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George Dickel Releases Single Barrel Whisky Aged 15 Years

George Dickel Single Barrel aged at least 15 years.

George Dickel has announced a new single barrel whisky, aged at least 15 years old.

Available for purchase by the barrel and by the bottle, those who order a barrel can add custom branding and messaging to their whisky bottles, the company says, and choose from the highest-proof options available in the Cascade Hollow Distilling Co. warehouse.

Those buying by the bottle can expect a variety of proofs available at retail, as no two bottles of these single barrel whiskies are the same. The ABV is between 40% and 52.3%.

Company-provided tasting notes range from notes of vanilla, toffee and treacle to rich leather, saddle oil and wood, to a more delicate perfume of fruit or lavender notes.

Beginning now, George Dickel Single Barrel aged at least 15 years is available for a suggested retail price of $59.99 per 750-ml. bottle in CA, DE, FL, GA, TN and TX. Additional markets are planned for Jan. 2021.

Beverage Dynamics recently caught up with George Dickel Head Distiller Nicole Austin to talk about her innovations and motivations in whisky-making.

This new whisky follows the recent release of the company’s Cascade Moon Whisky Edition No. 1.

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Ardbeg Announces 25-Year-Old Scotch Whisky

Ardbeg 25 Years Old.

Ardbeg has unveiled its oldest Scotch whisky release to date.

Set to hit shelves in January 2021, Ardbeg 25 Years Old joins the brand’s permanent range in the U.S. market.

This spirit was distilled during the 1990s, when Ardbeg Distillery only produced a trickle of new make every year. Ardbeg 25 Years Old is 45% ABV. Aromas include pungent, smoked cream, peppermint and toffee, with Ardbeg’s classic fennel and pine resin, the company reports, plus earthy bonfire mixed with herbal and fruity (banana and tropical) notes, along with fragrant candle wax. On the palate is a peppery mouthfeel before sherbet lemon sweetness (candied apples, pears and orange), hints of carbolic soap and tar, more creamy toffee, aniseed and chili pepper. Distillery-provided tasting notes further describe the finish as cream, fudge and antiseptic notes.

Ardbeg 25 Years Old comes in a gun-metal bottle encased in a metal “cage” — a modern take on the classic Ardbeg knotwork, the company says.

“After a quarter of a century in the cask, you’d be forgiven for imagining that Ardbeg 25 Years Old would have lost some of the hallmark Ardbeg smoky punch. I can assure you it hasn’t,” says Dr. Bill Lumsden, head of distilling and whisky creation. “And yet there’s also a remarkable complexity and elegance to this whisky that I find utterly captivating. It’s unmistakably Ardbeg, but unlike any Ardbeg you’ve tasted before.”

The suggested retail price is $850 per 750-ml. bottle.

Before launching globally early in 2021, a limited number of bottles will be available in Sweden this month.

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The Best Alcohol Gifts for 2020

The 2020 Beverage Dynamics Holiday Gift Guide.

Who doesn’t want a bottle of something good to drink this holiday season? After the kind of year that we all endured in 2020, everybody deserves a present given in the form of beer, whiskey or wine.

Each holiday season, the editorial team behind Beverage Dynamics compiles a list of our favorite boozy gift ideas. These represent an array of products, from value-added seasonal releases (VAPs) to holiday-themed bottles to regular SKUs that simply caught our attention as worth wrapping up and handing to that special someone. Here’s what we like for 2020:

Spirits Gifts

Russell’s Reserve 2003

From Wild Turkey Distillery, this bourbon was created by Master Distiller Eddie Russell. The 2003 edition is a limited release never to be repeated. Approximately 3,600 bottles will be available at select retailers in the U.S. for $250 per 750-ml. bottle.

The Macallan Double Cask 15 Years Old

The Macallan Double Cask 15 Years Old is a single malt whisky in which sherry-seasoned American oak adds vanilla to the spice of European oak, the company says, delivering a whisky with a sweeter, warmer taste and character. SRP: $135.

Benriach 21 Year

This Speyside single malt Scotch whisky matured for at least 21 years in a combination of four casks: bourbon, virgin oak, Pedro Ximenez sherry and red wine casks. Married together by Master Blender Rachel Barrie, the final expression has notes of vanilla, chocolate and red fruits, the company says, developing from BenRiach’s sweet barley and fruit-laden style. SRP: $174.99.

The GlenDronach Cask Strength Batch 8

Matured for ten years in Pedro Ximénez and Oloroso sherry casks and bottled at cask strength, 61%. Notes range from mocha, dark chocolate and caramel espresso to cherry cake layered with raisins and plum, the company reports. The palate also contains fruits, warm spices and dark chocolate. SRP: $95.

Bardstown Bourbon Fusion Series

BBC’s Fusion Series #3 features 13-year-old sourced bourbon and selected three-year-old mash bills. Tasting notes include green apple with honey, roasted nuts and caramel, according to the company.

New Riff Private Barrel

New Riff’s new single barrel program offers the option of selecting a full, half or quarter barrel as an experiential gift through its onsite selection process or virtual tasting from home.

