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Craft Brewers Tap into Growing Specialty Beer Market

Growing demand for specialty craft beers is prompting significant upgrades and investment from regional brewers, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Smaller brewers are pouring millions into new brew kettles, fermenting tanks and bottling lines, while others are scooping up land and building new manufacturing facilities to meet growing demand.

Craft sales were on track for their fastest annual growth since 1996, with sales jumping 14 percent to 5.1 million barrels in the first half of 2011, according to the Nashville Business Journal.

There were 1,740 craft brewers as of the end of June, with another 725 in planning stages, according to the association.

In the photo: Chocolate malt, an example of a specialty grain used by Nashville-based Blackstone Brewing Co.


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