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Hops deliver on beverage flavor trends

Hops deliver on beverage flavor trends

Consumers have become more open to new flavors and innovations as interest in health and wellness and consuming natural and organic products continues to grow. Beverage-makers have utilized many methods and ingredients to bring these products to the market, and experts note that hops are providing a solution for beverages across myriad categories.

Niles, Ill.-based Imbibe’s Marketing Coordinator Ilana Orlofsky highlights how the growing interest in natural products has driven the use of hops and malts. “As consumers express a growing interest in products with a natural positioning, some alcohol brands are responding by better aligning themselves within the organic and natural segment,” she says. “And we should expect to see more follow suit in the next 12-18 months.”

Although malts are doing well as a result of the continued growth of the whiskey category, hops have experienced a more noticeable shift in demand. Al Murphy, vice president of sales for the alcohol division for Greensboro, N.C.-based Mother Murphy’s, notes the “five Cs” as trending hops varietals: Citra, Chinook, Centennial, Columbus and Cascade.

Murphy says that similar to teas and wines, the geographical location, weather, soil, etc. all will play a role in the flavor profile of a hop varietal and should be considered by any beverage-maker looking to use hops in a formulation. Additionally, source supply also should be taken into account, he says. 

“Hop farms are growing, but certain types of hops are hard to source, such as Citra,” he says. “Some types of hops can grow more easily (Cascade) in certain parts (geographically) compared to others, which are not easily grown.

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Kinky Beverage announces new product launches

Kinky Beverage announces new product launches

Saint Paul, Minn.-based Prestige Beverage Group announced the growth of its Kinky Beverage portfolio. Kinky Cocktails, a colorful addition to the growing progressive adult beverage category, has stood out by offering delectable flavors in colors that pop, the company says. Due to the continued success of the Kinky brand, Kinky Cocktails will be expanding its distribution to include Metro New York and Florida. The brand also is adding two new flavors — Kinky Red and limited-edition Kinky Summer — along with Extra Kinky, a new beer alternative that gives consumers a portable way to enjoy Kinky Beverages with an added kick, it adds.

A mix of watermelon and strawberry flavors, Kinky Cocktails Red will roll out in existing markets in 12-ounce bottles that are available in six-packs and a new, variety 12-pack. The limited-edition Kinky Cocktails Summer offers a fresh mingling of coconut, lime and pineapple, the company says. Available in select markets, Kinky Cocktails Summer will be exclusively sold in six-packs. Kinky Cocktails are 5 percent alcohol by volume.

Launching this spring, Extra Kinky Cocktails will be available in Pink, Gold and Blue flavors, with Red joining the lineup at the end of summer. Extra Kinky will be offered in 16- and 23.5-ounce cans, and are 8 percent alcohol by volume.
 

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Lew Has Left The Building

Lew Has Left The Building
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Iregret to say that four months after resigning my position asmanaging editor, I will no longer be writing a column or whiskey reviews forWhisky Advocate. After more than 20 years of being part of thevoice of the magazine, I was told on Monday that because the magazinewas "going in a different direction," my services in thosecapacities were no longer needed.

Iwas afforded an incredible opportunity, and I'm grateful for that,however it ended. It has also been a complete pleasure to work withthis loosely-knit team of the best whisky writers in the world. Everythree months, fascinating writing would arrive in my inbox, affordingme a fantastic whisky education.

Ithas been an equal pleasure to work with representatives from allparts of the industry, to watch that grow from a solid core oflong-term veterans in the mid-1990s to a small army of exciting newpersonalities as the industry entered another boom phase, and then towelcome the small producers of the craft distilling category. I verymuch look forward to continuing that association.

I'vecertainly also enjoyed the readers of the magazine: their excitement,their loyalty, their engagement, and their eager interest in thebrown spirit that's entranced us all. It's been fantastic to meet youat the events over the years, and I hope to see all of you in thefuture.

Ofcourse, I'm not leaving whiskey! There's a new book project to workon, I've returned to writing this blog (really, I have, and I know I owe you some whiskey reviews), and several magazines havewelcomed me back as a freelancer (with more projects in the works).I'm also back to writing about beer, which I missed terribly, andthat will now expand as well. I may even expand my writing into newareas; I have a couple projects percolating.