New Riff Private Barrel.

Woodford Reserve Baccarat Edition

The exclusive whiskey is Woodford Reserve Bourbon aged an additional three years in XO cognac casks from France. The spirit is bottled in a handmade crystal decanter that took five days to create in Baccarat, France, the company says. Woodford Baccarat is 90.4 proof and retails for $2,000 per 750-ml. bottle.

Roundstone Rye Sampler Pack

This sampler pack features three 200-ml. bottles of Catoctin Creek’s flagship product, Roundstone Rye, in 80 proof, 92 proof and cask proof. Each purchase also includes a free virtual tasting with Chief Distiller Becky Harris.

1800 Cristalino

The new 1800 Cristalino aged in new American and French barrels for 16 months and finished in port wine casks. This is 1800 Añejo that went through a filtering process to leave a smoother, colorless tequila, the compoany says, with primary aromatic notes of balanced roasted wood, as well as tasting notes of caramel, honey, vanilla and porto wood.The 750-ml. cut-glass prism bottle is available for $65.

George Dickel Bottled in Bond 11-Year-Old

Named the best deal in whiskey in 2020 by Beverage Dynamics, this 11-year-old whisky was barreled in the fall of 2008. George Dickel Bottled in Bond has notes of pecan, maple syrup and dried apple, the company reports. It is 100 proof. The suggested retail price is $39.99 per 750-ml. bottle.

Elijah Craig Toasted Barrel

Named the second-best deal in whiskey in 2020 by Beverage Dynamics, this latest line extension from the Elijah Craig family, Toasted Barrel adds an extra layer of sweet oak complexity to the traditional bourbon, the company says. The suggested retail price is $49.99 per 750-ml. bottle.

Belvedere Vodka Cutting Board and Tin Box

Two new add-ons are available from Belvedere this holiday season. One gift pack includes a maplewood cutting board, made with eco-friendly packaging, and a base made from recyclable materials. The other Tin Box features a brushed finish, embossed logo and leather-look handle.

NEFT Vodka Bottle

This vodka comes in a portable container that keeps NEFT cold for up to six hours. The barrels come in both black and white in three sizes for $31.95. NEFT’s packaging and distillery in Austria are designed to reduce the product’s carbon footprint.

Brockmans Gin Gift Pack

The new pack includes a 750-ml. bottle of Brockmans Gin, a cocktail recipe book and Spanish-style Copa Glass for $34.99.

Ole Smoky Holiday Flavors

Holiday flavors include Pumpkin Pie Moonshine, Pumpkin Spice Cream, Shine Nog and Peppermint Moonshine. Available nationwide at retail and in the company’s East Tennessee distilleries.

Hotel Tango Distillery Gift Pack

The Hotel Tango gift pack, inspired by military MREs (meals, ready-to-eat), is a collectable item that contains bourbon aged two years, with aromas of caramel and balanced by rye.

Wine Gifts

Dom Pérignon Vintage 2010

Champagne house Dom Pérignon has released their Vintage 2010. 2010 was a challenging year with extreme weather conditions from a rigorous winter to a very delayed dry spring. Due to these conditions, the Dom Pérignon is one of the few to launch a 2010 vintage. This vintage has aromas of tropical fruit, the company reports, followed by freshness. SRP: $188.

Fonseca BIN 27’s Holiday Tin

This holiday tin from Kobrand’s Fonseca BIN 27 is available for $20. The ruby-style Porto blended from reserve wines is aged four years in neutral wood vats before bottling.

Meiomi 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon

The 2019 Meiomi Cabernet Sauvignon, 14.5% ABV, aged six months in French and American oak, to bring out its fruit flavors and subtle baking spice aromas. The final regional tallies for this California red were 56% Monterey County fruit, 23% Sonoma and 21% Santa Barbara. The suggested retail price is $24.99 per 750-ml. bottle.

Moet & Chandon Specially Yours

Moet & Chandon’s flagship cuvees are available in six collectible gift boxes that keep the Champagne cool for up to two hours. Each box features an adjective designed to describe the recipient, and can also be personalized with an individual’s name. Suggested retail price for the Imperial Brut is $49.99, and $59.99 for the Imperial Rosé.

Champagne Henriot Gift Pack

The Champagne Henriot luminous gift pack includes a bottle of the Chardonnay-driven Blanc de Blancs and two Champagne flutes for $65.

Mionetto Gift Packs

Mionetto is offering a number of gift options this holiday season, including: Prosecco DOC Treviso Brut in a Chiller Gift Box for $14 Rose in a Chiller Gift Box for $14 Mini party six-pack for $30 “Tis the Season to Pop, Clink, Fizz” Mini Holiday 12-pack for $60.

Cos d’Estournel – Michel Reybier 20th Anniversary Case

Bordeaux winery, Cos d’Estournel, has released 100 cases of its new Michel Reybier 20th Anniversary Case to honor the 20-year tenure of the winery’s owner, Michel Reybier. The 12-bottle case includes two of the six best vintages released under his direction, the winery says, and an invitation for four guests to visit the winery for an extravagant lunch. SRP: $4390, at millesima.com.

Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label Tape

The Clicquot Tape Collection contains six different designs to house the brand’s Yellow Label Cuvee with isothermal functionality, which keeps the bottle cool for up to 90 minutes. Suggested retail price is $50.

Santa Margherita Tins

These tins are available with each Santa Margherita varietal — Pinot Grigio for $24.99, Chianti Classico Riserva for $24.99, Prosecco Superiore DOCG for $27.99 and Sparkling Rosé for $29.99.

St Clair Twin Pack

These special ceramic bottles pay tribute to the people who lived in the Mimbres region 1,000 years ago, whose geometrically decorated pottery is part of New Mexico’s rich history. Available for $42.99.

Freixenet Gift Bag & Holiday Sleeve

The Cordon Negro Brut Cava Limited Edition Holiday Sleeve with Gift Bag is available for $15.

Segura Vidas Gift Bag

Reserva Heredad Cava with Gift Bag, available for $30.

Champagne Alfred Gratien Gift Boxes

Classic Brut in a gift box for $50, and Classic Rose in a gift box for $65.

Oremus Luxury Legends Set

This three-bottle case features Hungarian wines spanning four decades. It includes a 1972 wine matured for 22 years in cask, as well as wines from 2000 and 2013 aged 30 months in wood.

Mixology Gifts

Jägermeister Cold Brew Coffee VAP

This pack contains a 750-ml. bottle of Jägermeister Cold Brew Coffee and an enamel-coated steel cup to mix up some cold brew coffee cocktails at home this holiday season. SRP: $19.99.

Pratt Standard Syrups

Pratt’s line of cocktail syrups includes a number of winter and holiday options. Cranberry Orange Syrup is inspired by Thanksgiving dinner and uses real cranberry juice. Pratt’s Classic Cocktail Set includes grenadine, tonic syrup and simple syrup.

Merry Irish Cream Gift Sets

These holiday gift sets from Merrys include a 750-ml. bottle of Irish Cream or White Chocolate Liqueur, along with two branded glasses, for a suggested price of $14.99.

1796 Virtual Speakeasy

Consumers can sign up for the ‘1796 Virtual Speakeasy’, purchase a bottle of Santa Teresa 1796 and enjoy a virtual cocktail class with dates ranging from November through January. Participating mixologists/bars include: Meaghan Dorman (The Raines Law Room), Ireen Ha (Dante), Samantha Casuga (Dead Rabbit), Derek Stillman (The Sylvester), Chris Rolon (Vista), Shauna O’Neil (Sweet Liberty), Niko Novick (The Nomad Hotel), Yael Vengroff (Spare Room) and Gianna Johns (Harvard & Stone).

Aberfeldy Golden Hot Chocolate Gift Set

Aberfeldy has partnered with Miami’s Exquisito Chocolates to develop a limited-edition hot chocolate mix that creates a boozy, honeyed take on the classic hot coco. Includes a 750-ml. bottle of Aberfeldy 12 Single Malt Scotch Whisky, a 6.8-oz. bag of Limited Edition Aberfeldy Golden Hot Chocolate Mix, six Aberfeldy-infused marshmallows, 4g of edible gold glitter, two Aberfeldy mugs, two Aberfeldy gold drink stirrers and an Aberfeldy Golden Hot Chocolate recipe card. Available for purchase on ReserveBar for $45.

Beer Gifts

Heineken Holiday Bottles

Heineken has created “unlimited” different bottles using technology that incorporates a smart algorithm and high-speed digital printing. Each bottle features a design from millions of festive patterns, meaning no two bottles will be alike. Price varies by location.

Other Gifts

The Blue Label Candle

Johnnie Walker and Brooklyn-based perfume house D.S. & DURGA have created this candle the burns with the scent of the single malt Scotch: notes of North Sea air, barley, oak casks, reindeer moss and peated whisky. SRP: $70.

Happy holidays!

Jeremy Nedelka is content director for Beverage Dynamics. Reach him at jnedelka@epgmediallc.com. Read his recent piece, America’s Fastest-Growing Spirits Brands.

Kyle Swartz is editor of Beverage Dynamics magazine. Reach him at kswartz@epgmediallc.com or on Twitter @kswartzz. Read his recent piece, Why RTDs Will Boom in 2021 and Beyond.

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Westward Whiskey Launches Pinot Cask Finish, New Branding

Westward American Single Malt Pinot Noir Cask joins the portfolio as the brand undergoes a visual makeover.

Portland-based Westward Whiskey has launched its third permanent expression, Westward American Single Malt Pinot Noir Cask.

This joins the original Westward American Single Malt and Westward American Single Malt Stout Cask. All three expressions are now available nationwide — with a new look.

Westward American Single Malt Pinot Noir Cask showcases Oregon’s premier grape varietal. The new single malt was made in partnership with a handful of Willamette Valley producers, including Bergstrom Wines and Suzor Wines, among others.

