world’s best single malt whisky made outside of Scotland at the International Spirits Challenge.) Cisco beer truly is--as they've been saying since day one--"nice beer if you can get it", and everyone involved is excited about this opportunity to make that saying apply to more people. For more information on Cisco Brewers, visit www.ciscobrewers.com.

Contact:
Appalachian Mountain Brewery, LLC
Sean Spiegelman
828-263-1111
sean@appalachianmountainbrewery.com