Blogs from Stephen Patten - Beverage Journal, Maryland and Washington, DC http://www.beerwineliquor.com/new/easyblog/blogger/listings/stephen Sun, 26 Jun 2016 05:58:55 -0400 Joomla! - Open Source Content Management en-gb Conundrum Wines: Still Exploring, 25 Years Later http://www.beerwineliquor.com/new/easyblog/entry/conundrum-wines-still-exploring-25-years-later http://www.beerwineliquor.com/new/easyblog/entry/conundrum-wines-still-exploring-25-years-later Conundrum.jpg

Conundrum was born 25 years ago, and today it still stands for doing things your own way and daring to explore. Its inspiration came from Charlie Wagner, Sr. – co-founder of Caymus Vineyards and father to winery owner Chuck Wagner – who would sit at the dining room table and mix wines to create the “perfect glass” to pair with his meal. At the time, blending wines was considered almost unthinkable, and even Charlie Sr. had no idea that his bold experiment would help usher in a whole new trend. 

Today, Conundrum is as original as ever.  They continue to source their fruit from some of the most sought-after California winegrowing regions to ensure both quality and diversity: Napa, Monterey, Santa Barbara and Tulare Counties. While the exact blend remains under wraps, with every vintage they include Chardonnay for its weight and complexity, Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon for crisp acidity, Muscat Canelli for floral qualities and Viognier for lush texture. Taken together, they add up to a wine that’s amazingly versatile, pairing well with everything from salmon to spicy food, or enjoyed on its own as an aperitif. 

Winemakers, Jon Bolta and Charlie Wagner, preserve the individual characteristics of each varietal by taking great care to keep separate lots of fruit throughout the entire winemaking process. Some lots are aged in chilled stainless steel tanks to maintain fresh, crisp aromas and fruit flavors, and some in a combination of aged and new French oak barrels for up to ten months. The intriguing result: a wine with multiple layers, subtle and complex, born of an adventurous spirit while inviting more adventures to come.

Winemaker John Bolta on Conundrum White: “Fresh fajitas. Relaxing before dinner. A night out for Thai or Vietnamese. Conundrum White goes with them all. Sourced from California’s premier winegrowing regions, this wine is both exotic and bright, a blend of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Muscat Canelli and Viognier. It lures you in with scents of apricot, pear and honeysuckle, and if you’re paying attention, orange and lemon meringue pie. Initial sweetness is balanced by natural acidity, and we love the hint of oak that plays with flavors of peach, apple and citrus. The long finish will leave you longing for another glass.”

Director of Winemaking Charlie Wagner on Conundrum Red: “We believe in being both serious and playful, and this wine fits the bill. A rich, dark red, it offers aromas of ripe berries and plums, warmed by a hint of cocoa. Dried fruit and the taste of chocolate-covered cherries come through on the palate, while a wisp of smokiness makes this wine – created from dark red varietals including Zinfandel and Petite Sirah – the perfect complement to grilled meats and full-flavored dishes. Tannins are rounded out by the ripeness of the berries for a texturous but smooth mouth feel. The finish makes us think of lingering at the end of a long evening and still not wanting to go home, with layers of rich flavor that teasingly trail off.”


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steve@beveragejournalinc.com (Stephen Patten) May 2016 Editions Mon, 25 Apr 2016 14:31:13 -0400
Alaska Proof On The Loose In The Mid Atlantic http://www.beerwineliquor.com/new/easyblog/entry/alaska-proof-on-the-loose-in-the-mid-atlantic http://www.beerwineliquor.com/new/easyblog/entry/alaska-proof-on-the-loose-in-the-mid-atlantic AlaskaDistilleryLogo.jpg

Alaska Distillery is a small batch distillery located in the foothills of the Alaska Range, where they handcraft spirits with ultra-pure glacier water and the finest grains and ingredients. Having developed a reputation for superior spirits with their Flagship Ultra-Premium Vodka, Permafrost, Alaska Distillery continues to blaze new trails with flavors and inventive spirits indigenous to a state famous for extreme beauty, untamed wilderness, and pristine scenery.

You can catch Toby and the entire Alaska Distillery gang every Thursday night on the Animal Planet channel’s new hit show ALASKA PROOF.

 

AIP-AlaskaDistillery.jpgAIP-AlaskaDistillery2.jpg


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steve@beveragejournalinc.com (Stephen Patten) May 2016 Editions Mon, 25 Apr 2016 13:41:35 -0400
New Liberty Distillery: Commemorating Maryland’s Rich Distilling History http://www.beerwineliquor.com/new/easyblog/entry/new-liberty-distillery-commemorating-maryland-s-rich-distilling-history http://www.beerwineliquor.com/new/easyblog/entry/new-liberty-distillery-commemorating-maryland-s-rich-distilling-history New_Liberty_Home.jpg

New Liberty Distillery, located in Philadelphia, PA, is reinterpreting some of the famous, but forgotten, Pennsylvania and Maryland brands that once formed the foundation of the U.S. whiskey business.  As Michael Jackson, the renowned international whiskey critic, commented, “American whiskey had its beginnings in Pennsylvania and Maryland.”  Many of the region’s brands were lost to Prohibition or Americans’ changing tastes after World War II that led to the rise of light mixable spirits like vodka.  

“Our Heritage Collection is made up of whiskeys we are reintroducing and New Liberty is honored to make them once again available to consumers,” stated Thomas Jensen of New Liberty Distillery.   “We introduced our first Heritage Collection release, Kinsey, in 2014.  Kinsey is a famous Pennsylvania-based whiskey that was once nationally known for its witty advertising and easy drinking style.   We currently are launching our Maryland Heritage Series exclusively in Maryland and The District of Columbia.  Maryland rye was a softer rye whiskey usually with a 51% rye content, unlike Pennsylvania rye which was usually 95% rye and very spicy.  At the turn of the century, the Baltimore area was home to numerous distilleries which are now long closed.  After extensive research, we decided on three distilleries that played unique roles in making Maryland whiskey famous.  Our master distiller, Robert J. Cassell, sought existing whiskey stocks that could be used to create the easy drinking style of pre- and post-Prohibition Maryland whiskey, and we hope you can taste the history in every sip.”  

The Melvale Distillery, maker of Melvale Rye Whiskey, was located in the Jones Falls section of Baltimore, on Cold Spring Road. One of the original buildings remains intact, although the site no longer distills alcohol. Melvale Pure Rye was one of the most premium of the pre-prohibition Maryland ryes. 

Melvale Straight Rye: Mash bill will be 51% rye and 49% barley to capture the bright and grassy flavor of the old Maryland rye brands. It will be a straight rye, aged three years and hand bottled at 90 proof.

Until Prohibition, M.J. Miller’s Sons Distillery produced Melky Miller Rye Whiskey just outside the village of Accident, MD. The ruins of the abandoned distillery stood for decades until destroyed by fires in the 1970s and '90s. The Garrett County Historical Society has marked its location with a sign.  

Melky Miller Eight Year Old American Whiskey: Mash bill is 100% corn, produced and aged in the USA, and is at least eight years old. We will hand bottle it at 90 proof.

Maryland Club Whiskey was originally produced between 1870 and 1919 at the Cahn, Belt & Co. facility on 32 W. Lombard Street in Baltimore, MD.  It featured creative ads and marketing.  The brand enjoys a unique role in history as a date book with an ad for Maryland Club was found on the Titanic!

Maryland Club Straight Bourbon:  Mash bill is 51% corn and whiskey has been aged in new oak barrels for at least three years. It will be a straight whiskey and hand bottled at 95 proof.

For More information on the New Liberty Distillery you can contact Tom Jensen at 917.226.9022 or tom.jensen@millstonespirits.com  www.newlibertydistillery.com.


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steve@beveragejournalinc.com (Stephen Patten) May 2016 Editions Wed, 20 Apr 2016 15:14:11 -0400
Neighborhood Bars Closing ... Don't Count Them Out http://www.beerwineliquor.com/new/easyblog/entry/neighborhood-bars-closing-but-don-t-count-them-out-yet http://www.beerwineliquor.com/new/easyblog/entry/neighborhood-bars-closing-but-don-t-count-them-out-yet b2ap3_thumbnail_tavern_sign.jpg

Taps are running dry and doors are closing at neighborhood bars across the country. That has left the remaining ones to try to find ways to stay afloat.

One in six bars closed between 2004 and 2014, according to market research firm Nielsen. More than 600 close each month, with just 334 opening.

The neighborhood bar closures are happening as more people are getting their alcoholic drinks from restaurants, cavernous sports bars with scores of TV screens, brewpubs and at home. Besides the increasing competition, neighborhood bars also are contending with other challenges, including rising costs for expenses such as rent.

For instance, when the rent doubled seven years ago at Mumbles in New York City, running a neighborhood bar became more difficult for owner David Feldman. Online reservation and order-taking services took more bites out of his profits. At the end of January, after 22 years, Mumbles closed.

"It's getting harder and harder. The bigger corporate restaurants have tons of money, that seems to be the way things are going," says Feldman, who still has two restaurants in Manhattan, one of which will now employ one of Mumbles' bartenders.

CHANGING HABITS

The number of neighborhood bars has declined as drinking habits have changed, says Lester Jones, chief economist with the National Beer Wholesalers Association, a trade group. Tougher laws on underage drinking and drunk driving have cut into consumption.

The growth of in-home pay TV services has also had an impact; when relatively few homes had cable in the early 1970s, sports fans went to bars to see games that weren't on broadcast TV. There were nearly 10 million cable subscribers in 1975 and close to 100 million pay TV subscribers last year, including cable, satellite and telephone company-delivered services, according to research firm SNL Kagan. People don't need the corner bar.

When consumers do go out, they have a rapidly growing number of choices. Restaurants including national chains have bars and advertise their beverages as much as their food.

They're also the kind of place where parents can take their kids and have a beer with their meals. And the chains are growing; the number of Buffalo Wild Wings locations has tripled from 370 in 2005 to 1,136 by the end of 2015.

HIGHER EXPENSES

Rising costs also have hurt neighborhood bars.