The Pinot Noir Cask begins with original Westward American Single Malt, made using Pacific Northwest two-row barley, brewed with American pale ale yeast, double pot distilled and matured in 2-char, kiln dried, 53-gallon new American oak barrels. The whiskey then finishes for up to two years in French Oak wine casks that previously held pinot noir. It is bottled at 90 proof (45% ABV) and priced at a suggested $89.99 per 750-ml. bottle.

New Branding

The new look for Westward Whiskey.

Westward Whiskey has also announced a new look for its lineup of American single malts.

This visual overhaul is a tribute to “the resources found naturally in the Northwest,” the company says. Cuts and edges reflected in the new bottle mirror the “raw beauty and dramatic mountain ranges found in the American Northwest.” Likewise, the new angular label is meant to reflect “the mountain peaks of Westward’s origin and capture the craftsmanship that goes into perfecting its whiskeys every day.” 

Westward’s reimagined visual identity was developed in collaboration with the design agency Pearlfisher.

“At Westward, there are no shortcuts, and therein lies the beauty. We pursue perfection by raising a world class whiskey through our long, slow, process,” says Thomas Mooney, CEO and co-founder, Westward Whiskey. “Today, we celebrate the culmination of a project we have worked on for the last two years. Our new custom bottle and design expresses the uncompromising spirit of the American Northwest, and they represent Westward’s meticulous devotion to our process, culture, climate and ingredients. We’re thrilled to introduce a new, elevated visual identity that further highlights the beauty of our award-winning whiskeys.”

As part of this redesign, Westward has also unveiled a new brand home at WestwardWhiskey.com. In addition to a shipping capability throughout Westward’s home state of Oregon, the company’s portfolio of whiskeys will now ship nationally, directly through the company’s site. 

In 2018, Westward joined the independently operated, Diageo-backed accelerator group Distilled Ventures.

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11 Thanksgiving Cocktails For 2020

Legends of The Fall

It’s been a crazy year, to say the least, but we are grateful for so much. Namely, for our readers and all of the beverage professionals working hard and trying to make a difference in the on-premise industry, and the supplier companies that support them. Mostly, we are super grateful that 2020 is nearly over. Raise a glass and give thanks with a special seasonal cocktail; here are 11 to consider.

Legends of The Fall

2 oz. Buffalo Trace bourbon
¾ oz. Fresh lemon
½ Spiced apple syrup
½ Simple syrup
½ Walnut liqueur
¼ oz. Ginger syrup

Combine ingredients and shake. Strain over ice and garnish with a candied ginger, Maraschino cherry and lemon wheel.

Shawn McLaughlin of State Lunch Craft & Kitchen in Augusta, ME, submitted this recipe.

Thanks Given
Thanks Given

Thanks Given

½ oz. Cointreau
1 oz. Vodka
¼ oz. Fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp. Cranberry juice
1 oz. Sparkling wine 

Add all ingredients except sparkling wine to a shaker. Add ice and shake. Fine strain into a coupe glass rimmed with sage sugar. Finish with sparkling wine and garnish with sage leaf and orange wheel. 

The mixologists at Cointreau created this recipe.

Spice Blanket
Spice Blanket

Spice Blanket

2 oz. Kirk & Sweeney 12 Reserva
½ oz. St. Elizabeth allspice dram
⅛ oz. Maple syrup
2 Dashes Angostura bitters

Build all ingredients in mixing glass, add ice, stir about 30 revolutions with mixing spoon, strain with julep strainer over large ice cube in double Old Fashioned glass, wipe inside of lemon peel around rim of glass then twist peel over the top of the cocktail to release the oils and place twist inside the glass.

The mixologists at 3 Badge Beverage Co. created this recipe.

Apple Spice Margarita
Apple Spice Margarita

Apple Spiced Margarita

2 oz. Reposado tequila
3 oz. Organic sweet apple cider
1 oz. Cointreau
½ oz. Lime juice

Combine ingredients and shake. Pour into spice-rimmed glass. Garnish with cinnamon stick, apple slices and a lime wedge.

For spice rim:
Combine ¼ tsp. each of cinnamon, allspice and cloves with 1 tbsp. each of cane sugar and coarse sugar.

The mixologists at Bank & Bourbon restaurant in Philadelphia created this recipe.

Mezcal Pumpkin Pie
Mezcal Pumpkin Pie

Mezcal Pumpkin Pie

1 ½ oz. Recuerdo Mezcal Joven
1 oz. Grand Marnier
2 tbsps. Pumpkin puree
1 oz. Cinnamon syrup*

Mix all ingredients in a shaker with ice then double strain into a chilled Old Fashioned glass with ice. Garnish with a roasted pumpkin slice.

*For Cinnamon syrup:
Combine 1 cup water, 1 cup sugar, 1-2 sticks cinnamon. Break apart the cinnamon sticks and heat alongside the water and sugar to a gentle boil and reduce to a simmer for 1-2 minutes while stirring. Pull off the heat and allow to sit 30-60 minutes to infuse the cinnamon. Cool and strain the cinnamon.

