Friday, May 31, 2019

Is Molecular Whiskey the Futuristic Booze We've Been Waiting For?

Tasting whiskey usually means enjoying flavors created from the interaction between spirit and barrel over an extended period of time. However, some companies are rethinking this traditional narrative.
Endless West, a San Francisco-based startup, recently launched a spirit made without the use of tried and true techniques, like barrel aging, in a process the company labels note-by-note production. Billed as the world’s first “molecular whiskey,” Glyph is not just a symbol of what happens when science, alcohol, and ambition meet, but what might attract future generations of drinkers to the products they purchase. But what does whiskey made in a lab actually involve?
At Endless West, note-by-note production is a three-stage process, beginning with mapping the molecules that give fine whiskeys their unique tasting profiles. To do this, their team studies the molecules found in currently available whiskey and spirits, analyzing what characteristics differentiate one whiskey from another.
Once specific molecules are identified, the next phase is locating and acquiring them in their purest forms, such as sugar from corn or esters from fruit. Everything is sourced naturally from plants, yeasts, and fruits as opposed to using artificial ingredients.
The final step involves using the chosen molecules along with a neutral grain spirit as a base to build the flavor profile of a whiskey.Glyph cocktails by Westlight at The William Vale Hotel in New York.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Half-Strength 'Scotch' Is Here to Capitalize on the Less-Boozy Booze Trend

The “light spirit drink” can't technically be called Scotch or whisky.

Light beer went from being a new invention in the 1970s to accounting for nearly half of the beer market today. And as younger generations seek out healthier, lower-ABV options more low-calorie beers — as well as other drinks like wine and hard seltzer — are currently trending once again. So could light “Scotch whisky” be the next big thing? Technically speaking, no, but practically speaking, maybe.
Scotch producer Whyte & Mackay has released the 21.5-percent ABV Whyte & Mackay Light, billed as “a lighter spirit drink from Scotland, made from Scotch whisky married with Sherry.” Not to be confused with “light whisky” — which is a style of full-strength whisky — this “light spirit drink” can’t official be called whisky at all because Scotch is required to be at least 40-percent ABV. But that hasn’t stopped Whyte & Mackay, which already has a name associated with Scotch, from trying to capitalize on the low-ABV trend.Continue reading

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Study: Beer is a $2.3 billion business in Tampa Bay

By.Margie Manning

The beer industry accounted for more than 16,000 direct and indirect jobs and total economic output of $2.3 billion in the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater metro area in 2018.
The figures include not only brewers, distributors and hospitality workers, but also companies that make bottles, cans and cardboard cases, as well as equipment and marketing displays, according to  a study prepared for The Beer Institute and the National Beer Wholesalers Association.
“Beer is more than America’s most popular alcohol beverage. The beer industry is vital to the United States, generating more than 2.1 million jobs and contributing $328 billion to the American economy,” Jim McGreevy, president and CEO of the Beer Institute, said in a news release.
The biennial study, Beer Serves America, broke down direct and indirect employment, wages and economic impact by states and congressional districts. Here’s a look at the total impact in Florida’s 12th congressional district (northern Pinellas and Pasco counties), 13th congressional district (central and south Pinellas county, including St. Petersburg) and 14th congressional district (part of Hillsborough County, including Tampa).

Monday, May 27, 2019

Titos:How Philanthropy Drives This Billion-Dollar Liquor Brand

Taylor Berry, Head of Marketing at Tito’s Handmade Vodka, talks about the origins of the multi-billion-dollar liquor brand and how founder Tito Beveridge’s failures in other industries led him to success as a distiller. Berry discusses how the vodka brand used philanthropic events to spread, the company’s efforts to create a culture of giving, as well as his own unique journey to becoming CMO.
Berry and host David Meltzer discuss the many advantages that brands hold which defy convention, the role of authenticity and emotion in marketing a product and the need to embrace change as an individual in order to grow personally and professionally.

