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

News Briefs for August 19, 2011

August 19, 2011

•Washington winery Mercer Estates is rolling out a new Wine Out West range in the U.S. Intended to honor the “pioneering spirit and western heritage” of the Mercer Estate families, the line-up features a 2009 Dead Canyon Cabernet Sauvignon priced at $16.99 a 750-ml., and a 2010 Gone Fishin’ Riesling for $11.99 a 750-ml., with two additional wines to be added in 2012. The Wine Out West range joins Mercer Estates’ eponymous flagship label, which sells around $12-$15 a bottle for whites and $20 for reds. Mercer, a collaboration between the Hogue and Mercer families, produces around 15,000 cases annually with the goal of eventually selling around 60,000 cases.

Anheuser-Busch InBev will release a variety pack of its popular Shock Top line next month. The brand’s first sampler pack will include four bottles each of Shock Top Belgian White, new fall seasonal Shock Top Pumpkin Wheat and Shock Top Raspberry Wheat. The 12-pack will be available nationwide starting September 19 through the end of the year. Also to be released soon, the Pumpkin Wheat will be sold in 6-packs and available on draught beginning August 29 through January 2012. According to Andy Goeler, vp of import, craft and specialty brands for Anheuser-Busch, Shock Top sales experienced a 24% jump in 2010.

•Amidst a management shuffle, Texas Roadhouse, Inc. has announced that as of yesterday, company chairman W. Kent Taylor will add the role of CEO, a position he held from 2000-2004. Taylor replaces G.J. Hart, who has been named executive chairman and CEO of California Pizza Kitchen, Inc. Scott Colosi has been named Texas Roadhouse’s president, leaving the CFO position he has held since 2002, where he has been replaced by G. Price Cooper, IV.

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