The Beverage Journal Blog

This is a place to read articles found in the Maryland and Washington DC Beverage Journals as well as thoughts on current issues from our staff. If you would like to be a registered BJ Blogger, contact Stephen Patten.

Subscribe to feed Latest Entries

GIN 101:The Many Styles of Gin

Posted by Beverage Network
Beverage Network
The Beverage Network publications have been providing beverage alcohol licensees
User is currently offline
on Thursday, 17 April 2014
in May 2014 Editions

ClassicMartini.jpg - 15.37 KB

Benchmark London Dry style

...
Tags: Untagged
Hits: 227 0 Comments
0 votes

GIN ReimaGINed

Posted by Beverage Network
Beverage Network
The Beverage Network publications have been providing beverage alcohol licensees
User is currently offline
on Thursday, 17 April 2014
in May 2014 Editions

toc_gin3.jpg - 38.10 KB

No longer simply juniper, this spirit can be classic or creative, modern or mystical

According to conventional wisdom, and to the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, gin is a distilled spirit with its main flavor derived from juniper berries. That leaves a lot of room for interpretation.

...
Tags: Untagged
Hits: 219 0 Comments
0 votes

Beso del Sol Sangria

Posted by Edward "Teddy" Durgin
Edward "Teddy" Durgin
Teddy is a graduate of UMBC. In additional to his Beverage Journal writing dutie
User is currently offline
on Thursday, 17 April 2014
in May 2014 Editions

BesoDelSol_Pic_3.jpg - 94.38 KB

… Aims for Mucho Success In Maryland and D.C.

In early March, Beso del Sol Sangria expanded distribution to 10 states, including Maryland and the District of Columbia. The product is a joint venture between Arctic Beverage LLC and L&B, LLC, which have endeavored to bring a premium product in the high-growth sangria category to market. Arctic Beverage, importer of Beso del Sol, is partnering with Prestige Imports in Maryland and D.C.

...
Tags: Untagged
Hits: 482 0 Comments
0 votes

Tim Schestag: Making a Fist at Palm Bay

Posted by Edward "Teddy" Durgin
Edward "Teddy" Durgin
Teddy is a graduate of UMBC. In additional to his Beverage Journal writing dutie
User is currently offline
on Thursday, 17 April 2014
in May 2014 Editions

TimSchestagPhoto.jpg - 44.24 KB

Whenever an Industry Snapshot subject tells me he is gotten into boxing in his spare time, I have to fight the urge to frontload the article with all sorts of fight cliches.  "When he got into the beverage business, he had the eye of the tiger ... and he still does!" "He's been punching and counter-punching in our industry for 10 years now."  "His company went 15 rounds with the last recession and was still standing at the end."

That's why I had to chuckle when Tim Schestag recently revealed: "I've taken up boxing.  I got tired of the monotony of being in a gym, and I can't stand running.  It was something different, something unique.  And believe it or not, it keeps me level on the job."

...
Tags: Untagged
Hits: 266 0 Comments
0 votes

2014 ABL Conference

Posted by Stephen Patten
Stephen Patten
Steve is the Publisher of the Maryland & Washington, DC Beverage Journals (trade
User is currently offline
on Thursday, 17 April 2014
in May 2014 Editions

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.”

...
Tags: Untagged
Hits: 220 0 Comments
0 votes

DC Coast Enjoys the Highs With Lauren Lowe

Posted by Edward "Teddy" Durgin
Edward "Teddy" Durgin
Teddy is a graduate of UMBC. In additional to his Beverage Journal writing dutie
User is currently offline
on Wednesday, 19 March 2014
in April 2014 Editions

Lowe_Lauren3.jpg - 263.97 KB

It's been eight years since Lauren Lowe made the move from the wilds of Michigan to Washington, D.C.  A part of her is still getting used to the transition.  "I lived in Michigan until I was 22," she stated.  "Needless to say, there is a thriving city life here in comparison to where I'm from."

Lowe has been part of that thriving city life for eight years now, specifically its bar scene.  Her first job behind the taps was at Chef Jeff's on 13th and F Streets.  She left there after about a year and a half to take a job at DC Coast.  She's been head bartender there for nearly six years now.

...
Tags: Untagged
Hits: 290 0 Comments
0 votes

Terrapin’s Mosaic Red Rye IPA

Posted by Alan Horton
Alan Horton
Al Horton retired after 27 years with Bob Hall LLC, a beer distributor in Upper
User is currently offline
on Wednesday, 19 March 2014
in April 2014 Editions

Mosaic-Square-Web.jpg - 225.26 KB

Mosaic Red Rye IPA is a euphonious name for a beer. The name is quite a mouthful, and so is the beer.  This Rye based IPA is brewed by the award-winning Terrapin Brewery located in Athens, Georgia, which began brewing operations in 2002.  Terrapin brews a wide range of full flavored ales that are well balanced and not over the top in any way.

