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In time for 2012: The Brew is back

December 31, 2011

PUNXSUTAWNEY — Did you miss Groundhog Brew this year? Well, in the waning days of 2011 and the early days of 2012, it’s back.

This week, the Straub Brewing Company of St. Marys introduced its 2011 batch of Groundhog Brew, the brewery’s amber lager, as opposed to the light beer.

Since the first bottle in 2000, Groundhog Brew has been exclusive to Mahoning Beer Distributor in Punxsy. That’s the case this year as well, but otherwise, the beer will be available from the Straub Brewery in St. Marys and wherever the company ships, “All the way from Erie to Philadelphia and everywhere in between,” said Cathy Lenze, director of sales and marketing for Straub Brewing.

Final shipments to wholesalers will be Jan. 6.

As in this past, the 2011 brew has a new, collectible label, this year depicting a groundhog in the snowy wild.

This year, a portion of the proceeds will benefit an ongoing renovation project by the Punxsutawney VFW Teener League Baseball Association.

The project entails a new 30-by-30 foot, two-story multi-purpose building with a concession stand on the first floor with handicap-accessible bathrooms. The second floor will be a deck known as “Devin’s Deck,” recognizing a recent contribution by long-time VFW player and current Cincinnati Reds catcher Devin Mesoraco, and a press box.

“We’re hoping for the best,” said Devin’s dad, Doug Mesoraco, about the Groundhog Brew promotions. “Anything and everything helps.”

Lenze said the launch of the 2011 Groundhog Brew is a kind of a stepping off point for the brewery that is more than 125 years old.

“We’re in the process of rebranding Straub, with very colorful packages,” she said about Straub’s upcoming plans, noting that with this year’s Groundhog Brew, “We’re giving them a glimpse of what’s to come in the next quarter.”

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