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$16 Billion Beam Inc. Acquisition Will See Greater Distribution of Whiskey Brands

Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 13, 2014 05:22 PM

Liquor giants Diageo and Pernod Ricard can start looking over their shoulders. Japan’s Suntory Holdings, which produces some of Japan’s oldest whiskeys, has just agreed to pay $16 billion for Beam Inc., the American producer of Maker’s Mark, Jim Beam, Sauza, and Gilbey’s, Ad Age reports. The deal makes Suntory the third-largest liquor company in the world. 

As a result of the deal, Suntory, which also bottles Pepsi in Japan and owns the Orangina brand, will have greater distribution in the US and Beam, whose portfolio includes the lucrative Skinnygirl line, will have much stronger exposure in the Asian marketplace. That’s a pretty good deal for Suntory, which currently sources 90 percent of its business from Japan. 

“Suntory has virtually no U.S. presence,” Mark Swartzberg, an analyst at Stifel Financial Corp., said in a research note today, according to Bloomberg. “This will take their share from less than 1 percent to 11 percent. Meanwhile, Beam stockholders will head to the bank with $83.50 for each share owned instead of the $66.97 share price that it last closed at." The two companies previously had a distribution deal in which Suntory distributed Beam products in Japan, and Beam distributed Suntory products in Singapore and greater Asia.Continue reading...

cocktail hour

All the News You Can Drink: Japanese Whiskey Boom, 'Frappicino' No No, American Drinking Trends and more

Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 3, 2014 08:27 PM

Japan's Whiskey Boom

Japan isn’t the first country most people think of when contemplating the best whiskey in the world, but the country’s distilleries are in the midst of a boom time and production and exports are scheduled to go up this year, according to Reuters.

The concern, though, is that a similar boom suddenly died in the 1990s, which caused a few smaller distilleries to shut down. The hope is to not see a repeat of those events while producing enough whiskey to meet the currently rising demand.

"At the moment, no one can see this boom busting,” said Marcin Miller, an importer of small-batch Japanese whisky. "The difficulty is that you're making it today for 20 or 50 years' time." 

So drink up, world.Continue reading...

cocktail hour

All the News You Can Drink: Patagonia Toasts Itself, Pernod Ricard Does E-Tail, Emeril's BAM! Good Whiskey and more

Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 15, 2013 08:07 PM

Patagonia Toasts Itself with Organic Brew

Outdoor clothing company Patagonia is turning 40 and in perfect mid-life crisis fashion, it's adopting some new hobbies. The eco-friendly outfitter is actually brewing its own brand of beer. 

Created in partnership with New Belgium Brewing, the limited-edition organic beer will be known as California Route Lager and only sold in 12-ounce cans, according to the Huffington Post. But the lager won’t be around for long. “This is just a promotional, one-time special collaboration," Patagonia spokesperson Jess Clayton told Bloomberg Businessweek. "Patagonia is not getting into the beer-business in a permanent way.”

The name comes “from the California route on Patagonia's Mount Fitz Roy, first climbed in 1968 by Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard and friends,” according to the company’s press release.

We'll drink to that!Continue reading...

brand and bottle

Brangelina Joins Fergie, Drew And Other Stars Launching Celeb Booze Brands

Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 18, 2013 07:02 PM

If there are two things that Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt need it’s more money and more publicity. So the pair will release their first wine from their organic 1,000-acre French estate, Chateau Miraval, next month with their names on the bottle, Bloomberg News reports.

The rosé, formerly known as “Pink Floyd,” will be labeled as Miraval and feature Pitt and Jolie’s names on the back of the bottle along with Perrin, the family that Brangelina has partnered with to help create and distribute the wine. The trio will also distribute a white later this year and reds in 2014. “We are intimately involved and quite enthused over the wine project with our friends the Perrin family,” Pitt said via his publicist.

One thing that brought Perrin and Pitt-Jolie together was the fact that both vineyards grow their vines organically, something the Perrin family has been doing since 1950. Now the Hollywood escapees are joining a long line of celebs who have extended their personal brands to alcohol brands.Continue reading...

brand and bottle

Wigle Whiskey Warms Up Pittsburgh

Posted by Matthew Moore on September 24, 2012 05:32 PM

Back in 1794, Philip Wigle was sentenced to hang for committing high treason during the Whiskey Rebellion. His crime? Wigle beat up a tax collector to prevent him from collecting taxes on farmers in Western Pennsylvania who made their living by turning grain into whiskey. Over 200 years later, Wigle's memory is honored by a young distillery in Pittsburgh called Wigle Whiskey.

On a recent trip to Pittsburgh, brandchannel dispatched a grateful scribe to catch up with Mark Meyer, a lawyer with a dream (inspired by a trip north of the border, as the Wall Street Journal found out) who founded Wigle Whiskey, to chat about launching an artisanal brand and sample his craft.

brandchannel: How important is branding in the whiskey business?

Mark Meyer: Branding is extremely important. Unlike wine, people seem to develop a loyalty to certain brands of whiskey. One of the reasons we decided to start our distillery is because Western Pennsylvania was once the home of American Whiskey. Whiskey is very much a part of the history and culture of Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania.Continue reading...

brand and bottle

"Halal Whisky" Brand ArKay Launches

Posted by Barry Silverstein on December 2, 2011 05:30 PM

Islamic law forbids the use of alcohol — and that means about a quarter of the world's population cannot enjoy the taste of whisky. At least not until now.

Enter ArKay — the world's first alcohol-free whisky-flavored beverage that has been halal-certified (halal signifies the substance in permissible under Islamic law).

The brand came about when a group of friends were drinking and sharing ideas, according to Zeshan Ahmed, VP of Sales for Arkay Beverages. "They felt there was a hole in the beverage market that needed to be filled with something like this," Ahmed told brandchannel. "They were looking for a flavor that would be well known and universal. The flavor of whisky came to mind. It took five years to develop the rich flavor and smell that is the trademark of ArKay."Continue reading...

brand and bottle

Booze Newz: Carnival Rolls Out the Barrel

Posted by Jennifer Sokolowski on August 12, 2011 05:30 PM

Carnival Cruisers Thirsty for Thirstyfrog

Carnival Cruises is bringing its private-label draught beer ThirstyFrog Red, which was introduced on the Carnival Magic in May, to the rest of its fleet. Fifteen Carnival ships have already received kegs of the brew, with three more set to get them soon. The beer sells for $5.50 a glass and debuted in the Caribbean-themed RedFrog pub, the cruise line’s first. USA Today notes that Carnival may introduce the pub concept to other ships along with the beer.Continue reading...

brand and bottle

Booze Newz: Wood You Drink This Whiskey?

Posted by Jennifer Sokolowski on July 29, 2011 05:00 PM

Classy Coaster

If only this were more than a design concept. Designer David Riesenberg has come up with a “Ryesenberg” whiskey bottle (at right) with a detachable label that's intended to be produced from the actual barrel in which the whiskey is aged, The Dieline reports.

The wood from the barrel would be dried, pressed and silkscreened and removed to reveal the glass bottle embossed with the brand name. Each label is unique and (apparently) retains a slight wood-and-whiskey aroma.

Hopefully some smart distiller will wrap this idea around a real bottle of whiskey.Continue reading...

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