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News Briefs for March 28, 2013

March 28, 2013

•Brazil’s government has officially recognized Bourbon and Tennessee whiskey as distinctive products of the U.S., in a move expected to help fuel an ongoing increase in U.S. whiskey exports to the South American country. Bourbon and Tennessee whiskey exports to Brazil were up 18% to $3.8 million last year, after leaping more than 500% from 2001 to 2011, according to DISCUS. Brazil took action on the matter after the U.S. agreed last month to recognize one of its own indigenous spirits, Cachaça, as a distinctive rum product of Brazil.

•A battle is brewing over the craft beer industry’s push in Congress to lower U.S. excise taxes on small producers. U.S. trade group The Beer Institute—representing major brewers like Anheuser-Busch and MillerCoors—says it will actively oppose the Small BREW Act supported by craft beer group the Brewers Association, reports The Hill. The bill would see federal excise taxes fall from $7 a barrel to $3.50 a barrel on production up to 60,000 barrels. From 60,000 barrels up to 2 million, the rate would fall from $18 to $16 a barrel. Above 2 million barrels the tax would remain at $18 a barrel. Instead, the Beer Institute will look to reintroduce its BEER Act, which in the past has called for beer excise to be cut in half to $9 for big brewers, while falling to $3.50 for small brewers.

•In response to rising demand for wine variety—especially among millennial consumers—Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar is aiming to differentiate from competitors by listing 100 wines by the glass. Dubbed the Fleming’s 100, the diverse list is available at all 65 Fleming’s locations, featuring both traditional wines and trendier varietals, including Riesling, Moscato and sweet wine. More than 30 of the list’s wines are priced at $10 or less. In addition to being sold by the glass, the Fleming’s 100 wines are also available as part of a flight, as a “Big Pour” (a glass and a half) or by the bottle. Fleming’s wine offerings also include a Reserve List, which is available only by the bottle.

 

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