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

News Briefs for November 11, 2019

November 11, 2019

•Michigan retailers are facing product shortages as Republic National Distributing Co. (RNDC) says it’s working to resolve a chronic software issue at its new $80 million facility in Livonia. “We are holding RNDC accountable on how they plan to fix this situation for our licensees,” said Michigan Liquor Control Commission (MLCC) chair Pat Gagliardi. “It’s our priority to ensure our licensees have their shelves stocked for the public, especially in advance of the holiday season.” The MLCC says it’s been fielding licensee complaints regarding “delivery issues, stock shortages, and lack of customer service that are negatively impacting their businesses.” RNDC issued a statement apologizing for the delays and says it has identified the problem and is working to resolve it. RNDC is one of three distributors responsible for warehousing and delivery of spirits on behalf of the MLCC in Michigan, a control state with $1.5 billion in annual spirits sales. The MLCC paid $70 million in fees to its three distributors last year, with RNDC receiving approximately two-thirds of the total. The MLCC has called on the state attorney general’s office to determine potential remedies, possibly including monetary penalties or violations. “We know the new facility will improve our service when it is fully operational,” said Steve Rochow, EVP, RNDC-Michigan. “But moving from two warehouses to one while serving our many customers turned out to be like building a new plane while flying it—and we have not performed adequately.”

•Diageo has unveiled Guinness Stock Ale Aged in Bulleit Bourbon Barrels, the second barrel-aged release from the company’s Baltimore brewery. The 10% abv ale is blended from Guinness’ barrel-aged Barleywine and Imperial Stout and is meant to bring together two bold, rich beers into one new complex experience, according to the company. Guinness Stock Ale Aged in Bulleit Bourbon Barrels will begin rolling out for a limited time on November 15 and will be available across the U.S. The beer will retail at $20 a 4-pack of 11.2-ounce bottles.

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