The mixologists at Recuerdo created this recipe.

Best Spuds
Best Spuds

Best Spuds 

1 oz. Bardstown Bourbon Co. Fusion Series 
1 oz. Sweet potato butter*  
3 oz. Boiling water 
Freshly grated nutmeg 

Combine bourbon and sweet potato butter in a mug. Top with boiling water. Stir to combine. Grate nutmeg on top. 

*For Sweet potato butter 
2 cups Peeled, chopped sweet potatoes 
8 tbsps. Unsalted butter 
¼ cup Raw sugar 
1 tsp. Ground cinnamon
½ tsp. Salt
⅛ tsp. Ground ginger 
⅛ tsp. Ground nutmeg 

Boil peeled, chopped sweet potatoes until quite soft (~20 minutes). Drain liquid and mash while hot. Add remaining ingredients to mashed potatoes. Stir until thoroughly blended––the creamier, the better. 

Brandon “Habi” Habenstein, beverage director of The Kitchen & Bar at Bardstown Bourbon Co., created this recipe. 

Pear of Pumpkins 

Pear of Pumpkins
Pear of Pumpkins

1 ½ oz. Bourbon
1 oz .Mulled pear and vanilla pod syrup*
¾ oz. Fresh lemon juice

Add all ingredients to shaker and shake. Pour over fresh ice and sprinkle with pumpkin spice.

*For Mulled pear and vanilla pod syrup
Boil the 1:1 ratio of water and sugar, just when it comes to a boil turn it off. Cut the vanilla bean lengthwise, and scrape the inside of the pod out and add the scraping to the simple syrup. Let cool for about 30 minutes, then add the pear diced up, and mash the pear into the mixture. Letting it cool first will keep the pear notes as fresh as possible; too high of heat can cook out the pear’s flavor.

Westley Harris, general manager of Swizzle Dinner & Drinks at The Galt House Hotel in Louisville, KY, created this recipe.

Cranberry Old Fashioned
Cranberry Old Fashioned

Cranberry Old Fashioned

1 ½ oz. Bulleit bourbon
½ oz. Dried-cranberry-infused Bulleit bourbon*
1 spoonful Boubron-soaked cranberries*
1-2 strips Orange zest
2-3 drops Orange bitters
1 tbsp. Simple syrup, or to taste

Combine ingredients over ice and stir. Garnish with orange wedge.

*For Infused bourbon/bourbon soaked cranberries
2 oz. Dried cranberries
4 oz. Bulleit bourbon
1 Cinnamon stick

The mixologists at Bulleit created this recipe.

Pumpkin Spice Latté Martini 

Pumpkin Spice Latté Martini
Pumpkin Spice Latté Martini

1 ½ oz. Toast vodka
1 ½ oz. Espresso
1 oz. Milk (or to taste)
1 tbsp. Pumpkin purée 

Combine ingredients in a shaker and shake. Strain over ice into a Collins glass. Garnish with nutmeg.

The mixologists at Toast created this recipe.

Gina Snap
Gina Snap

Gina-Snap

1 ½ oz. Maker’s Mark Bourbon
¾ oz. Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur
½ oz. Honey syrup
Orangina

Shake all ingredients except orangina. Pour into glass with ice and top with Orangina. Garnish with an orange peel.

The mixologists at Orangina created this recipe.

Pom Apple Mule

Pom Apple Mule
Pom Apple Mule

1 ½ parts D’Usse VSOP Cognac
1 part Apple juice
½ part Pomegranate juice
½ part Lime juice
1 part Ginger beer

Add Cognac, apple, pomegranate and lime juices into a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into an ice-filled highball glass. Top with ginger beer.

The mixologists at D’Usse created this recipe.

Melissa Dowling is editor of Cheers magazine, our on-premise sister publication. Read her recent piece, The 2020 Beer Growth Brands Awards: The Best of the Industry.

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Ron Colón Salvadoreño

Ron Colón Salvadoreño.

Ron Colón Salvadoreño offers a collection of rums.

The portfolio includes a 6-year-old Salvadoran rum from Licorera Cihuatán, aged and unaged pot-distilled rums from Worthy Park Estate, Monymusk and Hampden distilleries in Jamaica.

By combining column-distilled and pot-distilled rums, the overall flavor offers contrasting characteristics that interact to “create something quite unique,” the company says. “Our 111-proof rums have been designed by bartenders for bartenders. Our aim with the Ron Colón Salvadoreño coffee cold infused rums is to authentically showcase all the flavors of the Salvadoran coffee beans.” 

The coffee-infused Ron Colón Salvadoreño is made with single-estate, bourbon coffee beans from the El Ciprés region, grown at 1700 meters above sea level on the side of El Salvador’s Santa Ana volcano. Each step from growing, processing and roasting is overseen by Tomas and Andres Trigueros of Jags Head Coffee.

The suggested retail price for Ron Colón Salvadoreño 111 is $36.99-39.99 per 750-ml. bottle. Ron Colón Salvadoreño 111 Coffee retails for $41.99-45.99, while Ron Colón Salvadoreño 81 Proof retails for $34.99-$37.99.