Rent increases, in particular, are typical of areas that are trendy or have high real estate taxes. Urban areas where residents have big incomes have seen the largest increases in rents for retail space, which includes bars, says Ryan McCullough, a senior economist with CoStar Group, a real estate information provider. Rents in those areas nationwide are up an average 9.4 percent since the high they reached before the recession.

But in areas where demand for real estate is particularly high, rent increases can be substantially higher. Rents on a trendy stretch of Broadway in Manhattan not far from Mumbles soared 42 percent between the fall of 2014 and this past fall, according to the Real Estate Board of New York, a trade group.

Other cities see similar increases: In Miami, retail rents rose an average of nearly 33 percent from 2011 to last year, with rates in the hottest areas climbing at a higher pace, according to Cushman & Wakefield, a real estate services company.

In addition to higher rent, neighborhood bars have to contend with other rising costs.

Larger companies with multiple locations can buy beer, liquor and food at lower prices because they get bigger discounts — the New York State Liquor Authority mandates a 40 percent discount on purchases of 50 cases, compared to 20 percent on five cases. A higher minimum wage and rising insurance costs also sap profits, says Tess Collins, who runs McGeary's in downtown Albany, New York.

But Collins brightens as she talks about McGeary's customers. The bar draws a regular after-work crowd and people visiting the state capital on business. Families show up on weekends. There are seven TVs in the main bar and two in a back room, but Collins finds her customers are more interested in talking to each other than watching a game.

"I have an awesome community here," says Collins, whose bar is nearby Recovery Sports Grill, a sports bar and restaurant that has 35 screens and is part of an 11-location chain. "Everybody knows each other."

SMALL BARS FIGHT TO SURVIVE

Many owners have to pass on their higher costs to their customers, or look for lower-priced food options for their menus.

When his landlord raises the rent, bar owner Scott Drake has to pass along the costs to his customers. Drake, who co-owns Moe's & Joe's, a nearly 70-year-old Atlanta bar, sees higher rents as a neighborhood bar's biggest threat.

But he says smaller bars offer something more intimate than the bigger guys can serve — what he calls a neighborhood feel. For that reason, Drake is less concerned about the competition, which includes a nearby Yard House, part of a 64-location chain and that has 130 taps and 20 TVs, compared with his bar's 18 taps and seven TVs.

"On any day, you can come in here, and there are tables with construction workers, maybe two prominent judges and a couple of people from the banking industry, all walks of life," Drake says. "I want to have a conversation in a bar and talk with people and I think a lot of people (at the big establishments) are missing out on that."

One of the regulars at Moe's & Joe's, John Webster, has been going to the bar for decades.

"It's like an old pair of jeans, very comfortable. You know what you're going to get," he says. "You know the people, you know the staff, the bartenders."

Jim Wiste, who owns Campus Lounge in Denver, agrees.

The relationship between Wiste, a former pro hockey player, and his customers is a big part of the appeal. He'll help them get tickets for a big game and make the bar available for people who want to hold a memorial for a friend or relative.

But Wiste has added more TV screens to compete with bigger chains. The bar now has 15 screens, but it still is a place where regulars hang out and families stop by for a weekend lunch, owner Jim Wiste says.

"I think there's something to the old standard place that's on the corner, a local place that feels a little more comfortable," he says.

SOURCE: CNBC    

JOYCE M. ROSENBERG, AP Business Writer  

Follow Joyce Rosenberg at www.twitter.com/JoyceMRosenberg


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steve@beveragejournalinc.com (Stephen Patten) Industry News ... Mon, 21 Mar 2016 11:09:01 -0400
Teeling Single Malt Irish Whiskey http://www.beerwineliquor.com/new/easyblog/entry/teeling-single-malt-irish-whiskey http://www.beerwineliquor.com/new/easyblog/entry/teeling-single-malt-irish-whiskey

The Teeling Whiskey Company has expanded its premium Irish whiskey portfolio with the launch of its award winning Irish Single Malt.  This Single Malt, was recently named World’s Best Irish Single Malt at the 2015 World Whiskies Awards.

Teeling Single Malt is the third release in the Premium range of Teeling expressions completing their full range to form the Teeling Trinity of non-aged statement of Irish whiskeys. To add a unique depth of character and flavor, Teeling Single Malt consists of aged malt whiskey up to 23 years old that has been matured in five different wine casks including Sherry, Port, Madeira, White Burgundy and Cabernet Sauvignon. This combination of cask maturation techniques has never been done before in Irish whiskey and creates a truly innovative Irish whiskey bursting with personality. Like all the Teeling whiskeys, it is bottled at 46% with no chill filtration allowing for all the natural flavors of the whiskey to be retained. 

Jack Teeling, founder of the Teeling Whiskey Company, commented, “We are delighted to be able to release another expression of Teeling whiskey that helps expand consumer choice and challenge existing perceptions of Irish whiskey. Our new Teeling Single Malt proves Irish whiskey can have big bold flavors that appeal to Single Malt drinkers without losing its distinctive Irish identity.”

The Teeling Whiskey Company was founded by Jack Teeling in 2012 to bring back an independent voice to the Irish whiskey category.  The Teeling family whiskey heritage dates back to distilling in Dublin in 1782 and Walter Teeling, who set up a distillery in Marrowbone Lane in the Liberties. Jack and his brother Stephen, Sales and Marketing Director, are just the latest generation of Teelings involved in the Irish whiskey industry and have just opened the first new distillery in Dublin for over 125 years with their Teeling Distillery and Visitors Center in Newmarket, Dublin 8.


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steve@beveragejournalinc.com (Stephen Patten) March 2016 Editions Sun, 21 Feb 2016 19:56:34 -0500
Distilled Spirits Growth Continued in 2015 http://www.beerwineliquor.com/new/easyblog/entry/distilled-spirits-growth-continued-in-2015 http://www.beerwineliquor.com/new/easyblog/entry/distilled-spirits-growth-continued-in-2015

Distilled Spirits in the United States have enjoyed a gain in market share for the sixth consecutive year.  The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS) has reported another year of steady growth in 2015 with supplier sales up 4.1 percent and volumes up 2.3 percent.  Distilled spirits suppliers and marketers also marked the sixth straight year of increasing their market share relative to beer in 2015. 

“The positive performance of distilled spirits is the result of many factors including market modernization, product innovation, consumer premiumization and hospitality tax restraint,” said DISCUS President and CEO Kraig R. Naasz.

DISCUS reported strong growth in every whiskey category for the second straight year, with revenues rising 8 percent.  Super premium whiskeys were particularly popular among American consumers with luxury Bourbon, Scotch, Canadian and Irish whiskeys all recording double-digit gains.  Other categories performing ahead of the distilled spirits average growth included Tequila, with another exceptional year of 9.4 percent sales growth, and Cognac, with sales growth of 16.2 percent.

Category Highlights for 2015

DISCUS estimated that overall retail sales of distilled spirits in the U.S. market reached nearly $72 billion in 2015, supporting 1.4 million jobs in the hospitality industry. 

Additionally, the spirits sector achieved a slight increase in market share relative to beer for the sixth straight year in 2015.  Total market share gains by spirits compared to beer since 2000 totaled 6.7 points, with each point of market share equaling approximately $680 million in supplier sales for a total of $4.6 billion.

Several key factors contributed to the spirits sector’s continued growth, including:

l Demand for American whiskeys – Bourbon, Tennessee and Rye – booming in the U.S. and abroad

l Millennials of legal drinking age interest in discovery driving innovation and premiumization

l State legislatures showed
hospitality tax restraint protecting
jobs and consumers

l Modernized alcohol laws expanding consumer access and choice

l Focus on craft-style, artisanal
products benefiting both large and small producers

l Growth of micro-distilleries generating excitement in the spirits sector

l Cocktail culture continuing to define nightlife in cities across the country. 

Additional 2015 Top Performers

Both Irish Whiskey and Single Malt Scotch continued their rapid growth with revenues up 19.9 percent and 13.5 percent, worth $664 and $732 million, respectively, as reported by DISCUS Chief Economist David Ozgo.  Cognac sales were also up an impressive 16.2 percent, generating $1.3 billion in revenue, and Tequila revenues grew 9.4 percent, generating $2.3 billion revenue.  Despite growing only 0.5 percent, Vodka sales reached $5.8 billion.


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steve@beveragejournalinc.com (Stephen Patten) March 2016 Editions Sun, 21 Feb 2016 19:54:36 -0500
Protect Your Livelihood http://www.beerwineliquor.com/new/easyblog/entry/protect-your-livelihood http://www.beerwineliquor.com/new/easyblog/entry/protect-your-livelihood

Get Involved...Stay Involved   

The Maryland 2016 Legislative session begins in two days (it is January 11th as I type this) … There is no doubt that Chain Store legislation is a concern of the entire industry as is Dram Shop legislation.  As in year’s past, you can expect these industry hot topics to arise during this year’s session.  Chain stores being allowed to enter the Maryland marketplace is a dangerous prospect to the independent beer, wine and liquor retailer.  As in year’s past, I am again iterating how important it is to get as many industry members involved and be prepared to defend the independent store-owners’ position to the state representatives.  Many of you are involved and are familiar with the process of protecting your business from harmful proposed legislation.  However, too many are not.  Below is my annual ‘How To’ on getting involved and protecting your livelihood …

First, you need to know what proposed legislation is coming down the pipe and how it would affect your business.  Becoming a member of your county association as well as the Maryland State Licensed Beverage Association (MSLBA) would be a great start.  The MSLBA was formed, in part, because the association's leaders understood that actions in the Maryland State House directly impact the operations of your businesses.  The MSLBA tracks proposed legislation that will have an effect on its members’ businesses.  They do this right at their web site, www.mslba.org.  

Next, you will need to know who your elected officials are.  There is a very quick and easy way to find out … go to http://mdelect.net and type in your address.  Make note of your State Senator and State Delegates.  

Now you will need to inform yourself as to the contributions you and your business make to the community. American Beverage Licensees (ABL) has a way for you to quantify the significant contribution you make to your community when it comes to jobs, taxes and economic impact.  ABL is the preeminent national trade association for licensed beverage retailers. Through the ‘resources’ area of the ABL website, www.ablusa.org, ABL members can create reports and download data that detail the number of jobs and amount of taxes that they provide to their communities, as well as more in-depth economic impact information at the state legislative district level.  This is a very powerful tool.  By utilizing this economic study data, you now have the ability to tell your overwhelmingly positive story and impact you have in your community to your representatives in Annapolis.

