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

News Briefs for October 29, 2014

October 29, 2014

•One of Chicago’s premier chefs, Homaro Cantu, owner of the acclaimed Moto restaurant on the city’s west side, is entering the beer business. Cantu has acquired a shuttered 7,000-square-foot industrial building and is remodeling it into Crooked Fork Brewing Co., which will include space for a kitchen and 160-seat restaurant with a menu of Mexican fare. Crooked Fork’s brewmaster is Trevor Rose-Hamblin, 30, a former Moto manager and home brewer who has worked for various local craft houses including Pipe Works Brewing and Flossmoor Station. An unusual beer repertoire, many with exotic tea flavorings, is planned for the facility’s opening next spring. The lineup is likely to include a green tea and honey ale, an Earl Grey milk stout and even a pine-flavored ale. Rose-Hamblin, who will have an in-house laboratory for testing and developing unusual yeast strains, says he hopes to rotate eight to 10 beers and employ a mobile canning line to offer most of them to retail and on-premise accounts. Crooked Fork expects to produce close to 40,000 (31-gallon) barrels in its first year.

•Boulder, Colorado-based Suerte Tequila is introducing a new limited release Single Barrel Extra Añejo this fall. The newest offering from the small-batch Tequila maker is aged five years in charred American white oak whiskey barrels, used only once for each batch. The first shipment contains less than 1,000 bottles. Bottles featuring artwork from Seattle-based tattoo artist Adam Jackson will be available in cases of six for a suggested retail price of $110 a bottle throughout New York, Colorado, Washington D.C., Maryland and Delaware. Founded in 2012, the company creates its Tequila using the Tahona process at its distillery in Jalisco, Mexico.

•Anchor Distilling Co. is launching Hine Cognac’s limited edition Hine 250 label in the U.S. this November. Created to commemorate Hine’s 250th anniversary in 2013, Hine 250 is a Grande Champagne Cognac made with eau-de-vie from 1953 and packaged in a Baccarat crystal decanter. The luxury offering is limited to 250 bottles, with 10 bottles reserved for the U.S. market, priced at $15,000 each. Hine 250 joins Hine Cognac’s Rare VSOP, H By Hine VSOP, Antique XO, Homage, Mariage, Talent and Triomphe labels in Anchor’s portfolio.

•SPI’s Stoli Group USA has partnered with singer-songwriter Andrew W.K. to launch a new initiative, The ScenebyStoli Project. The project, which aims to highlight U.S. nightlife culture over the past 40 years, will kick off with a party at the Pyramid Club in New York City’s East Village, hosted by Andrew W.K. as Stoli’s “Professor of the Party.” Additional ScenebyStoli Project events will be held in nine other cities, including Chicago, Detroit, Miami and San Francisco, among others. Stoli’s ScenebyStoli Project follows the recent launch of the brand’s nationwide “THE Vodka” campaign, which is currently running across key markets through 2015.


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