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Unfiltered: John Oliver Picks Fight With Long Island Wine (Wine Spectator)

Unfiltered: John Oliver Picks Fight With Long Island Wine (Wine Spectator)

Plus, a photographer shows what happens when beautiful people drink three glasses of wine, and Burgundy fraudsters are convicted

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Tiller Farms Peach Vodka

Tiller Farms Peach Vodka

Tiller Farms introduced its newest flavored vodka: Peach. The five-time distilled premium vodka contains real fruit and is 26 percent alcohol by volume. Like the other Tiller Farms vodka, the Peach variety is packaged in 750-ml re-sealable mason jar-style bottles. Available in select markets, a bottle retails between $25.49-$29.99.

Tiller Farms Holdings, Beach Park, Ill.
Telephone: 224/572-7814
Internet: www.tillerfarms.com
Distribution: Select markets
 

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Marchesi di Barolo Winery Acquires Barbaresco Producer Cascina Bruciata (Wine Spectator)

Marchesi di Barolo Winery Acquires Barbaresco Producer Cascina Bruciata (Wine Spectator)

The historic Barolo wine producer expands its holdings in nearby Barbaresco

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Amateur Winemaker Develops Solution For Making Wine Smell Even Better (Wine Spectator)

Amateur Winemaker Develops Solution For Making Wine Smell Even Better (Wine Spectator)

A former pulmonary medicine professor developed a filter to preserve aromatic compounds

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Anheuser-Busch InBev to acquire Virginia-based Devils Backbone for ‘The High End’

Anheuser-Busch InBev to acquire Virginia-based Devils Backbone for ‘The High End’

Press Release:

Leading Craft Brewery adds acclaimed German brewing styles with award-winning beers to The High End’s Craft Portfolio

(Lexington, VA) – Today, Anheuser-Busch announced an agreement to acquire Devils Backbone Brewing Company, the leading and fastest-growing craft brewery in the state of Virginia. Devils Backbone will be the latest partner to join the diverse portfolio of craft breweries within The High End, the company’s business unit comprising unique craft and import brands.

“I am extremely pleased to announce the partnership of Devils Backbone Brewing Company with Anheuser-Busch. While we are joining a creative group of craft breweries in the division, Devils Backbone will retain a high level of autonomy and continue its own authentic DNA within The High End framework,” said Steve Crandall, co-founder and CEO of Devils Backbone Brewing Company. “The existing management team plans to stay on board for many years, while continuing to innovate and bring locally crafted Virginia beer to the nation.”

In 2008, founders Steve and Heidi Crandall opened the doors to Devils Backbone Brewing Company in the Virginia Heartland, after being inspired by a ski trip to northern Italy in 1991 where they had their first taste of Germanic style beer. After success with the first brewpub, Basecamp, the decision was made to break ground on the Outpost facility, in Lexington, Virginia. Originally projected to produce 10,000 barrels of beer in its first ten years, the Outpost produced almost 45,000 barrels in its first three. Steve credits much of this early success to the excellent network of distributors within his system, which is weighted heavily towards Anheuser-Busch.

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Anheuser-Busch to acquire Devils Backbone Brewing

Anheuser-Busch to acquire Devils Backbone Brewing

St. Louis-based Anheuser-Busch, a division of Anheuser-Busch InBev, announced an agreement to acquire Roseland, Va.-based Devils Backbone Brewing Co., a leading and fast-growing craft brewery in Virginia. Devils Backbone will be the latest partner to join the portfolio of craft breweries in The High End, the company's business unit comprising unique craft and import brands. 

"I am extremely pleased to announce the partnership of Devils Backbone Brewing Co. with Anheuser-Busch. While we are joining a creative group of craft breweries in the division, Devils Backbone will retain a high level of autonomy and continue its own authentic DNA within The High End framework," said Steve Crandall, co-founder and chief executive officer of Devils Backbone Brewing Co., in a statement. "The existing management team plans to stay on board for many years, while continuing to innovate and bring locally crafted Virginia beer to the nation."

