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News Briefs for January 16, 2019

January 16, 2019

•Wine Spectator has learned that former Apple executives Jim Bean and Christine O’Sullivan have purchased Napa Valley’s Brand winery, as well as its vineyards, cellars, and inventory. The purchase price was not disclosed. Brand produces about 1,000 cases a year. The 110-acre estate, at an elevation of 1,200 feet, includes approximately 15 acres planted to Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot. The wines have consistently earned outstanding scores. Wine Spectator has the full story.

•Global consumer spending on cannabis is expected to jump 38% to $16.9 billion this year, according to a new report from Arcview Market Research and BDS Analytics. The report forecasts that the global consumer cannabis market will reach $31.3 billion in 2022, growing at a 26.7% compound annual growth rate over the five-year period beginning in 2017. Arcview and BDS estimate that cannabis spending reached $12.2 billion last year, representing a rise of 28% compared with 2017.

•Brown-Forman’s Old Forester whiskey brand has announced the launch of a new Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey, available starting February 1. Inspired by the recipe for Normandy Rye—a discontinued brand originally acquired by Brown-Forman in 1940—Old Forester Rye has a mashbill of 65% rye, 20% malted barley, and 15% corn. The new, 100-proof whiskey is retail priced at $23 a 750-ml., and will be available nationwide. Old Forester’s lineup also includes the flagship 100-proof Bourbon, in addition to a slew of limited-edition releases.

•Bushmills Irish Whiskey says it will invest over $77 million over the next five years as it looks to double production capacity by 2024. Launched in April 2017, Bushmills Red Bush (40% abv) has shown huge potential, the company says, nearly doubling its sales last year. Now, Bushmills is rolling out a new ad campaign for Red Bush—which is a blend of single malt and single grain whiskey matured in first-fill Bourbon casks—called “Red. Set. Go.” Produced by Vice Media’s commercial studio Virtue, the 60-second spot depicts young Belfast adults having a night out in back alleys and underground clubs. A live music series supporting Red Bush will follow this summer. Grupo Cuervo-owned Bushmills is part of the Proximo Spirits portfolio in the U.S.

•Atchison, Kansas-based MGP Ingredients has partnered with Republic National Distributing Co. (RNDC) to launch its brands in the Texas market. Under the deal, RNDC will handle MGP’s Till American Wheat Vodka (40% abv), George Remus Straight Bourbon Whiskey (47% abv), Remus Repeal Reserve, and Rossville Union Straight Rye (47% abv) in the Lone Star State. MGP’s branded spirits lineup is now available across 13 U.S. markets.

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