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cocktail hour

All the News You Can Drink: Jelly Belly Gets Tipsy, China Hurts Remy, Coors Gets Cold and more

Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 24, 2014 08:07 PM

Craft Beer Cracks the Candy Market

Jelly Belly has never been afraid to offer up exotic flavors to its customers. In addition to all the expected sweets, Jelly Belly offers jelly beans that taste like, dirt, vomit, grass and booger. Yum.

So maybe it isn’t so shocking that its latest flavoring to hit the market is… beer. The company has been working for three years to perfect the taste of a decent brewski to add to its collection of other alcohol-themed jelly beans, such as Mai Tai and piña colada. 

"First, we tried to work on matching the hops. Then we worked on the yeast flavor," Ambrose Lee, Jelly Belly's research and development manager, told USA Today. It took years for Budweiser to get it right, too.

Jelly Belly is keen on capitalizing on the world's building beer craze, but that doesn't mean it will get through the gate without a few moms wagging their finger at the adventurous brand.Continue reading...

cocktail hour

All the News You Can Drink: Johnnie Walker Makes a Pact, Busch's Blue Collar Heroes and more

Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 17, 2014 08:14 PM

Johnnie Walker Gets Responsible

Johnnie Walker loves the idea of enjoying drinks—responsibly, of course. The brand makes the point extra clear with a new 90-second spot that features a Formula 1 race car made out of glasses.

"The film acts as a reminder of the fragility of human life,"  Grant Hunter, Asia-Pacific creative director for Iris Worldwide, told Adweek. "Ultimately it's an alcohol brand stepping up to its responsibilities. And I like to think we've delivered it in a beautiful and considered manner."

It took 1,750 glasses to create the illusion of a full-out racing car that shatters and reforms. The ad pulls double duty by also highlighting the brand's sponsorship of the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes Formula 1 racing team.Continue reading...

cocktail hour

All the News You Can Drink: Absolut (minus the) Vodka, JT Heads to Beam, Diddy Ups his Tequila Game and more

Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 10, 2014 08:20 PM

Absolut Drops the Vodka

General alcohol categories are no longer a good look for Pernod Ricard's Absolut. The vodka brand is in fact dropping the word 'vodka' from all of its marketing, though it will still use the label on its bottles. 

According to Marketing Week, the "refreshed identity" will be rolled out in the coming months in hopes to “simplify, unify and amplify the brand’s messaging platforms," in a way that makes only knowing the "Absolut" name necessary for distinction among other alcohol brands. 

Sure thing, Pernod.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: Craft Beer Confusion, Bud Loses Italian Battle, Molson Goes to Indonesia and more

Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 20, 2013 06:47 PM

Molson Heads to the Philippines

Molson scored a hit earlier this year when it stuck red fridges filled with brews all over Europe that only opened when Canadian passports were presented. People loved it so much that the company decided to extend the program, the Globe and Mail reports.

The company asked its employees to come up with interesting Canadians across the planet and settled on a man on an exotic island in the Philippines. Molson delivered a fridge full of the beer to him, his two best friends, and a satellite so he can watch Team Canada play. The full video will be aired during Team Canada’s first game of the world junior hockey championship on Boxing Day.Continue reading...

cocktail hour

All the News You Can Drink: Newcastle DDs, Whiskey Search Engine, Efes' New Look and more

Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 13, 2013 07:10 PM

Newcastle Drives Drinkers Home

Newcastle introduced a new brew, Newcastle Cabbie Black Ale, and it wants consumers to enjoy it without worrying about how they'll make it home. So Newcastle offered a handful of imbibers a ride in a traditional English taxi at no charge, but there was of course a catch. Riders had to tell everyone what they felt about the new beer via a massive megaphone strapped onto the top of the cab. 

Even though that hilarious chapter has closed (after 67 noise complaints), Newcastle is extending the program by offering $5 taxi discounts to people in 60 cities if they book their ride home through the Taxi Magic app, Drinks Business Review reports. More than a million dollars has been set aside to fund the effort through the holidays.Continue reading...

cocktail hour

All the News You Can Drink: Ron Burgundy Scotch, Celebrating the 21st Amendment, Brits Love Diageo and more

Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 6, 2013 06:39 PM

Scotchy, Scotch, Scotch.. I Love Scotch

When comedian Will Ferrell dressed up as his Anchorman alter ego Ron Burgundy and shot a bunch of ridiculous commercials for the Dodge Durango, GM couldn’t have possibly predicted what it would do for the brand. In the month the ads launched, sales of Durango went up 59 percent compared with a year ago and its web traffic also took an 80 percent spike upward.

Plenty of other brands are hoping for the same kind of upward tick as they align with Ferrell before Anchorman 2 is released Dec. 18. One of them comes from liquor marketer Riviera Imports and is called "Great Odin's Raven Special Reserve,” named after one of Burgundy’s catch phrases. The word from Ad Age is that Riviera will ship out orders with stand-up displays of Burgundy to put up in stores. Prepare for a run on scotch, America.

If that weren’t enough, Anchorman 2-related products will also be coming from Ben & Jerry’s (Scotchy Scotch Scotch) and Jockey underwear. MillerCoors has also inked a deal to have its old-school Miller Lite cans appear in the film.Continue reading...

cocktail hour

All the News You Can Drink: NBA, Diageo Link Up, Amazon Liquor, Bacardi Celebrates the Struggle and more

Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 22, 2013 07:15 PM

Bacardi Celebrates Struggles in New Global Campaign

You can’t blame the people at Bacardi if they’ve got a persecution complex. The brand’s new campaign, “Untameable,” highlights all the troubles it has faced since its 1862 debut in Cuba. As the New York Times notes, the brand has survived “a fire in 1880, Prohibition beginning in 1920 in the United States, an earthquake in 1932 that destroyed facilities and the revolutionary government led by Fidel Castro that seized Bacardi’s Cuban assets in 1960,” among other things.

The commercial will be translated into more than 30 languages and broadcast all over the world over the next six months.

“The rum category has focused very much on the social aspect of a bunch of consumers enjoying the drink in a typical occasion,” said Andy J. Gibson, global chief marketing officer of Bacardi Global Brands, according to the Times. This campaign is decidedly different.Continue reading...

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