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

News Briefs for March 29, 2019

March 29, 2019

•Infinium Spirits has added Skrewball Peanut Butter Whiskey to its portfolio. The national partnership will see Infinium expand the brand from its Southern California base into wider markets. Retailing at $27 a 750-ml., the 70-proof, vegan-friendly peanut butter-flavored whiskey is recommended to be served neat or in a variety of cocktails. Skrewball has enjoyed a fast start over the gate. The brand sold 15,000 9-liter cases in its first six months, selling only in San Diego and Phoenix. With the Infinium partnership, Skrewball is now set to reach a wider audience.

•M.S. Walker has acquired Winebow’s wholesale operations in Massachusetts and Rhode Island for an undisclosed sum. The deal is scheduled to close on April 30. M.S. Walker principal Doug Shaw said the acquisition will enlarge the company’s home-state distribution with the addition of both the Winebow team and suppliers. Family-owned M.S. Walker is a national supplier and importer, and also has distributorships in Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, and Rhode Island, along with brokerage operations in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont.

•Chicago-based White Claw Seltzer Works, part of Mark Anthony Brands, is debuting a limited edition “Pure” Hard Seltzer on April 1. An RTD take on a vodka soda, it joins White Claw’s existing Black Cherry, Ruby Grapefruit, Raspberry, and Mango flavors in the lineup. The new entry is rolling out in 12-packs nationwide, retailing at $16. The Pure Hard Seltzer is at 5% abv and has 100 calories a serving. It’s made from the company’s proprietary BrewPure alcohol base, which comes from sugar fermented with house-developed yeast.

•When Michael Lynne purchased Bedell Cellars in 2000, the East End of New York’s Long Island was still a very young wine region, the first vineyard planted just 27 years prior. But Lynne, then-president of New Line Cinema, believed in the wines and was willing to bet big on them: His $5 million purchase was the most anyone had paid for a Long Island winery at the time, and his continued investments in talent and technology helped elevate the profile of the small region. Lynne died March 24 at the age of 77. Wine Spectator has more on Lynne’s life and career.

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