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

News Briefs for May 22, 2020

May 22, 2020

•Longtime industry executive John Esposito has joined Amber Beverage Group as a non-executive director. Company chairman Mark Garber said Esposito’s experience leading top drinks players like Bacardi North America, Moët Hennessy USA, and Stoli Group USA, among others, will allow ABG “to unlock new business opportunities in several key strategic markets.” ABG is a producer, distributor, logistics provider and retailer with a portfolio of 200 wholly owned brands including Moskovskaya vodka, Riga Black Balsam, and Cross Keys gin. It has production and distribution companies in Russia, Mexico, the U.K., Australia, Austria, and the Baltics.

•MGP has appointed Republic National Distributing Company (RNDC) as distributor for its Green Hat Gin brand in Maryland and Washington, D.C. Green Hat Gin is made at Washington, D.C.’s New Columbia Distillers, acquired by MGP earlier this year. The distillery’s flagship gin is bottled at 41.7% abv and is made with juniper, citrus, coriander, and grains of paradise, among other botanicals. In addition, the Green Hat portfolio includes a Navy Strength gin, plus seasonal releases.

•Biagio Cru Wines & Spirits is debuting Organic Rosé All Day Spritz, the latest offshoot for the rosé brand. The 5% abv sparkling RTD has grapefruit essence added and has 75 calories a serving and less than 1.5 grams of sugar. Organic Rosé All Day Spritz is now available in 4-packs of 250-ml. cans ($14) and 750-ml. bottles ($10) at select Costco, Sam’s Club, and BJ’s locations across the U.S. The new spritz joins Rosé All Day Sparkling and Rosé All Day Grenache in the brand portfolio. The brand jumped 43% to 75,000 cases in the U.S. last year, according to Impact Databank.

•Joseph Phelps Vineyards has appointed Kim Beto as vice president of sales, effective June 1. Beto replaces the retiring Mike McEvoy. Prior to joining Joseph Phelps Vineyards, Beto served across a variety of roles in the drinks industry, including food and beverage director of the MGM Grand in Las Vegas and most recently a 16-year tenure with Southern Glazer’s, culminating as vice president of key accounts in Northern California.

•Anheuser-Busch InBev has announced Stella Artois Solstice Lager, a new summer seasonal from the Belgian brand. The 4.5% abv lager has 105 calories per serving and is brewed with citrus essences for a crisp, summer-friendly beer. Initially launching in Phoenix next week, Stella Artois Solstice Lager will roll out nationally beginning June 8 in 6- and 12-packs of 12-ounce bottles through Labor Day.

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