In 2008, founders Steve and Heidi Crandall opened the doors to Devils Backbone Brewing Co. in the Virginia Heartland, after being inspired by a ski trip to northern Italy in 1991 where they had their first taste of Germanic style beer, the company says. After success with the first brewpub, Basecamp, the decision was made to break ground on the Outpost facility in Lexington, Va. Originally projected to produce 10,000 barrels of beer in its first 10 years, the Outpost produced almost 45,000 barrels in its first three. Steve Crandall credits much of this early success to the excellent network of distributors within his system, which is weighted heavily toward Anheuser-Busch.  

Today, the Outpost Brewery & Taproom in Lexington serves as the primary production brewery while the Basecamp Brewpub & Meadows in Roseland, serves as a visitor destination.

"Devils Backbone has captivated beer drinkers in Virginia since opening its doors eight years ago," said Felipe Szpigel, president of The High End division, in a statement. "From the beginning, they have shown creativity and talent with the great beers they brew, and they've been able to use the authentic offerings at Basecamp Brewpub & Meadows to cultivate a fun, outdoor lifestyle that resonates with everyone. Pair these qualities with dynamic leadership and a dream to do something bigger, and you have the recipe for an even more promising future."

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Blood Oath Pact No. 2

Luxco launched the second expression in its limited-release, ultra-premium bourbon series, Blood Oath: Blood Oath Pact No. 2. The new spirit is a blend of three bourbons ranging in age from seven to 11 years. The first, a seven-year rye bourbon finished in port barrels, is blended with an 11-year wheated bourbon and an 11-year rye bourbon. Bottled at 98.6 proof, Pact No. 2 is available in limited quantities nationally and is packaged in 750-ml bottles that retail for $99.99. New this year, each bottle of Blood Oath Pact No. 1 will be sold in commemorative fire-branded wooden box.

Luxco, St. Louis
Telephone: 314/772-2626
Internet: www.luxco.com
Distribution: National
 

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8 & $20 Recipe: Chicken Piccata With a Lemony Austrian White (Wine Spectator)

8 & $20 Recipe: Chicken Piccata With a Lemony Austrian White (Wine Spectator)

A spicy, fruity Grüner Veltliner enhances a classic recipe

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Brown-Forman releases its first new bourbon brand in 20 years.

Brown-Forman releases its first new bourbon brand in 20 years.
Author Melanie Gochnauer
Coopers Craft bottle small

April 11th, 2016

Brown-Forman has announced the upcoming release of Coopers’ Craft. This is the first new bourbon brand released by the company in 20 years.

According to the company-issued press release, “Coopers’ Craft is a celebration of barrel-making and a recognition of the importance of wood when it comes to crafting bourbon. In addition to being matured in barrels raised by master coopers at the Brown-Forman Cooperage, Coopers’ Craft is crafted using a special beech and birch charcoal filter finishing process, creating a smooth and flavorful bourbon.”

It will be released this summer initially in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Tennessee.  Cooper’s Craft is bottled at 41.1% ABV and will have a suggested retail price of $29/750 ml.

Stay tuned for a formal review by the Whisky Advocate review staff.

13 Responses to “Brown-Forman releases its first new bourbon brand in 20 years.”

Original author: Melanie Gochnauer

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Millennials drive growth of premium spirits

Millennials drive growth of premium spirits

In February, the Distilled Spirits Council (DISCUS), Washington, D.C., announced the 2015 results for the U.S. distilled spirits category. According to DISCUS, the category experienced another year of steady growth, with supplier sales up 4.1 percent, volume up 2.3 percent and estimated retail sales of nearly $72 billion in 2015. It also marked the sixth straight year of increasing market share relative to the beer category, DISCUS reports.

Additionally, it reports strong growth for every whiskey segment for the second straight year, with revenues up 8 percent. Tequila experienced sales growth of 9.4 percent, and Cognac was up 16.2 percent, it adds.

 “The positive performance of distilled spirits is the result of many factors, including market modernization, product innovation, consumer premiumization and hospitality tax restraint,” DISCUS President and Chief Executive Officer Kraig Naasz said in a statement.

London-based Technavio’s Lead Analyst of food and beverage Vijay Sarathi notes similar drivers for the spirits category. “The major drivers in the market include the shift in consumer preferences for spirits, increase in preference for spirits among women, increase in health consciousness and the association of spirits as a lifestyle product,” Sarathi says.

