Liquor Industry News 4-10-13

Franklin Liquors

Wednesday April 10th 2013

PERNOD RICARD : USA To Appoint Major Brands as its Exclusive Distributor in Missouri


Source: 4-Traders



Pernod Ricard USA® today announced plans to appoint Major Brands, Inc. as the exclusive distributor of its full line of spirits and wine brands in Missouri, effective May 1, 2013.


Bryan Fry, President and Chief Executive Officer, Pernod Ricard USA, said Major Brands was chosen based on its local market expertise, as well as its planning and execution skills. “We are very pleased to be able to achieve our goal to consolidate the distribution of our premium portfolio into one wholesaler in Missouri, as this move will further strengthen our powerful Route to Market in that state,” Fry said.


Martin Crane, Senior Vice President, Spirits Sales, Pernod Ricard USA, said the company “very much looks forward to this collaboration since we know that the Major Brands team – led by Barry O’Neil – will build upon their impressive track record of outstanding service and brand stewardship. We expect great things and are confident that, together, we can achieve strong growth for our leading brands.”


“Today’s announcement reaffirms the strength of the longstanding partnership between Pernod and Major Brands,” said Major Brands Chairman and CEO, Susan McCollum. “It reflects Pernod’s continued confidence in our company’s unique ability to deliver outstanding results in the Missouri marketplace.”


Previously, Pernod Ricard USA’s brands were distributed in Missouri by Glazer’s and Major Brands. Glazer’s will continue to distribute Pernod Ricard’s products in Arkansas and Kansas.


Earlier this year, Pernod Ricard USA asked a Federal Court in Missouri to declare that its terminations of Major Brands and Glazer’s as distributors of portions of Pernod Ricard’s portfolio in Missouri did not violate state law. That litigation is still pending.




Flavored Vodka Companies Continue To Debut New Flavors, But Why?


Source: The Huffington Post

By Carey Polis



Dear Any Liquor Company That Has Produced A Flavored Vodka In The Past Several Years,


It seems as if you are on to something. Last year, we learned that flavored-vodka sales are on the rise, and that in 2011, nearly a quarter of all sales were from flavored vodka.


This surprised us, to say the least. A year ago, we rounded up some of the worst-flavored vodkas of all time, that included non-appetizing flavors like smoked salmon and fluffed marshmallow.


In an effort to understand this craze, we’ve tasted various flavors, including peanut butter and jelly vodka and salted caramel vodka (the official flavor is spelled “Karamel,” for no apparent reason). The caramel was awful. The peanut butter and jelly was barely passable.


Within the past several weeks, even more flavored vodkas have come on the market. Smirnoff introduced a “Sorbet Light” line with three flavors: raspberry pomegranate, mango passionfruit and lemon. The aim of the line is to offer a reduced-calorie version when compared to other dessert-flavored vodkas. We tasted these vodkas on their own and as part of a cocktail, with recipes courtesy of Smirnoff. None of them were good. On their own, the flavors were medicinal, Ring Pop-like and reminiscent of bathroom cleaner. When mixed into cocktails, one of them was almost palatable; it reminded us of jungle juice at a frat party.


We’re not sure who had the idea of creating rainbow sherbet vodka but yes, it is now available and is as unpalatable as it sounds. And does anyone even want a rainbow sherbet cocktail? We’re having trouble understanding where the market for this flavor is. Adults that are nostalgic for childhood but would rather drink vodka than eat ice cream?


After sampling these various flavors over the course of several months, we feel fairly well versed in the flavored vodka arena. And you know what? We just don’t get it. How is this category selling well? There is no need for a flavor like lemon vodka when you can use plain vodka and add fresh lemon. And there is definitely no need for a vodka to taste like caramel (or rather, attempt to taste like caramel). Vodka is not a liquor category that needs to have dozens of iterations. Keep it simple and let the other cocktail ingredients elevate its taste.


Novelty vodka flavors do not make cocktails taste better. In fact, in most cases, they make them taste worse. If you want an interesting cocktail, don’t rely on artificial flavors to get you there.




HuffPost Taste & HuffPost Food




Big brand brandies top the spirits growth charts


Source: Drinks International

By Hamish Smith

09 April, 2013


The three fastest growing million-case spirit brands of 2012 all emanated from the brandy category, according to the Millionaires’ Club 2013.


United Spirits’ Golden Grape topped the charts with year-on-year growth of 71% to achieve volume sales of 1.4m 9-litre cases.


In second place in the fastest growing rankings was the Philippines’ Emperador brandy which, despite its colossal 20m case volumes in 2011, soared 54% to achieve 31m cases last year..