Much of Mosaic Red Rye IPA’s character is based on the use of Mosaic Hops – a new variety of hop. An offspring of Simcoe and Nugget hops, Mosaic derives its pleasant aroma and bitterness qualities from each of them. This new hop from the Northwest United States has a bright future and likely will become widely used in very short order.  

...
Tags: Untagged
Hits: 219 0 Comments
0 votes

Keith Kerkoff: How Templeton Rye Went Legit

Posted by Edward "Teddy" Durgin
Edward "Teddy" Durgin
Teddy is a graduate of UMBC. In additional to his Beverage Journal writing dutie
User is currently offline
on Wednesday, 19 March 2014
in April 2014 Editions

KK Image 1.jpg - 273.72 KB

In the 1987 movie "The Untouchables," Sean Connery's Irish beat cop famously instructed Kevin Costner's Eliot Ness on the "Chicago way" to get Al Capone and his notorious gang: "They pull a knife, you pull a gun.  He sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue!"

Well, if it had been Keith Kerkoff in that scene, he would have told the Prohibition-era enforcement agent, "Just offer 'em a bottle of Templeton Rye!"

...
Tags: Untagged
Hits: 287 0 Comments
0 votes

Up-Selling: A Practitioner’s Guide To Selling the Good Stuff

Posted by Robert Plotkin
Robert Plotkin
Roberto is a judge at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition and author of
User is currently offline
on Wednesday, 19 March 2014
in April 2014 Editions

upselling button.jpg - 87.04 KB

The appeal of premium spirits cuts across age and cultural demographic lines. The spirits industry has done a marvelous job positioning premium brands with contemporary consumers. Their allure is undeniable. They’re marketed in attention grabbing packages and offer people a lot of bang for the buck. That’s an unbeatable combination.

As with most high-ticket items, premium and super-premium spirits don’t sell themselves. Convincing a client that a $60 bottle of Russian vodka, a $200 American alembic brandy, or a 750ml of tequila retailing for $250 is a warranted and informed purchase requires technique and ready information. Considering that your staff will have little time to close the sale necessitates providing them with a viable strategy.

...
Tags: Untagged
Hits: 294 0 Comments
0 votes

Tequila 101

Posted by Beverage Network
Beverage Network
The Beverage Network publications have been providing beverage alcohol licensees
User is currently offline
on Wednesday, 19 March 2014
in April 2014 Editions

Agave_tequilana_2.jpg - 268.37 KB

Tequila is made from the blue agave plant, which resembles a cactus but is actually a member of the lily family. At the heart of the plant is the “piña” (similar in appearance to a pineapple), which produces the aguamiel (“honey water”) that is fermented and distilled.

Tequila may only be produced in designated areas of Mexico, most notably the state of Jalisco; the spirit takes its name from the town of Tequila.

...
Tags: Untagged
Hits: 240 0 Comments
0 votes

Tequila To the Max

Posted by Beverage Network
Beverage Network
The Beverage Network publications have been providing beverage alcohol licensees
User is currently offline
on Wednesday, 19 March 2014
in April 2014 Editions

toc_tequila.jpg - 81.30 KB

In a bigger, faster world, tequila expands to higher price points and showcases innovations.

Innovation can mean many things, but for spirits retailers, innovation in tequila has delivered a growing business with a much more lucrative ring.

...
Tags: Untagged
Hits: 323 0 Comments
0 votes

Frank Jones: Front and Center at the Gibson

Posted by Edward "Teddy" Durgin
Edward "Teddy" Durgin
Teddy is a graduate of UMBC. In additional to his Beverage Journal writing dutie
User is currently offline
on Wednesday, 26 February 2014
in March 2014 Editions

FrankJones.jpg - 130.62 KB

Frank Jones, bartender extraordinaire at The Gibson in Washington, D.C., is quick to list star mixologist Gina Chersevani among his first mentors in the business.  Chuckling at the memory of her early tutelage, he recalled, "Gina would always tell me that I was messy and slow!  What she was trying to get me to see was, as a bartender, you are constantly on display.  You don't really think of yourself as being part of the atmosphere, per se, but you are.  Unlike a server at a table, you can't leave your post.  You're stuck there, you're in a fish bowl, and they're watching you.  So, in turn, I've learned to be much more neat.  It's very important to always be aware of the fact that you are being watched and to bring some degree of elegance to the job."

Winner of last year's Artini competition at the Corcoran Gallery, Jones has been tending bar in the Washington metro area for a decade now. He started at the Poste Moderne Brasserie in the Hotel Monaco.  From there, he went to Ardeo + Bardeo, the Belga Cafe, and the Jack Rose Dining Saloon.  "Now I am very happy to be at The Gibson," he stated, "where I pretty much manage the cocktail program."

