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

News Briefs for April 26, 2021

April 26, 2021

•Brian Nation, the former master distiller at Pernod Ricard-owned Irish Distillers, left that job last year to join O’Shaughnessy Distilling, a Minnesota-based craft player. While Nation’s move to the U.S. was disrupted by Covid-19, he’s now set to settle into his new job—with plans to make American whiskey with Irish style. An initial label is already set for release, with other expressions on the planning board. Whisky Advocate has more on Nation’s new role and his vision for O’Shaughnessy.

•Grey Goose is backing its new range of Essences expressions with a campaign that kicked off last night with a spot during the Academy Awards pre-show. Conceived by Grey Goose creative agency Mullen Lowe and produced by UK-based VFX studio Time Based Arts, the push is intended to highlight the lower-calories Essences’ all-natural flavor combinations. Brand owner Bacardi says the Essences ($30 a 750-ml.) launch is the biggest launch and largest marketing investment for the brand since Grey Goose original in 1997.

•The Boston Beer Co. reported 2021 first quarter net revenue of $545.1 million, marking an increase of $214.5 million from the same period last year. Net income increased by 259.6% over the year to $65.5 million, and earnings per diluted share were $5.26, an increase of $3.77 per diluted share from the same time in 2020. Depletions also increased 48% from the 13-week comparable period in the prior year, with full-year depletion and shipment growth estimated at between 40% and 50%. Boston Beer’s stock price has soared by 200% in the past year and by 475% over the past three years, as it continues to ride the hard seltzer wave.

•Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits (SGWS) has promoted Allison Graham to senior vice president of sales and marketing for Canada. In her new role, Graham—who was previously vice president of marketing and business development for SGWS Canada—will manage field execution, supplier management, and business development across SGWS’s Canadian portfolio.

•Rainier Beer, the historic Seattle brand that’s now owned by Pabst Brewing Co., is releasing a line of Rainier Seltzer. The new line extension will come in Huckleberry, Apple, and Lemon flavors, all at 4.6% abv. Rainier Seltzer will be sold in variety 12-packs of 12-ounce slim cans. Each can contains 90 calories, 0 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of carbohydrates. The release follows the launch last September of Rainier Mountain Fresh Gin. Rainier Seltzer is now available in stores in Washington and Oregon. Rainier Beer is part of Pabst Brewing Company but dates back to 1878.

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