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

News Briefs for May 18, 2012

May 18, 2012

•Beam Inc.’s Maker’s Mark Bourbon has released “Makes Its Mark,” a new video and digital campaign inspired by the upcoming 2012 presidential election. Featuring political commentators James Carville and Mary Matalin, the satirical campaign urges Americans to put their political differences aside and rally around the brand’s fictional Cocktail Party platform. Fans can watch the campaign videos online, as well as participate in political cartoon caption writing, download wallpapers and find the recipe for the Cocktail Party’s consumer-chosen official cocktail, The Conservative, which includes Maker’s Mark, club soda, ginger ale and a twist of lemon. “Makes Its Mark” will run throughout the 2012 election season. Maker’s Mark, which sells around 1 million cases in the U.S. annually, enjoyed a 19% net sales increase in the first quarter of 2012.

•Oregon-based Craft Brew Alliance (CBA) is set to begin rolling out its gluten-free Omission beer brand nationwide. Priced at $9.99 per six-pack, it will be available first on the West Coast, with distribution across the country expected by mid-June. The range, which includes Omission Lager and Omission Pale Ale and is brewed at CBA’s Widmer Brothers Brewing facility in Portland, was initially launched in Oregon at the beginning of April. For its fiscal first quarter ended March 31, CBA reported net sales of $38.5 million, a 19% increase from the year earlier.

•George Iordanou, president of J.J. Mag Restaurant Corp. and operator of New York City restaurants Taj and One51, is opening a new Manhattan eatery in Midtown this month. The massive two-story venue, at 10,000 square feet, will be called Noir and have a French-inspired menu of seasonal and local ingredients crafted by chef Jean-Yves Schillinger.


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