Liquor Industry News 1-28-13

Franklin Liquors

Question time for Diageo chief after failed tequila talks


Source: The Scotsman

27 January 2013


DIAGEO chief executive Paul Walsh will this week face a fresh grilling over his decision to abort talks to buy tequila brand Cuervo.


Walsh will hope that strong trading in the US and emerging markets will help draw a line under the decision, but he will still face questions about his plans for the category.


The City expects a surge in sales volumes in Asia, Latin America and the US in the first half of the group’s financial year to have offset a continuing tough European market for the world’s biggest spirits business. Analysts are predicting a modest rise in sales to about £6 billion, giving a 9 per cer cent jump in underlying earnings to over £2bn.


Santander’s broking division said it expected Diageo, whose flagship Scotch is Johnnie Walker, to show a “solid” trading performance and “begin shaking off the disappointment of the loss of Cuervo”.


Walsh walked away last month from talks to buy or take a stake in Cuervo, the world’s biggest selling tequila, after failing to agree a price with the owners, the Beckmann family.


The British group’s deal to distribute the product outside Mexico will also stop in June, leaving it without a tequila in its stable of drinks, which includes Guinness, J&B whisky and Smirnoff vodka.


Elaine Coverley, drinks analyst at Brewin Dolphin, said Walsh would be quizzed on strategic alternatives to Cuervo, including trying to snap up Sauza tequila from the Jim Beam American drinks group.


“The other alternative is Diageo launching its own ­tequila,” Coverley said. “They have already done it with ­Ciroc vodka. But the underlying trading picture should be decent. A key point of interest will be whether the fast-growing Latin-American market is continuing to grow well given its importance to the Scotch market.”


Coverley said it was possible that the US market – which ­accounts for 26 per cent of Diageo’s global sales – would see some pressures “but generally spirits are more resilient than beer and consumer staples there”.


“They are looked on as an occasional treat. Diageo and Pernod also pushed through US price increases before Christmas because of input cost pressures. It would be a concern if this had an adverse knock-on effect on volumes.” Analysts said they would also be looking for an update from Diageo on how the regulatory scrutiny of the group’s recent £1.3bn purchase of a majority stake in Vijay Mallya’s United Spirits group in India is going.


Walsh has said United’s 41 per cent Indian market share would “transform our footprint in India”. The Diageo boss, who announced the deal in November, has played down the likelihood of any ­enforced disposal to get the deal past regulators, including Mallya’s ownership of the Whyte & Mackay Scotch business in Scotland.




Setback for Diageo as India deal stalls


Diageo will signal this week that its £1.3bn deal for a majority stake in Indian drinks giant United Spirits could be delayed until the second quarter of the year as it continues to negotiate with regulators.


Source: Daily Telegraph

By Nathalie Thomas

26 Jan 2013


The maker of Johnnie Walker and Smirnoff had hoped to complete the deal by the end of March, after stalking United Spirits, led by flamboyant Indian entrepreneur Vijay Mallya, for four years.


Diageo secured an agreement to buy a stake of up to 53.4pc in United Sprits in November after a series of on-off negotiations with Mr Mallya, owner of the Force India Formula One team and Kingfisher Airlines.


Ongoing talks with the Securities and Exchange Board of India – known as Sebi – are at the root of the delays after the regulator questioned whether one clause in the agreement – a put clause – was compliant with Indian law.


The put clause, a common feature of such deals, would give United Spirits the right to sell further shares to Diageo at a future date.


Sebi’s concerns are understood to revolve around whether this amounts to a forward-looking contract, which wouldn’t comply with Indian law. Diageo is in talks with Sebi over its interpretation of the clause, which could lead to a slip in the timetable to complete the complex, two-stage deal.


It is understood the first half of 2013 is now considered a more realistic timetable by the FTSE company, which is behind brands such as Guinness and J&B, despite hopes it could be secured by the end of the first quarter.


India’s equivalent of the Competition Commission is also looking at the United Spirits acquisition from an anti-trust perspective.


Analysts expect chief executive Paul Walsh, who is tipped to retire in 2014, to report a solid 5.2pc increase in organic net sales growth for the first half of its financial year, as its brands continue to make progress in key regions such as the US and emerging markets.




Diageo reaches JV venture agreement


Source: Dow Jones

Jan 28th


Diageo reaches agreement to form a 50:50 joint venture in respect of United National Breweries’ traditional sorghum beer business in South Africa


On 9 November 2012, Diageo and Dr Mallya announced they had entered into a memorandum of understanding under which they would form a 50:50 joint venture, which would own United National Breweries’ traditional sorghum beer business in South Africa.


Further to this announcement, Diageo today announces that it has entered into an agreement to acquire a 50% interest in the company which owns United National Breweries’ traditional sorghum beer business in South Africa. The remaining 50% will be held by a company affiliated to Dr Mallya. Diageo will acquire its 50% interest for $36 million (approximately GBP23 million), subject to customary adjustments. The transaction is conditional on (among other things) consent from the South African competition authority and is expected to complete in the first half of this year.




Happy hour in Asia as global booze makers eye deals


Source: Reuters

By Nandita Bose

Monday, 28 January 2013


The biggest global alcohol companies are sizing up buyout and tie-up opportunities in China, India, South Korea and Vietnam, keen to profit from a $258 billion Asian market that is growing twice as fast as the rest of the world.


Banking and industry sources name Hong Kong-listed Kingway Brewery Holdings, China’s Beijing Yanjing Brewery Co Ltd, India’s Tilaknagar Industries, and KKR & Co-backed South Korean Oriental Brewery among the potential takeover or joint venture targets for global brewers.


Like many other sectors, the global drinks industry is stepping up its Asian presence to offset sluggish growth at home.


“Everybody wants a slice of Asia,” said Deepa D’Souza, a consultant with global market research firm Mintel in Mumbai.


“The global companies who are present there want to expand further and further in markets like China,” she added. “The problem is there are not enough suitable assets available and so there is a race to pick up whatever is around and there will be more of the takeover battles we are seeing now.”


After a two-month battle last year, Dutch brewer Heineken NV finally got control of Asia Pacific Breweries Ltd in a $6.4 billion deal. That translated into a multiple of 35 times earnings, amongst the richest paid for Asian beer acquisitions and a sign that global companies are willing to bid up for Asian growth.


World No. 1 Diageo Plc’s plan to buy a majority stake in India’s United Spirits may spur more deals in that country’s competitive spirits segment in the next couple of years, analysts said. The race for partners in India has already begun.


French rival Pernod Ricard SA, which sells brands such as Seagrams whiskey, signed a bottling agreement with Tilaknagar, a senior Tilaknagar official told Reuters.


“We have signed a bottling partnership with Pernod last year and are open to strategic partnerships,” said the official, who declined to be named because he was not authorized to discuss internal negotiations. “Discussions are on with Pernod.”


Pernod confirmed that it had a bottling deal with Tilaknagar, but declined to comment on whether it was seeking a strategic partnership.


India’s second-largest spirits company, Radico Khaitan Ltd, has been talking to international players about a joint venture after its partnership with Diageo ended last year, Managing Director Abhishek Khaitan said.




Deals in China’s spirits segment will be largely limited to distribution tie-ups, although bankers say some acquisitions are possible as the industry consolidates.


The top five brewers in China control about 60 percent of the domestic beer market, compared with South Korea where the top two hold about 90 percent.


“What matters in China is to have a successful joint venture partner and use that platform to sell not only their foreign brands but also help lift the quality of domestic brands and spruce up distribution,” said one Hong Kong-based mergers and acquisitions banker who advises brewers. He declined to be named because he was not authorized to speak publicly about the matter.


China’s beer market grew by 29 percent in volume terms between 2007 and 2011, and Mintel predicts cumulative growth of 47.5 percent over the next five years.


Buying a piece of that growth won’t come cheap. Chinese alcohol companies boast valuations that are three times richer than those in Western countries, with deals closing at multiples of up to 50 times earnings, said Andrew Holland, an analyst with Societe Generale in London.


“It is bit of a puzzle because the profitability of the Chinese beer industry is not high. But a lot of Western brewers see the size of the market, see the growth in it and ignore usual financial discipline in order to build their presence there,” Holland said.


China’s Guangzhou Zhujiang Brewery trades at 92.3 times its 12-month forward earnings while China Resources Enterprise Ltd trades at 25.8 times, compared with a global sector average of 18.1.


Kingway Brewery’s planned sale of some China business has been delayed after some buyers baulked at the high price. Kingway is still in talks with CR Snow for a deal, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters, after discussions with Beijing Yanjing broke off last year. CR Snow is a joint venture between China Resources and SABMiller PLC, the world’s second biggest brewer.


Vincent Tse, a spokesman for China Resources, said the company does not comment on speculation. Beijing Yanjing does not currently have any deals with foreign brewers, said a company official who declined to be named because she was not authorized to speak to the media. Officials from Kingway were not immediately available for comment and CR Snow did not immediately respond to a request for comment.


The potential sale of South Korea’s Oriental Brewery, owned by KKR and Affinity Equity Partners, is among the large deals expected this year, bankers said.


Anheuser-Busch InBev SA sold Oriental Brewery three years ago to cut debt and it has the first right of refusal to buy back the company. Oriental Brewery could attract interest from Japanese and global brewers if there is a full-fledged auction, with some estimates putting the price tag upwards of $3 billion based on its $330 million EBITDA, according to sources with knowledge of OB’s financials.


KKR declined to comment.