The Indian group’s McDowell’s VSOP grew 41% to 1.9m cases, while the sixth fastest growing spirit was also a brandy, Silver Cup, which saw 30% growth to achieve 1.4m cases.


A spokesperson from Intellima, the research company for the Millionaires Club 2013, said: “It’s no surprise that the fastest-growing Millionaires’ Club product is from India, nor that it’s one produced by United Spirits. Perhaps more surprising is that it’s a brandy, not a whisky, and one that was launched five decades ago.


“Golden Grape was first made at the Cherthala distillery in 1962 and was so popular in southern India that stocks had to be rationed. Such supply problems are a thing of the past, but the brand’s 50th anniversary saw renewed fervour for the product.


About Emperador, Intellima said: “When Andrew Tan launched the brand in the 1980s, the Philippines spirits market was dominated by rum and gin. The company built sales gradually through the 1990s and 2000s. A strong economy, new product lines and exports into Thailand and China have all helped accelerate growth in recent years.”


Sandwiched between the two Indian brandies in 3rd and 6th places is Diageo and Sean Combs’ Cîroc vodka, which grew 40% to 2.1m cases, and Bombay Sapphire, which saw a hike of 31% during the period to 2.6m cases.


Other notable movers in 2012 included Southern Comfort, which jumped 26% to 2.5m cases and Diageo’s Cacique rum which climbed 24% to 2.1m cases.


Despite already sizable volumes, bartenders’ favourite Fernet Branca piled on 17% in sales volumes to register 5.4m case sales.




GS Research – Beverages: 1Q13 preview: Blame the weather; earnings could be bumpy for beverages in 1Q (Excerpt)


Source: Goldman Sachs

Apr 8th


Beverage 1Q earnings likely to be tepid

We see potential for the beverage group to give back some of its YTD outperformance (XLP +11.6% YTD versus S&P 500 +8.9%) around 1Q earnings season, as fundamental are likely to remain lackluster. Our EPS estimates are broadly in line with consensus but we expect soft volume as the US faces a tough weather comparison, Europe remains challenging, and other key EMs (China and Brazil) also experienced poor weather recently. That said, downside is likely to be limited, as 1Q is seasonally a small quarter, weather-related issues are likely to be transitory, and fundamentals could accelerate in 2H13 as macro conditions improve.


Domestic NARTD lagging alcohol growth

Non-alcoholic beverage volume continues to slide (ex. bottled water) even as pricing has moderated. However, alcohol is seeing increasing price/mix in wine/spirits and volume demand for overall alcohol has been healthier, primarily as beer emerges from the cyclical doldrums. Among the alcohol names, we favor TAP given its valuation.


Above consensus for TAP/PEP; below consensus for BEAM

On TAP (Buy), fundamentals will still look soft and we have volumes down for both Canada and the US, but expectations are low and we believe commentary will be more constructive around the new product launches. On PEP (Neutral), Frito trends have been better recently and benign inflation and 2012 re-base should provide some cushion. We are below consensus for BEAM (Neutral) as the firm faces a tough volume comparison and India remains a drag




Off-trade beer volumes slip, but Heineken makes ground (Excerpt)


Source: Just-Drinks

By James Wilmore

9 April 2013


Off-trade beer volumes in the US fell by 3.4% in the latest quarter, but Heineken is continuing to gain market share, according to recently-released figures.


Domestic shipments for brewers in the three months to the end of February were down by 2.3%, while imports decreased by 2.9%, Nielsen figures, reported by analysts Bernstein Research today (9 April), revealed. The drop-off was attributed to a tough weather comparison.








Source: Law 360

Apr 9th


Constellation Brands’ Defective Notice of Termination Without Good Cause


On or about March 25, 2013, Garco received a letter from Constellation Brands notifying Garco that it would no longer accept Garco’s orders effective April 30, 2013.


A letter dated April 1, 2013 from Constellation Brands to Garco indicated that Constellation Brands would allow Garco to continue selling Constellation Brands’ products in Missouri after April 30, 2013, pursuant to the same terms and conditions under which the parties have been operating, but only if Garco would agree to relinquish and release all rights and protections afforded Garco under Missouri law, R.S.Mo. §407.400, §407.405, and §407.413.


The letter dated April 1, 2013 from Constellation Brands notified Garco that it was changing its business model in Missouri and that, as part of this process, it desired its wholesale distributors to respond to a Request for Commitment (“RFC”), which would serve as Garco’s application to become the sole wholesale distributor for Constellation Brands in Missouri.


Pursuant to the correspondence dated April 1, 2013, if Garco agreed to submit a response to the RFC, and agreed to relinquish and release all protections afforded Garco by Missouri law and release all claims it possessed against Constellation Brands, Garco could continue to sell temporarily Constellation Brands’ products after April 30, 2013, until such time as a permanent sole distributor can be chosen by Constellation Brands for the State of Missouri.


