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

News Briefs for June 8, 2015

June 8, 2015

•William Grant & Sons’ Hudson Whiskey brand is upscaling to a new 750-ml. bottle size. Previously available only in 375-ml. format, Hudson Whiskey’s Baby Bourbon and Manhattan Rye whiskies will both debut in 750-ml. bottles this summer, priced at around $50 each. The move coincides with the 10th anniversary of the brand, which William Grant acquired from producer Tuthilltown Spirits in 2010. In addition to its Baby Bourbon and Manhattan Rye, the Hudson Whiskey range includes Four Grain Bourbon, Single Malt and New York Corn expressions, all of which are at 46% abv.

•Australian corporate titan and former drinks executive Alan Bond died Friday of complications from heart surgery. He was 77. A global entrepreneur who aggressively acquired a host of Australian and international businesses in media, mining and other interests through his Bond Corp., he made a splash in the brewing industry in the 1980s with purchases of Australia’s Swan and Castlemaine Tooheys, China’s Huizhou and U.S brewer G. Heileman, a leading U.S. player at the time. Bond acquired Heileman in 1987 for $1.3 billion as part of his vision of building a global brewing colossus and he also battled with Carlton & United, producers of Foster’s, for supremacy in the Australian beer business. But when Bond Corp. ran into financial difficulty in the late 1980s, Heileman was also forced to declare bankruptcy. Heileman was eventually sold to Dallas investment firm Hicks, Muse & Company for $390 million in 1993. Bond is best remembered for backing the Australia II sailing team that won the America’s Cup in a major upset over the U.S. in 1983.

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