In Vietnam, the government’s planned sale of a 20 percent stake in Sabeco is expected this year, according to bankers.


In India, partnerships are the preferred approach because most of the drinks companies are privately owned by individuals who do not want to cede control.


“The idea always is to bring in a strategic partner because foreign firms eventually look for control,” said Ajit Sirsat, deputy general manager, corporate finance at Tilaknagar. “Even the Diageo-United Spirits deal would not have happened if the owner did not face financial stress.”


Allied Blenders and Distributors is planning an initial public offering in the next two years, having turned down approaches from foreign companies because their intent is to gain control, chief executive Deepak Roy said.


The company is in talks with private equity players to raise 2.5 billion rupees ($46.5 million) to meet its immediate funding requirements, he said.




Beam Deserves Place in Share Cabinet


Source: WSJ


Jan 25th


Jim Beam’s BEAM +0.96% in high spirits. And not just on bid talk.


Shares in Beam, which owns the famous Kentucky bourbon, are up just over 40% since its creation via the breakup of Fortune Brands in October 2011. Bulls are looking to push that higher, betting Diageo DGE.LN -0.16% could sharpen its taste for a deal after it failed to agree to a takeover of tequila maker Jose Cuervo in December.


But even if a bid for Beam doesn’t materialize, there are other reasons to own the shares.


Beam is the second-largest spirits distiller in the U.S. by revenue, with an 11% share based on Nielsen data. And Beam is knee-deep in bourbon, which is the fastest-expanding major spirit in the U.S., with volumes gaining on rum. That underpins its 7% revenue growth in the first 11 months of 2012, more than double the spirits market’s growth.


Bourbon should stay in the sweet spot as flavored variants bring in new drinkers and more consumers trade up to premium brands like Beam’s Maker’s Mark. And after years of underinvestment, Beam is spending more on advertising on a per-case basis than the industry’s average, helping to boost market share while still increasing earnings by a forecast 10% based on FactSet consensus estimates.


But Beam isn’t just about bourbon. Its shares are a play on the improving health of the U.S. spirits market. Pricing is returning to precrisis levels, with Beam, Diageo and others raising them by 2% to 3% on average in 2012. And the company, which is due to report fourth-quarter earnings this coming week, also raised its annual dividend 10% on Friday.


Then there is the hope for a takeover bid. If Diageo, which has 28% of the market, were to buy Beam, it would cement its control of U.S. spirits for decades.


One question: Is Beam too expensive to be taken over? Beam’s valuation at 14.5 times forecast 2013 enterprise value to earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization doesn’t look unreasonable next to its closest peer, Jack Daniel’s distiller Brown-Forman, BFB +0.96% at 13.9 times.


Taking a standard 30% premium boosts Beam’s multiple to 18.3 times, close to the price Pernod Ricard RI.FR +0.36% paid for Vin & Sprit in 2008. The complexity is how to balance the premium with the price and capital-gains tax on brands that competition authorities would likely force a buyer to sell. For Diageo, that could mean shedding brands that account for just over half of Beam’s earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, estimates Morgan Stanley MS +0.44% .


So clearly there are hurdles to a bid. Even without one, though, Beam could be a tipple worth sampling.




Alcoholism vaccine will give drinkers an immediate hangover if they drink even a small amount of booze


The vaccine would be effective for between six months and a year

It sends a message to the liver not to express genes that metabolize alcohol

Trials on mice begin next month with human tests planned for November


Source: Daily Mail

By Daniel Miller

26 January 2013


A new vaccine will give anyone who drinks even a small amount of alcohol an immediate and very heavy hangover.


Scientists from the University of Chile have spent a year designing the drug in a bid to tackle the growing problem of alcoholism in the country.


The vaccine, which would be effective for between six months and a year, works by sending a biochemical message to the liver telling it not to express genes that metabolise alcohol.


Normally, the liver turns alcohol into the hangover-causing compound called acetaldehyde which is then broken down by a metabolising enzyme.


If someone who’s been vaccinated tries to drink alcohol, they will immediately experience severe nausea, accelerated heartbeat, and general discomfort.


Once the vaccine has been administered it cannot be reversed.


A preclinical trial using mice to determine the correct dosing is due to begin next month with researchers hoping to begin tests on human subjects in November.


Dr. Juan Asenjo, director of the university’s Institute for Cell Dynamics and Biotechnology said while the vaccine is not a cure-all, it could provide an important first step.


He told the Santiago Times newspaper: ‘People who end up alcoholic have a social problem; a personality problem because they’re shy, whatever, and then they are depressed, so it’s not so simple.


‘But if we can solve the chemical, the basic part of the problem, I think it could help quite a bit.


‘In Chile, according to the most recent 2011 study from the World Health Organization, one in 15 men have an alcohol use disorder.


Dr Asenjo belives the vaccine has the potential to help millions of people worldwide.


He added: ‘If it works, it’s going to have a worldwide impact, but with many vaccines one has to test them carefully. I think the chances that this one will work are quite high.’


Inspiration for the vaccine came from the far East, said Asenjo, where between 15 and 20 pwer cent of Japanese, Chinese or Koreans have a mutation which inhibits the breakdown of alcohol in their bodies.


The idea of using drugs to combat alcoholism is not new.


Disulfiram, which was developed almost a century ago works in a similar way blocking the enzyme from breaking down alcohol, thus intensifying the body’s negative response.


However users often find the effects so unpleasant they simply stop taking the pills.




Synthetic alcohol: booze without the hangover


Source: Wired Magazine

By Sam Scott

27 January 13


What is non-alcoholic and non-toxic but gives you the buzz of a beer? Synthetic alcohol, according to David Nutt of the Brain Sciences Division at Imperial College London.


Nutt, formerly the government’s senior drugs adviser, has identified a substance that is alcohol-free but acts as a substitute. It has a chemical structure similar to benzodiazepine, a class of psychoactive drugs that treat anxiety and insomnia. The as-yet-unnamed drug can produce alcohol’s desirable effects such as sociability and relaxation, but without negative effects such as nausea.


“We can get rid of most of the toxicity. We’ll have a compound maybe 100 times safer than alcohol,” claims Nutt. This means less damage to the heart and liver, but it also lets you wake up fresh. “Because it targets a specific receptor in the brain, we can reverse the effects if people want to drive home,” adds Nutt. The antagonist could come in the form of a pill, or a dissolvable film that is placed under the tongue.


Nutt is testing the compounds on human subjects. The substance may be on sale within two years and, he says, would cost the same as a cocktail.




Lack of international agreement on drinking guidelines, study finds


British researchers express surprise at wide variation in advice relating to safe amounts of alcohol consumption


Source: The Guardian

Sunday 27 January 2013


There is no international agreement about whether women should drink as much as men, say researchers. Photograph: Peter Huggins/Alamy


Little agreement exists between countries on what is considered safe or sensible alcohol consumption, a comparison of drinking guidelines by British researchers has found.


Psychologists from the University of Sussex looked at government advice on drinking in 57 countries, including all 27 EU member states.


Dr Richard de Visser and Nina Furtwangler found a “remarkable lack of agreement” about what constitutes harmful or excessive alcohol consumption on a daily and weekly basis, as well as when driving.


The study, which is published this month in Drug and Alcohol Review found there was also no consensus on whether it was safe for women to drink as much as men.


De Visser said: “We were surprised at the wide variation in guidelines. There is no international agreement about whether women should drink as much as men or only half as much.


“In some countries, the weekly maximum is simply seven times the daily maximum, whereas in others there is an explicit statement that drinkers should have at least one alcohol-free day a week.”


Calls have now been made for internationally agreed standard definitions of alcohol units and consumption guidelines to help people drink responsibly.


The research found that some countries referred to standard drinks, but failed to define them in grams of ethanol. In addition, eight of the 27 EU member states did not have readily accessible guidelines.


Among the countries that allowed drivers to have alcohol in their blood, there was a ten-fold variation between the least generous, Panama, and the most generous, United Arab Emirates.


De Visser acknowledged that guidelines have limited success in encouraging moderation. But he added: “Despite these caveats, it is important for people who do want to adhere to recommendations to drink responsibly, that there should be internationally agreed standard definitions of alcohol units and consumption guidelines.


“Agreed guidelines would be useful for international efforts to reduce alcohol-related harm by increasing people’s capacity to monitor and regulate their alcohol consumption.”




Soaring number of career women ‘killed by alcohol’ and figure is rising faster than men


Source: Daily Mail

By Tamara Cohen

25 January 2013


The number of alcohol-related deaths among career women has soared over the past decade and is now rising faster than among men, figures reveal.


For women in high-flying roles such as chief executives, doctors and lawyers, the number of deaths caused by drinking has risen by 23 per cent.


And at lower management level, those losing their lives to liver disease and other conditions caused by alcohol rose from 247 to 290 – a 17 per cent hike.


Among men, the number of deaths in both categories were higher but rose less sharply – the toll for 2011 was 15 per cent higher than in 2001.


The rising deaths are just the ‘tip of the iceberg’ when it comes to measuring the total damage to the nation’s health caused by alcohol.


Harmful drinking among middle-class and middle-aged women is also fuelling rising rates of liver disease, cancer and high blood pressure, which can cause strokes and heart attacks.


Tory MP Tracey Crouch, chairman of the All-party Group on Alcohol Misuse, said: ‘A harmful drinker is drinking more than 35 units a week. That’s the equivalent of half a bottle of wine a night.


