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News Briefs for May 1, 2023

May 1, 2023

•Deep Eddy Vodka, part of Heaven Hill Brands, is launching Deep Eddy Vodka + Tea Hard Seltzers. The new entry follows Deep Eddy’s existing RTD Vodka + Sodas, and will be available in a variety of flavors, including lemon tea, sweet tea and peach tea. Each can of Deep Eddy Vodka + Tea Hard Seltzer contains 180 calories, is gluten free, and is canned at 4.5% abv. They’re available nationwide, retailing at $17 a six-pack.

•E. & J. Gallo is launching Vibe by Vendage, a line extension for its leading Tetra Pak brand Vendage. Vibe is positioned to capitalize on the growing popularity of sweet and fruit-forward wines with flavors such as Fruit Punch, Strawberry Limeade, and Blue Raspberry Lemonade at launch and more planned to follow. “Gallo is on a mission to welcome new friends to wine,” said Alex Lee, director of marketing at Gallo. “Vibe’s portfolio of nostalgic flavors allows consumers to try something new within the wine category.” Vibe by Vendage is at 12% abv and is priced at $4.

•Diageo has entered into a three-year partnership with The Preakness, bringing the company’s portfolio to Preakness editions 148, 149, and 150. Both Bulleit Bourbon and Don Julio Tequila will host activations during race weekend, and cocktails made from Diageo’s spirits (as well as canned RTDs) will be available throughout the Pimlico racetrack. The selection of RTDs at the event will include Ciroc Vodka Spritz, Ketel One Botanical Vodka Spritz, Crown Royal Ready to Drink Cocktails, Loyal 9 Cocktails, Tanqueray Gin Crafted Gin Cocktails, and Vita Coco Spiked with Captain Morgan. In addition, Guinness Open Gate Brewery, another Diageo brand, has brewed a limited edition Preakness Ale for the upcoming 148th race.

•Frankfort, Kentucky’s Buffalo Trace Distillery, part of Sazerac, has announced Experimental Peated Bourbon, the latest release in its Experimental Collection. The 45% abv whiskey is made by replacing barley with smoked peated malt in the mashbill and has matured for nearly 10 years before bottling. Buffalo Trace Experimental Peated Bourbon will be available in limited quantities through the company’s distribution network beginning in May for a suggested price of $47 a 375-ml.

•MPL Brands, known for wine-based cocktail Rancho La Gloria among other labels, is introducing a new brand, Big Sipz. Rolling out in Classic Lime Margarita, Strawberry Margarita, Chocolate Martini, Piña Colada, Spiked Fruit Punch, and Blue Raspberry Punch flavors, Big Sipz is launching initially in Circle K stores and independent retailers throughout Arizona, Nevada, Northern California, and Texas with a suggested retail price of $3 for 200-ml. cans and $4 for 330-ml. Tetra Paks. Distribution is expected to continue to expand throughout the year. The Wine Group holds a minority stake in MPL Brands.

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