Garco responded to the RFC with a letter dated April 8, 2013, which refused to release Constellation Brands from any and all liability, and Garco refused to release its franchise protections under Missouri law.


Count I – Wrongful Termination Under Missouri Statute


A “community of interest” exists between Garco and Constellation Brands.


Approximately 37% of Garco’s total sales revenues are comprised of Constellation Brands’ products, and Garco sells those products pursuant to a marketing plan and sales goals promulgated by Constellation Brands.


Garco’s total sales of Constellation Brands’ products in 2012 were over $5.6 million.


The parties mutually benefit economically from their relationship in promoting and selling Constellation Brands’ products.


Garco and Constellation Brands, therefore, have a franchise relationship under R.S.Mo., §407.400.


Pursuant to R.S.Mo., §407.410, Garco is entitled to compensatory damages, including loss of goodwill, cost of this suit, and any and all equitable relief the Court deems proper.


Pursuant to R.S.Mo., §407.413, Constellation Brands unilaterally terminated the franchise relationship with Garco without requisite “good cause” as defined by statute.


Pursuant to R.S.Mo., §407.413.3, Garco is entitled to recover all damages it sustains, together with the costs of this suit and reasonable attorneys’ fees incurred by Garco.




Americans Hold Dangerous Misperceptions About Risks of Heavy Drinking    


SOURCE: PR Newswire

Screening for Mental Health

Apr 9th


Public Opinion Survey Reveals At-Risk Drinking Not Considered a Problem by Many


At-risk drinking (four or more drinks per day for men; three or more for women) is common in the U.S. but many people don’t consider it a problem. According to a recent national survey of American adults released this month by Screening for Mental Health, Inc., a nonprofit provider of mental health screening programs, half of all men and one-third of women had at least one at-risk drinking episode in the last year. Furthermore, one-fifth of Americans believe that regardless of how much a person drinks, it isn’t a problem unless there are negative impacts on their personal relationships or work performance.


The public opinion poll findings come as thousands of community-based organizations, military installations, and colleges prepare to host National Alcohol Screening Day events on Thursday, April 11. Anonymous online screenings are available


“These findings reinforce just how important National Alcohol Screening Day is,” said Douglas G. Jacobs , M.D., associate clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and medical director of Screening for Mental Health, Inc. “Despite public opinion, at-risk drinking increases your chances of developing alcohol use disorders-such as alcoholism-as well as other physical and mental health problems. In the U.S., about 18 million people have an alcohol use disorder. The screenings allow individuals to assess their drinking habits and have an opportunity to connect with local support resources.”


The telephone poll, conducted by Anderson Robbins Research, surveyed 1,000 American adults between March 22 and 28 and gathered information on drinking habits, opinions, and perceptions. Interviews were conducted by professional interviewers. Respondents were randomly selected for inclusion in the survey and were interviewed on cell phones and landlines.


Other key findings include:


Seven in 10 respondents (68%) said they’d be likely to speak with a health care provider if they thought they might have a problem with alcohol, but this drops to just half (51%) among those who had the most at-risk drinking episodes (20+ times) in the past year.


One-fifth (20%) feel that drinking heavily is a phase that many kids go through, but that it will not hurt them in the long run. However, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), people who started drinking before age 15 were 50% more likely to become alcohol dependent as adults. The same was true to a lesser extent for those who started drinking between ages 15 and 17.


At-risk drinking is highly correlated with age and gender. Men under age 35 are the most likely (71%) to report at-risk drinking and women over age 55 are the least likely (21%).


Over three-quarters (77%) of Americans think pregnant women should avoid alcohol altogether, while one-fifth (20%) think an occasional glass of wine is fine. According to NIAAA, no amount of alcohol is safe during pregnancy. Consuming any kind of alcohol can potentially harm an unborn child.


Held annually in April as part of Alcohol Awareness Month, National Alcohol Screening Day raises awareness about alcohol misuse and provides referral options for individuals with alcohol problems for further treatment. More than 40,000 screenings were taken online and at in-person events last National Alcohol Screening Day. To take an anonymous and free screening online,


Screening for Mental Health Inc. (SMH) is the non-profit organization that first introduced the concept of large-scale mental health screenings with its flagship program, National Depression Screening Day®, in 1991. SMH programs include both in-person and online programs for depression, bipolar disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, eating disorders, alcohol problems, and suicide prevention. SMH programs have been used by hospitals, mental health centers, social service agencies, government agencies, older adult facilities, primary care clinicians, colleges, secondary schools, corporations, and military installations reaching individuals ranging from adolescents to older adults.