‘A lot of people drink far more units than they realise, especially women. I think there are a whole combination of reasons – it’s become more socially acceptable, the availability and low cost of wine and the pressures on professional women when you are working and also have a house to run.


‘We need to look at education and raising awareness about this at the workplace.’


One unit of alcohol is around half a glass of wine. Women are recommended to drink no more than 14 units a week, while for men the figure is 21.


Among women. deaths caused by alcohol poisoning, liver disease, hepatitis or alcohol-related heart and pancreas failure reached 1,402 in 2011, the most recent figures available, compared to 1,177 a decade earlier – a 20 per cent rise.


For women in ‘higher professional’ occupations, deaths rose from 42 to 52.


In ‘intermediate occupations’, such as secretarial or other skilled office work, it rose from 142 to 209 – 47 per cent – according to data for England and Wales from a Freedom of Information request to the Office for National Statistics.


For women in low-skilled and technical jobs deaths from alcohol has remained the same since 2001. For ‘semi routine’ jobs such as shop assistants and hair dressers, it has risen 47 per cent, from 202 to 306.


Research shows the price of alcohol has a major effect on drinking in every social class


In men deaths from alcohol rose from 2,850 to 3,488 over a decade, a 22 per cent increase, of which the highest toll was among those in manual jobs.


Research last year showed that middle-aged professional women are drinking more alcohol than teenagers for the first time. Over-55s drink more than any other age group and are now the biggest burden on the NHS.


Professor Ian Gilmore, chair of the UK Alcohol Health Alliance, said rates of almost all serious diseases in the young and middle-aged have fallen as we live longer, but liver disease is rising ‘dramatically’.


He said: ‘These figures are just the tip of the iceberg, as they are the cases where alcohol is specifically mentioned on the death certificate.


‘When you look at diseases where alcohol is a major factor, such as oesophageal and throat cancer, or strokes, the true toll is much larger. When I became a liver consultant 30 years ago, to see a woman dying with alcohol-related liver disease was really rare.


‘Today it’s not common, but every liver specialist will have seen women in their late 20s or early 30s dying of alcoholic liver disease.’


Professor Gilmore backs the Government’s planned introduction of a minimum alcohol price per unit.


He argues research shows the price of alcohol has a major effect on drinking in every social class.


Emily Robinson, director of campaigns at Alcohol Concern, said: ‘An increasing number of middle-class, professional women are drinking over safe limits and figures show they drink twice the amount of women in manual jobs.


‘If we’re to tackle this, it’s crucial that workplaces take this issue seriously which is why we’ve raised the issue with a group of MPs.’


Read more:



United Kingdom: Drinks industry launches public campaign against minimum pricing


Source: Harpers

Written by Elinor Zuke

Friday, 25 January 2013


The drinks industry is to launch the first consumer-facing campaign to mobilise mass opposition to the government’s minimum unit pricing plans.


The Wine & Spirit Trade Association has galvanised the support of major supermarkets and drinks brands to launch a consumer campaign under the “Why Should Responsible Drinkers Pay More” banner. A dedicated website is due to go live next Tuesday. Retail backers include Sainsbury’s, Asda and Morrisons with drinks suppliers on board including SAB Miller and Diageo.


The site will include information about how minimum unit pricing will affect beer wines and spirits products and tell consumers how to send a letter calling for their MP’s support on the issue. It will be backed by a radio and PR campaign.


“A 45p minimum unit pricing will increase the price of regular shopping basket items like beers wine and spirits and not just target binge drinkers,” said WSTA chief executive Miles Beale.


Under 45p minimum unit pricing, a bottle of wine at 13% abv would cost at least £4.39, and £4.88 if the minimum unit price was 50p.


A bottle of 70cl vodka at 37.5% abv would cost at least £11.81 under 45p and £13.13 under 50p minimum unit pricing, while a 70cl bottle of whisky at 40% abv would rise to £12.60 or £14.


“We’ve done a decent job so far on talking to the political classes about this, but we need ordinary people to understand what the government is proposing and for their voices to be heard.


“Consumers are voters too, and our research shows the more people find out about minimum  pricing, the less they like it. Minimum pricing is unfair, probably illegal, and won’t tackle the problem of binge drinking. ” said Beale.


The Home Office’s Alcohol Strategy consultation closes on February 6 with potential legislation expected to be revealed in the Queen’s Speech in May.




Washington: Shoplifting incidents rise with liquor privatization


Source: The Daily News

By Tony Lystra

Jan 26th


In November, two boys, ages 15 and 16, snatched three liquor bottles off the shelves of the Kelso Safeway and burst out the doors. Earlier this month, also at the Kelso Safeway, a woman placed bottles of booze in her shopping cart and purse, then simply wheeled the cart out the door without paying.


Spirits theft has become a common crime at stores locally and statewide since voters decided in 2011 to shut down the state’s liquor stores and allow grocery stores to sell hard alcohol. Shoplifters are taking advantage of the grocery stores’ relatively lax security and making off with bottles of whiskey, vodka, tequila and other spirits.


Last year, there were 41 booze thefts in Longview from June through December alone, according to statistics provided by the Longview police department. There probably were more that were not reported, said Longview police Sgt. John Reeves.


Some of the incidents have been violent. In August, a woman struck an employee at the Ocean Beach Highway Walmart while trying to steal a bottle of liquor. And in October, a pair of men assaulted an employee while stealing booze from the Ocean Beach Highway Safeway, according to Longview police.


Locally, the Safeway at 1227 15th Avenue in Longview was by far the hardest-hit by booze thieves last year, with 21 reports of theft. Late last year, during a late-night stop at the 15th Avenue Safeway, a reporter witnessed employees chase several people who grabbed bottles of hard alcohol and rushed out the back of the store.


Other Longview stores fared much better in fending off alcohol thefts. The Seventh Avenue and Ocean Beach Highway Walmarts each reported six alcohol thefts last year. The Ocean Beach Highway Safeway had five, and Fred Meyer had only one, according to Longview Police.


The local thefts are a symptom of a statewide problem that has prompted the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs to petition the state Liquor Control Board to require retailers to report spirits thefts.


In its petition, the association said about 1,500 liquor sales outlets have opened up since liquor sales were privatized June 1. That’s nearly five times the number of stores – 329 – that sold spirits before Initiative 1183 took effect and abolished the state sales system.


“Many, if not most, of these business were not planned and constructed to properly secure high-theft items such as spirits. As a result, we believe significant amounts of spirts are being diverted from legitimate sales and unlawfully making their way into the community,” the association’s petition said.


Besides reducing tax revenues, rising liquor theft has increased underage alcohol use and encouraged “an increasing black market focused on theft and resale of spirits,” the association asserts.


Tracking thefts would help determine the real scope of the problem and take steps to curb it, if necessary. A public comment period on rules to require reporting spirits theft ends Sunday.


This is the first year Longview police have tracked liquor thefts, Sgt. Reeves said. Before privatization, police dealt primarily with thefts of beer and wine from gas stations and convenience stores, Reeves said. He said he can’t recall “ever going to a state liquor store” for a report of an alcohol theft.


Kelso police don’t track the number of booze thefts, said Kelso Police Capt. Darr Kirk. Anecdotally, he said, they’re on the rise in that city as well.


Cowlitz County Sheriff Mark Nelson, who opposed the effort to privatize hard alcohol, predicted before the 2011 election that thefts would increase if voters approved the sale of booze in grocery stores. “I hate to say what I was afraid would happen is happening,” he said Friday.


Nelson said he’d hoped that grocery stores would at least be kept in more-secure, segregated areas, where minors wouldn’t be allowed to get near it and thieves would have a harder time snatching it off the shelves. In many cases, he said, that didn’t happen.


Now, Nelson said he worries that what will follow is an increase in drunk driving arrests and underage drinking. Those statistics are not yet available, he said, so it remains to be seen if those predictions will bear out.


Nelson said the spike in liquor thefts is disconcerting because people who steal booze aren’t likely to be responsible drinkers. They’re more likely to drink too much, drive drunk or “give it or sell it to kids in the parking lot,” he said.


Local grocery stores are employing vastly different security regimes – some more rigorous than others – to protect their hard alcohol. At the 15th Avenue Safeway, where thefts are most common, vodka and whiskey bottles line shelves near the beer and wine, not far from the deli. Each bottle is capped with a plastic anti-theft device, similar to the tags retailers put on clothing that get removed at the cash register.


Fred Meyer keeps its hard alcohol between the peanut butter and cheese aisles and uses similar anti-theft devices. Both Walmart and Winco Foods have employed more strict security measures, placing booze in the front of the store by the cash registers.


Winco had no reported alcohol thefts last year, perhaps because its booze section is roped off and situated right next to the customer service counter. Customers must pay before a bottle leaves the spirits sales area. confirmed


None of those companies responded to requests for comment last week.


Safeway spokeswoman Sara Osborne, however, said Longview’s 15th Avenue store has “a higher than average number of petty theft incidents for all items” – not just liquor.


Since June, Safeway has helped bust six organized theft rings that were stealing a “significant” amount of booze from its Southwest Washington stores, she said. None of them, she said, were targeting Longview stores and the problems at the 15th Avenue Safeway don’t appear to be the result of an organized ring.


Osborne said the company’s stores “continue to refine … our tactics” to prevent alcohol thefts. She declined to disclose those tactics, saying, “This is a highly sensitive security issue.”