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Nectar’s sonar bottle caps could save $50B in stolen booze

Nectar Bar Inventory sonarBy. Josh Constine

Bars  lose 20% of their alcohol to overpours and “free” drinks for friends. That amounts to $50 billion per year in booze that mysteriously disappears, making life tough for every pub and restaurant. Nectarwants to solve that mystery with its ultrasound depth-sensing bottle caps that measure how much liquid is left in a bottle by measuring how long it takes a sonar pulse to bounce back. And now it’s bringing real-time pour tracking to beer with its gyroscopic taps. The result is that bar managers can determine who’s pouring too much or giving away drink, which promotions are working and when to reorder bottles without keeping too much stock on hand — and avoid wasting hours weighing or eyeballing the liquor level of their inventory.
Nectar’s  solution to alcohol shrinkage has now attracted a $10 million Series A led by and joined by former Campari chairman Gerry Ruvo, who will join the board. “Not a lot of technology has come to the bottle,” Nectar CEO Aayush Phumbhra says of ill-equipped bars and restaurants. “Liquor is their highest margin and highest cost item. If you don’t manage it efficiently, you go out of business.” Other solutions can look ugly to customers, forcibly restrict bartenders or take time and money to install and maintain. In contrast, Phumbhra tells me, “I care about solving deep problems by building a solution that doesn’t change behavior.”
Investors were eager to back the CEO, since he previously co-founded text book rental giant Chegg — another startup disrupting an aged market with tech. “I come from a pretty entrepreneurial family. No one in my family has ever worked for anyone else before,” Phumbhra says with a laugh. He saw an opportunity in the stunning revelation that the half-trillion-dollar on-premises alcohol business was plagued by missing booze and inconsistent ways to track it.
Typically at the end of a week or month, a bar manager will have staff painstakingly look at each bottle, try to guess what percent remains and mark it on a clipboard to be loaded into a spreadsheet later. While a little quicker, that’s very subjective and inaccurate. More advanced systems see every bottled weighed to see exactly how much is left. If they’re lucky, the scale connects to a computer, but they still have to punch in what brand of booze they’re sizing up. But the process can take many hours, which amounts to costly labor and infrequent data. None of these methods eliminate the manual measurement process or give real-time pour info.
So with $6 million in funding, Nectar launched in 2017 with its sonar bottle caps that look and operate like old-school pourers. When bars order them, they come pre-synced and labeled for certain bottle shapes like Patron or Jack Daniels. Their Bluetooth devices stay charged for a year and connect wirelessly to a base hub in the bar. With each pour, the sonar pulse determines how much is in the bottle and subtracts it from the previous measurement to record how much was doled out. And the startup’s new gyroscopic beer system is calibrated to deduce pour volume from the angle and time the tap is depressed without the need for a sensor to be installed (and repaired) inside the beer hose.Continue reading

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Anheuser-Busch brewery in Baldwinsville to produce 3 million cases of beer with solar power


The Anheuser-Busch brewery in Baldwinsville will now be partially powered by a 2.7 megawatt solar farm, the largest off-site solar installation of any Anheuser-Busch brewery in the country.
The 8,300 solar panels located on a vacant lot in the Town of Van Buren will provide enough electricity to help Anheuser brew more than 3 million cases of beer at its Baldwinsville brewery annually. That's only a fraction of the 85 million cases it produces now, and only about 4 percent of its total electricity usage. But Baldwinsville brewery General Manager Bryan Sullivan says this is about more than just finances.
"Across the U.S., our employees are united with a deep passion for brewing beer and an unwavering commitment to supporting the communities that we call home," Sullivan said. "This includes acting as stewards for our lands and waterways, recognizing our responsibility to lead our industry toward a cleaner environment as well."Continue Reading

Friday, May 24, 2019

'Imitation rum and vodka' soft drink deal selling for less than $10 slammed by health officials

By Giselle Wakatama

Health officials and the distilled spirits industry have slammed what they call an imitation vodka and rum deal, with soft drink, as akin to a deconstructed alcopop.

Key points:

  • Health researchers and the ABC obtained the 20-22pc alcohol, classed as wine, and soft drink deal at several NSW outlets for under $10
  • Researchers and the peak distilled spirits body say the products are taking advantage of wine taxation which is lower than spirits and beer
  • The ATO said it could act if the producers are not acting in accordance with tax obligations
The drinks avoid the high taxes linked to spirits as they are classed as wine.
The ABC has been investigating the deal involving a clear liquid, which comes in a wine bottle labelled Verochka, written in a Russian or Polish style.
Verochka is a Russian girl's name and means 'true', but health experts and those in the spirits industry have questioned the truthfulness of the product and its labelling.
It is 22 per cent alcohol, contains 13 standard drinks, and is offered in a deal where the purchaser can also get a bottle of soft drink for free.
The label contains the words "triple filtered, premium blend" in font similar to some popular vodka brands.
Doctors have also raised concerns about a brown liquid in a wine bottle labelled Sailor Jacks, with the label containing the wording "Caribbean premium spiced gold' in a style similar to popular rum brands.
It is 20 per cent alcohol and contains 12 standard drinks.
ABC reporters purchased a bottle of each at a bottle shop in New South Wales and were told the soft drink and liquor promotion was a supplier-driven initiative.
In a double deal, a consumer can buy two bottles of the high alcohol, wine based drink for $18 — along with the free soft drinks.
That equates to 26 standard drinks for less than $20.

