Wirtz Beverage Illinois has put together a craft beer team

Wirtz Beverage Illinois has put together a craft beer team

US distributor Wirtz Beverage is to release the first offerings from its new craft beer portfolio.

The four brands, from Oregon's Deschutes Brewery, will go on sale throughout the state of Illinois from January, Wirtz announced on Monday (15 October). Red Chair NWPA, Mirror Pond Pale Ale, Chainbreaker White IPA and Black Butte Porter will be available in six-packs and on draft, it said.

“We’re thrilled to partner with Deschutes as we launch into the craft beer market in Illinois,” said Wirtz Beverage Illinois' senior VP, Julian Burzynski. “The growth and innovation of the Deschutes brands is a perfect match.”

Deschutes Brewery is to add five 1,300-barrel fermentation tanks at its headquarters, bringing total capacity to 460,000 barrels annually from 250,000, the company said.

In August, Wirtz Beverage Illinois announced a staff change, with James English coming in as CFO.