Prices vary per state.

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The Wine World Celebrates Beaujolais Nouveau Day 2020

Georges Duboeuf 2020 Beaujolais Nouveau, Beaujolais Nouveau Rosé and Beaujolais-Villages Nouveau will all become available worldwide at midnight on Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020.

Each year, on the third Thursday of November, Les Vins Georges Duboeuf releases its Beaujolais Nouveau wines to the world. Bottled just a few weeks after the harvest, these wines are meant to be enjoyed young, in celebration of the year’s vintage.

Per French law and tradition, Georges Duboeuf 2020 Beaujolais Nouveau, Beaujolais Nouveau Rosé and Beaujolais-Villages Nouveau will all become available worldwide at midnight on Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020.

Les Vins Georges Duboeuf was founded in the 1960s, but it wasn’t until the 1980s that the brand grew to international recognition when Georges introduced the local Beaujolais Nouveau tradition to a global audience. Though he passed away earlier this year, the legacy that Georges began survives through the dedication of his son, Franck.

“The exceptional sunshine and high temperatures this year have worked wonders on the grapes, which have produced world-class wines,” says Franck, CEO of Les Vins Georges Duboeuf. “Imbued with warmth and harmony, these wines are packed with flavor and rich texture—the perfect antidote to the gray times we’re living in.”

The 2020 lineup includes:

  • The 2020 Beaujolais Nouveau is a garnet color with a touch of purple. The palate provides red and black fruits, the company says, with a note of candy. The fresh expression of fruit follows through the finish.
  • Beaujolais-Villages Nouveau is a shiny purple color with red and black fruits aromas, the company says, with a fruity finish. 
  • With a shiny clear currant color, the Beaujolais Nouveau Rosé exhibits aromas of red fruits, strawberry and vine-ripened peach, the company reports. There is a touch of sweetness on the finish.

“Even though holiday gatherings will not be occuring in the traditional sense this year, we still expect to see a very high demand for our Beaujolais Nouveau wines,” says Dennis Kreps, co-owner of Quintessential with his father, Stephen D. Kreps. Quintessential is the exclusive importer of Georges Duboeuf wines in the U.S. “Nouveau Day provides us all with a reason to celebrate, and to toast the holiday season with ‘The First Wine of the Harvest’.”

Over one million bottles of the 2020 Beaujolais Nouveau wines sold in the U.S. come adorned with the artwork of this year’s Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau Artist Label Competition winner, Maeve Croghan. Her painting, Russet Vines, was selected by public vote from over 1,000 pieces of original art submitted this year. In addition to the new label, every bottle of 2020 Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau contains a special cork this year, each printed with an individual code.

“We’re hoping to make the holidays a bit more joyous with the introduction of our First Wine of The Harvest Cork Sweepstakes,” Dennis says. “Duboeuf fans will have a chance to win limited edition branded gear and to be entered into the grand prize drawing for a premiere personal wine cellar.”

To see if a cork is a winner, and for complete rules and regulations, visit firstwineoftheharvest.com. All entries will be automatically submitted in the grand prize drawing.

Although most in-person gatherings are canceled this year, several online events are set for Beaujolais Nouveau Day 2020. To participate in the global celebration, follow the Duboeuf Instagram account or visit quintessentialwines.com.

Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau is available through Minibar Delivery (where available) and at most wine retailers nationwide with a suggested retail price of $13.49 per 750-ml. bottle, along with the Beaujolais Nouveau Rosé is (SRP: $12.99) and the Beaujolais-Villages Nouveau is (SRP: $14.99).

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Lobos 1707 Tequila & Mezcal

The initial lineup from Lobos 1707 Tequila & Mezcal.

Lobos 1707 Tequila & Mezcal is a new independent spirits brand that just launched their full trademark in the U.S. and Mexico.

Lobos 1707, named after the Spanish word for “wolves,” is led by Founder and Chief Creative Officer Diego Osorio and Chief Executive Officer Dia Simms, with early backing by sports and cultural icon, LeBron James.

Initial offerings from Lobos 1707 include their Joven, Reposado, Extra Añejo and Mezcal Artesanal. Each reflects the traditional Mexican distillation and aging process, the company says, and is finished in Pedro Ximenez (PX) wine barrels from Spain.

Company-provided tasting and production notes are as follows:

  • Lobos 1707 Tequila Joven: Carbon-filtered, then finished in the brand’s Pedro Ximenez (PX) wine barrels using the solera system method. Slightly fiery balsamic tones. The suggested retail price is $44.99 for a 750-ml. bottle.
  • Lobos 1707 Tequila Reposado: Aged six months in American white oak barrels. The liquid is blended with a touch of Lobos 1707 Tequila Extra Añejo and finished in the brand’s Pedro Ximenez (PX) wine barrels using the solera system method. The suggested retail price is $47.99.
  • Lobos 1707 Tequila Extra Añejo: Aged for three years in American white oak and finished in Pedro Ximenez (PX) wine barrels using the solera system method. Flavors include sweet citrus, aging wood and marked vinous, tobacco and notes of roast coffee and cocoa. The suggested retail price is $149.99.
  • Lobos 1707 Mezcal Artesanal: Flavors of 100% espadin agave roasting in an open Oaxacan fire pit. The liquid is then ground in an Egyptian stone mill, producing a smoky liquid with a subtle burn of spice. The suggested retail price is $54.99.