The deals have been slammed by Newcastle University academic Kypros Kypri, one of the architects of hotel lockouts and earlier closing times rolled out in Newcastle a decade ago, followed by Sydney.
"The promotion that I have seen was of bottles of a clear sprit that looks like vodka and has a name, and the bottle, deliberately there to look like a vodka bottle and the name is Verochka," Dr Kypri said.
"There are 13 standards drinks in that bottle [Verochka], and that is certainly enough to make someone ill in a session."
Both drinks are produced and supplied by the company Kymbari beverages based in Victoria, linked to the Barrand Family Trust.
The ABC searched trademark records and other company data and was unable to find contact details for anyone linked to the trust.
Addresses listed on trademark applications were also searched, with at least two appearing to be abandoned or run-down factories.
The company's products are lawful and the ABC is not suggesting otherwise.Continue Reading

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Father's Day Gift Guide: High-End Wine And Spirits That Can Double As Art

By. Aly Walansky

Elevated spirits can also bring Father's Day to the next level. Photo credit: GettyWhether dad loves tequila or whiskey at the end of a long day, the best Father's Day gifts are those that he can display long after the bottle is finished. These bottles contain some incredible wines and spirits that make great gifts, but are also artistic and meant to be displayed after the drinking is done!

Hennessy Paradis Impérial 
Hennessy Paradis Impérial
This liquor comes in a gorgeous new crystal decanter by internationally acclaimed artist Arik Levy, which was designed for Paradis Impérial to celebrate precision in craftsmanship. Levy worked hand-in-hand with master crystal cutters to create a gem-like setting for the crown jewel of Hennessy’s rare collection. A contemporary and rare Cognac, Paradis Impérial defies preconceptions about old Cognacs with its pale color and very precise, non-traditional taste: the striking vessel by Levy balances curve and tension with a faceted design that captures subtle variations of lighting to enhance the blend’s coloration.

Around $3,000 at Reserve Bar

Clase Azul Reposado Tequila

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

McHenry City Council to consider 'bring your own alcohol' liquor license

Some businesses want to offer BYOB without selling food, alcohol

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Dozens of new liquor licenses could be issued in Detroit if approved by City Council, state

Dozens of new liquor licenses could soon be issued in the city of Detroit.
City Council is expected to refer the item Tuesday to the Planning and Economic Development Committee to review Thursday a resolution allowing 20 businesses to secure special licenses that let them sell alcohol for on-premises consumption. The city says a total of 63 such licenses could be issued, with more every three years, if the state approves the licenses in a "City Redevelopment Area" established by the city late last year.
The licenses would be above and beyond the city's maxed-out quota of Class C liquor licenses, the most common — and coveted — type for restaurants and bars. They would also cost one-fourth the price of a typical license.
"Liquor licenses are very expensive at the moment because of a high demand and a limited supply," according to a summary of the proposal provided by the city. "To mitigate this high expense for small and medium size businesses, we are proposing to establish a City Redevelopment Area, which would allow for businesses to purchase a liquor license, straight from the State Liquor Control Commission."
The proposal is being spearheaded by Mayor Mike Duggan's administration as a tool for spurring economic development. It has caused worry for some small business owners who believe that injecting more liquor licenses into the market could lower the value of their own and saturate the market — already home to the highest number of liquor licenses in the state.
The proposed licenses are categorized as "redevelopment liquor licenses," which were established through provisions of Public Act 501 in 2006, according to the Michigan Economic Development Corp. The law allows for a city to add one new liquor license for every $50 million invested in real and personal property in the redevelopment area.
The redevelopment area, drawn out in a document from the city clerk's office, includes downtown and Midtown, as well as many other areas spread across the city that Duggan is targeting for redevelopment, from the Livernois Avenue of Fashion corridor in northwest Detroit to Jefferson Chalmers on the east side.
According to the city's assessor's office, the city saw $3.15 billion of investment in its main commercial corridors and targeted areas from 2014 to 2016. That would make it eligible for 63 new licenses. Every three years, more licenses can be issued depending on investment in the redevelopment zone, according to state law.
City Council unanimously approved in September the establishment of a redevelopment area. It now must OK the licensees before going to the Michigan Liquor Control Commission for final approval.
"… The availability of escrowed on-premise quota licenses for new businesses to purchase in the County of Wayne has significantly decreased, and the price for such escrowed on-premises licenses has increased more than 100 percent over the past year," according to the city clerk's document.Continue Reading

