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

News Briefs for April 9, 2018

April 9, 2018

•Luxury Tequila Casa Dragones has welcomed a new lead investor, aligning with Chicago-based BDT Capital Partners.

Under the partnership, for which financials weren’t disclosed, BDT will own a majority of Casa Dragones. The upscale Tequila producer’s co-founder and CEO, Bertha González Neves, will continue to lead the company and be the second-largest shareholder in the group. González Neves said BDT’s investment will help Casa Dragones “accelerate our growth and reach more markets across the U.S. and internationally.” With the entry of BDT, the Pilot Group investment firm will be tendering its shares. However, Pilot Group managing partner and Dragones co-founder Robert Pittman will continue as a minority shareholder and board member. Casa Dragones includes Joven and Blanco Tequilas that retail at around $300 and $80 respectively.

•A leading Bordeaux négociant firm has been found guilty of fraud for passing off table wine as more lucrative appellation wine, and for illegally mixing appellations, vintages, and châteaus to the extent that the labels no longer represented what was in the bottle. Bordeaux’s Criminal Tribunal handed down the guilty verdict April 5 against Grands Vins de Gironde (GVG), fining the company nearly $500,000 (with half the fine suspended). Wine Spectator has the full story.

•Anheuser-Busch InBev has launched Bud Light Orange as a new seasonal offering. Brewed with real orange peels, the newcomer will be available nationwide from now through September. Alongside the Bud Light Orange launch, AB InBev has debuted new packaging for Bud Light Lime, and will back the flavored beers with new advertising highlighting how both are brewed with real citrus peels. Citrus flavors account for 84% of the total flavored beer category, according to Nielsen.

•Prestige Beverage Group has introduced X by Kinky Beverages, a new line of flavored malt offerings. Three expressions—Bangin’ Black Raspberry, Juiced Up Salted Watermelon, and Slammin’ Sour Apple—make up the X range, all clocking in at 10% abv and retailing at $2 a 16-ounce can. The new label is currently rolling out nationwide. The Kinky brand portfolio also includes Pink, Blue, Gold, Red, and Green liqueurs, as well as Kinky vodka and Kinky cocktails.

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