Bordeaux 2012: attendance good, but doubts about quality persist


Source: Decanter

by Jane Anson and Adam Lechmere in Bordeaux

Tuesday 9 April 2013

As the en primeur tasting week gets underway in Bordeaux, there are differing reports as to the quality of the vintage.


Decanter’s consultant editor Steven Spurrier is largely positive at this stage, having begun tasting both the Left and Right banks, ‘People have made a huge effort to combat the challenges of the vintage, and I find it much better than the 2011.


‘It’s so unfair that the top 60 chateaux get all the numbers because so many the others make terribly good wine. I didn’t find a bad bottle on the table at Cercle Rive Droite, and there are very few regions you can say that about.’


Decanter’s Right Bank correspondent James Lawther MW commented, ‘It’s an uneven vintage, which is logical given the difficulties of the year. On the Right Bank the successful appellation seems to be Pomerol, an earlier ripening zone. Elsewhere in St Emilion and the other satellite appellations it very much depends on the terroir and the human input.’


American-based Jeff Leve of the Wine Cellar Insider told, ‘the further north you go in the Médoc, the greener the tannins become. The best wines I’ve tried so far have been in Pessac Léognan and Pomerol. Producers that used a light hand did best. Those who overdid things just got tough tannins.’


Overall, numbers seem quite buoyant. Chateau Mouton Rothschild is reporting 1500 tasters, a rise on last year, as is Chateau Margaux. Lafite expects 1,350, the same as last year.


Initial numbers show 76% French attendance, with 53 countries overall. The UGC has issued 5,903 badges, up from 5,267 last year.


Nicolas Mestre at the UGC said, ‘there has not been the dip in numbers that we often see in Vinexpo years [referring to the bi-annual Bordeaux wine fair, which takes place in June this year]. Of course we won’t know final numbers until next week, but these are highly encouraging first indications.’


On the buying side, merchants are ambivalent. ‘The main concern,’ said Bud Cuchet, buying director at London merchant Fine+Rare, ‘is that if the Bordelais don’t get the price right now, it will have an effect on the whole year’s Bordeaux sales. If the momentum doesn’t build up with en primeur, it can be tough to generate interest later on’.


Lay & Wheeler sales manager Nick Connell, speaking at Domaine de Chevalier this afternoon, said while the wines did not have the concentration of the past few vintages, he was confident there would be a market for them. But, he added, ‘it all depends on price.’


As for the French press, Bordeaux’s paper of record, Sudouest, today suggests that critics and merchants, ‘glass in hand’ are finding a huge variation in quality: ‘the good, the less good, and the failures’.


It goes on to quote what it calls ‘a chorus of negotiants and courtiers’ saying there is ‘little enthusiasm’ amongst the hordes of wine professionals who have come to taste ‘a baby 2012 born in grief’.


‘At this moment, no one is here to taste this vintage with the genuine intention of buying en primeur – it’s the opposite of 2009 and 2010.’




Bordeaux 2012: Dry whites to offer Sauternes producers cash flow


Source: Decanter

by Jane Anson

Wednesday 10 April 2013


In a year where even the successful Sauternes and Barsac producers made incredibly low yields (the average in Sauternes was just 2.5hl/h), the trend for dry white wines from the region is proving an important source of cash flow.


Increasing numbers of Sauternes producers have said they are making no 2012 wine at all – Yquem, Suduiraut, Rieussec and Raymond Lafon have all said they did not produce enough quality grapes to justify making a wine under their first label. Raymond Lafon, Rieussec and Suduiraut are still to make a second wine.


Even those who have produced are reporting tiny quantities in the search for good quality grapes, with Chateau Guiraud’s yields 90% down on 2011, and many others reporting similarly drastic reductions.


Sauternes producers have been able to draw some consolation from the year’s high quality production of dry whites, which were picked in excellent sunny conditions in mid-September.


The trend to make dry whites has been growing for a number of years, and today almost every major estate produces one – from Y d’Yquem to S de Suduiraut, R de Rieussec and G de Guiraud.


At Domaine de Chevalier, Olivier Bernard recently unveiled a new range of wines from a Sauternes estate they bought in 2011 and renamed Clos des Lunes, choosing to turn almost the entire production towards dry white. Another recent dry white launch has been Opalie from Chateau Coutet.


‘We lost three quarters of our harvest,’ Yquem winemaker Sandrine Garbay told, ‘but the dry white is of exceptional quality, and we are happy to have some wine to offer our clients. We like the first stages of noble rot to form on the grapes, to lower the bitter polyphenols that are fairly typical of Semillon on clay, and this was highly successful this year, before the rains arrived in October.’