Lastly, you will need to get the attention of your representatives and share your story with them.  I would suggest you again enlist the help of the MSLBA.  At their web site, www.mslba.org, go to their Legislative area and you’ll find information on upcoming events as well as how to put together an email or letter that will be well received by your representatives.

Access to the above mentioned materials at the MSLBA web site are free to all.  However, I would highly suggest becoming a member if you are not already.  If you want more information than is on their web site feel free to call the MSLBA at 410 876-3464.

Access to state Senate and House district data is free to ABL members and requires additional log-in information, which can be obtained by contacting the ABL office.  If you are not a member of ABL, you will need to become one to access the Economic Impact Study data and create reports, etc.  Visit www.ablusa.org or call them at 301 656-1494 for more information.

I’ve said it before, it’s worth saying again, get involved … your livelihood may depend on it.


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steve@beveragejournalinc.com (Stephen Patten) February 2016 Editions Tue, 26 Jan 2016 11:39:52 -0500
Breakthru Beverage Group Launched http://www.beerwineliquor.com/new/easyblog/entry/breakthru-beverage-group-launched http://www.beerwineliquor.com/new/easyblog/entry/breakthru-beverage-group-launched

Charmer Sunbelt and Wirtz Beverage Begin New Venture

Breakthru Beverage Group, an innovative beverage wholesaler formed by Charmer Sunbelt and Wirtz Beverage, was established on January 1 and has launched in 19 markets including Maryland and The District of Columbia. 

“Breakthru Beverage is built upon the best of our legacy operations while setting a new path and approach forward,” explained Greg Baird, Breakthru Beverage President and CEO.  “Our vision for the future is focused on excellence and how we can be a stronger and more innovative partner for our suppliers and customers in all of our markets.”

W. Rockwell Wirtz and Charles Merinoff will lead Breakthru Beverage Group as Co-Chairmen of the Board.  Daniel Wirtz will serve as Vice-Chairman and on the Operating Committee with Charlie Merinoff. Together, they will oversee the integration of the businesses, manage and direct strategic planning and play a key role in leading supplier relations.  Greg Baird, as President and CEO, will be responsible for the day-to-day operations, and will have organizational oversight and direct management of the senior leadership team. 

“The name Breakthru was chosen very deliberately,” noted Danny Wirtz. “We truly believe we can challenge the boundaries of the traditional distributor and bring a focused and insightful approach to how we do business.”

In Maryland, Reliable Churchill will now operate as Breakthru Beverage Maryland.  The leadership, expertise and brand portfolios customers are accustomed to remain unchanged.  The company will also maintain existing facilities, including corporate offices, and continue to employ more than 500 people statewide.

In Washington DC, Washington Wholesale will now operate as Breakthru Beverage Washington DC.  As in Maryland, the leadership, expertise and brand portfolios customers are accustomed to remain unchanged.  The company will also maintain existing facilities and continue to employ more than 150 people District-wide.

“The pace at which we are moving should indicate the level of commitment and excitement we have about Breakthru,” said Baird.  “Not only is our integration work well underway, but early indications are that our local markets teams delivered excellent results during the critically important holiday selling period”

“We have put together a significantly expanded, unified footprint that will bring execution, operational and brand building excellence to life in a way that all of our supplier partners are looking for,” concluded Baird. 

Breakthru Beverage Group will employ more than 7,000 associates and with its affiliates have operations in 19 markets across the country and Canada.  For more information, visit www.BreakthruBev.com.


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steve@beveragejournalinc.com (Stephen Patten) February 2016 Editions Tue, 26 Jan 2016 11:25:04 -0500
Escutcheon Brewing Co. http://www.beerwineliquor.com/new/easyblog/entry/escutcheon-brewing-co http://www.beerwineliquor.com/new/easyblog/entry/escutcheon-brewing-co

"Mind Your Draft"

Most craft brewers are entrepreneurs who have an interesting back story.  The Escutcheon Brewery, located in Winchester, Virginia, is a good example of an interesting story and some interesting beers.

Escutcheon Brewing Co. started with the friendship between two guys who both really like beer. John Hovermale and Art Major met while John was working to open a different brewery in Winchester. While that venture didn't work out, their friendship did.  Together, pint after pint, the pair discussed how they would "do it the right way," were they to launch a brewery of their own.

John, a master brewer, began at the Siebel Institute in Illinois more than fifteen years ago and has worked for breweries in Vermont, Maryland and Mississippi. Art is an accomplished entrepreneur who has founded other successful businesses. Although he doesn't boast the same experience brewing. The combination of their backgrounds and experiences, as well as their passions and drive to create good beer, were the perfect ingredients to build Escutcheon Brewing Co.

“John brews the beer; Art keeps the lights on,” explains Kyle Kersey, VP Sales and Marketing at Escutcheon.  “John developed the recipes and brewery design; Art built the branding.  They both drink the beer.  Art spent some time in the merchant marine and wanted to incorporate that experience into the brewery. As such, the brand name, beer names and even the tap room design all carry a nautical theme.”

"When Art said he wanted to have our theme be related to the industrial maritime industry I thought, 'Sure, we're 150 miles from the ocean … that makes sense.' What a jerk," states John.

“Now, after building the brewery from the ground up, the men have grown to absolutely detest one another,” Kyle jokes.  “Luckily, the quality of the product allows them to continue working together – proving good beer heals all wounds!” 

The Story on The Logo

In the mid-1800s, a nearly 30-year-old man named Samuel Plimsoll attempted to become a coal merchant in England.  Although he failed and was reduced to destitution, he learned to sympathize with the struggles of the poor.  When his good fortune returned, he focused his efforts on creating regulations for what were known at the time as "coffin ships." The corrupt owners of these overloaded and often heavily-insured ships would risk the lives of the crew, knowing that they would benefit whether the ship sank or arrived at its destination.

After many years of fighting, Plimsoll, then a member of the British Parliament, championed a bill known as the Merchant Shipping Act. This new law forced ships to place a mark … known as a Plimsoll Mark … on the hull, indicating the safe limit to which a ship may be loaded, ie. the maximum draft (or how deep the ship sits in the water),  saving countless lives in return.

In honor of Samuel Plimsoll, Escutcheon Brewing Co.'s logo is a Plimsoll Line, forever reminding their drinkers, to "Mind Your Draft."

 At Escutcheon the team obviously has a lot of fun, while taking their beer very seriously.  These beers include: Bremen's Harbor Berliner Weisse; Growler Kölsch; Agonic Line Lager; Bowditch American Pale Ale; Plimsoll India Pale Ale; Blackstrake Stout; and the most recent edition, John Riggins 4th and 1 Pilsner.

John Riggins 4th and 1 Pilsner has been crafted in collaboration with the NFL Hall of Fame running back.  Mr. Riggins' friend and business partner, Art Major recently stated, “We consider our partnership with John Riggins (pictured on the left) to be a real game-changer, and we're excited as hell about this beer. Any excuse to spend time drinking beer with John is a good excuse – and making a beer for him is a REALLY good excuse.”

b2ap3_thumbnail_RiggonJohn.jpg

While in the brewery sampling his new brew, Mr. Riggins said, “I've known Art Major for awhile, and when I thought of the possibility of brewing a beer to my liking, Art's name was the only name on the list." Mr. Riggins continued, “Not because there weren't other possibilities, but because I know [Art] doesn't half-step anything, and after meeting Brewmaster John Hovermale, it became obvious Art had chosen his brewmaster wisely. In my opinion, John Hovermale (pictured on the right) may have created a Pilsner that will put a fork in the road of the Pilsner Parkway. 4th and 1 Pilsner may be the road less travelled, but most enjoyed.”

Escutcheon is distributed in in Maryland by Kenco and in DC by Kysela Pere Et Fils.  For further information, contact Kyle Kersey, VP Sales and Marketing, Escutcheon Brewing at 703-689-1039 or kyle@escutch eonbrewing.com.


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steve@beveragejournalinc.com (Stephen Patten) January 2016 Editions Tue, 22 Dec 2015 11:58:20 -0500
Casey’s Bar and Restaurant Holds Charity Golf Tourney http://www.beerwineliquor.com/new/easyblog/entry/casey-s-bar-and-restaurant-holds-charity-golf-tourney http://www.beerwineliquor.com/new/easyblog/entry/casey-s-bar-and-restaurant-holds-charity-golf-tourney

I always enjoy hearing about good deeds being done by members of the industry.  I came across something that is very worthy of some press.  Casey’s Bar and Restaurant in Parkville, MD recently hosted their 7th annual golf tournament in honor of three of their favorite customers on the spectrum (the Autism Spectrum) … Christina Pollizzi, CJ Manouse, and Eric Kane. 

Owners Casey Brooks and his mom, Terry Santoro started their annual golf tournament as a way for employees and patrons to get together and have fun outside of the establishment.  There was no specific charity. More recently proceeds were donated to a local church. This year, however, Casey wanted to support an organization that works to provide resources, research, and awareness to his patrons. He chose Autism Speaks and he worked hard to get sponsorships from his distributors and donations from nearby businesses. Most of all, he needed golfers.  Well, he got them, lots of them.  Casey’s efforts paid off as he raised $5,000 to benefit Walk Now for Autism Speaks: Baltimore. 

This industry is full of people and organizations giving back to their communities in very heart-warming ways.  If you or your company has conducted a fundraiser, let us know about it.  We are very happy to tout your efforts here in the Beverage Journal.

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Here are Susan Pereles, Autism Speaks; Kelli and Kayla Manouse, mother and sister of CJ Manouse; and Casey Brooks,
Casey's Bar and Restaurant.


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steve@beveragejournalinc.com (Stephen Patten) January 2016 Editions Tue, 22 Dec 2015 11:54:06 -0500
Bruce Wills Named Boordy Vineyards’ National Sales Director http://www.beerwineliquor.com/new/easyblog/entry/bruce-wills-named-boordy-vineyards-national-sales-director http://www.beerwineliquor.com/new/easyblog/entry/bruce-wills-named-boordy-vineyards-national-sales-director

Bruce Wills has assumed the position of National Sales Director for Boordy Vineyards and will be responsible for managing the distribution and sales of Boordy wines in Maryland, the mid-Atlantic region, and beyond.