Lobos 1707 Tequila and Mezcal is currently available at select retailers and restaurants throughout New York City, Florida and California and online at reservebar.

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The Top Alcohol Retail Tech Providers for 2020-21

Technology was a dominant trend of 2020, reshaping the way that people shopped.

Technology was already critical for beverage alcohol retailers before the pandemic. Now, as more consumers buy online and prefer quicker, efficient shopping in-person, having the right tech to support your business has never been more important.

Stores can utilize tech to grow sales onsite, increase digital commerce and marketing, boost customer service and improve every-day performance. See Part 1 of this two-part series for how retailers used tech in 2020. But with so many providers and services now available, how can you determine which are right for you?

That’s why Beverage Dynamics has brought back its annual Technology Buyer’s Guide, now for the fourth year running. In Part 2 of this series, this list of companies and services is an expansion of our former Point of Sale (POS) guide, and now includes e-commerce, analytics, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and digital delivery apps.

The 2020 edition of the guide is broken down into four sections: POS, Finances and Analytics; Ecommerce; Loyalty, Education and Communications Programs; and Digital Delivery Apps. We hope you find this document useful enough to keep around for reference, and share with other business professionals in need of advice or contacts for new tech.

POS, Finances and Analytics

3×3 Insights

3×3 DataBar can discover basket trends, track promotional impact, monitor your local market and give actionable insights about your business to deliver a personalized shopping experience. Databar delivers insights about customers that help you merchandise more accurately, personalize offers to customers and keep your business growing.

Contact: 833-386-9255

URL: 3x3insights.com

AccuPOS

Specializing in end-to-end integration, AccuPOS allows a business to view and manage sales and inventory details within the widely used accounting packages QuickBooks and Sage.

Contact: 800-906-5010

URL: accupos.com

ACME

Their system and equipment are designed specifically for on-premise retail. ACME software subscriptions include unlimited training and support for all things having to do with installation, configuration and use of Acme.

Contact: 877-202-4225

URL: acmepointofsale.com

Atlantic Systems Inc.

The company provides complete systems including hardware, software, installation, training and long-term support. Its Spirits 2000 system is a complete package of software aimed at retail locations, which takes care of everything from entering in new SKUs, to ringing up customers, to accounting, and inventory management.

Contact: 732-280-6616

URL: atlanticsystemsinc.com

Bindo

A cloud-based iPad POS system designed to be an all-in-one solution for brick-and-mortar businesses. E-commerce integration, customization options, mobile payments and 24/7 customer support.

Contact: 800-692-4636

URL: bindopos.com/en/

Breinify

Breinify predicts an individual’s upcoming interests and preferences based on impacts of weather, events and holidays to drive spur-of-the-moment purchases.

URL: breinify.com

Cashier Live

POS software that works with a wide variety of standard POS hardware and peripherals like receipt printers, cash drawers and more. Integrated credit card processing offers low rates and supports EMV chip cards. Full-featured inventory management capabilities. 

Contact: 877-312-1750

URL: cashierlive.com

City Hive

All-in-one digital commerce solution for beverage alcohol, offering real-time inventory management, order processing and sales and customer analytics. 

Contact: (917) 920–2768

URL: cityhive.net 

Clover

Lets you accept credit cards, EMV chip and contactless payments from customers, safely and securely, and has a mix of POS hardware and software to match specific needs. From the company FirstData.

Contact: 855-853-8340

URL: clover.com

Comcash

Cloud-Based POS. COMCASH develops a complete software suite including POS,  eCommerce and Inventory Control ideal for wine, beer, and spirit retail locations. They are also a perfect fit for the hybrid retail/restaurant concept as well as multiple locations. They provide eCommerce or can easily work with City Hive. Their software is highly rated, easy to implement, trusted, efficient and reasonably priced. They pride themselves on catering their product to fit the needs of their customers. Contact them today!

Contact: 949-313-5300 

URL: Comcash.com

Lightning Online POS

Offers the Lightning Online Point of Sales family of POS systems that integrate the check-out process at retail outlets with in-store/e-Commerce sales and inventory data in real time. This includes every model from a single stand-alone retail location, to a multi-store environment or national franchise operations; from retail to e-commerce; from iPhone to iPad access and even an emergency mode.

Contact: Tom Greco, 914-633-8959, tom@computerperfect.com

URL: lightningpos.com

Cybertill

Cybertill is a cloud-based ePoS system. Retail EPoS system that can work across all your sales channels including online, in-store, mobile POS, catalogue and over the phone. EPoS software upgrades every three weeks, and includes easy access to help, tutorials, videos and the Cybertill Service Desk.