English sparkling wine could be biggest threat to Champagne sales


Source: Harpers

by Katherine Canfield

09 April 2013


English sparkling wine could become the biggest threat to future Champagne sales if the quality and diversity of offer continues to improve.


That was the prediction of Jean Smullen, wine educator and journalist (pictured), at a special seminar focused on global sparkling wine at Vinitaly in Verona this week.


“England is the biggest competitor for Champagne,” warned Smullen, “and the Champenois need to become more aware of that.”


Smullen said in the past the most prestigious sparkling wines have come from France, but now they have serious challengers amongst English winemakers.


Speaking at a special tasting seminar, ‘Bubbles across the Waves’, Smullen claimed England had the potential to dominate the sparkling wine category in terms of quality and prestige and that English sparkling wine was one of the strongest categories emerging on the international wine scene. “It is a force to be reckoned with,” she added.


England has also, she stressed, played a significant role in the history of sparkling wine production, dating back to its beginnings by supplying glass strong enough to hold a carbonated beverage. “The sparkling wine industry owns its origins to the English and their glass making abilities rather than the French,” she added.


But despite its historical connection, England has not gone on to become a major player in the sparkling wine category, until potentially now. “If I got this in a blind tasting, I never would have said ‘England’,” said Smullen, after tasting the Bolney Estate Blanc de Blancs Brut 2007.


It has been a strong couple of weeks for English sparkling wine producers in the international market following the success of their first stand at Prowein last month


“Watch this space,” said Smullen, “particularly for sparkling wines.”


The Bubbles Across the Waves seminar looked at award-winning sparkling wines from nine countries ranging from Russia to Brazil.


Vinitaly continues in Verona until April 10.




Figeac “won’t change” under Rolland


Source: the drinks business

by Lucy Shaw

9th April, 2013


The style of Château Figeac will not change now that Michel Rolland has been taken on as a consultant, the château’s director Frédéric Faye has insisted.


Speaking at an en primeur tasting at the château in St Emilion last week, Faye told the drinks business: “We want Figeac to be the star, not Michel Rolland.


“We will be keeping the traditional style of Figeac the same, and don’t want to tamper with its signature elegance and freshness.


“It’s very important that we keep our personality rather than going with what the fashion of the time is, so it’s Rolland who has the challenge, not us.


“Michel Rolland has a huge amount of experience and we want to work with him to tweak some finer details, increase the precision, finesse and concentration and modernise the wine, but we haven’t taken him on to change the wine’s style.”


Rolland did the 2012 blend for Figeac and work with the château on the 2013 vintage this year, though Faye insisted that he was in the driving seat.

Michel Rolland now consults for Figeac


Michel Rolland hopes to elevate Figeac to premier grand cru classé “A” status


“I’m very much in control of things here and have the power to tell Michel to stop if I disagree with what he’s doing. We go back a long way,” he said.


Faye admitted that Rolland had been brought in to try to elevate the château to premier grand cru classé “A” status, having missed out on the accolade last year while Angélus and Pavie, both of which Rolland consults for, were promoted.


“Rolland is a challenger and is passionate about brining us up to premier grand cru classé “A” status. Personally, I want to see Figeac on sale around the world.


Meanwhile, Hortense Manoncourt Idoine, Figeac’s president and co-general manager told the drinks business that the estate was not up for sale.


“There’s a lot of interest in Figeac and I get offers to buy the château every day but it’s out of the question, we want to keep the estate in the family and pass it on to the next generation,” she said.


Like Faye, Manoncourt Idoine also wants Figeac to be better known around the world: “I want to shout louder about us and get our name out there. I think we have enormous potential,” she told db.


As for the 2012 vintage, Faye said it would be far closer in price to 2011 than 2010: “The market conditions are not great right now and we have to listen to what the market wants and price our wine accordingly, but Figeac is expensive to produce so we have a minimum level we are willing to go down to,” he said.




Catherine Pere Verge dies


Source: Decanter

by Jane Anson in Bordeaux

Tuesday 9 April 2013

Catherine Péré Vergé, one of Bordeaux’s most respected proprietors, has died aged 74.


Péré Vergé – who died in Bordeaux on Friday afternoon, April 5 – owned Chateau La Violette, Chateau Le Gay and Chateau Montviel in Pomerol, La Graviere in Lalande-de-Pomerol, and Bodega Monteviejo in Argentina.


Before buying her first wine estate in 1985, Péré Vergé worked for over 40 years in the family lead crystal glassware business, Cristal d’Arques.


