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

News Briefs for September 21, 2015

September 21, 2015

•Two key retail players are on the move in the Las Vegas market. Total Wine & More opened its third Las Vegas-area store in recent weeks, located at 5720 Centennial Center Blvd. The new outpost joins Total Wine’s existing area locations in Summerlin and Henderson. Meanwhile, earlier this month local chain Lee’s Discount Liquor celebrated the opening of a new Centennial Hills store at 6690 N. Durango Drive, just a short distance from the new Total Wine location. Lee’s, with annual sales of around $85 million, has 17 stores across the Las Vegas market and in Mesquite, Nevada.

•Guinness is foraying into the red-hot IPA segment with the launch of Guinness Nitro IPA. Debuting nationwide this month at retail and on tap on-premise, the new brew features five hop varieties and a blend of carbon dioxide and nitrogen that “helps to balance out the profusion of hop flavors, while also creating the signature surge and settle made famous by Guinness Draught,” in the words of the company. Guinness Nitro IPA is 5.8% abv and will retail around $9 a six-pack of 11.2-ounce cans. Guinness Draught was down 5% to 9.4 million (2.25-gallon) cases in the U.S. last year, according to Impact Databank.

•Campari America has introduced Russell’s Reserve Single Barrel Rye, the first single barrel rye whiskey released by Russell’s Reserve master distillers Jimmy and Eddie Russell. The new product is 104 proof, with a suggested retail price of $59.99 a 750-ml. Rye whiskey is on fire, with sales surpassing 500,000 cases in 2014, according to DISCUS—up from less than 90,000 cases just five years earlier.

•Pernod Ricard has opened a new microdistillery in Midleton, Ireland that will serve as an innovation hub for its Irish Distillers unit. Once fully operational, the Midleton Microdistillery will produce 400 casks of small-batch Irish whiskey a year. In its first year of operation, the distillery will focus on innovative whiskies made through manual operations, while phase two will expand distilling to a wider range of cereals and yeast strains.

•Enovation Brands will launch a Pinot Grigio extension under the To Life boxed wine brand early next year. An Italian import, To Life resides in the premium three-liter segment, retailing around $25 a box, and also includes a red blend and a white blend. Its forthcoming Pinot Grigio is expected to debut in the first quarter of 2016. The Enovation portfolio also includes Voga Italia, Luna di Luna and the recently launched Bella Bellina among other brands.

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