Monday, May 20, 2019

Yuengling Is Planning a Beer Hotel

A draft beer pouring from a tap
A new hotel is taking the idea of the minibar to another level. Pennsylvania-based brewery Yuengling is developing a beer-themed hotel as part of its campus in Tampa, Florida that will come with an attached microbrewery, tasting room and as yet unannounced other beer amenities. In a statement, Wendy Yuengling, the breweries chief administrative officer said,
“As consumer interest in locally crafted beer continues to grow, we are always looking for ways to engage our loyal fans and re-envision the Yuengling experience in Tampa. This new development will not only offer visitors an enhanced brewery hospitality experience but will also increase our presence in the local community.”

Technically, Yuengling is the most popular craft brewer in the United States, although the brewery’s use of that label came with some controversy. The Brewer’s Association, which officially decides what is and is not a craft beer in the United States, changed its definition in a way that seemed designed to let Yuengling use the moniker. Whatever you call the it though, Yuengling clearly sells a lot of beer.  
As for the hotel, while Yuegling’s will be one of the biggest, it certainly won’t be the first beer hotel. Scottish brewery Brewdog opened the DogHouse in Columbus, Ohio last year, offering IPA on tap in every room and Dogfish Head opened the 16-room Dogfish Inn in Lewes, Delaware in back in 2014.
The Yuengling project is still in the early zoning phases, so beyond the existence of the adjoining brewery and taproom, we don’t know much more about what will be included in the hotel, but if similar hotels are any indication, you can bet they will include lots of cans on Yuengling.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

RIP Craft Beer: Sam Adams’ Company Buys Dogfish Head Brewery


Two big beer players merge in $300 million deal

If craft beer wasn’t already over, this latest news might be the nail in the coffin: the Boston Beer Company — the producers of Samuel Adams beer and the second largest craft brewer in the U.S. — is merging with Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, the 13th largest independent brewery as ranked by the Brewers Association. The deal, valued at $300 million, follows other major consolidations in the beer industry, such as Constellation Brands’ $1 billion acquisition of a San Diego’s Ballast Point in 2015. 
Boston Beer CEO Dan Burwick (who is NOT the guy in all the Sam Adams commercials) will lead the merged company. “We expect that we’ll see more consolidation in the craft industry over time, and we’ll be in the best position to take advantage of those changes,” he said in a press release.

And in other news…

  • Also on the beer beat: Beer pong favorite Natty Light is taking a unique approach to summer intern hiring with a nationwide search to attract candidates who are “just as creative writing an English 102 essay as they are converting a bathtub into a cooler.” Hey, for a generous $40 an hour, no task is beneath me, including drinking Natty Light on the job. [MLive]
  • Amy Sedaris’s wonderfully batty hospitality show has been renewed for a third season on TruTV. More cheese balls and goofy dancing, please! [@AHWAmySedaris]
  • Gene-edited crops are making their way into our food supply, but governments still haven’t figured out the whole regulation bit. [NPR]
  • Michael Pollan wants you to slow your roll on psychedelic mushrooms. [NYT]
  • Armyworms are rapidly spreading across China’s grain production and could majorly impact staple crops like rice, soybeans, and corn. [CNN]

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Beware the Bubble in Alcohol Stocks


Many investors may not be aware of it, but those with assets in the sector could be sorry. Alcohol stocks, and specifically bourbon shares, are in a bubble. Tech has stolen all the limelight, but whiskey stocks-one of America's oldest industries-have had a great decade. Millennials have revived American whiskey makers, such as Brown-Forman and MGP Ingredients, the latter of which's shares have jumped from $6 in 2014 to $98 in 2018! P/E ratios are at about 30x and the stocks have recently started to fall sharply. It looks like the bubble is bursting.
FINSUM :  The performance of this sector is pretty amazing-doubled revenues in the last decade. That is outstanding for such an old industry. However, valuations seemed to have significantly outpaced realistic value.