She purchased Chateau Montviel in 1985, a 5ha estate in Pomerol, and hired Michel Rolland as her consultant in 1988 (she was one of the founding members of his Clos de Los Siete project in Argentina).


She was perhaps best known for the 3.25ha Chateau La Violette, which she bought in 2006, and whose wines garnered effusive praise from critics.


Known for her passionate attention to detail, she oversaw everything in her vineyards herself, from pruning and harvesting to blending and selling the wines. ‘I’m the carbon copy of my father,’ she liked to say.


In 2010, at a dinner to mark her 25 years in Pomerol, she said, ‘Today, six of my nine grandchildren help with harvesting at the weekends, and at 10 years old (the youngest of them) Henri is already asking for magnums of Le Gay. so I know the future is assured.’


‘One word to sum up Catherine: energy,’ Alain Moueix, president of the Grand Cru Classés de Saint Emilion and owner of Chateau Mazeyres in Pomerol told, ‘She worked tirelessly for her estates.’


Péré Vergé is survived by four children and nine grandchildren. Her son Henri Parent is expected to take over the Vignbobles Péré Vergé estates.




Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits buys Eppa SuperFruit Sangria


Source: DBR

10 April 2013


Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits, a New York-based family-run privately owned firm, has purchased Eppa SuperFruit Sangria from Miami-based Eppa Wine Company (EWC) for an undisclosed amount.


Made in Mendocino, California, the Eppa Superfruit Sangria is crafted from certified organically-grown grapes and organic superfruit juices, including pomegranate, blueberry, blood orange and acai.


Eppa is rich with antioxidants and is said to be ideal for health-conscious consumers.


In 2012, Eppa accounted for 26% of the category growth, which grew by 19.4% in dollar volume, as against the 2011 figures.


Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits chairman and founder Bill Deutsch said, “While it’s always been popular in the on-premise market, there’s a big opportunity to make a stronger impact off-premise with premium quality ready-to-serve sangrias.”


Commenting on the acquisition, EWC co-founder John Gomez said, “Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits is the perfect organization to take Eppa to new consumers and new heights.”


Eppa SuperFruit Sangria is available at a suggested retail price of $11.99 per 750ml bottle.




General Manager of Jack Daniel’s Production to Retire; Veteran Brown-Forman Executive Named as Successor


Source: Business Wire

Apr 9th


Brown-Forman Corporation (BF-A) (BF-B) announced today that Tommy Beam, senior vice president and general manager of Jack Daniel’s Production Operations in Lynchburg, Tennessee, is retiring from the company after 48 years of service. His official retirement date is July 31, 2013.


“Tommy Beam has had a truly remarkable career in one of the top jobs not only within Brown-Forman but in our entire industry,” said Jane Morreau, senior vice president and chief production officer. “For the last eleven years he has led our entire Jack Daniel’s production operations while overseeing several expansion projects during a time of significant growth for the brand. Tommy has been a great leader and we wish him nothing but the best during his retirement.”


Beam joined the Jack Daniel Distillery in 1965 as an accountant and served in a succession of roles with increasing responsibility until being named general manager of all Jack Daniel’s production operations in 2002. During this time, Beam led a team of 435 employees to record levels of production, reaching shipments of about 11 million nine liter cases of Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey worldwide during fiscal 2012.


Brown-Forman also announced that Larry Combs has been named to succeed Beam as senior vice president and general manager of Jack Daniel’s operations. Combs joined Brown-Forman in 1992 and has been involved in nearly every aspect of the company’s production operations over the last two decades. For the last three years, he led Brown-Forman’s Technical Services group, including Quality Assurance, R&D, Engineering, Packaging and Environmental, with outstanding results. In addition, he has guided our European Operations and External Manufacturing Operations globally. Combs will continue to oversee external manufacturing operations in addition to his new role as general manager of all Jack Daniel’s production operations.


“Larry has demonstrated excellent leadership ability and we believe is the ideal person to take on the responsibility of managing the productions operations of our largest and most important brand,” stated Morreau.




Engel Leaves Mionetto for Riondo USA


Source: Riondo

April 2, 2013


Riondo USA has brought on board James Engel as vice president of sales.  Most recently, Engels was VP of sales for Mionetto USA.


Engels will head the distributor network management and a fifteen member executive sales team around the country.


John Blesse, now VP of operations for New Jersey-based Riondo USA, will lead the company’s internal operation and oversee existing and developing relationships with suppliers and on- and off- premise chains.






Source: MPSA

Apr 9th


2013-01006A Internet Advertising Platform

At the April 9, 2013 Full Board meeting, the Members of the Authority issued a declaratory ruling regarding the involvement of licensees, internet technology companies and third party advertisers in online sales of alcoholic beverages. This declaratory ruling provides guidance to licensees with respect to whether such relationships violate the Alcoholic Beverage Control Law. Chairman Rosen also announced that the Authority will be hosting meetings with industry members to further examine the issues involved with internet sales of alcoholic beverages.


