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News Briefs for September 15, 2020

September 15, 2020

•Nielsen CGA has released a new report showing the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic on the on-premise. The study compares the week of September 5 to various points in the year and shows that, while the on-premise still faces challenging conditions, the market is improving in most cases. According to the data, the average establishment has seen on-premise sales improve by 240% compared to the week of March 28. The report focuses on five states—Illinois, New York, California, Florida, and Texas—and notes that all have seen value velocity improve (four states) or remain flat (Illinois) compared to the week of August 29.

•Constellation Brands has acquired Louisville, Kentucky’s Copper & Kings American Brandy Company for an undisclosed sum. The move expands Constellation’s stable of high-end spirits and strengthens the company’s position in the American brandy market. Distillery founder and CEO Joe Heron expressed confidence that the deal is the right move for the distillery. Constellation previously held a minority stake in Copper & Kings.

•William Grant & Sons’ Hudson Whiskey has rebranded with more mature offerings and a new, more accessible price point. The distillery’s Baby Bourbon is now Bright Lights, Big Bourbon, a 46% abv whiskey retailing at $40 a 750-ml. Manhattan Rye has relaunched as Do the Rye Thing, also bottled at 46% abv and retailing for $40. The company’s Maple Cask Rye, a whiskey finished in maple syrup barrels, has rebranded as Short Stack and will retail at around $55. The company also has launched Back Room Deal, a new rye whiskey finished in barrels used to age peated Scotch, which will retail at around $55 a 750-ml.

•Avaline, the wine brand created by Cameron Diaz and Katherine Power, has unveiled a new red wine, set to hit stores in early October. The new wine is made from Grenache and Syrah. The wine will be available across the brand’s distribution footprint, launching at select retailers, with expanded distribution to follow. Since its launch earlier this year, the company reports that it has sold over 120,000 bottles of its white wine and rosé. Avaline is distributed by RNDC-Young’s across its footprint, Winebow in the Northeast and upper Midwest, and Horizon in New England. It’s also sold on Wine.com.

•Pottsville, Pennsylvania-based D.G Yuengling & Son Inc. and Molson Coors Beverage Co. have formed a long-term brewing partnership that will expand Yuengling’s sales from its East Coast footprint. The new joint venture will see Yuengling’s beers expand westward for the first time in the brewer’s history, and it will oversee any new market expansion beyond Yuengling’s existing 22 state footprint as well as any future expansion in New England. The partnership is expected to launch in the second half of next year and will be governed by a board of directors composed 50-50 of Yuengling and Molson Coors family members and executives. Yuengling emphasized that it remains a family-owned business, and that it will continue to operate separately from the joint venture with Molson Coors.

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