Exclusive news and research on the wine, spirits and beer business

News Briefs for March 25, 2013

March 25, 2013

•E.&J. Gallo’s Mirassou Winery has added a new red blend—Sunset Red—to its California wine portfolio. Made with Pinot Noir, Zinfandel and Merlot, Sunset Red is currently available nationwide, priced at $12 a 750-ml. The new launch marks Mirassou’s first foray into the thriving red blend category, which grew 39% by volume and 38% by value for the 52 weeks through July 22, 2012, according to SymphonyIRI. The brand, which now has a total of nine expressions, was up 8.5% last year to 955,000 cases, according to Impact Databank estimates.

Heineken USA has introduced a new 14.9-ounce can for its Newcastle Brown Ale brand, rolling out now nationwide in 10-packs. Concurrently, Newcastle’s “No Bollocks” ad campaign is being refreshed with a number of new television spots, which take a contrarian approach, eschewing “the clutter of expensive, elaborate, overly produced” style of most beer ads in favor of a focus on still photo images of ordinary Newcastle drinkers at real parties. In addition to the TV ads, Newcastle’s “No Bollocks” campaign includes radio, digital, out-of-home and in-bar elements.

Brown-Forman Corp. has partnered with global hospitality group Emirates Leisure Retail to open a new Jack Daniel’s Tennessee whiskey-inspired restaurant concept called Jack’s Bar & Grill in Dubai International Airport. The new eatery, which opened this week in the airport’s new Terminal 3 Concourse A, serves traditional Southern cuisine and is currently the only bar in the world with permission to pour Jack Daniel’s Sinatra Select by the glass. Jack’s Bar & Grill also offers a wide portfolio of limited and special edition Jack Daniel’s whiskies that are otherwise only available at the distillery in Lynchburg, Tennessee.

•After years of contract production for other brewers, New York’s Shmaltz Brewing is set to open its own 20,000-barrel brewery just north of Albany. The new facility is expected to begin brewing in late April, and Shmaltz says it intends to produce 100% of its beer there by mid to late summer. Shmaltz’s beers—which include the He’Brew and Coney Island Craft Lager offerings—are distributed in 30 states. The company currently produces over 12,000 barrels, and sales were up 42% to $3.9 million in 2012.


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