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

News Briefs for July 1, 2022

July 1, 2022

•Jamie B. Coulter, chairman and CEO of Coulter Enterprises, died June 24 of natural causes at his home in Wichita, Kansas. Coulter was a player in the U.S. restaurant business for nearly a half-century. He served as CEO of Lone Star Steakhouse & Saloon, Inc. from January 1992 until the company was sold in December of 2006. Prior to that, between 1964 and 1980, Coulter and partners developed and operated Pizza Hut and Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurants as the largest and sixth-largest franchisees, respectively, and from 1980 to 1997, he was the sole stockholder, chairman, and president of various Pizza Hut entities operating Pizza Hut restaurants in several states.

•Casey Alexander, a British citizen, was arrested June 14 by the FBI and charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud after allegedly defrauding wine and spirits collectors. Along with unidentified co-conspirators (some of whom are cooperating with authorities), Alexander stands accused of orchestrating a scheme that swindled more than $13 million from more than 150 victims through promises of up to 50% returns on investments in collectible wines and whiskies. Wine Spectator has more.

•Sammy’s Beach Bar Cocktail Co., the rum-based RTD started by solo artist and former Van Halen singer Sammy Hagar, has expanded into Florida. The 5.5% abv RTDs come in four flavors—Tangerine Dream, Pineapple Splash, Island Pop, and Cherry Kola Chill—and all are made with Puerto Rican rum. This expansion marks the fourth state where the RTDs are available on- and off-premise, following launches in California, Texas, and Nevada. Sammy’s Beach Bar Cocktails are available in 4-packs of 12-ounce cans. Additionally, the cocktails are available for DTC shipping in 44 states across the U.S.

•YaVe Tequila has added a new coconut-flavored Tequila to its portfolio. The new spirit is at 35% abv and starts with a base of 100%-agave Tequila, before the flavor is infused. YaVe Coconut retails for between $40 and $45 a 750-ml. The brand, founded by spirits industry vet Joe Cruz Jr. in Harlem, New York City, consists of five expressions—an unflavored Blanco and Reposado, and Mango, Jalapeño, and Coconut flavored offerings—and is currently available in markets in the mid-Atlantic, South Carolina, Colorado, and the lower Northeastern U.S.

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