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

News Briefs for March 20, 2020

March 20, 2020

•As state officials around the country continue to intensify safety measures in response to COVID-19, a sigh of temporary relief was heard in New York as Governor Andrew Cuomo excluded the liquor business from his recent executive order for non-essential service businesses to reduce in-office work staff to 25%. Cuomo’s order did not include the three-tier system. The situation remains fluid, however, with the beverage alcohol retail tier forced to temporarily close in some control states.

•Key drinks companies continue to step up and contribute to efforts combating both the coronavirus itself and its effects on industry workers. Bacardi has begun distribution of over half a million 10-ounce hand sanitizer units to local communities, focusing initially on USPS workers, firefighters, police, and its own employees and contractors. Next week it will add non-profit organizations including the United Way. Gonzalez Byass has likewise joined the fight with a plan to manufacture and supply sanitary alcohol and hydro-alcoholic gel across Spain. Meanwhile, Diageo has announced a $1 million donation to the U.S. Bartenders Guild’s Bartender Emergency Relief Fund, supporting bartenders who must go without work due to the on-premise shutdown in many states.

•Elsewhere, E.&J. Gallo is launching a Support Your Local Bartender initiative under its New Amsterdam vodka brand. The brand is selling t-shirts featuring its Pink Whitney offshoot at BarstoolSports.com, with 100% of the net proceeds going to the U.S. Bartenders Guild Foundation’s COVID-19 Relief Campaign. Additionally, New Amsterdam will donate $5 for every shirt purchased.

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