According to the market research firm’s “Alcoholic Beverage Market in the US 2016-2020” report, the spirits segment, which it categorizes as vodka, gin, rum, whiskey, brandy and tequila, is growing faster than the rest of alcohol beverages. “Consumer preference for spirits, especially among women, has been the most significant contributing factor,” the report states. “New product launches, [the] rise in import of distilled spirits and the association of spirits with lifestyle are some of the other reasons for the growth of the spirits segment.”

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Premium, high quality beer, wine and spirits fueling on-premise channel

Premium, high quality beer, wine and spirits fueling on-premise channel

Novelist and playwright Oscar Wilde once said, “Everything in moderation, including moderation.” After challenging times as a result of the economic downturn, the on-premise channel has made gains through moderate year-by-year growth. Chicago-based Mintel reported in its May 2015 report titled “On-Premise Alcohol Trends – US” that alcohol beverage sales were up 2.6 percent totaling $93.7 billion in 2014. This was a deceleration from its annual growth between 2009 and 2013; however, the market research firm expects that sales will return to those growth levels.

“Sales are forecast to resume increasing moderately each year between 2014 and 2019, when sales are projected to reach $110.2 billion,” the report states. “The slowly improving economy is driving sales, as consumer disposable personal income (DPI) and confidence rises, buoyed by declining unemployment, and enables them to spend on dining out more frequently than in recent years.”

Within the three beverage alcohol categories — beer, wine and spirits — gravitation toward quality, premium products is leaving its mark on the channel. “Premiumization across categories, such as craft beer, artisanal/small batch spirits, or unique/limited-edition wines is driving sales at restaurants,” Mintel’s report states.

For beer, the main trend driver has been the craft beer segment, according to Mike Ginley, partner with Next Level Marketing, Westport, Conn.

“The trend story for the beer category is craft, craft, craft,” he says. “On-premise has experienced a dramatic shift from mass domestics to crafts.”

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Premium, high quality beer, wine and spirits fueling on-premise channel

Premium, high quality beer, wine and spirits fueling on-premise channel

Novelist and playwright Oscar Wilde once said, “Everything in moderation, including moderation.” After challenging times as a result of the economic downturn, the on-premise channel has made gains through moderate year-by-year growth. Chicago-based Mintel reported in its May 2015 report titled “On-Premise Alcohol Trends – US” that alcohol beverage sales were up 2.6 percent totaling $93.7 billion in 2014. This was a deceleration from its annual growth between 2009 and 2013; however, the market research firm expects that sales will return to those growth levels.

“Sales are forecast to resume increasing moderately each year between 2014 and 2019, when sales are projected to reach $110.2 billion,” the report states. “The slowly improving economy is driving sales, as consumer disposable personal income (DPI) and confidence rises, buoyed by declining unemployment, and enables them to spend on dining out more frequently than in recent years.”

Within the three beverage alcohol categories — beer, wine and spirits — gravitation toward quality, premium products is leaving its mark on the channel. “Premiumization across categories, such as craft beer, artisanal/small batch spirits, or unique/limited-edition wines is driving sales at restaurants,” Mintel’s report states.

For beer, the main trend driver has been the craft beer segment, according to Mike Ginley, partner with Next Level Marketing, Westport, Conn.

“The trend story for the beer category is craft, craft, craft,” he says. “On-premise has experienced a dramatic shift from mass domestics to crafts.”

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Etienne Hugel, Dynamic Champion of Alsatian Wine, Dies at 57 (Wine Spectator)

Etienne Hugel, Dynamic Champion of Alsatian Wine, Dies at 57 (Wine Spectator)

Tireless and wickedly funny, Hugel was the public face of his family’s winery as it grew globally

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Beer Friday #10 -- Post-Session Beer Day Blues

Beer Friday #10 -- Post-Session Beer Day Blues
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Well, Session Beer Day, yesterday, was great. I spent the afternoon at the Bulls Head Pub in Lititz, Penn. (and I'll be back Sunday afternoon to do a whiskey dinner...still a few tickets available!) cruising through 16 taps of session beers at 4.5% and LESS. Great time, some great conversations, and some very nice beers. I'll run through them in capsule style (like I did with the big beers from Split Thy Skull). But I'm kind of dealing with the let-down at this point, the post-Session Beer Day blues. I need some good music to get me going again. Liked this version better anyway; electrifying.