Bruce began his wine career in the early 1970’s working in both retail liquor stores and distribution.  In 1985 Bruce joined the Robert Mondavi Winery, serving as their mid-Atlantic representative for 11 years, spanning the period when that winery was a central figure in the renaissance of California wines.  Following Mondavi, Bruce has held management positions with William Deutsch & Sons, Rosemont Estate, and for the past eleven years he served as Sales Director for Old Bridge Cellars, an importer and marketer of fine wines from around the world.

Regarding his new position, Bruce said, “I love wine and am excited about the future of local wine; Boordy is Maryland’s first winery; it has always been an industry leader and takes quality very seriously.  I am thrilled to have the opportunity to represent Boordy’s wine portfolio to the many friends that I have made throughout my career.”

According to Boordy Vineyards’ president, Rob Deford, “It is a profound honor to have someone of Bruce’s caliber and experience join Boordy Vineyards.  He believes in the potential of our wines in regional and national markets.  “National Sales Director” may seem like a somewhat grand title for a winery that is principally distributed in one state, but we have a grand vision for Boordy, and I am confident that Bruce can help us realize it.”

Best wishes Bruce.

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steve@beveragejournalinc.com (Stephen Patten) December 2015 Editions Tue, 17 Nov 2015 15:08:32 -0500
Maryland Microbrewery Festival http://www.beerwineliquor.com/new/easyblog/entry/maryland-microbrewery-festival http://www.beerwineliquor.com/new/easyblog/entry/maryland-microbrewery-festival

The historic Union Mills Homestead recently hosted the Maryland Microbrewery Festival.  This year was the 10th Anniversary of the event. The event celebrates the best of Maryland's handcrafted and distinctive microbrews and craft beers. Eighteen breweries were on hand, each with a variety of beers to sample.  The Festival was also the concluding event of Carroll County’s Beer Week … a celebration of Maryland craft beer, including Carroll County brewers and brewpubs, the region’s agricultural products used in making Maryland beer, and those establishments that sell these products.

Pictured above are Clint Griggs, The Phoenix Emporium in Ellicott City; and Chad Twigg, Heavy Seas Beer; enjoying the Maryland Microbrewery Festival.

 

 

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Here are Joshua Smith, Frederick News-Post; and his wife Jessica enjoying a beverage from Frederick County’s Brewer’s Alley at the Festival.

 

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Avid home brewers Roger and Brent Miller enjoy sampling Maryland’s finest craft brews at the Maryland Microbrewery Festival.

 

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Justin Kelley and Brooks Bosley join Sarah Weetenkamp, Greenmount Station in Hampstead; at the Festival.

 


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steve@beveragejournalinc.com (Stephen Patten) November 2015 Editions Thu, 22 Oct 2015 15:42:12 -0400
Glenfiddich 14 http://www.beerwineliquor.com/new/easyblog/entry/glenfiddich-14 http://www.beerwineliquor.com/new/easyblog/entry/glenfiddich-14

Glenfiddich Pays Tribute To The American Whiskey Industry With 14 Year Old Release.

Glenfiddich – one of the world’s most awarded single malt Scotch whiskies – has recently released a new expression to its permanent portfolio: Glenfiddich 14 Year Old.  Exclusive to the United States, the bourbon barrel reserve is a celebration of American spirit. It pays tribute to the shared history of American and Scotch whisk(e)y, and the American Oak ex-bourbon barrels that are the backbone of the single malt Scotch whisky industry. 

Glenfiddich 14 Year Old uniquely delivers a bourbon heart with the soul of single malt.  Matured for 14 years in ex-bourbon American Oak casks, the whisky delivers beautifully complex flavors of woody spices combined with ripe summer fruit, resulting from the spirit’s interaction with the casks. After waiting patiently for 14 years, Glenfiddich Malt Master, Brian Kinsman, finishes the whisky in deep charred new American Oak barrels supplied by The Kelvin Cooperage in Louisville, Kentucky. The result: a rich, sweet and vibrant single malt.

Kinsman comments: “American Oak casks have had a significant influence on single malt Scotch whisky maturation and the flavor profiles we find today.  By maturing this expression in bourbon casks we’ve created a beautifully intense flavor, reflective of the relentless passion we have for producing incredible single malts. With notes of fresh oak and velvety caramel, our 14 Year Old remains true to Glenfiddich’s heritage of producing fruity and deeply flavored whiskies and is the perfect marriage of bourbon sweetness and Scotch complexity.”

Peter Gordon, Glenfiddich Company Director added: “As a family run company we’re able to be bold and innovative with our whisky making – and the exclusive Glenfiddich 14 Year Old is a wonderful example of this. We cherish our independence as it gives us the freedom to work with people who share our values – such as The Kelvin Cooperage, which is itself a family run company – and continue to create innovative whiskies of exceptional depth, distinction and diversity of flavor.”

Glenfiddich 14 Year Old is presented in a deep navy blue casing – inspired by the color of the Kentucky state flag – and is embossed with Glenfiddich’s iconic gold stag. The packaging is a celebration of the two whisk(e)y worlds and pays homage to the American whiskey industry’s contribution to single malt Scotch whisky. Glenfiddich 14 Year Old (43% ABV) is certified Kosher and will be available nationally this fall at luxury whisky retail stores and premium bars and hotels in the United States.

Malt Master Brian Kinsman’s Tasting Insight:     

Colour: Rich golden     

Nose: Deep vibrant vanilla oak notes with hints of citrus, caramelized brown sugar and cinnamon.  Baked apple and ripe summer fruits are balanced with the rich oaky aromas.       

Taste: Beautifully rich and sweet with layers of creamy toffee, woody spices, candied orange peel and fresh toasted oak.       

Finish: Long lasting with a lingering sweetness.      

Main Flavors: Vanilla sweetness, summer fruits, fresh oak.

 


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steve@beveragejournalinc.com (Stephen Patten) November 2015 Editions Thu, 22 Oct 2015 15:39:38 -0400
Henry “Hoby” Wedler http://www.beerwineliquor.com/new/easyblog/entry/henry-hoby-wedler http://www.beerwineliquor.com/new/easyblog/entry/henry-hoby-wedler

Host of Francis Ford Coppola Winery's Tasting in The Dark

Henry “Hoby” Wedler is a blind graduate student at the University of California, Davis, founder of the nationally recognized chemistry camp for the blind and host of Francis Ford Coppola Winery’s Tasting in the Dark experience.  When he’s not busy working towards his Ph.D. in organic chemistry or leading his blind or visually impaired chemistry camp students in conducting lab experiments through touch and smell, he turns his attention to wine – where he’s passionate about wine flavor and how it relates to chemistry.

Once per month Hoby travels to the Francis Ford Coppola Winery and hosts Tasting in the Dark, a blind tasting experience that he helped establish with the Coppola winemaking team in 2011. The surprising and enlightening two-hour wine tasting, where guests are blindfolded and led to the Winemaker’s Lab, explores how flavors and aromas in wine are accentuated when experienced in complete darkness. Hoby believes that when a sighted person is in complete darkness, he or she feels more vulnerable and his or her senses become more heightened, bringing out more flavors in a wine.  

Blind since birth, Hoby was inspired by programs offered by the National Federation of the Blind in high school, and with encouragement from professors, colleagues and others in the wine industry, he gained the confidence to challenge and refute the mistaken belief that STEM fields are too visual and, therefore, impractical for blind people.   

Hoby also founded and teaches at an annual chemistry camp near Napa, California for blind and low-vision high school students. Chemistry Camp demonstrates to the students, by example and through practice, that their lack of eyesight should not hold them back from pursuing their dreams.

“Francis Ford Coppola Winery has been extremely fortunate to work with someone as talented as Henry Wedler to help develop Tasting in the Dark,” said Corey Beck, Director of Winemaking and General Manager.  “Not only has Henry been an inspiration to our guests and the employees of the winery but he has one of the best palates I've ever been around when it comes to wine tasting.”

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Hoby Wedler, Francis Ford Coppola Winery; teaches his annual chemistry camp near for blind and
low-vision high school students.

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Robert Burke, Reliable Churchill; Kara Regal, Francis Ford Coppola Winery; and Dean Stair, Reliable Churchill; assisted Hoby in conducting a fascinating wine tasting that explored how flavors and aromas in wine are accentuated by simply ‘turning off the lights.’ 

 

 


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steve@beveragejournalinc.com (Stephen Patten) November 2015 Editions Thu, 22 Oct 2015 15:31:43 -0400
Fielder’s Choice Raises $8,500.00 http://www.beerwineliquor.com/new/easyblog/entry/fielder-s-choice-raises-8-500-00 http://www.beerwineliquor.com/new/easyblog/entry/fielder-s-choice-raises-8-500-00

As a follow-up to my September column announcing the availability (as well as the fundraising efforts) of Heavy Seas’ “Fielder’s Choice” … Hugh and his team recently presented their donation of $8,500 to the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation. This donation comes from the proceeds generated by the sale of their commemorative Fielder's Choice beer, celebrating the 20th anniversary of Cal’s 2131 as well as the 20th anniversary of Heavy Seas.

The Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 2001 by baseball Hall of Famer Cal Ripken, Jr., 12-year Major League Baseball veteran Bill Ripken, and members of the Ripken family. The Foundation honors the legend and spirit of Cal Ripken, Sr., who passed away in 1999. During his 37-year career with the Baltimore Orioles organization, Cal, Sr. was a pioneer for his way of teaching the basics of the game as well as the basics of life to both big leaguers and their youth league counterparts. The traits and lessons passed on by Cal, Sr. – leadership, work ethic, responsibility, and healthy living -- are brought to life through a character education curriculum created for at-risk youth.

The Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation is reaching out to underserved youth across the country. Through partnerships with youth-serving organizations and schools, the Foundation brings vital life lessons to America’s most impressionable population, using baseball as the hook to engage kids.

For more information, go to www.ripken foundation.org or call 410 823-0043.

