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

News Briefs for August 16, 2017

August 16, 2017

•Brown-Forman’s Old Forester has launched its 2017 Birthday Bourbon. Barreled in 2005, the limited-edition Bourbon blends a variety of liquids from 120 barrels. The 2017 Birthday Bourbon is offered at two proofs—96 and 95.4—a result of alcohol vapors lost over two separate bottlings. Retailing at $79.99 a 750-ml., the 95.4 proof expression will be available in Florida, Georgia and Kentucky, while the 96 proof iteration will be distributed in Kentucky and all other markets across Old Forester’s distribution footprint. Old Forester grew 19% to 176,000 cases in the U.S. last year, according to Impact Databank.

•Blue Moon, part of the MillerCoors portfolio, has announced the launch of a new seasonal brew, Apricot Wheat (5.6% abv). Brewed with cardamom and Washington apricots, the new entry will debut nationwide in September. It will join Blue Moon’s original fall seasonal, the 5.7%-abv Harvest Pumpkin Wheat, which will also re-launch in September. In addition, the brewery’s 5.4%-abv summer seasonal, Mango Wheat, will be joining the year-round lineup starting in September. All three beers will be available across the country in both on- and off-premise accounts, retailing at $8.99 a six-pack of bottles.

•Ste. Michelle Wine Estates (SMWE) has appointed David Prescott as vice president, retail chain sales, reporting directly to executive vice president, sales Dan Heller. Heller says SMWE’s chain business now numbers nearly 5 million cases a year. Prescott replaces John Lankas, who has been named vice president of Ste. Michelle’s Midwest region, reporting to senior vice president, national sales manager Raul Perez. Both appointments are effective September 1.

•Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits has promoted Kris Williams to senior vice-president and general manager of the company’s Coastal Wine & Spirits of Texas division. Williams, in his new role, will lead the Southern Glazer’s Diageo/Moët Hennessy division in Texas. He will report to Gary Sanders, executive vice president of Coastal for Texas, Louisiana, Missouri and Oklahoma. Williams has over 15 years of experience in the industry and has been with SGWS’s Pacific Wine & Spirits of California since 2011.

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