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Industry News

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A happy hour for Caribbean rum distilleries
Sales of upscale boutique rums grew 32 percent last year, giving producers large and small a chance to cash in.
Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune
Your next vodka martini could cost you a little less. The red-hot vodka category is about to get a bit more competitive as a value brand popular outside the U.S. is about to launch a stateside marketing blitz - taking aim directly at Grey Goose, the category's No. 1 super premium name.
Source: New York Post, NY
Absolut offers New Orleans Vodka and recipes to sip it in
Launched at the Tales of the Cocktail event this summer, Absolut New Orleans ($26, 750 milliliters) is a mango-and-black-pepper-infused vodka that's just right for a steamy September evening.
Source: Dallas Morning News
Restored barn to host East End vodka distillery
The Long Island potato has squeezed into a vodka bottle once again. A restored Baiting Hollow barn is being converted into the East End's first modern vodka distillery, a niche business that owners Richard Stabile and Dan Pollicino envision growing to include in-house production tours and a tasting room, featuring several flavors, overlooking an 80-acre potato field.
Source: Newsday, NY
Don't Do a Danny DeVito: A Little Limoncello Is Just Enough
A decade ago, limoncello was virtually unknown in the U.S., outside of Italian-American families that made their own. Now the sweet, lemon liqueur from Southern Italy's Sorrento Peninsula is something of a fad -- one that had its pop-culture moment back in November when Danny DeVito stumbled onto a morning television talk show fresh from an all-night limoncello bender with George Clooney. In today's bleary celebrity culture, no sort of notoriety is allowed to escape commercial exploitation. Thus the announcement this month that Mr. DeVito is lending his name to a new brand of the lemon juice. Let's just hope that Mr. DeVito learns to drink his namesake the right way.
Source: Wall Street Journal
Berks County native creates award-winning gin
Robert J. Cassell was working on a bachelor's degree in nuclear medicine when he followed his passion and went to work for a brewery.
Source: Centre Daily Times
Entrepreneurs thirst for success in crowded beverage market
Take a close look at your convenience store beverage cooler. Tucked in the corners and at the fringes — nearly masked by the rows upon rows of Coke and Pepsi offerings — are a variety of lesser-known drinks from companies large and small all hoping to have the next big hit. Most will fail. But every once in awhile, someone breaks out of the bustling horde. Brands like SoBe and Fuze found a niche, built a solid following and sold out to Pepsi and Coke. And so dreamers try and try and try again. Here are a few players in different stages of the beverage game hoping to beat the odds:
Source: Atlanta Journal Constitution
A-B, craft brewers team up to improve beer's image
On a recent Wednesday night, 85 volunteers for the upcoming St. Louis Brewers Heritage Festival gathered in the Schlafly Tap Room. Jay Cunningham worked the crowd as Dan Kopman, vice president of the company that owns the brewpub, looked on with Schlafly beer in hand.
Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Premiums lift the spirits of tequila at bars across the country
On a Friday night at La Esquina, a hip, subterranean candlelit brasserie and tequila bar in NoLita, a 30ish, well-dressed man with slicked-back hair strutted up to the bar and asked, "What's your best tequila? I want top, top, top-shelf."
Source: USA Today
Electric Litigationland
This year is the 40th anniversary of Are You Experienced?, the groundbreaking record by the Jimi Hendrix Experience, a sonic tentpole of the ‘60s. It’s one of those even-numbered anniversary years that is a marketer’s dream.
Source: PopMatters, IL
'Artisan' spirits – liquor with local flavor
Apple and cherry smoke haunts this old warehouse near the Blue Ridge Mountains, working its way into the unique whiskey that steeps in oak barrels here.
Source: San Diego Union Tribune, CA
Bacardi enlists outsider as CEO
An executive with luxury goods experience will head Bacardi's North American subsidiary. Eduardo Sardiña retired after 33 years.
Source: Miami Herald
Vintners With Personal Flair Can't Brag on Wine Labels
On the steep hills here, with the Moselle River below, the same families have been growing riesling grapes for hundreds of years, producing a wine known over the world for its fruity and aromatic qualities.
Source: NY Times
Constellation CEO prefers to build spirits brands
Constellation Brands Inc.'s Chief Executive Richard Sands on Wednesday said the wine and beer company would prefer to build its own premium spirits brands instead of acquiring expensive established brands.
Source: Reuters
Chardonnay remains the top-selling wine in US
Recently released ACNielsen statistics for retail grocers’ sales in 2005 in the US, set to become the world’s biggest market by 2008, show that the next most popular wine is Merlot, news that might be a blow to all those who relished in the dissing of the varietal in the film Sideways. (But those same moviegoers will be relieved to hear that the star of the movie, Pinot Noir, is garnering massive support with sales in food stores rising 70% on 2004.)
Source: South African Wine News
Cuba to Market New Commemorative Brand of Rum
A new exclusive brand of rum will be released shortly onto the international market, as part of the activities to commemorate the centenary of the Pinilla distillery in Manzanillo.
Source: Cuban News Agency
Challenges Brewing for Boston Beer
The Sam Adams company posted strong sales, but its bottom line was hit by higher costs.
Source: MSNBC
Heaven Hill stirs up fruity phenomenon
Kentucky distiller's PAMA liqueur taps pomegranate power, finds favored spot on nightclub, store shelves
Source: Louisville Courier-Journal
Tennessee Could Soon Be First State to Require Universal Beer ID
They can barely keep beer on the shelves at the B.P. convenience store at Poplar and Ridgeway. Soon anyone who wants to buy a cold one may have to prove they are 21. Store manager Trevor Romaine says its ridiculous.
Source: WREG
Colorado whiskey maker taps first cask it produced
After aging for two years in oak casks, Stranahan's Colorado Whiskey is likely to be sold out in much less time.
Source: Rocky Mountain News
Bottoms Up: The Cocktail Turns 200
The cocktail, a staple of birthday celebrations, is having a birthday party of its own. Alcohol experts and liquor aficionados are marking May 13 as the 200th anniversary of the cocktail in America.
Source: CBS News
Euro states clash over 'white spirit' label for vodka
A row has erupted in Brussels between Britain and a group of Nordic and Baltic States over plans that would force more than a third of distilled vodka to be renamed "white spirit" or "pure alcohol".
Source: Scotland on Sunday
Pernod Ricard sales boosted by Domecq buy
Third quarter sales at Pernod Ricard jumped as expected on its acquisition last July of Allied Domecq, but the wine and spirits group reported weak underlying growth in its wine business and some old brands.
Source: Reuters
First commercial use of new Alcoa glass wine closures
Whitehall Lane, a small, family owned winery in Napa Valley's Rutherford appellation, California, is the first winery in the world to seal its bottles of select premium wines with the Alcoa developed Vino-Seal* closure, an elegant glass closure for wine bottles secured by a traditional tin capsule. This is the first commercial use of this new glass closure designed by Alcoa's Closure Systems International (CSI) business as an alternative to traditional corks and synthetic stoppers for the wine market. The innovative sealing system was used to top 45,000 bottles of Whitehall Lane premium 2003 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon and 3,000 bottles of its premium 2003 Leonardini Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon.
Source: Jobwerx
Craft beer hops back in popularity
Like most small breweries, Gritty McDuff's went through a lull as sales of craft beer leveled off in the late 1990s. Now Gritty's and the craft beer industry as a whole are enjoying a resurgence, with sales growing at their fastest pace in a decade.
Source: Kentucky.com

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