Pennsylvania: Retiring liquor board CEO Conti rehired as temporary worker with governor’s blessing


Source: Trib Live

By Kari Andren

Saturday, January 26, 2013


Despite Gov. Tom Corbett’s assertion that the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board does not need a chief executive officer, his office approved the LCB’s request to bring back retiring CEO Joe Conti – at a rate of more than $80 an hour.


Corbett’s Office of Administration signed off on the request to rehire Conti last week as a temporary emergency employee under a provision of the state retirement code that allows him to collect his pension on top of his hourly rate.


“By way of policy, we approve all requests for agencies to have an employee come back in that capacity,” said Dan Egan, spokesman for the Office of Administration.


Corbett said in June that he “never saw the reason for the initial appointment of the CEO, and I still don’t see the reason for the appointment of the CEO.”


Press secretary Kevin Harley said that as long as an agency follows appropriate policies, procedures and protocols, approval by the Office of Administration becomes a “ministerial-type function.”


In that case, there’s little the office can do to reject a staffing request by an independent agency, Harley said.


Under the emergency “return to service” arrangement, Conti is limited to working 95 days this year at $80.16 per hour. His hourly wage is based on his $156,700-a-year salary at the time of retirement, Egan said.


Conti notified board members in a Dec. 31 letter of his plans to retire effective Feb. 15. After discussions with the board, Conti moved up his retirement to Feb. 2, said LCB spokeswoman Stacy Kriedeman.


The LCB “will require Mr. Conti’s assistance with preparing for the upcoming legislative budget hearings,” according to the form submitted to the governor’s office,


“Since Joe has important strategic information, as well as expertise critical to the daily operation of the LCB, he will also be able to provide guidance on the continued effective operation of this agency,” Kriedeman said.


She said Conti has been the LCB’s acting director of administration, so he will be able to help with the transition to a new director and new chief executive, though the title may change.


Labor attorney Mike Healey of Pittsburgh-based Healey & Hornack questions whether the LCB can consider bringing Conti back an “emergency.”


“When you plan for something, that’s not an emergency,” Healey said. “It’s one of these things that frankly doesn’t pass the smell test.”


Healey said state agencies often have career employees who are capable of stepping in when someone retires.


“This all seems very unusual. I’ve never heard of this before,” said Terry Madonna, a pollster and political science professor at Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster. “Why not just stay on until the (new) guy or gal comes on?”


The State Employees’ Retirement System can review an agency’s rehiring under the emergency provision.


If the retirement agency “has reason to believe that the return to service might not meet the standard set forth in (state law), SERS will investigate and, if necessary, adjust the member’s retirement benefit,” according to a 2011 memo from executive director Leonard Knepp obtained by the Tribune-Review.


The retirement agency considers a number of factors when reviewing cases, including whether the rehiring was planned before the employee’s retirement and whether the retiring and rehiring appeared to be a preconceived retirement plan, the memo states.


“The mysterious resignation and quick rehire under the guise of emergency is all at the public’s expense, so double-dipping and disregarding established case law just adds insult to injury,” said Jay Ostrich, spokesman for the conservative Harrisburg-based Commonwealth Foundation.




North Dakota: ND bill would allow beer pubs to distribute beer


Source: The Associated Press

By: Dave Kolpack

Jan 27th


North Dakota craft beer makers who have been foaming at the mouth for legislation that would allow microbreweries to peddle a certain amount of ale to restaurants and bars without paying a distributor may finally be tasting success.


A proposal shot down in various forms the last few years is now being supported by beer distributors, who are in favor of small brewers rolling out the barrels and helped write the bill.


“Once they’re successful, I think, most brewers find that they need distributors because they just don’t have the capacity to get it all to market,” said Janet Seaworth, executive secretary and legal counsel for the North Dakota Beer Distributors Association.


The bill would create a brewer taproom license that would let companies produce up to 25,000 barrels of malt beverages a year. That’s about 50,000 kegs, or 775,000 gallons, of beer.


“That’s huge,” Seaworth said, noting that few microbreweries in neighboring, craft beer-happy Minnesota have reached the 25,000-barrel mark. About 88 percent of all U.S. brewers come in under 7,500 barrels a year, she said.


Michael Frohlich, co-owner of Laughing Sun Brewing Co. in downtown Bismarck, said allowing brew pubs to deliver beer on their own is a “logical thing to do,” and he believes the toast from distributors will make the bill a winner.


“It’s happening in other states already, and all those states are booming in craft beer,” Frohlich said. “Look at the middle of the country: North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas. They’re all against self-distribution and a lot of those places don’t have a lot of breweries.”


Frohlich said if the bill passes, he would expect to sell about 10 kegs a month. But he said every bit helps when he doesn’t have to pay someone else to carry the barrels across town.


“For us, it’s only $25 or $30 a keg that we would make more, but we’re only going to make $55 on the keg to start with. So that extra $30 is a pretty big number considering the volume we’re working at,” he said.


The brewer taproom license would allow craft beer makers to sell to licensed retailers within 150 miles of the brewery, provided the business uses its own equipment, trucks and employees to deliver the beer, and does not exceed certain limits to retailers.


Nick Holwegner, an owner of Souris River Brewing in Minot, which has been open a month, said his restaurant and pub has already seen “a lot of business and a lot of love,” and would like to spread it out throughout the city and perhaps a couple of small neighboring towns.


“We have a tight-knit downtown group of people, and Minot in general, and we feel it’s kind of unfair to give it to the distributor to take it across the street,” Holwegner said.


He said the restaurant tries to use as many local products as possible, including bread from a Minot bakery.


“They bring their buns over and they don’t have to go through a distributor to do that,” he said. “We should be able to walk our beer over and supply them, you know, within reason.”


One group that won’t be using the self-distribution clause is Fargo Beer Co., which currently is brewing its beer in Wisconsin but plans to open a brewery in the city from which it takes its name.


The company hopes to sell in several states and will need a distributor, company spokesman Aaron Hill said.


“We’re excited to not have to distribute our product anymore. We can’t wait to hand that over to a distributor and say we’ve had enough of that,” Hill said. “We’re in 40-plus accounts in Fargo, which is taxing enough. We’re not going to drive to Bismarck to deliver beer.”


However, the company should benefit from the proposed increases in production limits, Hill said. Fargo Beer Co. is hoping to reach 10,000 barrels within three years, he said.


Seaworth said while there are still “public policy, constitutional and regulatory issues” to iron out, the bill preserves the state’s right to regulate alcohol.


“So it would be our hope that people don’t think this is some sort of Christmas tree bill and try to amend it to maybe reflect their preferred business plan, when the intent is to allow some really good options for small brewers to get in the door and grow their products,” she said.


Minot Republican Sen. Oley Larsen, chief architect of the bill, said his motivation for backing the plan has little to do with his taste buds.


“I don’t drink much beer. It is more of a capitalism idea for me,” Larsen said. “I want this business to be as least restricted as possible.”




NABCA Legislative Update: January 12, 2013-January 25, 2013


Source: NABCA

Jan 25th



Wells Fargo’s Weekly Economic & Financial Commentary


Source: Wells Fargo

Jan 25th



.         The temporary suspension of the debt limit allows politicians to focus on the pending sequester and continuing resolution discussions.

.         However, the continued uncertainty surrounding fiscal and economic policy will likely impact industrial production, employment, and consumer confidence.

.         Housing continues to be a bright spot as distressed transactions now account for less than 25% of existing home sales and tight inventories are driving prices higher.

.         A surprisingly large decline in initial jobless claims this week also provided some optimism.



.         Through expansive fiscal and monetary easing, Japan is hoping to increase inflation and encourage economic growth.

.         Critics question why the Bank of Japan is waiting until 2014 to begin asset purchases while others worry that the stimulative action could cause the relative value of the Japanese Yen to fall.

.         Still other economists are concerned about the risk of hyper-inflation from so much money printing by central banks globally.


Point of View

.         Interest Rate Watch

.         Improving employment and housing data suggests the economy is improving and that rising demand for credit will lead to a modest rise in interest rates.

.         However, any rise in interest rates will be limited by the Fed’s continuing easy monetary policy.

.         Credit Market Insights

.         Further evidence of the strengthening housing market is the fall in mortgage delinquencies, the decline in distressed sales, and the rise in median home prices.


Topic of the Week

.         Small Business Confidence Rebounds

.         In January, business owners reported being less concerned about current conditions and more optimistic about the rest of 2013.

.         Despite the renewed optimism, the Small Business Index remains below longer-term averages as managers remain cautious because of uncertainty regarding the tax code and fiscal policy.

.         For the time being, owners will likely focus on protecting operating margins by controlling costs.




Super Bowl Alcohol Ban Heading To SF? Mayor Ed Lee Wants To Prevent Riots By Restricting Booze


Source: Inquisitr

January 25, 2013


There could be a Super Bowl alcohol ban coming to San Francisco.


Mayor Ed Lee has suggested that restaurants and bars ban hard liquor drink during the big game on February 3. Lee believes that an alcohol ban would prevent riots in the city after the Super Bowl.


But Lee isn’t passing any new laws that would require restaurants to look up their liquor cabinets on February 3. Instead, the Mayor and Police Chief Greg Suhr will go on a tour around the neighborhoods that were effected by riots after the San Francisco Giants won the World Series in 2012. Lee said that they will talk to restaurant owners and “suggest that they serve something (other) than heavy alcohol during times of celebration, because that inebriation sometimes doesn’t help with people who want to maybe go beyond the bounds of acceptability in their celebration.”


The SF Gate reports that Lee will also be staying in SF instead of heading to New Orleans for the Super Bowl in order to oversee the activities after the game.