New Glarus Zwickel Bier, 5.3%
A "Zwickel" is a little valve on the side of a fermenting vessel where the brewer can, with proper care and sanitation, pull off a sample of the beer in the tank. An invitation to "tickle the zwickel" is always the high-point of a brewery tour: fresh, unfiltered, unaltered beer, as usually only the brewers get to taste. It's the real stuff.

Some lager brewers will package -- lightly -- a 'zwickel' beer, also called a 'kellerbier,' or 'cellar beer.' The beer gets minimal filtering, usually just a long settling in the tank, and is packaged for quick sale. Get it, drink it, love it. Let's see how Dan Carey did on this one; expectations are high.

Beautifully bright, dark straw gold, bright white head. Wetly-fresh bread, grassy-floral noble hops aroma: it smells fresh, which is the key to a good zwickelbier. Tastes clean, malty, balanced with a bitter finish. A bit sweet up front, but the hops quickly kick in.

Have you heard people say, "This tastes like beer"? Or complain about beers that don't 'taste like beer'? This tastes like beer.

Verdict: Good

Starr Hill Daily Grind Peppercorn Farmhouse, 6.2%
I like pepper. Not peppers, though I like some of them, too, but peppercorns, ground (or whole). I would have been one of those guys sailing leaky wooden caravels around the Cape of Good Hope, searching for the spices of the Indies, because I would want more pepper than anyone else. I'm told that the Pennsylvania Dutch love black pepper, and I do, and once I saw a Berks County friend shake pepper on his ketchup till it was black, that was me. Love that.

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Sommelier Talk: Robby Younes of Grand Award–Winning Restaurant Latour (Wine Spectator)

Sommelier Talk: Robby Younes of Grand Award–Winning Restaurant Latour (Wine Spectator)

The son of a Lebanese general and protégé of an ambitious Bordeaux-phile is on a quest to build the biggest wine list in America

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Want to go to Ireland with me this Fall?

Want to go to Ireland with me this Fall?
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Here's an advanced notice: it looks like I'm going to be the Whiskey Guide on an Irish Whiskey tour, in Ireland, this fall, the week of October 28-November 6. 

Details are still coming together, but we'll be touring in a luxury coach, a maximum of 20 people. Likely stops (nothing's set in stone yet!) are Dublin (Teeling; The Irish Whiskey Museum, Guinness, Celtic Whiskey Shop, and a couple whiskey pubs), Cork (Midleton), Tullamore (Tullamore, duh, and the Brewery Tap pub), Dingle (Dick Mac's and the Dingle distillery), Killarney (Beaufort Bar), Galway (Freeney's Pub), Clifden (Lowry's, and maybe a peat bog)...and that's just the whiskey stuff! We'll be doing other things as well, like the musical pub crawl in Dingle, a falconry exhibit in Connemara, Blarney Castle, a jaunting car ride in Killarney, some great meals...

I'll be along to answer all your whiskey questions, to set you in the proper context, to walk with you to the pubs, to keep the whiskey people on the straight and narrow, and to help you make great decisions in the whiskey shops. It's going to be a great time! No price yet, but the tentative numbers I've heard sound reasonable. More details when I have them, but set the dates aside now!
Original author: Lew Bryson

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Kentucky’s Bourbon Tourism Legislation

Kentucky’s Bourbon Tourism Legislation
fred-minnick-new-author
Senator Damon Thayer (left), majority floor leader, sponsored the bill and Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin (right) is expected to sign it soon.  Photo credit: LRC Public Information

April 8th, 2016

In the modern U.S. distilling boom, state legislators have passed distiller-friendly laws that created business opportunities in the likes of New York and Washington.

Lagging far behind has been, of all places, the industry’s stalwart state—Kentucky. And the reason why may shock you.

In the digital age, Kentucky politicians still serve 1920s-era mindsets with 39 dry counties. Both the Kentucky Democratic and Republican caucuses have agreed to only vote on one alcohol bill a year to avoid potential dry voter fallout. Thus, the state’s political climate has hamstrung the distilling industry and allowed other states to earn craft distiller investments over Kentucky.

But legislators have made great strides in the past couple years.

The passing of Kentucky Senate Bill No. 11 (SB 11), has made Kentucky’s distilling industry more visitor-friendly and arguably a top five state for craft distillery investments. The bill gives consumers greater purchasing power.

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