Blogs from Stephen Patten - Beverage Journal, Maryland and Washington, DC http://www.beerwineliquor.com/new/easyblog/blogger/listings/stephen Fri, 04 Sep 2015 12:28:57 -0400 Joomla! - Open Source Content Management en-gb 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