What do you think about Lee’s idea? Will banning alcohol during the Super Bowl prevent riots?


Football fans and hard liquor drinkers may scoff at the idea but several restaurant owners have come out in support of the ban.


Adam DeMezza, co-owner of the Giordano Brother’s sandwich and sports bar in the Mission District, said:


“It’s a good idea, but it’s going to be a tough sell. I can see where he’s coming from. I’m right on 16th and Valencia. We saw it go down between 16th and 18th streets after the World Series.”


USA Today reports that after the World Series in 2012, hundreds of fans took to the street to light fires, break bottles and flip cars. Rioters even destroyed a $700,000 Muni bus during the riots.


Lee said that he doesn’t want the same thing to happen after the Super Bowl.


Lee said: “I want the city to be both celebratory and safe for everyone.”




SPI Group appoints ex-Bacardi exec for new US chief role (Excerpt)


Source: Just-Drinks

By Olly Wehring

25 January 2013


SPI Group has coaxed the former head of Bacardi’s North American operations out of retirement to lead its US unit.


John Esposito, who retired in 2011, will start as president of SPI’s US division from Monday, the Stolichnaya owner said late yesterday (24 January). When contacted by just-drinks, a spokesperson for SPI confirmed that the US president position has been newly created following the firm’s decision last year to drop William Grant & Sons as its US distributor and set up its own import company.




Direct sales of wine rose 10 percent last year




January 24, 2013


Selling wine directly to consumers is one of the most profitable lines of business for many wineries, but it’s not easy.


While technology is giving North Coast wineries new tools to communicate directly with their customers, a tricky morass of laws dating back to Prohibition hampers their ability to sell and ship wine to consumers outside California.


But that is slowly changing, wine marketing executive Brian Baker told more than 250 people Thursday at the Direct to Consumer Wine Symposium in South San Francisco.


“In 1997, there were only 17 states in which we could sell wine,” said Baker, vice president of sales and marketing at Chateau Montelena winery. “Today there are 39. And I look forward to the day when I can stand up here and say . . . ‘We are able to sell wine in all 50 states.’ One day.”


Wineries sold $1.46 billion worth of wine directly to consumers last year, up 10 percent from 2011, said Jason Eckenroth, CEO of ShipCompliant, which tracks wine sales. Direct shipments totaled 3.17 million cases last year, he said.


While just a fraction of the industry’s overall sales, it is a critical business for many small and mid-sized wineries.


Direct sales enable wineries to bypass retailers and distributors and retain a larger share of the bottle price. It is one reason North Coast wineries like Sonoma-Cutrer work hard to draw customers to their tasting rooms, and hosting events like jazz concerts and croquet games. There, wineries attempt to convert visitors into steady customers, encouraging them to join the wine club and buy regular shipments directly from the winery.


Technology is making it easier to communicate directly. Smartphones are increasingly used in advertising campaigns, especially the use of near-field communications, which enable companies to send messages to possible customers who are driving or walking by. Safeway has been successfully using that technology to draw customers into its stores and direct them to the wine aisle, said Jeff Matisoff, senior vice president of PHD West.


“The advances in mobile access fuel the speed at which our social connectivity takes place,” Matisoff said. “Businesses, all businesses, will be changed forever by the continuing dynamic migration to social media in all forms.”


Ken Nerlove, owner and grape grower at Elkhorn Peak Cellars, described how he developed a digital “Pinot Noir Chronicles” newsletter with embedded videos and “pinot cams” that showed various stages of the winemaking process. Each email included links where the reader could easily click through to purchase wine.


“I should have done it a long time ago, because every email has been profitable for us,” Nerlove said.


As wineries increase the volume of their direct-to-consumer shipments, states are taking a closer look at their laws to make sure they’re capturing some of that revenue. They are closely watching “third-party” retailers like and the shipping fulfillment houses some wineries use to ship wine to club members, said Steve Gross, director of state relations for the Wine Institute.


This year, Pennsylvania is likely to pass a law to allow direct shipping, Gross said. Attendees were asked to lobby Massachusetts to encourage direct shipping, and the Wine Institute will be introducing a bill in Utah this year that aims to legalize shipping of wine to that state, Gross said.


“I don’t think it has a big chance to pass the first time through, but you have to take baby steps,” Gross said.




The Knackered Mother’s Wine Club: Bored of supermarket plonk but put off by wine snobs’ jargon? Raise a glass to this guide (Excerpt)


Source: Daily Mail

By Helen Mcginn

25 January 2013


The Knackered Mother’s natural habitat is the kitchen. Here she slaves away, putting food on the table for children to flick on to the floor.


She exists on a diet of sandwich crusts and leftover fish fingers, gulping the odd half-cup of lukewarm tea if she’s lucky. At night, she can be found lying on the sofa, glass of wine within reach, trying to summon up the energy to speak.


If this sounds like you, you’re probably a proud member of The Knackered Mother’s Wine Club (membership isn’t exclusive: if you like wine, you’re in!) – without even knowing it.


I’m a knackered mother-of-three and have also worked in the wine industry for years. So I know how important the stuff is – whether it’s to share with friends over a relaxing dinner, to celebrate the happiest moments of our lives or to simply savour a glass alone at the end of a long day.


Friends intimidated by the choice of available wines are always asking me for recommendations, and I take great pleasure in helping them step outside their wine comfort zone.


Now I’m hoping to help you do the same with my ultimate women’s guide to wine.


No matter how exhausted you are, how much the children are playing up or how many people are coming to your dinner party next Saturday night, life’s still too short to drink – or serve – bad wine.




1.?New Zealand Pinot Noir is usually divine.


2.?Cheap South African red usually isn’t.


3.?Champagne with a bit of age is much more  interesting than young stuff.


4.?Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon from the Colchagua region tastes a bit like chocolate.


5.?English wines, especially sparkling ones, are definitely improving – and will have their moment.


6.?Chinese-made wine will be on our shelves before long.


7.?Top-end Burgundy is to die for – really.


8.?Leftfield is good, such as Austrian Grüner Veltliner, southern Italian reds and undiscovered Languedoc reds.




Who’d have thought so much joy could come from the grape – such a small but perfectly formed fruit? Grapes are largely made up of water but it’s all the other stuff in them that makes them great for wine. There are natural sugars, flavours that vary depending on the variety, and natural acidity.


Another ingredient delivered in that little package is tannin – a polyphenolic compound, to give it it’s proper definition – found on grapes’ skins, stalks and seeds.


The essential ingredient in wine is alcohol. Alcohol isn’t in a grape when it’s picked but when nature’s party trick happens – otherwise known as fermentation – and yeasts convert the natural sugars to alcohol. That’s some party trick.


Oak, or rather the flavour of oak, might be found in wine, too. If a wine is aged in oak barrels, the flavours and tannins from the wood will shape the wine over time. Oak is often wine’s walking stick, allowing it to age gracefully and keep standing much longer than it otherwise would.




If you spend £5 on a bottle of wine, more than half the price is made up of duty and tax – meaning you’ve spent just 50p on the wine itself after shipping and retail mark-ups.


Generally – and unsurprisingly – as the cost of the bottle rises, so does the quality of the wine. Spend £7 and you’re getting more than double the value in actual wine compared with the £5 bottle. Spend £10 and it doubles again. Spend £20, and half the cost accounts for the actual wine. Beyond £20 and you are buying something probably in limited supply and priced by desire.


Only you know how much you are willing to spend. I usually shop for wine costing £5 to £15.


Read more:



Australian winemaker pulls labels from NRA wine club list


Source: FoxNews

January 25, 2013


One of Australia’s leading winemakers is distancing itself from the National Rifle Association, after the company learned it was one of 20 Australian producers that sold wine through the association’s for-profit wine club.


According to Australian’s Herald Sun newspaper, Yalumba is pulling its four wines sold through the NRA site. According to pro-gun lobby’s executive vice president, Wayne La Pierre, a donation from every bottle of wine purchased through the club goes to the NRA to support its battle to preserve the Second Amendment.


Yalumba’s owner Robert Hill Smith told the Herald Sun he didn’t want his wines associated with the controversial pro-gun rights group.


“Philosophically, I’m not disposed towards the NRA, which runs counter to my family’s, and I would think all my employees’, positions on gun laws,” he said.


Other Australian producers on NRA’s wine club listings include St Hallett, Jim Barry Wines, d’Arenberg, Tahbilk, and Primo Estate, reported the Herald Sun. The newspaper spoke to Jim Barry Wines boss Peter Barry who said that he unaware that their wines were also among the NRA club’s wine listings.


“It’s five steps removed from when I sell the wine,” Jim Barry Wines boss Peter Barry told the Herald Sun. “No matter religion, colour or creed, I’m just happy people are drinking and enjoying Australian wine.”




Exane BNP Paribas equity research: VRANKEN POMMERY (-): Q4 12 sales:  a better price/mix but no miracle


Source: Exane BNP

Francois Mosnier

Jan 25th


TP: EUR18 . Downside: 18%

Beverages . France . Price (24 Jan. 13): EUR21.9


Champagne sales down 4.6% in Q4, 7% below consensus

Champagne sales were down 4.6% in the last-and biggest-quarter of the year. This was a slight improvement vs. Q3 (down 6.4%) and ahead of our -12.5% estimate. Total group sales were down 4.5% as Rosé wines were down 3%, exactly in line with our expectation. Note that we were the most pessimistic in the market and that group sales, although above our forecasts, were 7% below consensus.