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Here are Steve Salem, President, Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation; Christopher Leonard, Director of Brewery Operations, Heavy Seas Beer; Hugh Sisson, Founder, Heavy Seas Beer; and Randy Acosta, Senior Director of Development, Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation.


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steve@beveragejournalinc.com (Stephen Patten) November 2015 Editions Thu, 22 Oct 2015 11:45:29 -0400
Oktoberfest Celebrations http://www.beerwineliquor.com/new/easyblog/entry/oktoberfest-celebration-in-the-market http://www.beerwineliquor.com/new/easyblog/entry/oktoberfest-celebration-in-the-market

Maryland and Washington, DC residents have numerous options to celebrate Oktoberfest locally. German beer and bratwurst will draw nearly one million people with German heritage to the area to celebrate the anniversary of the marriage of young Crown Prince (later King) Ludwig I and Princess Therese of Sachsen-Hildburghausen.  The original celebration took place on a huge meadow outside of the city walls of Munich on October 17, 1810. This festival lasted several days and was celebrated by the entire city.  Here are some local venues participating in the long-lasting German tradition.

Frederick’s Oktoberfest
Frederick, MD – October 3-4, 2015

Oktoberfest bier, bratwurst, dancing, live music and children’s activities to benefit Frederick County charities and local organizations. Location: Frederick Fairgrounds, 797 E Patrick St Frederick, MD 21705

Rotary Oktoberfest of Carroll County
Westminster, MD – October 3-4, 2015

More than 1000 people are expected at the third annual fundraising event held by the four Rotary Clubs of Carroll County. Enjoy family friendly activities and authentic German food, beer and live music. Plenty of contests including the Lederhosen & Dirndl competition.  Football tent ensures you don’t miss the action over the weekend. General admission is $5, with those wearing authentic German attire and children ages 10 and under free. Food menu will include bratwurst, knockwurst, sauerkraut and more traditional foods. Location: Danele Shipley Memorial Arena, 706 Agriculture Center Dr, Westminster, MD 21157

Das Best Oktoberfest
Baltimore, MD – October 10, 2015

Kick off beer week with this all you can taste Baltimore Oktoberfest. 60,000 generally attend this annual event. VIP admission is from noon to 2 PM and regular admission is from 2 PM to 6 PM. Over 150 local, domestic and international beers, wines and schnapps. German food, including sausages, available for purchase ala carte. Miss Oktoberfest competition and the Best Beer Belly contest. Limited parking is available for $10 per car. Regular admission tickets are $39 in advance. This provides you admission to the event, souvenir tasting glass and beer sampling. Location: M&T Stadium Parking Lot, Baltimore, Maryland.

Oktoberfest at the Kentlands
Gaithersburg, MD – October 11, 2015

The 23rd annual Oktoberfest will happen between noon and 5 PM. It covers Kentlands Village Green, the grounds of Kentlands Mansion, Main Street and Market Square. Locations are connected by trolley. Includes Beer Garden, Wine Terrace, German food and live music with dancers. Family friendly activities like horse-drawn wagon rides, pumpkin painting and more. Location: Kentlands Village Green, 320 Kent Square Rd , Gaithersburg, Maryland 20878

 

Maryland State Fall Samboree Oktoberfest
Frederick, MD – October 23-25, 2015

Activities include a kick off theme parade, wine tour, parade of flags, Friday lunch, Saturday breakfast, games and crafts, and even bingo.  Location: 797 East Patrick Street, Frederick, MD 21705


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steve@beveragejournalinc.com (Stephen Patten) October 2015 Editions Wed, 23 Sep 2015 10:36:11 -0400
Heavy Seas Intros 'Fielder's Choice' Lager http://www.beerwineliquor.com/new/easyblog/entry/heavy-seas-intros-fielder-s-choice-lager http://www.beerwineliquor.com/new/easyblog/entry/heavy-seas-intros-fielder-s-choice-lager

It's no mystery that I am a big fan of baseball.  That's why when I heard Hugh Sisson and his crew at Heavy Seas Beer had something in the works to honor the 20th anniversary of Cal Ripken, Jr. breaking Lou Gehrig’s record for the most consecutive games played (2,131), I was flooded with memories of Camden Yards and the absolutely amazing evening that was.

Heavy Seas Beer has created “Fielder’s Choice,” a limited edition American Premium Lager in honor of 'The Iron Man.' The commemorative brew is now available in select stores throughout the Baltimore-region, as well as in-stadium at Oriole Park and Leidos Field at Ripken Stadium.  And --- like Cal --- everything Hugh does, he does with class ... with each case of “Fielder's Choice” sold, Heavy Seas will make a donation to the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation (The Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation helps to build character and teach critical life lessons to at-risk young people living in America’s most distressed communities through baseball- and softball-themed programs).

“Twenty years ago, Cal Ripken Jr. became baseball's Iron Man and Heavy Seas started brewing in Baltimore,” said Hugh. “I am very excited about this project. ‘Fielder’s Choice’ celebrates a milestone for both a great local business and a truly great local sports icon. All Baltimore-area residents can share in these success stories, and indeed, in the hopes for continued success in the future for us all."

Heavy Seas Brewmaster, Christopher Leonard added, "Our ‘Fielder's Choice’ American Premium Lager is a commemorative brew we produced using traditional German brewing techniques and the finest ingredients.  We started with high quality Canadian Pale Malt and German Dark Munich Malt.  This combination provided a medium-bodied, clean malt backbone, with subtle notes of biscuit and fresh baked bread.  We imported German Hallertau Mittlefrue and Czech Saaz hops to lend a soft, gentle, balanced flavor.  This homage to the easy-drinking lagers of Baltimore's past is the perfect choice for celebrating the 20th anniversary of one of the finest accomplishments in professional sports."


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steve@beveragejournalinc.com (Stephen Patten) September 2015 Editions Wed, 19 Aug 2015 16:15:42 -0400
August Edition Articles and Pricing NOW AVAILABLE! http://www.beerwineliquor.com/new/easyblog/entry/august-editions-are-available http://www.beerwineliquor.com/new/easyblog/entry/august-editions-are-available

 Read The Articles (click here)

 

Check Pricing (click here)

 

 


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steve@beveragejournalinc.com (Stephen Patten) August 2015 Editions Thu, 23 Jul 2015 14:38:42 -0400
The Long Hot Summer http://www.beerwineliquor.com/new/easyblog/entry/the-long-hot-summer http://www.beerwineliquor.com/new/easyblog/entry/the-long-hot-summer

I often peruse old editions of the Beverage Journal when looking for ideas for future articles and editorial topics.  I found a very good column recently by Ralph Chase.  Mr. Chase wrote a column during his tenure as editor and publisher entitled “Editorially Speaking.”  I found the below in our July 1967 edition … yes, July 1967 (which happens to be the month and year of my birth).  

I think you will agree that Mr. Chase’s article is particularly interesting, if not amazingly timeless.

“That long hot summer we’ve been hearing so much about is now at hand.  And in the sense this phrase is now used as a threat of civic unrest, we can only hope for the best.  But from the merchant’s point of view, the summer season in years past usually was synonymous with an inevitable “summer slump.” For those in the industry it was a time for some extra beer, gin or rum business, but for the most part, they accepted skidding sales as the inevitable consequence of hot weather and wrote off the summer with the hope that a good Fall season would make up the losses.

But times have changed, and men who work at selling just wouldn’t “but” the inevitable summer slump idea. Merchandisers in the industry discovered that summertime can be selling time, too.  They found the key in the approach that translates liquors, specialties and wines into the wonderful goodness of the coolers, and catered profitability to the business the sweltering temperature creates.

Instead of hibernating for the summer, they stuck at their job. Instead of relaxing their selling they reached out aggressively for summer business.  And gradually, a new, powerful interest has developed in the summer market.

Today the summer sees little slacking of the industry’s great promotional campaigns.  This year, on a scale greater than ever before, special sales programs are pressing for summertime business with all the product types – whiskies, vodkas, gins, rums, tequilas, cordials, cocktails, wines and others – sharing this bid for warm weather sales and profits.

All through this summer, newspaper and magazine advertising will be telling your customers about summer drinks for palate pleasing enjoyment.  Striking point-of-sales aids are being provided to help carry these campaigns message to the consumer.

When you tie in with these great promotions, with displays and windows that dramatize to your customers your answers of refreshing liquors and wines to counter the heat wave, you reach out for the summer’s profits. When you feature the frosty coolers that invite orders, or suggest the extra bottle for the warm weather drinks so certain to please, you make ‘the long hot summer’ work for you.

Look upon this warm weather period as a time for harder selling – for selling the use of your products – not relaxing.  For dealers everywhere, smart, live-wire summertime drink promotion opens the door wide to a powerful pay-off in a big and prosperous market.”

July 1967 … yes, particularly interesting and amazingly timeless. 

 


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steve@beveragejournalinc.com (Stephen Patten) August 2015 Editions Thu, 23 Jul 2015 09:15:43 -0400
Powdered Alcohol… Palcohol http://www.beerwineliquor.com/new/easyblog/entry/powdered-alcohol-palcohol http://www.beerwineliquor.com/new/easyblog/entry/powdered-alcohol-palcohol

Expressing deep concern for the health and safety of Marylanders, Comptroller Peter Franchot has announced that a voluntary agreement to ban the distribution and sale of powdered alcohol has been reached with the Maryland State Licensed Beverage Association (MSLBA), Maryland Beer Wholesalers Association (MBWA) and the Licensed Beverage Distributors of Maryland (LBDM). 

“This product, by its very nature, presents a significant and untenable risk to the health and safety of Maryland consumers,” said Comptroller Franchot, who serves as Marylanders chief regulator of alcohol. “The likelihood of widespread Palcohol abuse – particularly among underage consumers – carries a real possibility of tragic consequences, which is why I’m so pleased by the industry’s unified response to protect the public from such a dangerous product.” 

The U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau recently approved several labels for Palcohol, a powdered form of alcohol that can be dissolved in a beverage and then consumed. It is expected to be in stores nationwide by the end of summer. Several states have recently passed legislation banning the sale of powdered alcohol. 

