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News Briefs for October 1, 2021

October 1, 2021

•Diageo will invest $500 million in its Tequila production facilities in Mexico to help meet surging demand, Reuters reported. Alvaro Cardenas, president of Diageo’s Latin America and Caribbean region, said the drinks giant will use the outlay to open its third local facility in La Barca, Jalisco, calling the move the most significant investment the company has made in the Latin America and Caribbean region in a decade. Diageo’s Don Julio and Casamigos Tequila brands continue to surge, and the company sees ample room for further growth looking ahead as more consumers gravitate to the category.

•WhistlePig has introduced a ready-to-drink craft rye expression, PiggyBack Rye Smash. Made with 100% estate rye from WhistlePig’s 500-acre Vermont farm, the new entry comes in three flavors—Blackberry Lemon Fizz, Session Citrus Mint, and Fresh Ginger Lime—and initially is rolling out in Georgia, Missouri, Vermont, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island, ahead of next year’s national launch. The 8% abv cocktails retail at $18 a 4-pack of 12-ounce cans.

•Southern Glazer’s has launched a new fine wine experience on its SGProof e-commerce platform, available across 30 U.S. markets. Carlos Vigil, senior vice president of Proof e-commerce at Southern Glazer’s said the new fine wine experience is “specifically focused on delivering a customized, engaging experience for our customers and our fine wine sales teams that showcases our extensive portfolio of fine wine.” The new offering follows the debut of the distributor’s SG+ enhanced service push across fine wine, artisanal wine, craft and luxury spirits, which has initially been rolled out in Florida and Texas, with additional markets to follow in 2022. Overall, the Proof e-commerce platform is currently serving 142,000 customer accounts and has generated $1.4 billion in revenue year-to-date, according to the company.

•Park City, Utah’s High West Distillery has announced the latest edition of A Midwinter Night’s Dram, its Port-finished rye whiskey. This year’s release, Act 9, is bottled at 49.3% abv and is blended from Rendezvous Rye finished in Tawny and Ruby Port barrels for one to two years. A Midwinter’s Night Dram Act 9 is now available for $100 at High West General Store in Old Town Park City and at the High West Distillery in Wanship, Utah. High West, part of the Constellation Brands portfolio, was up 14.5% to 132,000 cases for 2020, according to Impact Databank.

•The Balvenie, part of the William Grant & Sons portfolio, has partnered with musician and author Questlove on a new digital series called Quest for Craft. Hosted by Questlove and filmed in the historic Electric Lady studios, it features creative minds like Grammy-winning music producer Jimmy Jam, SNL comedian Michael Che, punk-rock icon Patti Smith, and prolific author Malcolm Gladwell. The Balvenie and Questlove are also launching a scholarship program with the University of the Arts, Philadelphia, which will “give one aspiring creative mind, from anywhere in the United States, the opportunity to undertake the university’s ‘first-of-its-kind’ PhD in Creativity.”

•The Boston Beer Company has announced a new Los Angeles taproom for Truly Hard Seltzer, set to open in early 2022. The location, a first for the brand, features 8,000 square feet with indoor and outdoor space for up to 350 guests. With 12 available taps, the location will showcase existing and exclusive flavors of Truly Hard Seltzer alongside small bites and will serve as an event space to feature local comedy, music, and art. While Truly continues to perform well in the hard seltzer market, the company recently had to adjust its guidance for the year, with Truly’s growth now expected to be more muted than in prior years.

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