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News Briefs for June 11, 2019

June 11, 2019

•Diageo is set to open the Dublin-based Roe & Co Irish Whiskey distillery to visitors beginning June 21. The facility will offer a 75-minute tour where guests will see distillation in progress and learn about Roe & Co’s production process and the history of Irish whiskey. Before the tour, guests will punch a keepsake timecard as if they are reporting for work, a reference to the facility’s history as a power plant. After clocking out at the end of the tour, guests can visit the facility’s Power House bar, featuring Roe & Co cocktails. The tour is available daily between 11am and 5pm, and features a whiskey tasting and complimentary cocktail for €25 ($28).

•U.S. president Donald Trump has suggested French wines could be targeted with tariffs moving forward. In an interview with CNBC yesterday, the president said he’s been hearing complaints from California winemakers frustrated with the high costs of exporting wine to France, and the relatively low duties on French wines in the U.S., and vowed to “do something about it.” According to the Wine Institute, imported still wines to the U.S. carry a tariff of 5 cents a 750-ml. bottle, while sparklers carry a 14-cent tariff. E.U. tariffs vary from 11 cents to 29 cents a bottle. The U.S. Trade Representative has already announced a preliminary list of E.U. products that could be targeted with tariffs looking ahead, including wine but also brandy, liqueurs, cordials, and non-alcoholic beer. The E.U. has responded in kind, threatening higher levies on U.S. wines and spirits.

•Empire Merchants veteran Tom Maguire has been named senior vice president of sales and distribution for The Long Drink, a gin-based RTD cocktail brand. Maguire was previously director of sales for Empire’s Reserve Group, handling Diageo and Moët Hennessy brands in metro New York. At The Long Drink—a 5.5% abv canned gin and citrus cocktail based on a Finnish recipe—he’ll look to expand distribution in current markets including New York, Nevada, Georgia, and Connecticut while also extending the brand into new markets looking forward.

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