“Powdered alcohol has the very real potential for abuse and it simply doesn't represent the type of responsible consumption that our members stand for,” David Marberger, President, MSLBA. “We need to act now to protect the health and well-being of Maryland consumers. Every tier of the alcohol beverage industry stands together on this.” 

Franchot expressed concern over misuse of powered alcohol, particularly by minors. In a letter to the alcohol beverage industry, he pointed out that the concentration or percentage of alcohol can be increased to dangerous and potentially life-threatening proportions by adding powdered alcohol to an alcohol beverage or by adding the powdered alcoholic substance to an already “activated” packet of Palcohol. 

The Maryland alcoholic beverage retailers and wholesalers quickly agreed to the Comptroller’s request for a voluntary industry-wide ban, expressing their shared concern for the danger that powdered alcohol poses to the Maryland public. 

“The agreement ensures that this dangerous product stays off store shelves and out of the hands of minors and young adults,” said Betty Buck, president, MBWA. “This is the responsible thing to do and the right thing to do. Our industry stands united in our commitment to responsibly act to protect public health and public safety.” 

Comptroller Franchot brokered a similar voluntary ban of caffeinated alcoholic beverages with the industry in 2010 following several tragedies throughout the country that included the death of a Maryland teenager caused by drinks that mixed caffeine and alcohol at life-threatening levels. 

“We rallied several years ago to successfully ban the distribution and sale of caffeinated alcoholic beverages because we recognized the harmful effects of these drinks,” said Jimmy Smith, president, LBDM. “We will work with the Comptroller any time we can to help keep Marylanders safe from harmful products.” 

“Once again, we’ve demonstrated an ability in Maryland to take quick and decisive action when the public interest rests in the balance,” Franchot noted. “I appreciate the willingness of Maryland’s distributors and retailers to step up in such a timely and socially responsible manner and address this urgent public health issue.”


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steve@beveragejournalinc.com (Stephen Patten) May 2015 Editions Tue, 21 Apr 2015 14:47:02 -0400
Glendalough Double Barrel Irish Whiskey http://www.beerwineliquor.com/new/easyblog/entry/glendalough-double-barrel-irish-whiskey http://www.beerwineliquor.com/new/easyblog/entry/glendalough-double-barrel-irish-whiskey

Glendalough Distillery, Ireland’s first craft distiller, is leading an exciting Irish whiskey revival with the American release of its new Double Barrel Irish Whiskey. Available in Maryland and Washington, DC via Bacchus Importers, this hand-crafted small batch spirit is a new caliber of Irish whiskey, boasting unique richness and complexity.

“This truly new, unique style of Irish whiskey was born of a wild Irish streak,” said Glendalough’s USA Brand Manager Donal O’Gallachoir. “Like the fiercely independent, Irish monk, Saint Kevin whose image graces every one of our bottles, we are carving our own way with the Double Barrel. This whiskey represents a distinguished sociability—it dares to stand out in a world of copycats and ‘same old’ styles.”

Glendalough Double Barrel Irish Whiskey brings new life to a pre-Prohibition style of Irish whiskey that would be familiar to one’s grandfather. Hand-distilled in a Coffey still from a mash bill of locally sourced malted barley and organic corn, the whiskey gains its distinctive complexity from a year of gentle, steady aging that is aided by the country’s mild maritime climate. The double-aging process combines six months in first-fill American oak bourbon barrels, then graduates to six months in first-fill Spanish Oloroso sherry casks. Before bottling, the cask-strength whiskey is cut with purified mineral-rich water sourced from the surrounding Wicklow Mountains. A year on oak yields the distinctive vanilla thread that runs through this Iight and floral Irish whiskey. The Bourbon barrels impart deep, robust chocolate and caramel notes, lightened on the palate with fruity, nutty notes from the Oloroso casks. The subtle nose is rich with the dark, fruity notes of Christmas pudding, and a sweet and creamy palate resounds richly with honeyed sweetness returning to dry fruit and a gingery, golden finish.

With the Double Barrel’s debut, Glendalough continues to lead a new renaissance in Irish craft spirits. Based in Glendalough, County Wicklow, the distillery is located near the site of a medieval monastic settlement founded in 6 A.D. by the legendary Irish monk Saint Kevin. It was at settlements like this where monks produced the world’s first distilled spirit—poitín—as early as 548 A.D. Signaling an innovative return to Ireland’s long-lost craft spirits tradition, Glendalough’s first release was a modern poitín, and the distillery has since moved in a natural progression towards whiskey, first with the release of 7- and 13-year single malts and now, the Double Barrel Irish Whiskey. Glendalough Double Barrel Whiskey is sold in 750 ML bottles.


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steve@beveragejournalinc.com (Stephen Patten) April 2015 Editions Mon, 23 Mar 2015 12:18:47 -0400
Heavy Seas Celebrates New Brew House and 20th Year http://www.beerwineliquor.com/new/easyblog/entry/heavy-seas-celebrates-new-brew-house-and-20th-year http://www.beerwineliquor.com/new/easyblog/entry/heavy-seas-celebrates-new-brew-house-and-20th-year

Senator Ben Cardin and Heavy Seas founder, Hugh Sisson, were recently joined by many guests including other political leaders, investors, bankers, media representatives, distributors, brewery employees, and friends and family for the official unveiling of the new brew house.  This ribbon cutting ceremony and reception also marked the 20th year for Heavy Seas Beer, formally known as Clipper City Brewing Company. The Senator, using a cutlass sword, cut the ribbon to present the new Heavy Seas brew house. 

The event included a cannon being fired inside the brewery right after the ribbon cutting as well as pints of Heavy Seas beers being served … including the new year-round, CrossBones Session IPA, and the new seasonal, Deep Six English-style porter. 

The new brew house is now fully operating and taking the brewery from producing 200 barrels of beer a day to almost 500 barrels a day, which increases the production capacity by 250%. The term “brew house” refers to the equipment that is used to produce wort, which becomes beer during fermentation. 

Congratulations Hugh and the entire Heavy Seas team.


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steve@beveragejournalinc.com (Stephen Patten) March 2015 Editions Sat, 21 Feb 2015 16:46:34 -0500
Greg Baird Promoted to President of The Charmer Sunbelt Group http://www.beerwineliquor.com/new/easyblog/entry/greg-baird-promoted-to-president-of-the-charmer-sunbelt-group http://www.beerwineliquor.com/new/easyblog/entry/greg-baird-promoted-to-president-of-the-charmer-sunbelt-group

Greg Baird was recently promoted to President of The Charmer Sunbelt Group; the parent company of Reliable Churchill as well as Washington Wholesale.  

“As our industry has changed these past few years, Greg’s steady direction as Chief Operating Officer has guided us in our vision to be The Distributor of Choice," stated Charlie Merinoff, CEO at The Charmer Sunbelt Group.  “On behalf of our Board and shareholders let me say we are confident Greg has the sound judgment, business acumen, foresight and demonstrated leadership to bring us to the next level and continue our growth and profitability.” 

Greg began his career in the industry with the E&J Gallo Winery, where he spent almost ten years in a variety of roles. During that tenure he was responsible for Gallo’s recruiting and training efforts in the East Region. It was in that role that he recognized the critical importance of sourcing, developing and retaining talent to strengthen the organization. He joined Reliable Churchill in 1990, where he rose through the organization, eventually becoming President in 1999.  In 2007, Greg joined the corporate team, assuming the role of Vice President of Sales for all of Charmer Sunbelt.  After several years of executing supplier strategies and expanding key relationships, Greg was promoted to Chief Operating Officer in June 2010. 

As President Greg will continue to report to Charlie Merinoff and work closely with the Board of Directors.   In addition to his current direct leadership over Finance, Sales, Human Resources, and House leadership, Greg will manage the Legal, Government & Regulatory Affairs and Corporate Development departments.

Congratulations Greg.


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steve@beveragejournalinc.com (Stephen Patten) March 2015 Editions Sat, 21 Feb 2015 16:45:06 -0500
Protect Your Livelihood, Get Involved http://www.beerwineliquor.com/new/easyblog/entry/protect-your-livelihood-get-involved-1 http://www.beerwineliquor.com/new/easyblog/entry/protect-your-livelihood-get-involved-1

The Maryland 2015 Legislative session begins in less than a week (it is January 9th as I type this … very much looking forward to the Industry Opening Day Legislative Reception being held on January 14th; look for full coverage in the March edition of the Beverage Journal).  

I recently attended the Baltimore County Licensed Beverage Association’s (BCLBA) ‘Meet & Greet’ at Hightopps Backstage Grille in Timonium (see page 34 for coverage of this event). The Meet & Greet offered Baltimore County licensees an opportunity to meet with their elected officials (many newly elected). There is no doubt that chain store legislation is a concern of the entire industry … it was the topic du jour of many conversations.  Chain stores being allowed to enter the Maryland marketplace is a dangerous prospect to the independent beer, wine and liquor retailer.  I was told over and over again how important it is to get as many industry members involved and be prepared to defend the independent store-owners’ position to the state representatives.  Many of you are involved and are familiar with the process of protecting your business from harmful proposed legislation.  However, too many are not.  Below is a quick ‘How To’ …

First, you need to know what proposed legislation is coming down the pipe and how it would affect your business.  Becoming a member of your county association as well as the Maryland State Licensed Beverage Association (MSLBA) would be a great start.  The MSLBA was formed, in part, because the association's leaders understood that actions in the Maryland State House directly impact the operations of your businesses.  The MSLBA tracks proposed legislation that will have an effect on its members’ livelihoods.  They do this right at their web site, www.mslba.org.  

Next, you will need to know who your elected officials are.  There is a very quick and easy way to find out … go to http://mdelect.net and type in your address.  Make note of whom your State Senator and State Delegates are.  

Now you will need to inform yourself as to the contributions you and your business make to the community. American Beverage Licensees (ABL) has a way for you to quantify the significant contribution you make to your community when it comes to jobs, taxes and economic impact.  ABL is the preeminent national trade association for licensed beverage retailers. Through the ABL website, www.ablusa.org, ABL members can create reports and download data that detail the number of jobs and amount of taxes that they provide to their communities, as well as more in-depth economic impact information at the state legislative district level.  This is a very powerful tool.  By utilizing this economic study data, you now have the ability to tell your overwhelmingly positive story and impact you have in your community to your representatives in Annapolis.

