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News Briefs for September 17, 2013

September 17, 2013

•Marlborough, New Zealand-based Giesen Wines has appointed Pacific Highway Wines and Spirits as its distributor in the U.S., effective immediately. Pacific Highway takes over for Dreyfus Ashby & Co. as Giesen’s U.S. agent. The winery produces the Giesen Estate range ($14-$20), the Giesen Brothers range ($20-$28) and The August 1888 line ($35), and currently sells around 50,000 cases in the U.S. Pacific Highway—which was formed in February with the merger of Petaluma, California-based Robert Oatley Vineyards USA and Atlanta’s WineSource International—has a portfolio including wine brands from Australia, South Africa, California, Italy and Argentina, as well as Troy & Sons American whiskey.

•Airport food and beverage operator OTG has unveiled BRKLYN Beer Garden—a new restaurant and bar concept—at New York City’s John F. Kennedy Airport. Located in JFK’s Terminal 2, BRKLYN features more than 20 beers on tap and a food menu created by chef Laurent Tourondel. The new venue follows the recent debut of OTG’s Biergarten concept at nearby LaGuardia Airport, which opened this summer and offers a variety of local craft brews selected by Brooklyn Brewery brewmaster Garrett Oliver. Established in 1996, OTG operates more than 175 restaurants and eateries across the Philadelphia, John F. Kennedy, LaGuardia, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Toronto-Pearson, Boston Logan, Tucson, Washington National, Orlando and Chicago O’Hare airports.

•Illinois-based importer and marketer A. Hardy USA Ltd. has introduced new packaging across its core Hardy Cognac range. Featuring new color schemes and an updated logo, the update is intended to bring new, younger LDA drinkers into the fold, as well as re-engage the brand’s established consumers. The Hardy Cognac core portfolio includes VS, VSOP, Organic VSOP, XO and XO Rare expressions. In addition to Hardy Cognac, A. Hardy USA also handles the RumChata, Fratello Hazelnut and Thatcher’s Organic liqueur brands, as well as Drappier Champagne, among others.

•Fine wine importer and distributor The Vintner Group has named Clay Farmer vice president, supplier relations, spirits, responsible for shaping the company’s craft spirit offering and driving sales through a team of regional spirits specialists. Farmer was previously The Vintner Group’s director of marketing. The group plans to name a replacement for that role sometime this fall.

Glazer’s has hired two veteran mixology specialists, Jasin Burt and Hal Brock, to drive spirits development in on- and off-premise accounts in Texas. Burt will be responsible for the North Texas/Dallas-Fort Worth market, while Brock will be responsible for the South Texas/Houston market. Both have a decade of experience behind the bar. “Glazer’s mixology specialty program is a dynamic opportunity to connect our suppliers’ products and sales force with the enhanced cocktail movement,” said Glazer’s executive vice president of sales and marketing Mike McLaughlin. “The beverage industry is moving in this direction, and Glazer’s wants to position itself ahead of the curve.”

BevMo is set to open its newest California store in Upland later this month. Located at 326 S. Mountain Ave., the new 8,970-square-foot store will open on September 27. It’s the 143rd store for BevMo across California, Washington and Arizona, following the opening of the Moreno Valley location earlier this month.

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