Advisory 2013-3 – Brand Labeling

In addition, based on information obtained while this matter was being considered, the Members of the Authority also issued an advisory providing guidance to manufacturers, wholesalers and importers with respect to their ability to sell wines featuring the same brand, trade name and vintage with or without the addition of a sticker featuring the wording “Direct,” “Reserve,” or any similar wording.




California: Calif’s 4 a.m. last call bill already fuels debate


Source: AP


April 9th


The last call for drinks is 2 a.m. in California, but one lawmaker believes that’s just too early to set down the shot glasses and beer steins.


State Sen. Mark Leno’s proposal to let the liquor flow until 4 a.m. as a way to draw more tourists – and with them more revenue and jobs – is already spawning a sharp debate from Sacramento to watering holes in San Francisco and Los Angeles.


Leno said the measure would make the state more competitive with other hotspots like New York, Las Vegas and Miami that serve alcohol later into the wee hours of the morning or 24 hours a day.


Night-spot owners say a later last call will be good for business, but law enforcement officials argue that it increases the chances that cities will see more public drunkenness, violence, drunken driving and possibly fatalities.


Leno’s proposal, however, wouldn’t set a uniform standard across the state. Instead, it would give each municipality the option to push their last call back to 4 a.m.


“It will be up to the cities whether they want to participate or not,” said the San Francisco Democrat, whose district encompasses clubs in the trendy South of Market district. His bill is expected to get its first public committee hearing on April 23.


At Steff’s, a sports bar near the San Francisco Giants’ AT&T Park, patron Armand Gaerlan liked the idea of a 4 a.m. last call. “I’ve lived in New York City. If it’s working there, it can definitely happen here,” said Gaerlan, who thinks the move would allow for making later dinner reservations.


At nearby Nova Bar and Restaurant, customer Kendra Chrysler said it was a bad idea. “I’ll pass. I feel like nothing good happens after 2 a.m.,” she said.


In Los Angeles, there is a buzz about a later last call, said Barbara Jacobs, chief operating officer at a 1920’s-themed downtown nightspot, The Edison. She said the bar is making plans for a midnight breakfast and cocktail menu in case the proposal passes.


“We’re creatively driven and so we’re going to take advantage of it,” she said.


Industry groups such as the California Restaurant Association and the Hollywood Hospitality Coalition are endorsing the 4 a.m. last call.


Los Angeles hosted a record 41.4 million visitors last year, one million more than in 2011. And, the city said, guests spent more than $16 billion in 2012. The San Francisco Travel Association said the city drew 16.5 million tourists who spent nearly $9 billion in 2012, up from the previous year.


Jim Lazarus, a senior vice president for the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, said he believes it will be especially appealing to businesses already with after-hours permits to stay open past 2 a.m. – without serving alcohol.


“There’s clearly a demand,” he said. “I think the younger population, especially the young tech workers – they’re working hours that are different from the traditional 9 to 5. They work later, so they party later.”


However, law enforcement officials argue that establishments serving alcohol past 2 a.m. will produce significant problems.


John Lovell, a lobbyist for the Sacramento-based California Police Chiefs Association, said an extended last call will further stretch many depleted law enforcement agencies that will be forced to monitor inebriated patrons when the bars close.


“That will be a whole new dynamic with those leaving a bar at 4 a.m. hitting the road when the early commute is in progress,” Lovell said. “That brings a whole new danger.”


Although San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr said he thinks the extended hours are a bad idea, Leno’s bill has the support of Mayor Ed Lee, who said that if the bill becomes law he would seek input from police, local bar owners and neighborhood leaders before the city opts for a late last call.


Leno said he authored a last call bill geared for San Francisco in 2004, which was rejected by the state Assembly. But he expects this one to fare better because it leaves the ultimate decisions with the cities.


Ludwig Chincarini, an associate economics professor at the University of San Francisco, said recent studies in the U.S. and abroad do not provide very clear links between longer last calls and impacts on crime and local economies.


Extended drinking hours may add more tax revenue, particularly from tourists, Chincarini said, but they are unlikely to bring a windfall to major California cities.


“The tourists who already come here could take advantage of possibly drinking for an extra couple of hours, that’s all,” he said. “I don’t think people are going to be traveling to San Francisco and Los Angeles to get the … Las Vegas experience in terms of extensive drinking and partying.”