Lastly, you will need to get the attention of your representatives and share your story with them.  I would suggest you again enlist the help of the MSLBA.  At their web site, www.mslba.org, go to their Legislative area and you’ll find information on upcoming events as well as how to put together an email or letter that will be well received by your representatives.

Access to the above mentioned materials at the MSLBA web site are free to all.  However, I would highly suggest becoming a member if you are not already.  If you want more information than is on their web site feel free to call the MSLBA at 410 876-3464.

Access to state Senate and House district data is free to ABL members and requires additional log-in information, which can be obtained by contacting the ABL office.  If you are not a member of ABL, you will need to become one to access the Economic Impact Study data and create reports etc.  Visit www.ablusa.org or call them at 301 656-1494 for more information.

I’ve said it before, it’s worth saying again, get involved … your livelihood may depend on it.


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steve@beveragejournalinc.com (Stephen Patten) February 2015 Editions Wed, 21 Jan 2015 18:37:56 -0500
100 Years of Freixenet http://www.beerwineliquor.com/new/easyblog/entry/100-years-of-freixenet http://www.beerwineliquor.com/new/easyblog/entry/100-years-of-freixenet Freixenet Logo.jpg - 26.47 KB

This past November market the 100th anniversary of the first bottling of Freixenet, a name known as one of the world’s leading producers of sparkling wine made in the traditional méthode champenoise (and accounts for 80 percent of all cava exports). The Ferrer family has been behind the Freixenet name from the beginning and has shaped their family-owned company, the Freixenet Group, with the promise to produce and share uniquely-crafted, quality wines, and has successfully done so while utilizing innovative winemaking techniques and unique marketing strategies throughout the past century. The Ferrers’ approach in the global marketplace and emphasis on quality in all of their wines have helped mold their legacy of excellence in the United States, one which is exemplified by the recent launch of their new luxury cava, Casa Sala Grand Reserva Brut.

A vintage cava hand-crafted using century-old techniques, Casa Sala is a passion project of José Ferrer Sala, President of Honor of the Freixenet Group and has been released as a tribute to the centennial of the first bottling of Freixenet . All aspects of production are managed by hand—from harvesting by hand and manual pressing, to riddling and disgorgement.

The Casa Sala Winery was built on the grounds of the family estate by Joan Sala in 1901, and is where still wines for export were made until 1914, when Pere Ferrer Bosch and Dolores Sala Vivé created the first bottles of Freixenet cava there. Nowadays, the Casa Sala Winery is equipped with the latest technology. In the new biodynamic winery, we have tried to retain the best from each generation, combining ancestral techniques with the latest winemaking technologies.

The nose of the new 2005 Casa Sala is predominantly citrus, with a fine balance of green apple over a toasty backdrop. On the palate it is refreshing and well balanced, with delightful hints of pastries and newly baked bread combining elegantly with fine fruit flavors and a beautifully structured sparkle.

With an unshakeable belief in the potential of cava, Freixenet became one of the first Spanish companies to embrace the international marketplace, opening its first office in the United States in 1935 and quickly establishing distribution in many other countries around the world. Breaking ground in the realm of packaging, José Ferrer developed the distinctive frosted black bottle for Freixenet’s signature Cordon Negro cava well before customized glass packaging or the use of opaque bottles was common.

In production, Freixenet has consistently been on the forefront of winemaking innovation, often borrowing and adapting technology from other industries in an effort to enhance quality in all of their wines. Freixenet established the first temperature controlled fermentation facility in Spain, which is also the largest in Europe. In their yeast cultivation, Freixenet has adapted biomass control technology used by the European Space Agency and NASA. The company has also signed an agreement with the private firm NTE (New Space Technologies) to implement controls for their cultivation rooms that allow them instantaneous measurement of the number of viable yeasts in a culture medium, which is invaluable information to guarantee proper fermentation. Freixenet has developed new filtration systems using braided stainless steel, which omits the need to add clarifying compounds. This not only respects the integrity of the wine, but also helps to protect the environment by reducing residual waste.

For a century, attention to quality has been the single most important element to the Ferrer family’s success in winemaking, underlined by a penchant for innovative thinking and creativity. Today the Ferrer family holds full or majority ownership in 18 estates located in prominent wine regions in seven countries around the world and sells more than 160 sparkling and still wines worldwide. Whether for their widely-distributed wines like Cordon Negro or their small-production artisanal wines like Casa Sala, the Ferrer family ensures the utmost care throughout the winemaking process.

Friexenet also continues to stay loyal to the Ferrer family legacy, as the company is currently run by the third generation of Ferrers, and the fourth generation is now becoming active in the company as well. José Ferrer Sala, who celebrated his 89th birthday in 2014, remains involved in the company he was instrumental in building, while his sons and nephews cultivate the company’s plans for the future.

 


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steve@beveragejournalinc.com (Stephen Patten) January 2015 Editions Sun, 21 Dec 2014 12:06:34 -0500
Center For Alcohol Policy Marks Anniversary of 21st Amendment http://www.beerwineliquor.com/new/easyblog/entry/center-for-alcohol-policy-marks-anniversary-of-21st-amendment http://www.beerwineliquor.com/new/easyblog/entry/center-for-alcohol-policy-marks-anniversary-of-21st-amendment The Center for Alcohol Policy (CAP) recently commemorated the 81st anniversary of the ratification of the 21st Amendment to the United States Constitution.

On December 5, 1933, Prohibition ended in the United States when 36 states (the requisite three-fourths majority of the then 48 states) ratified the 21st Amendment to the United States Constitution, thereby repealing the 18th Amendment which began Prohibition in 1920. For 80 years, the United States and its citizens have benefited from a state-based system of alcohol regulation, put in place following ratification of the 21st Amendment, which gives each state the primary authority to enact and enforce alcohol laws consistent with the desires and needs of its citizens.

“It’s important for citizens to understand that the repeal of the failed, one-size-fits-all policy of national Prohibition was not the end of the story – it’s where the story of today’s successful system began,” said Patrick Lynch, CAP Advisory Council member and former Rhode Island attorney general. “The 21st Amendment recognized that alcohol is a unique product that is best controlled by individual states, and it provided a solution that continues to be effective today.”

“The state-based system of alcohol regulation has been extremely effective at supporting strong marketplace competition while at the same time promoting public safety,” Lynch continued. “America does not experience large problems with bootlegging, counterfeit products or a black market, which were common during national Prohibition and have proven deadly in other parts of the world that lack an effective regulatory system for alcohol.”

For more information, visit www.center foralcoholpolicy.org and watch a great video about the origin of America’s state-based alcohol regulatory system and to learn about the CAP’s republication of Toward Liquor Control, written in 1933 to help guide alcohol policy in the states post-Prohibition.

The Center for Alcohol Policy is a 501 c (3) organization whose mission is to educate policy makers, regulators and the public about alcohol, its uniqueness and regulation. By conducting sound and scientific-based research and implementing initiatives that will maintain the appropriate state-based regulation of alcohol, the Center promotes safe and responsible consumption, fights underage drinking and drunk driving and informs key entities about the effects of alcohol consumption.


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steve@beveragejournalinc.com (Stephen Patten) January 2015 Editions Sun, 21 Dec 2014 12:02:12 -0500
Reliable Churchill Opens New Location http://www.beerwineliquor.com/new/easyblog/entry/reliable-churchill-opens-new-location http://www.beerwineliquor.com/new/easyblog/entry/reliable-churchill-opens-new-location RC New Locale Pic 5.jpg - 70.66 KB

Reliable Churchill, LLLP, has opened the doors at their new operations and distribution center in White Marsh/Middle River bringing over 500 jobs to the area. The company’s office and warehouse have consolidated in a 449,200 square foot facility built by Chesapeake Real Estate Group LLC and Industrial Income Trust in the Baltimore Crossroads business community.

“When you get to welcome a new company to Baltimore County with 500 jobs, it’s a great day to be County Executive,” said Baltimore County Executive Kamenetz. “Reliable Churchill adds to Baltimore Crossroads’ success as a significant employment center for eastern Baltimore County.”

"It is gratifying to see job growth along the Maryland Route 43 corridor.  We welcome Reliable Churchill to our Middle River business community," said Councilwoman Cathy Bevins.

“The building and the location are a perfect match for Reliable Churchill. Our new office and warehouse operation is just minutes from I-95 and gives us the space we need to grow and be more efficient,” said Kevin Dunn, President and CEO of Reliable Churchill.  “The move to Baltimore County has allowed us to continue deliveries to our customers throughout the region without interruption. Our employees are getting to know the many amenities that White Marsh and Middle River have to offer. ”

Baltimore Crossroads is a 1,000-acre business community on Maryland Route 43, near Interstate 95 in White Marsh/Middle River.  Over 60 companies employing approximately 2,900 people are located at Baltimore Crossroads.


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steve@beveragejournalinc.com (Stephen Patten) October 2014 Editions Wed, 24 Sep 2014 10:03:22 -0400
BeverageJournalInc.com http://www.beerwineliquor.com/new/easyblog/entry/beveragejournalinc-com http://www.beerwineliquor.com/new/easyblog/entry/beveragejournalinc-com BJ-LOGO-ICON-2013_LORES.jpg - 89.27 KB

There are some new features at our web site that are worth checking out.  Not only can you obtain all the information necessary to set up a subscription, get advertising information, pay invoices and renewals, and read all the articles as well as our subscribers being able to access their subscription information and search the monthly Price List as a PDF; but NOW the Maryland edition has an added function: a sort-able/searchable version of the Price List … we are calling it a Dynamic Search.  As I type this we have over 20,000 products up on this service.  We are adding products constantly.  The unique search ability and access to family plan discounts within a distributor make this new online service an incredible added value to your already indispensible Maryland Beverage Journal.   Accessing this added service is easy.  Simply, go to www.beveragejournalinc.com and then click the Login Here tab.  If you are a first time visitor, use the Customer Number option to Login (your customer number can be found on the top line of the mailing label of your hard copy Maryland Beverage Journal). In addition we are also able to offer downloadable data versions of the prices to marry-up with your POS systems. 

