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News Briefs for March 30, 2015

March 30, 2015

Anheuser-Busch InBev is poised to propose JAB Holding CEO Olivier Goudet as its next chairman, Reuters reports. Citing four unnamed sources, the news agency said Goudet, who has been on ABI’s board since 2011, is expected to succeed Kees Storm as the brewing giant’s chairman when Storm’s term expires this year. The announcement could be made in a matter of days, the report added. Goudet was formerly CFO at Mars Inc., before becoming partner and CEO at JAB—the investment firm controlled by Germany’s Reimann family—in 2012.

•San Francisco-based Anchor Distilling Co. has promoted senior vice president of sales Dennis Carr to the role of president. Carr, who has been with Anchor since 2011, succeeds David King, who recently left the company to pursue other opportunities. Concurrently, Anchor Distilling has restructured its sales organization, splitting the unit into two separate regions. To support the change, the group has appointed Gregory Fitch, previously regional manager of control states, to the position of regional vice president sales – East. Fitch will report directly to Carr. The spirits division of Anchor Brewers & Distillers LLC, Anchor Distilling’s portfolio includes The Glenrothes and The BenRiach single malt Scotch, Old Potrero whiskey, Hine Cognac, Pink Pigeon rum and Luxardo liqueur brands, among others.

•New Jersey-based importer Vision Wine & Spirits LLC is releasing the latest offering in its Bitter Truth range, Cucumber Bitters. Bitter Truth Cucumber is available in a 200-ml. format and retails for $19.99. Cucumber Bitters marks the 10th entry for The Bitter Truth, with the lineup also featuring Old Time Aromatic, Jerry Thomas, Chocolate, Grapefruit, Orange, Lemon, Tonic, Celery and Creole. The Bitter Truth was founded in 2006 by German mixologists Stephan Berg and Alexander Hauck. In addition to its line of bitters, the company also produces boutique spirits, liqueurs and waters for classic cocktails such as Pink Gin, Pimento Dram and Elderflower Liqueur (all $34.99).

•MillerCoors is rolling out a limited release barrel-aged pear cider for its Crispin Cider Company brand next month, Venus Reigns. Made from Colfax golden pear wine, the latest offering is aged for 26 months to full maturity in red wine casks and finished with natural honey. Venus Reigns is the first pear variety in the brand’s six-year-old barrel-aging program. It features an aroma of Sherry notes and a finish of dried fruit and red wine, the company says. Venus Reigns (6.9% abv) will be available in 22-ounce bottles nationwide for a limited time. Crispin Cider Company is part of MillerCoors’ Tenth and Blake craft and import unit along with brands such as Blue Moon Brewing Co., Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Co., 10th Street Brewery and Pilsner Urquell, among others. In 2014, Crispin grew 9% to reach 104 million barrels, according to Impact Databank.

•Pacific Highway Wines & Spirits has made a pair of new appointments to its management team. Kelly Howell, who joins Pacific Highway from Canopy Management, has been named national accounts manager, while Deborah Dabasinskas, who most recently served as regional manager at Lange Twins Family Winery, takes on the role of south regional sales manager. The pair bring a combined 35 years of wine sales experience to Pacific Highway, according to the company. Headquartered in Atlanta, Pacific Highway Wines & Spirits is the U.S. sales and marketing offshoot of South African wine and spirits producer DGB.

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