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

News Briefs for March 27, 2012

March 27, 2012

•California Pinot Noir specialist MacPhail Family Wines has added distribution in several key new states, with more set to come online shortly. MacPhail, which is part of the Hess Collection, has entered New York with Empire Merchants, Florida with Premier Beverage, Minnesota with Phillips Wine & Spirits and Massachusetts with Martignetti Companies. Distributors for MacPhail will be named soon in North Carolina, Georgia, Maryland, Washington D.C. and Connecticut, the company said. MacPhail has largely relied on its strong direct-to-consumer following up to now. In addition to the states just added, it’s represented by wholesalers in Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, Texas and Utah. The company focuses on vineyard-designated Pinot Noir from Mendocino’s Anderson Valley and the Sonoma Coast.

•U.S. craft beer volumes rose by 13%, or 1.3 million barrels, in 2011, according to trade group The Brewers Association (BA). Likewise, craft beer retail sales were up 15%, accounting for around 9.1% of the total $95.5 billion U.S. beer market. Craft beer production grew to 11.5 million barrels, or around 5.7% of the market, and the number of breweries operating in the U.S. reached 1,989 on 11% growth. According to BA director Paul Gatza, the U.S. surpassed the 2,000-brewery mark in February. “We saw rapid growth in brewery openings last year, particularly with microbrewery start-ups, and these numbers are poised to rise even more in 2012,” he added. The overall U.S. beer market, meanwhile, declined 1.32% by volume last year.

•Daniel Humm and Will Guidara of Eleven Madison Park are opening a new restaurant, bar and lounge called The NoMad inside the Manhattan hotel of the same name. The upscale eatery debuts tonight and will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as numerous classic and original cocktails, draft and bottled beer, and wines by the glass and bottle. The NoMad will also offer bottle service, ranging from $250 to $275 a bottle.

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