We estimate volumes have been down more than 5% in Q4

The group has not provided the split between volume and price/mix but mentioned a ‘positive development of the price/mix’ in 2012. This implies an improvement in the price/mix of at least 0.6% in Q4, whereas we anticipated a 7.1% drop as we were worried about intense promotional activity in France and the UK. Comments on the price/mix imply a drop of at least 5.2% in volume in Q4, vs. our estimate of a 6.9% drop. We believe that consensus was looking for a less abrupt volume decline.


We have revised our FY 2012 EBIT estimate up by 2%

After having dropped its EBIT guidance, the group now expects to “maintain its profitability in 2012”. We previously expected the EBIT margin to have deteriorated by 20bp in 2012. We now forecast the EBIT margin in line with last year (11%) on the back of the better than expected price/mix. The impact on our EPS is not significant (+1%). The FY12 results will be released on 29 March.




Gap’s Crown Vineyard sold for over $13m


Source: DBR

25 January 2013


Gap’s Crown Vineyard, a Sonoma Coast estate owned by the California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS) in a joint venture with Premier Pacific Vineyards, has been sold for over $13m to Bill Price, a financial investor who holds ownership interests in wineries such as Kistler, Three Sticks, Gary Farrell, Kosta Browne and Durell Vineyard.


Located next to Sangiocomo Vineyard on Roberts Road near Cotati, the 138 acre vineyard has variety of soil types at an elevation of 300-800ft above sea level. It mainly produces Pinot Noirs from 106 acres and Chardonnay from 32 acres of the site.


Kosta Browne winemaker Michael Browne was quoted by Wine Spectator as saying that the vineyard doesn’t get affected by cold air at such heights and produces fruits with intense flavor.


The vineyard supplies its grapes to more than 20 wineries, including Kosta Browne, Patz & Hall and MacPhail.


Price told the website that he plans to continue supplying grapes to producers.


According to the plan, around 37 acres will be leased to Kosta Browne, while Three Sticks and Price Chanin will also receive grapes from the vineyard.




No World Heritage site for Burgundy


Source: Drinks International

By Christian Davis

25 January, 2013


Climats du Vignoble de Bourgogne, a lobby organisation for the Burgundy region of France has failed to get the world famous wine-producing vineyards of the region listed by UNESCO as one of its World Heritage sites.


The stakeholders in CVB include the Bureau Interprofessionnel des Vins de Bourgogne, the generic body for Burgundy vine growers and wine producers along with the region’s district authorities, Conseil Régional de Bourgogne, Conseil Général de Côte d’Or, along with the cities of Dijon and Beaune.


The Climats du Vignoble de Bourgogne, which means the vineyard terroirs of Burgundy,  says: “Much to the disappointment of the inhabitants of Burgundy, the application for the inclusion of the climats – the mosaic of unique plots that make up the Burgundy winegrowing region – on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites has been delayed. Only the Chauvet caves and the volcanoes of the Auvergne will be representing France at the 38th session of the World Heritage Committee in July 2014.


“With 50,000 signatories backing the campaign, Burgundy is now looking forward to January 2014 when the climats will be considered again for inclusion in 2015,” it states.




A Weaver of Words on Wine-Especially Riesling


Source: WSJ


Jan 25th


IF THERE WERE a wine-world hierarchy of hipness, as unlikely as that concept may seem, Terry Theise would sit near the pinnacle. You’ve probably never heard of him, but wine writers, sommeliers and chefs tend to speak about Mr. Theise the way middle-age rock fans talk about Radiohead, and his career as a wine importer began the same year as that of the ultimate indie band, in 1985 (though it has to be said he looks more like Peter Yarrow than Thom Yorke). Mr. Theise’s mystique is only enhanced by the fact that he’s known as the champion of German Riesling, a category that remains chronically unpopular with the average American wine drinker despite the exhortations of wine pros.


Before your eyes glaze over and you turn the page, let me mention that Mr. Theise (rhymes with fleece) is also a writer whose sales catalogs achieved renown as low-budget wine porn long before he decided to publish a book. “If truffles had orgasms, they might emit this fragrance,” he says of the bouquet of an aged red Burgundy in his book, “Reading Between the Wines.” And here’s his take on the 2010 vintage in Germany: “2010, which by the way I can’t help loving, was a wild weekend with a lover who took you so far past your limits you can’t even remember what those limits ever were. When you fought, plates were thrown. Someone had a knife in hand. The hot wax is still where it dripped on your body, and the hot shower makes the nail-scratches and tooth bites sting. It was amazing and wrenching, and part of you is relieved it’s over and you survived it.” And you thought viticulture was boring.


This month comes “Leading Between the Vines,” a short, atmospheric film he wrote and directed that he calls “a love letter to the Riesling culture in Germany.” Mr. Theise, who describes himself as “59, but with the body of a 58-year-old,” decamped to Europe with his girlfriend after dropping out of the University of Hartford in the early ’70s and found himself in Munich when the money ran out. He worked at Munich’s first McDonald’s MCD +0.44% and later for the U.S. Army and along the way discovered Hugh Johnson’s “The World Atlas of Wine,” which rocked him the way Chapman’s translation of Homer rocked Keats. In Munich he was well positioned to visit most of Europe’s major wine regions, including Burgundy and Bordeaux, but it was ultimately the nearby vineyards of the Rhine and Mosel which made the most indelible impression.


On his return to his native D.C., he took a job with a wine wholesaler and soon convinced his employer to send him back to Germany to scout out new imports; eventually, he brought his increasingly influential portfolio to New York importer Michael Skurnik, with whom he remains partners. (Company motto: We spit so you can swallow.) While German Riesling remains his first and abiding passion, he helped to introduce Americans to Austria’s great whites-including Grüner Veltliner and Riesling-which became the darlings of sommeliers in the late ’90s. Mr. Theise was also instrumental in introducing his compatriots to the joys of grower Champagne-or farmer fizz, as he like to call the wines, made by those who grew the grapes-a category which continues to grow in popularity even as he struggles to spread the gospel of Riesling in a world of Chardonnay drinkers.


Wine writers, sommeliers and chefs tend to speak about Mr. Theise the way middle-age rock fans talk about Radiohead.


“The eclecticism of cuisine in the U.S. requires a wine like German Riesling,” he told me over a glass of 2001 Müller Forster Kirchenstück Auslese this past week. “The sweetness echoes the sweetness found so often on the plate and the acidity keeps the palate refreshed, while the low alcohol helps keep your senses sharp. If we start with a tabula rasa and the gods could design a wine for the way we eat now, it would be German Riesling.” The S word, of course, is a stumbling block, as Mr. Theise well knows, many would-be sophisticates being phobic about residual sugar. The Germans themselves are lately obsessed with dry Riesling, despite the fact that this very high-acid grape often benefits from a touch of balancing sweetness, which also makes the wine insanely compatible with most Asian cuisines. “I love those wines that come to the table and say, ‘How can I help?’ ” he says. “As opposed to those that demand attention.”


German wine labels are notoriously confusing, but three words have started to appear which can help the consumer. Trocken means dry, while halbtrocken, or half-dry, denotes a wine with up to 18 grams of residual sugar per liter. Feinherb is a term for a slightly sweeter wine which may contain up to around 28 grams of sugar, which Mr. Theise thinks is the sweet spot for most purposes, a kind of platonic ideal for a Riesling of medium ripeness. Dessert wines can tip the scales at more than 100 grams; Coca-Cola clocks in at 110.


If you remain unmoved by the case for German Riesling, that’s fine with Mr. Theise. When I ask him if Americans will ever learn to love it, he says, “I remain unconvinced that a mass-market breakthrough for Riesling is possible, but we can grow the niche. If there was a breakthrough, there would be a disequilibrium between supply and demand. Excellent Riesling costs a lot to produce-you have these steep hillsides worked by hand. The people who drink Riesling are the people who go to indie movies instead of Hollywood blockbusters. It’s always going to be a small portion of the population.”


He’s sensitive to the charge of elitism-“You wouldn’t believe the amount of time I spend watching professional wrestling”-but defends the notion of a hierarchy of taste. At the top of the hierarchy, he places those wines that speak of their place of origin, that could only come from one place.


While most wine educators fall all over themselves claiming to demystify wine, Mr. Theise, in his book, takes the opposite stance. “I think we need not to demystify wine but to remystify it,” he writes. He believes that at its best, wine appreciation is “the cultivation of the mystic,” yielding the kind of aesthetic experience that brings us in touch with the spiritual realm. He approvingly quotes art critic John Berger: “The aesthetic moment offers hope that we are less alone, we are more deeply inserted into existence than the course of a single life would leave us to believe.”


Fans of Mr. Theise’s sales catalogs-of which there are more than you’d imagine-who savored his humor, his over-the-top metaphors and his wacky wordplay, may have been surprised by the mystic strain in his book. Mr. Theise explains that he has always been “part Ram Dass, part Hunter Thompson. I have a spiritual side and an antic side. The sacred without the profane is precious; the profane without the sacred is just dirty.”


For those whose interest is more practical than spiritual, the man who brought you Grüner Veltliner and grower Champagne has what amounts to another hot tip: Mr. Theise is a proponent of Blaufränkisch, the red grape from Austria that has seen a real qualitative leap in recent years, which he compares to Brunello di Montalcino and to Loire Cabernet Franc “without the bell-pepper note.” It satisfies a Riesling lover, he says, “because it’s so soil-sensitive and animated on the palate. And,” he adds, “it tells a story with a beginning, middle and end.” In other words, it’s a Terry Theise kind of wine.




