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News Briefs for June 7, 2017

June 7, 2017

•Diageo has appointed Peter Wiens as brewmaster for its new Guinness Open Gate Brewery & Barrel House in Relay, Maryland. Wiens joins Guinness from California’s Stone Brewing Co., where he served as senior director brewery operations, brewmaster East Coast. Slated to open by spring 2018, the Guinness Open Gate Brewery & Barrel House will operate in tandem with Guinness’s Dublin-based brewing headquarters and ends the brand’s 63-year absence from brewing in the U.S. The $50-million project will feature a 100-hectoliter system, which will brew Guinness Blonde American Lager for the U.S., as well as a 10-hectoliter system for brewing experimental offerings. Diageo’s flagship Guinness Stout will continue to be produced in Dublin.

•Indiana-based MGP Ingredients is releasing George Remus Straight Bourbon Whiskey, acquired from Ohio’s Queen City Whiskey Co. last year, to wider markets. The whiskey, a 47%-abv, high-rye Bourbon, is named for George Remus, the so-called Prohibition-era “King of the Bootleggers,” and apocryphal inspiration for the title character of The Great Gatsby. Previously limited to Ohio and Kentucky, the whiskey will now expand to Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Wisconsin, Nebraska and Minnesota, retailing at $45 a 750-ml. More markets will be added looking ahead.

•Heineken has granted MillerCoors U.S. rights to its Sol beer brand for the next 10 years. MillerCoors will take over importing, marketing and distributing duties for Sol in the U.S. this fall. By acquiring the rights to Sol Beer, MillerCoors adds an authentic Mexican beer at a time when the category is ascendant. Without Sol, Heineken says it will be able to focus on its larger Mexican brands Dos Equis and Tecate. Under the deal, Heineken will have the chance to reacquire the rights to Sol Beer after the 10-year period.

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