...
Tags: Untagged
Hits: 669 0 Comments
0 votes

Spitfire Kentish Ale “The Bottle of Britain”

Posted by Alan Horton
Alan Horton
Al Horton retired after 27 years with Bob Hall LLC, a beer distributor in Upper
User is currently offline
on Thursday, 20 February 2014
in March 2014 Editions

spitfire.jpg - 127.03 KB

Spitfire Kentish Ale has an interesting back-story.  During World War II, Messerschmidt fighters from the German Luftwaffe dominated the air war over Britain until the Spitfire, a new Rolls Royce powered airplane, entered the fray and changed the outcome of the Battle of Britain. In 1990, fifty years after the battle, Shepherd Neame, Britain’s oldest brewer (1698), brewed Spitfire Kentish Ale in a onetime effort to commemorate the success of the airplane in saving Britain and to raise funds for the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund.  An unplanned success, Spitfire became popular and has remained in production since then, and during the past two years the brand has become the fastest growing bottled ale in Britain.

When poured into a wide mouthed pint glass, the beer is the color of blood orange and sports a thick off white head. As the beer is consumed, traces of foam lace remain while small bubble carbonation continues to rise in the glass.

...
Tags: Untagged
Hits: 336 0 Comments
0 votes

Van Mitchell: Retailer-Legislator-Administrator and Lobbyist

Posted by Alan Horton
Alan Horton
Al Horton retired after 27 years with Bob Hall LLC, a beer distributor in Upper
User is currently offline
on Thursday, 20 February 2014
in March 2014 Editions

Van.jpg - 46.82 KB

Over the years, there have been several retailers and wholesalers who have served in the Maryland Legislature.  Names like Pete Bozick, Jim Simpson, Cas Taylor and former Delegate James King come to mind, but very few have had such diverse experience in business, the legislature, government agencies and the alcohol beverage industry as Van Mitchell.

If asked about his widely diverse work history, Van might joke and say something like, “This guy you are talking about must have had a hard time keeping a job.”  The fact is, his varied and cumulative job experience make him ideally suited for his current job as a lobbyist in a firm that represents the alcohol industry.  When Van speaks with legislators, he doesn’t speak in theoretical terms, he speaks with the authority of someone who has actually been there and done it. As the popular 1960s saying goes, “He can talk the talk and he can walk the walk.” And, in his numerous careers we can see examples of his use of best practices in running a business.

...
Tags: Untagged
Hits: 324 0 Comments
0 votes

Longtime RNDC Salesman Mitch Laziuck Retires After 42 Years

Posted by Edward "Teddy" Durgin
Edward "Teddy" Durgin
Teddy is a graduate of UMBC. In additional to his Beverage Journal writing dutie
User is currently offline
on Thursday, 20 February 2014
in March 2014 Editions

Mitch.jpg - 219.09 KB

On Friday, Jan. 31, Republic National Distributing Co. (RNDC) held a luncheon at its Jessup headquarters in honor of salesman Mitch Laziuck, who has retired from the company after 42 years of service.  The event started at 11:30 a.m. and drew at least 200 RNDC staffers; customers; vendors; Laziuck's wife, Patty; and his daughter, Heather, and her husband.

RNDC Executive Vice President Gary Herd served as the emcee.  "It goes without saying that Mitch has had a tremendous impact on our company throughout the years," he stated, while at the podium.  "When you think about 42 years, that's a lifetime, and he's seen a lifetime of change at this company.  He has seen brands grow, and those are brands we all reap the benefits of today."

...
Tags: Untagged
Hits: 323 0 Comments
0 votes

Joe Bozick: Bringing Up the Beer

Posted by Edward "Teddy" Durgin
Edward "Teddy" Durgin
Teddy is a graduate of UMBC. In additional to his Beverage Journal writing dutie
User is currently offline
on Thursday, 20 February 2014
in March 2014 Editions

Joe.jpg - 267.94 KB

Joe Bozick owes pretty much everything he has to the beverage industry.  He currently serves as Vice President of Bozick Distributors, the Waldorf-based beer distributor his father, Peter, founded in 1959.  The job has brought him closer to his brother, Brian, who serves as company President.  Joe even met his wife, Cheryl, through the industry as she was a longtime employee of Boston Beer.  They've now been married for 21 years.

