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

News Briefs for April 27, 2015

April 27, 2015

•Beam Suntory is streamlining its regional structure by merging its four operating regions into three. The Deerfield, Illinois-based spirits giant is combining its Europe/Middle East/Africa (EMEA) and Asia Pacific businesses to create a larger International region. Additionally, the company’s South America business will become part of an expanded Americas region. This will result in three regions—Americas, Japan and International—with comparable scale and sales in the range of $1 billion or more apiece. The International region will be led by Albert Baladi, who is currently president of Beam Suntory’s EMEA region. Meanwhile, Tim Hassett, currently president of the company’s North America region, will head up the expanded Americas operation. Nick Fink, currently president of Beam Suntory’s Asia Pacific/South America region, is leaving the company in the coming days, for an executive post outside the drinks industry.

•Nashville, Tennessee-based R.S. Lipman Company is expanding its Old Hickory Great American Whiskey brand with further distribution and a line extension. The 80-proof Old Hickory American Bourbon Blend, named after U.S. President Andrew Jackson, ($29.99 a 750-ml.) was first introduced in the fourth quarter of 2014 and this summer the company will increase production while adding new states for distribution. It is also rolling out a new 86-proof Straight Bourbon ($39.99), which like the blend is made from corn sourced from farms within a 250-mile radius of the Joseph E. Seagram distillery in Lawrenceburg, Indiana. Meanwhile, R.S. Lipman has also added California-produced Saturday Night Red wine ($10.99) to its portfolio. The 13.9%-abv red blend is 76% Zinfandel, 14% Petite Sirah and 10% Syrah.

•San Francisco-based importer and marketer Maritime Wine Trading Collective—an offshoot of Bacchus Capital Management—has added Sonoma’s Bodkin Wines to its U.S. sales portfolio. Founded in 2011, Bodkin Wines produces Sparkling Sauvignon Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Zinfandel, Muscat Canelli and late harvest blends priced within the $17-$35 range.

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