Friday, May 17, 2019

The 10 Best Canned Wines for Summer 2019, Tasted and Ranked

By. Tim McKirdy
The 10 Best Canned Wines for Summer 2019, Tasted and Ranked

Canned wines might have seemed gimmicky when the category launched — heck, brand names like Porch Pounder certainly didn’t help — but they’re absolutely here to stay. According to market research firm BW 166, canned wine sales rose 43 percent between June 2017 and June 2018. In January 2018, Nielsen reported the category was worth more than $45 million.
For the past two years, VinePair has scoured the landscape to find our favorite canned wines. As the sector continues to evolve, and an increasing number of brands get in on the action, we thought it was time to try some more.
Following an extensive tasting of more than 30 nationally available canned wines, we noted many similarities (both positive and negative) with tastings in years gone by.
If you’re the kind of person who gains just as much enjoyment out of a wine’s aroma as its flavors, canned wines might not be for you. When consuming directly from a can, it’s difficult to pick up the wine’s aromas — and, if you do, many are tinged with reductive notes of burnt matches and boiled eggs (once cans are sealed, no oxygen can reach the wine within).
The convenience of the grab-and-go packaging is also a double-edged sword. The vast majority of cans come in 375-milliliter servings, the equivalent of half a standard bottle of wine. Frankly, that’s too large a serving size in our opinion. The (less common) 250-milliliter and 187-milliliter cans are much more user-friendly and more brands would do well to adopt these sizes, even if it means spending a little more.
To come up with this year’s ranking, we judged the wines first on their flavors, given how difficult it is to judge aromas when drinking — as intended — from the can. Afterward, we gave them a swill in a glass so we could share some of their many delicious aromas with you. Finally, we ranked our favorites.
Without further ado, here are the top 10 canned wines for summer 2019.


Infinite Monkey Theorem is one of the best canned wines for summer 2019.
Denver-based Infinite Monkey Theorem was one of the pioneers of the category, launching its first single-serve release back in 2015. Lightly carbonated, with vibrant aromas of raspberry, bubblegum, and ripe strawberries that continue onto the palate, Rosé Bubble Universe is the pick of the bunch from this producer. Average price: $14.99 per 4-pack.


VINNY is one of the best canned wines for summer 2019.
Launched in 2018 by Thomas Pastuszak, the wine director at New York’s NoMad hotel, VINNY is a bubbly white blend from the Empire State’s Finger Lakes region. This gently sparkling white wine smells like a slightly candied Riesling, with pear and aloe on the palate. Size-wise, it’s a hit, arriving in slender 250-milliliter cans. Average price: $20 per 4-pack.


Santa Julia Organic Malbec rosé is one of the best canned wines for summer 2019.
Santa Julia is one of Argentina’s largest certified organic wine producers. In February 2019, the winery released a line of three canned wines. We enjoyed them all but were particularly impressed by the rosé, which is made using 100 percent organically grown Malbec grapes. With an attractive blend of cranberry, strawberry, and raspberry notes, Santa Julia delivers clean-tasting, organic wine you can drink on the go. Average price: $5.99 per can.Continue Reading

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Coca-Cola moves into alcohol market with premium mixers

Coca-Cola’s Signature Mixers range marks the first time the brand has expanded into the alcohol space and taps into the growing premium mixer market.

coca cola signature mixers
By.Molly Flemming

is launching its first premium mixers under the Coke brand as it looks to expand into growing premium mixer market.
Coca-Cola Signature Mixers features four flavours designed to be mixed with dark spirits, which will launch in the UK from June alongside a fully integrated marketing campaign.
“Coca-Cola has always been part of cocktail culture and history, from the Cuba Libre of the 1900s to some of the world’s best cocktails today,” explains Ana Amura, senior brand manager at Coca-Cola Great Britain.
“Coca-Cola Signature Mixers marks an exciting time for the brand and expansion into dark spirit mixology.”
The move comes as drinkers increasingly opt for more expensive mixers. According to figures from research company CGA, premium mixers are growing at 32.9% compared to the 7% decline seen for mainstream mixers, a trend which is set to continue.
Inspired by the brand’s heritage, Coca-Cola Signature Mixers are served in a contemporary Hutchinson glass bottle, first used by Coca-Cola in 1894 when the product was bottled rather than served at a soda fountain.
The new range, which is available in Smoky, Spicy, Herbal and Woody, was created in collaboration with mixologists and marks the first time Coke has invited outsiders to help develop its own brand.
Coca-Cola asked mixologists to attend a London workshop in March 2018 who were briefed to experiment with ingredients and create mixers to enhance dark spirits.
Consumers were then invited to taste the new recipes, with the four most popular going into production, with each bottle stamped with the signature of its co-creator.
This quick 16-month timeline is a marker of how Coke is trying to streamline its innovation pipelines in order to keep up with consumers’ changing tastes.Continue Reading