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Hy-Vee Discusses Origin of Exclusive Beer

WEST DES MOINES, IowaHy-Vee’s wine and spirits managers encouraged the retailer to launch its Baraboo private-label craft beer line, according to the fall issue of Hy-Vee’s “Seasons” store magazine.

After noticing rising sales of craft beers, managers suggested that Hy-Vee get involved in the business.

“The craft beer movement is very strong right now, so the time was right for Baraboo,” Jay Wilson, Hy-Vee assistant vice president for wine and spirits, says in the magazine. Hy-Vee agreed. So it teamed with Stevens Point Brewing in Stevens Point, Wis.

Read more: Hy-Vee Heats Up Beer Brand With Bonfire

The process began with a meeting among the project’s Hy-Vee team and brewmaster Gabe Hopkins and the brewery’s team. The group settled on the varieties of beer they wanted to produce and the specific characteristics of the tastes.

“The Hy-Vee people wanted an amber color lager — something that was a little bit aggressive on the hops,” Hopkins said in the publication. “So I went to the drawing board and developed a recipe.”

The Baraboo line comes in three year-round varieties — Red Granite Lager, Lumberjack IPA and Woodpecker Wheat Ale — plus three seasonals. The first seasonal, a fall brew called Bonfire Marzen, debuted recently. Winter and spring/summer brews will follow.

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