I hope you take the time to visit our web site and check out this new service.  Feel free to give me a call or shoot me an email with any questions.


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steve@beveragejournalinc.com (Stephen Patten) June 2014 Edition Mon, 19 May 2014 14:59:08 -0400
What's Up in Worcester? http://www.beerwineliquor.com/new/easyblog/entry/what-s-up-in-worcester http://www.beerwineliquor.com/new/easyblog/entry/what-s-up-in-worcester worcestercounty.jpg - 104.35 KB

Major changes to the industry in Worcester County will take place July 1, of this year when licensees in Worcester County will be allowed to purchase product from private wholesalers. This has been a long time coming and most agree this is a good thing.

According to Maryland State Licensed Beverage Association (MSLBA) Lobbyist Steve Wise, “The licensees of Worcester County mounted a major effort to take down the County’s Liquor Control Board (LCB or Dispensary) beginning in the summer of 2010. The difficulty came in getting the County’s Commissioner’s to part with the sometime significant revenues that the County and its municipalities derive from alcohol sales.”

Effective July 1, 2011, the County assumed control of what is now the LCB, so it was placed under the control of the Commissioners from that point forward.Additionally, all retailers would have had the option as of 2016 to purchase their alcohol from private wholesalers. This past (2014) session in Annapolis saw legislation pass that allows retailers to purchase product from private wholesalers sooner … that date is now July 1, 2014. 

“What began as a local bill making various changes became more storied when the owner of Ocean Downs asked for an amendment allowing the racetrack and casino to stay open longer. When the casino was created, retailers had made certain the hours were consistent with theirs, and this amendment changed that agreement. In exchange for agreeing to a 4 a.m. serving time for the casino, the earlier 2014 date was arranged after negotiations headed up by Senator Jim Mathias and members of the House Delegation. The legislation also moves Worcester into the list of counties where an alcohol awareness trained individual must be on the premises during the hours alcohol is served,” concluded Wise.


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steve@beveragejournalinc.com (Stephen Patten) June 2014 Edition Mon, 19 May 2014 13:55:47 -0400
2014 ABL Conference http://www.beerwineliquor.com/new/easyblog/entry/2014-abl-conference http://www.beerwineliquor.com/new/easyblog/entry/2014-abl-conference ABL LoRes.jpg - 621.52 KB

American Beverage Licensees (ABL) will return to Washington, D.C. for the 2014 ABL Conference from June 8th through the10th. The 2014 conference will mark ABL’s 12th anniversary and brings together beer, wine and spirits retailers from across the country as well as representatives from all three tiers of the beverage alcohol industry. 

ABL Executive Director John Bodnovich recently stated, “ABL members will have a great opportunity to flex the retail tier’s grassroots muscles on Capitol Hill while also learning about the issues affecting their businesses from a range of industry leaders, elected officials and policy experts.”

 General session and seminar presentations will focus on some of the most pressing topics facing independent beverage alcohol licensees, such as the evolving regulatory landscape for alcohol; emerging policy initiatives on drunk driving (including proposals to lower the BAC from 0.08% to 0.05% or lower); the impact of new healthcare laws on small business; and the movement for legalized recreational marijuana.

 “Unlike other retail trade shows, the ABL Conference is a unique opportunity for retail beverage licensees because in addition to exploring regulatory, legislative and legal aspects of their businesses and industry, the conference will give attendees a chance to act as citizen lobbyists by meeting with Members of Congress to discuss the issues that matter to them,” said Bodnovich.

The purpose of ABL is to:

l Initiate, promote, and support laws, regulations and rules that preserve and protect the right of responsible on and off premise retailers of beverage alcohol to operate legitimate and lawful businesses without burdensome intrusion. 

l Encourage and promote closer relations among all entities engaged in the responsible sale of beverage alcohol through effective communications, innovative services, and education and training opportunities.

l Educate the public to a higher level of awareness regarding the scope of the licensed beverage alcohol industry.

 For more information on the conference visit ABL’s home on the web,
ABLUSA.org.


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steve@beveragejournalinc.com (Stephen Patten) May 2014 Editions Thu, 17 Apr 2014 15:54:17 -0400
2014 Beverage Industry Lobby Day http://www.beerwineliquor.com/new/easyblog/entry/2014-beverage-industry-lobby-day http://www.beerwineliquor.com/new/easyblog/entry/2014-beverage-industry-lobby-day

This 2014 Maryland General Assembly Session is underway and retailers have two options: sit back and watch and hope all turns out well, or be actively engaged and impact the outcome in a way that helps your business.  Please make it a top priority to join with members of the Maryland Beer Wholesalers Association (MBWA) and the Maryland State Licensed Beverage Association (MSLBA) on the morning of February 13th to meet with legislators from your district in their Annapolis offices.  The day will start in Annapolis at 7:30 am at the Governor Calvert House for meeting assignments and a briefing on the issues.  The group will then head over to the state house to meet with our elected representatives to voice the concerns of the industry on potential and proposed legislation.  The group will then meet back at the Governor Calvert House for a debriefing followed by MBWA and MSLBA association meetings.  Following these meetings there will be a luncheon ... all wrapping up by 1:00 pm.  

This is a great opportunity to meet your elected officials and let them know what is important to you and your business.  If you have questions or just want to register, call the MSLBA at 800 921-1381.


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steve@beveragejournalinc.com (Stephen Patten) February 2014 Editions Tue, 21 Jan 2014 09:22:26 -0500
Maryland’s Multi-Billion Dollar Impact http://www.beerwineliquor.com/new/easyblog/entry/maryland-s-multi-billion-dollar-impact http://www.beerwineliquor.com/new/easyblog/entry/maryland-s-multi-billion-dollar-impact Eighty years ago Maryland approved ratification of the 21st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, ultimately repealing the 18th Amendment and ending Prohibition. Today, Maryland’s wine and spirits industry supports a multi-million dollar economy, employs thousands of workers, and provides millions of dollars in tax revenue to the state and federal governments.

Marking the 80 year milestone, the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America (WSWA) released a detailed economic snapshot of the industry’s impact in Maryland that I found very interesting (as well as important).

The wine and spirits industry supports 17,340 direct jobs in Maryland, which includes more than 1,270 workers at wholesalers. The total economic impact of the industry in the state is $2.9 billion, according to an economic analysis released by WSWA and prepared by New York-based John Dunham & Associates.

Beyond wages and economic impact, the modern wine and spirits industry in Maryland generates a total of $511 million in state business and consumer taxes.

“The 21st Amendment paved the way for the creation of the modern three-tier beverage alcohol regulatory system that today delivers the widest variety of products available to consumers anywhere in the world in a manner that is safe, well-regulated, and ensures reliable revenue streams for the states and federal government,” WSWA President and CEO Craig Wolf said.

Wolf pointed out that even today in Europe, Asia and Latin America, consumers regularly suffer because of unsafe, adulterated or counterfeit beverage alcohol. He said these issues are non-existent in the United States largely because of the regulatory framework enacted by the states and federal government under the 21st Amendment.

WSWA is the national trade association representing the wholesale tier of the wine and spirits industry. It is dedicated to advancing the interests and independence of wholesale distributors and brokers of wine and spirits. Founded in 1943, WSWA has over 350 member companies in 50 states and the District of Columbia, and its members distribute more than 70 percent of all wines and spirits sold at wholesale in the United States. More information is available at www.wswa.org.


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steve@beveragejournalinc.com (Stephen Patten) December 2013 Editions Tue, 19 Nov 2013 09:59:01 -0500
Protect Your Livelihood, Get Involved http://www.beerwineliquor.com/new/easyblog/entry/protect-your-livelihood-get-involved http://www.beerwineliquor.com/new/easyblog/entry/protect-your-livelihood-get-involved November 2013 … the Maryland 2014 Legislative session is just around the corner.  There is no doubt that chain store legislation will again be introduced.  This is a dangerous prospect to the independent beer, wine and liquor store.  It is in you and your business’ best interest to get involved and be prepared to defend your position to your state representatives.  Many of you are involved and are familiar with the process of protecting your business from harmful proposed legislation.  Below is a quick ‘How To’ for everyone else…

First, you need to know what proposed legislation is coming down the pipe and how it would affect your business.  The Maryland State Licensed Beverage Association (MSLBA) was formed, in part, because the association's leaders understood that actions in the Maryland State House directly impact the operations of your businesses.  The MSLBA tracks proposed legislation that will have an effect on its members’ livelihoods.  They do this right at their web site, www.mslba.org.  

Next, you will need to know who your elected officials are.  There is a very quick and easy way to find out … go to http://mdelect.net and type in your address.  Make note of who your State Senator and State Delegates are.  

Now you will need to inform yourself as to the contributions you and your business make to the community. American Beverage Licensees (ABL) has a way for you to quantify the significant contribution you make to your community when it comes to jobs, taxes and economic impact.  ABL is the preeminent national trade association for licensed beverage retailers. Through the ABL website, www.ablusa.org, ABL members can create reports and download data that detail the number of jobs and amount of taxes that they provide to their communities, as well as more in-depth economic impact information at the state legislative district level.  This is a very powerful tool.  By utilizing this economic study data, you now have the ability to tell your overwhelmingly positive story and impact you have in your community to your representatives in Annapolis.

Lastly, you will need to get the attention of your representatives and share your story with them.  I would suggest you again enlist the help of the MSLBA.  At their web site, www.mslba.org, go to their Legislative area and you’ll find information on upcoming events as well as how to put together an email or letter that will be well received by your representatives.

Access to the above mentioned materials at the MSLBA web site are free to all.  However, I would highly suggest becoming a member if you are not already.  If you want more information than is on their web site feel free to call the MSLBA at 410 876-3464.

Access to state Senate and House district data is free to ABL members and requires additional log-in information, which can be obtained by contacting the ABL office.  If you are not a member of ABL, you will need to become one to access the Economic Impact Study data and create reports etc.  In addition to www.ablusa.org you can call them at 301 656-1494.

Get involved … your livelihood may depend on it.


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steve@beveragejournalinc.com (Stephen Patten) Uncategorized Wed, 13 Nov 2013 11:56:07 -0500