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

News Briefs for December 30, 2020

December 31, 2020

•Michter’s has announced the passing of master distiller emeritus Willie Pratt. Born in 1942 in Hazard, Kentucky, Pratt worked at Brown-Forman for over four decades before retiring at the age of 65. His passion for whiskey led him to rejoin the industry in 2007, as he accepted the position of master distiller at Michter’s. He oversaw the design and building of the state-of-the-art Michter’s Shively Distillery, before turning over master distiller duties to Pam Heilmann, who was in turn succeeded by Dan McKee in 2019. Pratt remained actively involved in Michter’s production up to his passing.

•Fine wine auction house Acker has announced a new operation in Delaware, including increased operational capacity, staffing, and upgraded logistical services. According to Acker, which had sales of $122 million last year, the Delaware hub includes storage amenities with optimal cellar conditions, and “white-glove” inventory, appraisal, cataloguing, and packing services. Most of Acker’s U.S. live auctions will stream from its Delaware location looking ahead, including its first “live online” auction of 2021 on January 13, 14, and 15. Acker will also continue to host traditional auction events in New York and Hong Kong.

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