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

News Briefs for July 7, 2017

July 7, 2017

•Chile’s Viña Aresti is expanding its U.S. portfolio with the launch of its Family Collection Assemblage, a new upscale offering. Retailing at $35 a bottle, Aresti’s Family Collection Assemblage is a Curicó Valley-sourced blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 12% Syrah, 10% Petite Sirah and 8% Petit Verdot. Viña Aresti, which linked with new U.S. importer Vinamericas earlier this year, also markets a Special Release Reserva series ($15 a 750-ml.), a Trisquel tier ($22 a 750-ml.) and Código de Familia ($100), a red blend.

•Half-Seas Sparkling Cocktails, a new canned ready-to-drink brand, is rolling out nationwide. Created by the Seattle-based team behind Scrappy’s Bitters, Half-Seas Bramble, Daiquiri and Paloma are made with real spirits and feature Champagne-level carbonation. The Half-Seas Bramble is London gin, lemon juice, pure cane sugar syrup and berry liquor, while the Daiquiri is a mix of rum, water, lime and sugar. The Paloma consists of Tequila and Half-Seas all-natural grapefruit soda made in-house. Retailing at $16-$20 a four-pack of 200-ml. cans, Half-Seas Sparkling Cocktails are at 12% abv.

•Rhode Island-based Keel Partners LLC—led by Rhode Island businessmen Bill Dessel and Tom McGowan and former New England Patriot Matt Light—has bolstered its management team and announced plans to grow distribution of its Keel light-calorie vodka. Keel has appointed John Potts, previously vice president of sales at Deep Eddy vodka, to its board, and named former Deep Eddy eastern regional manager Brendon Walsh as national sales manager. Currently sold throughout Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Connecticut, Keel is slated to enter Colorado, Georgia and Florida, among other states, in the coming months.

•Anheuser-Busch InBev has released specialty packaging for Budweiser to celebrate the company’s 11 local breweries throughout the country. The brand’s iconic color-scheme and fonts remain but, in place of “Budweiser,” the new packages feature the names and mottos of the states in which A-B has breweries. The localized Bud bottles and cans will be available in California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Texas and Virginia through September. Despite enduring a long-term decline, Budweiser remains the third-largest beer brand in the U.S., according to Impact Databank, down 4% to 13.9 million barrels in 2016.

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