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Craft Brewer Sales Grow by Double Digits
LI Fest Includes Best of the Best

UNIONDALE, NY, March 16, 2008 — In what has become a true American success story, the craft beer market again grew by double digits in 2007, leading all other segments in the beer category according to recently published data from The Brewers Association. The Brewers Association reports estimated sales by independent craft brewers up 12 percent by volume and 16 percent in dollars for 2007. The 2nd annual Spring Craft Beer Festival being held on Saturday, March 29 at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum will present over 120 craft beers from over 50 of the country’s very best breweries—including many of Long Island’s hometown favorites.

“Since 2004, dollar sales by craft brewers have increased 58 percent,” said Paul Gatza, Director of the Brewers Association. “The strength of this correlates with the American trend of buying local products and a preference for more flavorful foods and beers.”

“Craft beer is just leaving its infancy on Long Island,” said Mark Burford, Brew Master, Blue Point Brewing Company. “We are looking forward to a great maturation process.” Other Long Island breweries are having the same reaction, the beer bars and brew pubs too. “While many are completely content with mass-produced beer, we are seeing that education is leading to experimentation and experimentation is leading to an appreciation of higher quality craft beer” said Drew Dvorkin, Owner of TJ Finleys in Bay Shore, NY. “I’ve seen a change. The people who come to my bar have more sophisticated tastes and are willing to pay a little more for a great quality craft beer,” he added.

Attendance at regional craft beer festivals is up as well. “Craft beer festivals are a great way to feed the curious,” said Andy Calimano, owner of event production company Starfish Junction. “The festivals we produce are serving the craft beer community by building awareness and loyalty for craft beer brands, helping distributors and retailers move more craft beer product, and encouraging patronage at restaurants and pubs that offer craft beer.”

The 2nd annual Spring Craft Beer Festival will have two sessions: 12-4pm and 5:30-9:30pm. A limited number of tickets will be sold. Tickets can be purchased at www.springcraftbeerfestival.com or at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum’s box office during regular business hours for $45 each. Designated driver tickets are available for $10 each. 21+ with valid photo ID only.

The event is produced by Starfish Junction Productions and sponsored by WBAB 102.3 FM, Long Island Press, Superstar Beverage, and TJ Finleys. This event will raise funds for The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and a food drive will be conducted for Long Island Cares. This event is sanctioned by the New York State Brewers Association.

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