Americans haven’t been able to enjoy over-the-counter Cuban products for decades now and it doesn’t appear that will change anytime soon. That’s bad news for the folks at Pernod, who have been battling to get its Havana Club rum trademark renewed. Unfortunately for them, the U.S. legal system at pretty much every level has said, “No dice.” The most recent blow came from the Supreme Court.
The rum is being made in Cuba by Cubaexport and distributed by France-based Pernod, a loophole the U.S. government doesn’t approve of and so when the Havana Club trademark came due in 2006, the government opted not to renew it, according to Bloomberg. The Cuban Foreign Ministry is not happy. After all, America accounts for 40 percent of the world’s rum intake so it would be nice to be mixed into that financial cocktail.
Adding to the confusion is that since Cubaexport’s trademark disappeared, Bermuda-based Bacardi picked it up and produces its rum in the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico. That, of course, didn’t sit well with Pernod, and the two companies slugged it out in the courts during a 17-year legal battle and blew a boatload of cash but didn’t end up changing much. Pernod is introducing a new rum: Havanista. Drink up, America.
More booze newz, including a QR promotion with a twist:
Bacardi is undertaking a month-long corporate citizenship initiative in honor of its 150th year. More than 6,000 employees in more than 75 locations worldwide are volunteering in their communities throughout the month of May.
Budweiser's first "Made in America" music festival (Labor Day weekend in Philadelphia) will star, and be curated by, Jay-Z. Proceeds will benefit United Way.
Crown Royal announced the second installment in the brand's Extra Rare Whisky Series. The latest Crown Royal XR blend includes select remaining whiskies from the renowned LaSalle Distillery in Quebec, Canada "to create an unparalleled experience in luxury whisky."
Guinness is creating buzz in U.S. bars with a (hidden) QR Code Pint Glass: Fill it with a Guinness (or any dark liquid) to reveal a QR code, then scan it to "tweet about your pint, update your Facebook status, check in via Foursquare, download coupons and promotions, invite your friends to join you, and launch exclusive Guinness content."
Heineken was honored for its leadership in promoting global health this week in New York.
Naked Wines is investing $8.5 million in 22 winemakers in the U.S. and Australia.
Omission Beer, a gluten-free beer previously only available in Portland, Ore., is rolling out across America.
Remix is wooing U.S. fans of "pre-gaming" (defined as "drinking before drinking") with a new cocktail mix represented by Pauly D of MTV's Jersey Shore fame.
Tecate is looking for futbol fans to serve as "correspondents" to cover the soccer game of their choice in Mexico or the U.S.
Tequila Avion is running its first national TV campaign in the U.S. with the tagline "Choose Pleasure."
Warsteiner Beer's USA division announced "Under the Cap," a contest aimed at golf lovers; the grand prize is an all expenses paid trip to Amsterdam for the KLM Open in September.
Yuengling, “America’s Oldest Brewery,” took top spot in the 2012 Harris Poll EquiTrend study to be named “Beer Brand of the Year."