Bozick Distributors serves the Southern Maryland area of Prince George's, Charles, St. Mary's, and Calvert counties.  Among the major suppliers and brewers the company represents are MillerCoors, Heineken USA, Brown Imports, Boston Beer, and Pabst.  "I love working with everyone here," Bozick declared during a recent interview with the Beverage Journal.  "When Brian and I were growing up, everything was a lot more challenging in the sense that it was a struggle through the '80s and '90s.  We were in survival mode.  Back then, I really didn't have time to enjoy the people, because every day was a grind.  But now, everything runs smoothly and everybody does their job."

...
Tags: Untagged
Hits: 373 0 Comments
0 votes

Dorothy Bakker Bubbles With Optimism Over Krug's Future

Posted by Edward "Teddy" Durgin
Edward "Teddy" Durgin
Teddy is a graduate of UMBC. In additional to his Beverage Journal writing dutie
User is currently offline
on Thursday, 20 February 2014
in March 2014 Editions

DorothyBakker1.jpg - 137.37 KB

In January, Krug National Brand Director Dorothy Bakker visited Baltimore in advance of the much-anticipated release of the Champagne house's new vintage.  But Bakker was in town to do more than just pour bubbly and hobnob with the local beverage elite.  Charm City was her latest stop on a tour she has undertaken to spread the word that champagne should be regarded as so much more than just a special-occasion drink one has on New Year's Eve or after a best man's toast.

"Champagne is actually a great and incredibly personable wine," she declared, during a special luncheon at the Capital Grille's Inner Harbor location.  "It's no longer just something with bubbles for weddings or for toasting someone's retirement.  At Krug, we want champagne to be more than just a compulsory thing.  I think you can have it every day whether it's with a good burger and French fries or with a richer pairing like Parmesan Reggiano."

...
Tags: Untagged
Hits: 303 0 Comments
0 votes

Drams of Eire: The Irish Boom Continues

Posted by Robert Plotkin
Robert Plotkin
Roberto is a judge at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition and author of
User is currently offline
on Thursday, 20 February 2014
in March 2014 Editions

Irish Flag.jpg - 244.82 KB

While bourbon and Scotch get more press, Irish whiskeys have quietly become the fastest growing, barrel-aged spirit in America. So what’s the attraction?

It may be no more complicated than Irish whiskeys are exceptionally easy to drink. They’re accessible, highly aromatic and loaded with palate pleasing flavors. Equally tempting, years of steadily increasing popularity hasn’t significantly driven up their price making them relative bargains. For a category long existing with nary a pulse, these are heady days.

...
Tags: Untagged
Hits: 315 0 Comments
0 votes

Whiskey’s Brightest Spot: The Irish Surge is Just Beginning

Posted by Beverage Network
Beverage Network
The Beverage Network publications have been providing beverage alcohol licensees
User is currently offline
on Wednesday, 19 February 2014
in March 2014 Editions

toc_irish.jpg - 173.85 KB

If you’re looking for bright spots in the world of Irish whiskey, it’s hard not to find them. The question is where to start.

For example, ground has recently been broken in County Carlow for the new 25 million pound Walsh Whiskey Distillery, a venture backed by the Italian makers of Disaronno Liqueur. Meanwhile to the northwest, William Grant & Sons, owner of Tullamore D.E.W., will fire up the stills next fall at their new distillery, the first in a generation for the brand. Those two are just part of the unprecedented Irish whiskey distillery boomlet, to be followed by other new facilities including one at a former Diageo brewery site in Dundalk and another right in Dublin.

...
Tags: Untagged
Hits: 343 0 Comments
0 votes

Goose Island Honker’s Ale

Posted by Alan Horton
Alan Horton
Al Horton retired after 27 years with Bob Hall LLC, a beer distributor in Upper
User is currently offline
on Tuesday, 21 January 2014
in February 2014 Editions

Chicago’s Goose Island Brewery refers to its “Honker’s Ale” brand as an English style bitter, but don’t be fooled by the name. This fine beer is anything but bitter. What then is an English Bitter?  Simply put, it is a style of ale in which the brew master uses ample amounts of aromatic hops and sweet malt.  The result is a beer with a strong hop presence but a pleasantly drinkable taste.

The brew master at Goose Island uses an interesting mixture of grains including: two row barley malt, wheat malt and roasted barley.  This hearty malt combination produces a bread like aroma with a sweet malt flavor, strong enough to balance out the Stryrian Golden and Super Styrian hops. Although both hops types have mild bittering and aromatic qualities, Super Styrian hops is known especially for its dual flavor and scent characteristics.

When held to the light, a brilliant coppery gold color shows through the glass.  A tight off white head forms as it is poured and quickly dissipates into a nice band of lacey foam around the inside of the glass. An abundance of small bubble carbonation gives the beer a pleasant feel in the mouth that carries through in the aftertaste as a pleasant mix of hops and malt lingers at the back of the tongue.

...
Tags: Untagged
Hits: 315 0 Comments
0 votes