Naples Winter Wine Festival Raises More Than $8.5 Million for Children’s Charities


World’s Most Successful Charity Wine Auction’s Grand Total Reaches $116 Million


Source: Marketwire

Jan 26, 2013


An afternoon of bidding during the live auction at the 13th annual Naples Winter Wine Festival raised more than $8.5 million to benefit Collier County’s underprivileged and at-risk children. The grand total raised since the first festival in 2001 has reached $116 million. The money raised is distributed through the festival’s founding organization, Naples Children & Education Foundation. Wine Spectator has ranked the festival the most successful charity wine auction in the nation since 2004.


The three-day festival, themed ‘When Stars Align,’ reached the peak of excitement with the live auction at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, Naples, in the Grand Lawn Pavilion, where winning bidders were among 500 guests. Lot totals ranged from $20,000 to $750,000.


The top money-raiser among 65 auction lots captured a bid of $750,000 for the fastest, most powerful Ferrari ever made — the 2013 F12berlinetta. The lot gives the winner bragging rights as one of the first in the U.S. to own this car, as well as entry to a Ferrari driving-experience program. The 2014 Maserati Quattroporte V8, the fastest, four-door Maserati and one of the first to be delivered in the U.S., brought a winning bid of $340,000 and includes VIP access to the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance and other Maserati events.


A lot that captured multiple bids in a modified Dutch auction for a private Naples concert by the band Chicago, including an exquisite dinner and fine wines, raised $385,000.


Two experience lots raised $280,000 each: one for a trip to the 2013 Cannes Film Festival to walk the red carpet and spend a week at La Grange, a 17th century farmhouse on a private estate in Provence, and a second was a South Africa experience for two couples for 13 nights, with a $100,000 Graff jewelry credit.


On-the-spot donations raised $237,000 for the Lunch Boxes of Love fund-a-need lot that will provide meals for thousands of hungry children and their families.


The top wine lot fetched $180,000 for a rare 65-bottle complete vertical of Château Mouton Rothschild Artist Label series housed in a custom-made display table.


“The stars aligned today in a constellation of generosity,” said NCEF trustee Bob Edwards, festival chair with his wife, Terry. “We are enormously grateful to everyone under the auction tent for sharing their treasure so our most vulnerable children can reach their potential.”


“Every bid helps change children’s lives,” said Terry Edwards. “NCEF trustees and our supporters are passionate about making a difference, whether it is providing eye exams for 8,000 underprivileged children and glasses for hundreds who need them, or distributing nearly 2 million meals for children whose families are at poverty level. When others can’t, NCEF can, because of so many generous people.”


Among other top wine-centric lots were:


a trip to Paris and Bordeaux with private dinners and tastings with world-renowned vintners led by Darioush vineyards proprietors was auctioned for $220,000;

ownership of 2.5 acres of O. Fournier vineyard property in Argentina and a six-night Argentine escape for two garnered a high bid of $180,000;

a 5-Liter bottle of each of Vérité’s three, 100-point wines from 2007, along with VIP access to the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness and the Belmont Stakes, which brought $130,000; and

the keys to vintner Cliff Lede’s estate and Porsche for a one-month Napa Valley immersion inclusive of a horizontal of 2009 Poetry Cab scored a lofty bid of $130,000.


Experience lots that charmed bidders included:


a 22-day, around-the-world trip for one couple on a luxury jet traveling to exotic locales such as Panama, Easter Island, Fiji and Bali gained a commanding bid of $240,000;

a glamorous, four-night Parisian trip for eight ladies, with private visits to several legendary fashion houses, commanded a bid of $220,000;

a nine-night, exclusive escape for four couples to three of Aman Resorts’ premier North American properties came in at $200,000; and

a four-night trip to Scotland for eight gentlemen, with accommodations at Kinross House — a 17th century Scottish Neoclassical mansion — complete with hunting and fishing on property, golf and more, went for $150,000.


Festival events spanned three days, including a tour of children’s charities; intimate vintner dinners at the homes of NCEF trustees and supporters where celebrity chefs, including the festival’s Chef de Cuisine Michael Anthony prepared the cuisine, with wines personally poured by the festival’s Honored Vintner Barbara Banke of Vérité Winery and other nationally and internationally acclaimed vintners; a wine-down party post-auction; and a celebratory Sunday brunch.


NCEF’s mission is to create and expand charitable programs serving underprivileged and at-risk children in Collier County. The foundation currently supports more than 22 grantees and provides grants for long-term strategic initiatives focused on children’s early learning, medical/oral health, out-of-school programs, behavioral health and childhood hunger. As a direct result of NCEF investments, more than 150,000 children have had their lives improved. NCEF has 56 trustees that govern the foundation and host the festival.


The 2014 festival will be held Jan. 24 – 26. For more information, visit






Source: The Baddish Group

Jan 27th


Casa Noble, the award winning organic tequila has announced a joint venture with Brinkman Beverages, China’s premiere importer and distributor of premium and luxury spirits, to bring the celebrated tequila to market in 2013.


“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to share Casa Noble Tequila with China, it is an important market for us, and we are happy to be working with such an established and respected company such as Brinkman Beverages” says Jose “Pepe” Hermosillo, Chairman & CEO of Casa Noble Tequila.


Of note is the fact that Casa Noble is one of the first 100% Agave tequila to gain approval from the Chinese Authorities for consumption in that country.  “This first to market strategy will be instrumental in growing the brand in this important market,” Hermosillo added.   Casa Noble tequila is elegantly hand crafted and embodies the soul of Mexico.  “This tequila is best of class,” adds iconic musician Carlos Santana, who is on the board of directors of Casa Noble and is one of the partners in the company.




Tennessee: Critics – Give stores time to adjust to wine bill


Source: The Tennessean

ERIK SCHELZIG, Associated Press

Jan. 27, 2013


Skeptics of a proposal to allow wine to be sold in Tennessee supermarkets and convenience stores say any change in current law should be deferred for several years to give liquor store owners time to adjust to the new competition.


Republican Rep. Ryan Haynes of Knoxville says liquor store owners should be given three to five years to get out of their existing leases or to change their business models if they no longer have the exclusive right to sell wine.


“They need give them the opportunity to do that after they’ve played by the rules for all these years,” he said.


Haynes, chairman of the House’s State Government Committee, said any proposal also should allow liquor stores to sell items such as beer, ice and mixers – which would require new equipment and store layouts.


“They’d have to add on and invest a whole bunch of new capital,” he said.


There are 586 licensed liquor stores in the state, according to Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission data. More than 3,000 bars and restaurants in the state are permitted to sell liquor by the drink.


Rep. Jon Lundberg, R-Bristol and a main sponsor of the proposal, said the implementation of his bill would already be delayed enough by a requirement to hold a local referendum. For most communities, that vote couldn’t occur until November 2014, he said.


“So there is already a built-in timeframe not to get defensive, but to do what every other business does: Work on service, work on prices, work on customer service.”


Under current law, supermarkets and convenience stores can’t sell alcohol stronger than beer, and liquor stores can’t sell anything other than wine and spirits. Supporters of the current system include liquor store owners and liquor and beer wholesalers.


Liquor retailers have shown little interest in proposals to allow them to sell other items – or to do away with restrictions that allow them to own no more than a single store in the state.


Lundberg chuckled at arguments from opponents that allowing cities and counties to decide their own rules would create an unfair advantage for supermarkets in areas where wine sales have been approved.


“What I’m laughing at is the liquor industry talking about fairness, I think that’s humorous in itself,” he said. “The entire way that industry works is based on unfair practices and holding on to a monopoly in any way, shape or form they can.”


Lundberg’s proposal has the support of House Speaker Beth Harwell, R-Nashville, and Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey, R-Blountville. Both have expressed optimism that the bill will have a better chance than in past years because of changes to committee makeups in both chambers.


Lundberg predicts that even his colleagues who are wary about changing wine-sale laws will be careful about stating their position until it comes time to vote on the bill.


“There are very few people who are drawing that line in the sand to say ‘no,'” he said. “Because to me you’re saying that, first and foremost, to your local community that would be voting on it.”




New Hampshire: New Hampshire alcohol revenue comes with high costs



By Tym Rourke

Sunday, January 27, 2013


New Hampshire sells more alcohol per capita than any other state in the country and is proud of it. The New Hampshire Liquor Commission touts its “brand” – New Hampshire sells cheap alcohol – and aggressively markets this brand through sophisticated advertising. As a result, the sale of alcohol contributes more revenue per capita to the State’s General Fund than any other state. In fact, revenue from the sale of alcohol is New Hampshire’s fourth largest revenue source. However, this success comes with high costs, especially for the business sector.


A recently released report by economist Brian Gottlob of PolEcon Research found that the cost associated with excessive alcohol consumption (binge drinking, heavy drinking, underage drinking, and drinking by pregnant women) in New Hampshire is $1.15 billion per year and that about two thirds of that cost, over $756 million, is borne by New Hampshire businesses as a result of lost worker productivity.


In addition to the impact on business, excessive alcohol consumption results in increased health care, public safety and criminal justice, and other costs totaling over $390 million. This includes medical expenditures, especially hospital charges, for diagnoses caused by alcohol; costs associated with treatment for excess alcohol consumption; the costs of policing and prosecuting alcohol-related crimes; incarceration costs for those convicted of alcohol-related crimes; and the costs associated with alcohol-related motor vehicle crashes.