Minnesota: SUNDAY LIQUOR SALE – Lawmaker proposes Super Bowl trial run


Source: KMSP

by Maury Glover

Apr 09, 2013


The Super Bowl is one of the most-watched televised events of the year, but Minnesotans must plan ahead if they want to enjoy a cold one on the couch on game day. Now, a lawmaker wants to change that.


Each year, there is an attempt to repeal the state’s ban on selling alcohol on Sundays. In fact, one such effort already expired in committee this session, but one lawmaker believes he’s come up with a plan that could make Super Bowl Sunday a day of super sales next year.


“Wintertime is slow. The Super Bowl is a big boost in business, no matter who’s playing,” said Ian Finch, who works at Four Firkins in St. Louis Park.


According to Finch, the days leading up to the Super Bowl are some of the busiest in the entire year, so they don’t understand why they can’t sell their specialty suds and craft beers on game day.


“Regardless of if Super Bowl Sunday is a big boon or not, we’d like to have the option of being open,” he said.


Yet, Minnesota law doesn’t allow liquor stores to be open on Sundays — even if the NFL’s championship face-off is one of the biggest beer-drinking days on the calendar. That’s why Rep. Pat Garofalo wants to make an exception for next year to offer a trial run of Sunday sales and see how it goes.


“For the average consumer, this bill is a reasonable way to try it out,” Garofalo said. “If it’s bad, we won’t do it again. If it’s good, maybe look at something for the future.”


Historically, the liquor store industry has opposed opening on Sundays because they want the day off and say it would cost them more on labor without providing a bump in business, but customers who spoke with FOX 9 News are welcoming the experiment.


Polls show a majority of Minnesotans favor selling alcohol on Sundays, and Garofalo’s bill will get its first hearing in a House committee on Wednesday afternoon — along with yet another attempt to repeal the ban on Sunday sales.




Washington: Debate over state’s beer tax hike coming to a head?


Source: Q13Fox

Apr 9th


Breweries and distributors are lobbying lawmakers to let the state’s temporary beer tax increase expire on July 1, as scheduled, and not adopt a proposal to extend the tax and expand it to even the smallest brewers.


Three years ago, the Legislature raised Washington’s beer tax from $8.08 per 31-gallon barrel to $23.58, which amounts to about 50 cents a six-pack. It limited the tax hike to brewers that sold more than 60,000 barrels in the state of Washington, however, thereby exempting microbreweries. The temporary tax increase was set to expire July 1, 2013.


But Gov. Jay Inslee proposed in his 2013 state budget plan that the tax continue beyond its expiration date – and that the tax be expanded to all breweries, even the micros.


Small brewers turned out at the state Capitol on Monday to lobby lawmakers against the Inslee proposal. The Senate budget proposal lets the beer tax increase expire on June 30, but the House budget proposal comes out Wednesday. The beer tax is likely to be debated until a final state budget is adopted; the legislative session is set to end April 28.




Florida: Distillery bill, once on life support, moving forward


Source: St. Augustine Record

By Matt Dixon

April 10, 2013


After limping out of the gate, a bill that’s a priority for the St. Augustine Distillery is flying through the committee process.


The bill would allow Florida distilleries to sell their products – things like vodka and rum – to customers, who would have to leave the premises to imbibe.


The burgeoning industry is trying to cast itself as a tourist attraction that uses Florida products like citrus.


“Your support will support Florida manufacturing, Florida tourism, Florida small businesses, Florida agriculture, free enterprise and Florida jobs,” said House sponsor, Rep. Ronald “Doc” Renuart, R-Ponte Vedra Beach.


His bill (HB 347) Tuesday passed the House Regulated Affairs Committee on a unanimous vote.


It’s the legislation’s third unanimous vote since the bill was rewritten to help strike a deal with beer and wine distributors.


They were concerned large companies like Bacardi could use loopholes to set up shop in Florida.


The biggest change was limiting a “craft distillery,” which is defined as producing less than 75,000 gallons annually, to selling two bottles per customer each year.


Another tweak specifies that a craft distillery can’t be owned by another distillery that produces more than 75,000 gallons annually.


After the compromise legislation was filed, distributors lined up in support of the bill, which is now headed for a vote on the Florida House.


The original legislation received enough push-back that it was withdrawn from its first committee stop. Renuart did not want the bill to go to a final vote because it would have been killed and not had the opportunity to advance.


During past committee stops, Phil McDaniel, owner of the St. Augustine Distillery, said it will be a local economic development engine.


“In our city in St. Augustine, the trains and trolleys are so excited about the new distillery,” he told members of the Government Operations Appropriations Subcommittee during a April 2 hearing “They have asked if they could bring their customers to us.”

The legislation’s Senate companion has one remaining committee stop.

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