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

News Briefs for May 11, 2012

May 11, 2012

•Heroes vodka has announced that it will begin nationwide distribution this summer. Initially launched in Tennessee in February, where it is distributed by Lipman Brothers, Heroes vodka ($15.99 a 750-ml.) was started when Marine veteran Travis McVey teamed up with R.S. Lipman. Lipman is in the process of selecting distribution partners in the states outside of Tennessee for releases in key markets. It is bottled and four-times distilled at Buffalo Trace Distillery in Kentucky. Heroes vodka honors Veterans and other American service organizations through the Giveback Program and announces the recipients of a portion of the net sales revenue each year on Veterans Day.

•Edrington Group’s Highland Park Scotch whisky has unveiled Thor, the first entry in the brand’s new Valhalla Collection series. Rolling out this month, the 52.1%-abv offering is a limited edition, 16-year-old single malt Scotch, packaged in a Viking-inspired wooden frame and priced at $199 a bottle. Named for the Nordic gods, Highland Park’s Valhalla Collection will eventually feature a total of four expressions, each of which will be released annually. Rémy Cointreau currently handles Highland Park in the U.S., along with Edrington’s The Macallan, The Famous Grouse and Brugal brands.

•Oregon-based Craft Brew Alliance reported net sales of $38.5 million for its fiscal first quarter ended March 31, a 19% increase from the year earlier. The group attributed a number of factors to the improvement—including increased shipments to wholesalers, a decrease in master distributor fees and price increases for beers sold to wholesalers, among other things. Net income hit $700,000, whereas the alliance broke even in the first quarter of 2011. Depletions were also up during the three-month period, increasing by 8%, while total shipments for the quarter reached 169,900 barrels—a 15% increase. CBA was formed through the merger of Pacific Northwest brewers Widmer Bros. and Redhook in 2008 and added Hawaii’s Kona Brewing to its brand stable in 2010.

•“Top Chef Season 3” contestant Brian Malarkey and his partner James Brennan are opening their fifth San Diego restaurant this month. Named Herringbone, the new eatery will offer a seafood-driven menu helmed by “Top Chef Season 7” contestant Amanda Baumgarten. San Diego-based mixology group Snake Oil Cocktail Co. has been hired to create a drinks menu with fresh fruits and vegetables. Local craft beer and wine will also be available. Malarkey and Brennan are the owners of San Diego restaurants Searsucker, Burlap, Gingham and Gabardine.

 

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