News Briefs For May 2, 2011May 2, 2011
• Small brewers in New York State are calling for passage of a bill introduced in the state senate (and already passed in the assembly) that would allow them to more freely sever ties with the wholesalers. Currently, brewers in New York are bound to a wholesaler in a given marketing region once the two have come to an agreement, unless they can prove “good cause” for switching (a process which can be cost-prohibitive for the smallest brewers). The bill under consideration would allow small brewers (of 300,000 barrels and under), whose sales make up less than 3% of their wholesaler’s business, the right to terminate an agreement providing they pay the wholesaler fair compensation. Governor Paterson vetoed a similar bill in 2008, but proponents are hopeful his predecessor Andrew Cuomo will sign the measure if it passes the senate.
• New Jersey-based Opici Wines has partnered with South African drinks group KWV to bring KWV’s Café Culture label to the U.S. Following a soft launch in New York, New Jersey, Florida and Connecticut, Café Culture is now available nationally and priced at $13.99 per 750ml. Billed as a Pinotage wine with an accessible mocha/coffee flavor profile, Café Culture has seen on-premise success in Australia, Europe and South Africa. Along with Roodeberg, Café Culture is one of the better-known wine brands in the KWV portfolio, which also includes a line of eponymous brandies and Wild Africa Cream liqueur.Subscribe to Shanken News Daily’s Email Newsletter, delivered to your inbox each morning.