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

News Briefs for July 10, 2012

July 10, 2012

•Pottsville, Pennsylvania-based D.G. Yuengling & Son is planning to launch a new ad campaign in its core Philadelphia market. The craft brewer has chosen Philadelphia ad agency Neiman to spearhead the project, which is slated to roll out in the fall. Neiman will primarily be charged with reinforcing Yuengling Lager’s status as a household name in the market, helping it compete with an “influx of new, competitive beer brands.” According to Yuengling, the Philadelphia area—where Origlio Beverage distributes the brand—is the brewer’s largest sales market. The oldest brewery in the U.S., Yuengling posted a 14% volume increase to 2.5 million barrels (34.4 million (2.25-gallon) cases) in 2011, and is expected to surpass 2.8 million barrels on double-digit growth this year.

•Darden Restaurants-owned Seasons 52 has partnered with music star Enrique Iglesias’s Atlantico rum to debut two new signature cocktails. Throughout the summer, Seasons 52 will offer the Watermelon Refresher using Atlantico Platino, watermelon and agave nectar; and the Strawberry Lemon Euphoria with Atlantico Reserva, fresh strawberries, lemon juice, lemon wedges and mint. Atlantico is a Dominican rum selling for around $35 a bottle. Iglesias became a partner in the brand with founders Brandon Lieb and Aleco Azqueta last fall. Seasons 52 currently operates 23 restaurants in 13 states across the country, with additional restaurants opening in Santa Monica and Los Angeles, California, and Dallas, Texas, this fall.

•Airport wine bar chain Vino Volo has announced plans to open its first non-airport location in Bethesda, Maryland, this fall. The new venue will feature a wine lounge, restaurant and boutique wine shop, with a tasting program of wine flights to guide customers, a full menu of food designed to be paired with the wine list and an invitation-only VIP table for guests. Vino Volo currently owns and operates stores in 13 airports across the country, including New York City, Detroit, Seattle, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.

•Four dining spots—A Voce Columbus in Manhattan, Acquerello in San Francisco, Commander’s Palace in New Orleans and Sierra Mar at the Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur, California—have earned first-time Grand Award honors in Wine Spectator’s 2012 Restaurant Wine List Awards. They join 71 other restaurants that have successfully renewed their Grand Awards as the world’s top wine destinations for diners. The complete list of Wine Spectator’s 3,795 restaurant award winners is featured in the August 31 issue, which also features detailed industry analysis and full profiles of this year’s new Grand Award winners. All of the restaurants can be found in WineSpectator.com’s Restaurant Search, along with details about their wine selection, cuisine, prices and key staff.

•The 96-unit Old Chicago restaurant and sports bar chain has updated its cocktail menu for the first time in more than three years. The chain is primarily known for its impressive selection of 110 brews (beer sales make up roughly three quarters of the chain’s beverage sales, which account for 40% of total sales). The revamped cocktail menu is the chain’s attempt to draw in more non-beer drinkers. The new drinks ($4.99 to $7.99) include modern and flavored twists on classic recipes, such as the Black Raspberry Margarita and the Silver Mojito. The chain has also added new options to its wine list, bringing the total up to 10 varietals, and plans to upgrade all of its glassware and provide its bartenders with more cocktail and wine training.


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