Of the total $1.15 billion in costs each year, $824 million is borne by the private sector and $251 million is borne by state and local governments.


The business sector should be particularly concerned about the findings in the Gottlob report. Individuals who work less, produce less and earn less because of excessive alcohol consumption represent a waste of human resources. Due to a slowing of population growth and fewer people moving to New Hampshire, human resources are becoming scarcer in New Hampshire. If New Hampshire wants to maximize the performance of its economy, it cannot afford to waste human resources. The gravity of the impact of excessive alcohol consumption on New Hampshire’s economy was underscored in Gottlob’s conclusion: “[A]lcohol treatment and prevention is likely to have a greater long-term economic impact than nearly all other strategies to improve the performance of the New Hampshire economy.”


During her recent inaugural address, Gov. Maggie Hassan said, “There are some things that government must do, not only to help our most vulnerable citizens, but also to provide the platform for economic growth.” Ensuring access to alcohol treatment and prevention services is one of the things government must do if it wants to improve the performance of New Hampshire’s economy.


Under existing law, a small percentage of profits from the sale of alcohol in New Hampshire is required to be used for alcohol prevention and treatment services. Each year state budget writers suspend this law and use some of the dedicated profits for other purposes. The law recognizes that a state that not only sells alcohol but also aggressively markets it has a responsibility to deal with the problems that result.


For the health of New Hampshire’s workforce and the New Hampshire business community, we urge the Governor and Legislature to make the right decision – act to ensure the formula for funding prevention and treatment services is not suspended.


Tym Rourke is the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation director of programs and chair of the Governor’s Commission on Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Prevention, Intervention and Treatment






Source: Real Estate Rama

January 24, 2013


One of the region’s premier distributors of wine and spirits has leased a new Salisbury facility. The company will lease approximately 2,500 square feet at 1607 Northwood Drive in Salisbury, MD. Miami based Southern Wine & Spirits will utilize the facility for regional sales and administration as well as a customer training location.


Since its founding in 1968, Southern Wine and Spirits of America, Inc. has been a nationally recognized wine and spirits distributor. Today, the company operates in 35 states, including its original Florida market, where its corporate headquarters is located in Miami.


According to Rob Kenney, Regional Manager for Southern, “We are really excited to have secured a facility that meets our requirements perfectly. Our customers and associates will greatly benefit from this new location.” The transaction was facilitated by John McClellan, CCIM with Sperry Van Ness – Miller Commercial Real Estate.




Colorado: Sawaged must give up ownership of Daveco Liquors in Thornton


Source: Denver Post

By Monte Whaley



The owner of Thornton’s Daveco Liquors – reportedly the world’s largest liquor store – must give up the operation and ownership of the store as part of a stipulation and agreement with the Colorado Department of Revenue, Liquor and Tobacco Enforcement Division.


The agreement, which was signed earlier this month with the state and Daveco Liquors Corporation, says that owner Hani Sawaged will turn over ownership and the operation of the store to an independent blind trust, which will sell the business within two years.


Also, Sawaged must never make an application for, or create a financial interest, in any Colorado liquor store.


The stipulation may signal the end of legal troubles for Hani “Henry” Sawaged, who in 2008 proudly proclaimed that Daveco Liquors was the world’s largest liquor store. Guinness World Records made it official, giving him the designation that same year.


“I kept saying this is the world’s largest liquor store and people kept saying ‘you can’t prove that,'” Sawaged told the Denver Post in 2008. “Now people know I’m a man of my word.”


The Department of Revenue in November 2009 alleged that Hani and his brothers tried to enrich themselves by underreporting and underpaying over $1 million in taxes.


The department said that Daveco allowed brothers Ghassan Sawaged, Bassam Sawaged and Shafeek Sawaged to act as owners even though they were not listed as owners.


The state also alleged that Issam Sawaged loaned money to Daveco, which created a prohibited financial interest because Issam Sawaged is the owner of Davidson Liquors Inc., which holds a retail liquor store license in Douglas County.


In separate stipulations with the state, Ghassan Sawaged and Bassam Sawged will not be allowed to apply for or create a financial interest in any Colorado liquor license for the 24 months after their Aug. 13, 2012 guilty pleas to class 3 felony theft and failure to file a return or pay tax, a misdemeanor.


In November, Hani “Henry” Sawaged was ordered to pay $1.3 million in restitution for violating the Colorado Organized Crime Control Act.


Other counts of theft, computer crime and tax evasion were dismissed.


Investigators claimed that from January through August 2008, Hani Sawaged and his brothers logged fictitious merchandise returns and took $5.4 million in cash from Daveco.


The results was the underreporting and underpayment of sales taxes to Thornton and the state in excess of $1 million.




Texas: Some in North Texas city push to roll back dry law


Source: CBS 10

Jan 27, 2013


Restaurateurs and business owners in the Dallas suburb of Plano want to reverse a city ban on liquor sales.


The Dallas Morning News reports ( ) that supporters of a petition for a ballot measure have organized under a group named Plano Citizens for Economic Equality. Now, residents can buy beer or wine in the city but have to drive to nearby areas for liquor. Business owners required by state law to buy the liquor they serve from inside the county say they’re also at a disadvantage.


Plano city officials are currently validating the more than 25,000 signatures on the group’s petition.


Efforts to roll back dry laws have succeeded in several North Texas cities in the recent past.




Canada: Finance minister says no to selling alcohol in corner stores


Source: CBC

Thu, 24 Jan, 2013


The provincial government says it has no plans to either privatize the Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation or to allow the sale of alcohol in corner stores, rejecting an idea put forward by Progressive-Conservative Leader Jamie Baillie.


The future of the Crown corporation has been questioned after its opposition to so-called U-Vint stores, where people are making and bottling their own wine and beer.


Earlier this month Baillie said it was time to consider selling beer and wine in corner stores, but Finance Minister Maureen MacDonald said she’s happy with arrangement.


“Our government has no plan whatsoever to privatize the liquor corporation. Secondly, I’m not aware that access to alcohol is a problem in Nova Scotia. We have many, many retail operations off the Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation attached to various grocery chains and that seems to be working quite well,” she said.


The Halifax MLA said there are also agency stores in parts of the province where there are longer distances between NSLC outlets.


There are 106 liquor stores across the province, with total sales of more than half a billion dollars per year.




Australia: Wine to be sold in SA supermarkets


Source: ABC

January 28, 2013


A proposal to allow wine sales in South Australian supermarkets contradicts Government policies to target alcohol-fuelled violence, the Opposition says.


The State Government intends to introduce draft legislation to Parliament to create a new type of liquor licence and has released a discussion paper on the issue.


The licence would allow supermarkets of more than 400 square metres to sell bottled wine but no other type of alcohol.


Opposition Leader Isobel Redmond says she is suspending judgment until she sees the details but is concerned it could aggravate the types of social problems already caused by alcohol.


“The Government has identified alcohol-fuelled violence is a problem they say they’re trying to address and that indeed preloading is one of the problems they say is causing this alcohol-fuelled violence, that is people having alcohol before going out to licensed premises,” she said.


Ms Redmond says excessive drinking is a problem among teenagers and young adults and the culture needs to change.


“There is implicit in the attitude that you have to have the availability of alcohol generally a lesson that all our young people seem to be learning and that is you cannot socialise without alcohol,” she said.


Attorney-General John Rau says the proposal is intended to save shoppers time and would not lead to more street crime.


“We don’t want to turn supermarkets into in effect bottle shops … this is a very limited and deliberately limited licence category,” he said.


“The idea with this is that a person who might be buying some chops or some vegetables for their evening meal can also pick up a bottle of wine in the same place.


“There is absolutely no evidence to suggest that that sort of person is displaying irresponsible consumption of alcohol.


“The alcohol-fuelled violence we see in the city in particular, which I abhor, tends to occur in late-night venues where there are large amounts of people where spirits and fairly powerful alcoholic beverages are sold.”


Staff selling the wine would have to be 18-years-old and trained in the responsible service of alcohol.


Mr Rau says the proposal is also intended to give local wineries an alternative means of selling their produce.


“Small producers here in South Australia are feeling a bit of a squeeze at the present time by having limited access to retail markets,” he said.


“We would hope some of the smaller independent wineries would be able to take advantage of this as an alternative way of getting their product sold into the local market.”


Mixed response


The discussion paper follows debate on the issue and has divided retailers.


Joseph Romeo says his North Adelaide supermarket would apply for a licence.


“It would just compliment our store. It becomes a one-stop shop and it’s no different to what happens in the ACT, Victoria, New Zealand, Europe and America,” he said.


But John Swanson from a nearby bottle shop says it could put specialty retailers like his under threat.


“This is a con, to start saying ‘we only want to sell wine, we only want to help small wineries,’ that’s rubbish,” he said.


“As soon as they get wine in the next step will be spirits, the next step will be beer.”


The Australian Hotels Association says the proposal was developed with little or no industry consultation and wants it withdrawn.


Spokesman Ian Horne says the association will raise several concerns with the government during a period allowed for submissions.


“Many government agencies, South Australian government agencies, are very, very concerned about the expanding of availability of alcohol,” he said.


“On the one hand this Government is trying to shut down liquor outlets with curtailing promotions of alcohol, trying to reduce hours, trying to make it more difficult for current operators with their promotions, and on the other hand they’re giving a free kick to the big end of town.”


Feedback on the discussion paper is open until March.

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One Response to “Liquor Industry News 1-28-13”

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