Contact: enquiries@cybertill.com

URL: cybertill.com

ePOS

All-inclusive POS system. Staff can be trained in 15 minutes, the system can be accessed from anywhere to monitor and report in real time. Use standalone, or connect to hundreds of applications including payment systems, online ordering platforms, CRM and accounting systems.

Contact: 855-434-3767

URL: eposnow.com/us

ERPLY

Focused on small/medium size business, this software brings the power and functionality of a traditional POS system to a handheld device, giving your business that professional feel without the professional cost. All POS transaction data entered into the App will automatically be synchronized in real time with your ERPLY account, leaving all of your books and reports accurate.

Contact: 855-463-7759

URL: erply.com

FirstData

Offers a wide range of point-of-sale terminals as well as complete POS systems. Payroll and tax management, competitive sales tracking and inventory management, credit card processing and other payment solutions

Contact: 866-382-8643

URL: firstdata.com

Franpos

All-in-one POS app. This is the new name for the old brand iConnect. Franpos has a number of built-in features that streamline inventory management. Use the Franpos inventory scanner to quickly receive and reconcile your stock. View dozens of customizable reports, and set up low-product alerts.

Contact: 408-898-3217

URL: franpos.com

GoSpotCheck

GoSpotCheck manages execution through a configurable form builder, task distribution and customizable reporting. In GoSpotCheck’s reporting dashboard, analyze real-time data to track progress, performance and field activity. Access to operational intelligence empowers companies to initiate action and achieve results.

Contact: 844-359-2502

URL: gospotcheck.com

HarborTouch

Harbortouch offers both a touchscreen point-of-sale system to retailers and also provides merchant services such as credit/debit and gift-card processing. The POS system and all technical support are provided to retailers free of charge. Harbortouch’s cost to retailers is a merchant processing fee collected during credit card transactions.

Contact: 800-201-0461

URL: harbortouch.com

Keystroke

A sales management and inventory control POS system offering reporting and employee management tools.

Contact: 800-359-3458

URL: keystrokepos.com

Lightspeed

Lightspeed is a cloud-based POS system for small-to-medium retailers. The system can be outfitted to use iPads and iPod Touches as registers. 

Contact: 866-932-1801

URL: lightspeedhq.com

LivePOS

Robust cloud-based POS system capable of working in multiple locations and even across entire franchises. Manager inventory, customers, employees and much more across multiple outlets with a click of the mouse. Create specific access levels for your store managers, employees and even your accountant.

Contact: 888-884-9224

URL: livepos.com

Marketing360

All-in-one POS system. Online ordering, gift and loyalty cards, payroll services, digital menu boards, inventory tracking, web monitory via Dashboard, accounting and Quickbooks, plus real-time reporting.

Contact: 855-203-9165

URL: marketing360.com

The Merchant Solutions

Supplies solutions and technology to handle credit card, debit card, EBT, gift card, ATM and check acceptance. New features recently added to their POS system include digital signage and online ordering.

Contact: 888-707-2836

URL: themerchantsolutions.com

Microsoft Dynamics

Optimize your financials and operations to drive growth and make real-time, data-driven decisions, all with this enterprise business software application. Cloud-connected.

Contact: 888-477-7989

URL: microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics365/home

mPower Beverage

POS software designed specifically for liquor stores of all sizes. They sell their mPower Beverage system directly to all of their liquor-store customers without the use of re-sellers.

Contact: 972-234-5884

URL: mpowerbeverage.com

National Retail Solutions

Keep the line moving with the touch-screen register tool. Configure checkout preferences, set user permissions and more. Create user profiles with a custom set of permissions for you and each staff member. Insights track your inventory and sales. Create promotions to increase sales.

Contact: 888-777-1184

URL: nrsplus.com

NCR Corporation

Provides solutions encompassing software, hardware, services and expert consultation to almost every kind of retail business.

Contact: 800-262-7782

URL: ncr.com/retail

Netsuite

Netsuite is a cloud-based, multi-channel retail management system that integrates POS, ecommerce, CRM and marketing, merchandising, warehouse management and finances.

Contact: 877-638-7848

URL: netsuite.com

NCR Silver

Their bundle package, Total by NCR Silver, includes all hardware, software and service needed for a total POS system. Cloud-based iPad system.

Contact: 877-630-9711

URL: ncrsilver.com

Payment Alliance International

PAI Reports provides digital, real-time ATM reporting, 24/7, for full visibility and control. Elevate your ATM program and increase service levels with purpose-built ATM servicing and cash management solutions.

Contact: 877-271-2627

URL: gopai.com

POSGuys

Complete POS system that offers different packages tailored towards small, mid-sized or large businesses. All of their complete retail systems are fully customizable to meet the specific needs of your business.

Contact: 800-903-6571

URL: posguys.com

POS Nation

Provides POS, automatic inventory tracking, age verification, keg deposit tracking, easy wholesale billing, wholesale account management, mix-and-match and promo pricing, customizable interface, reporting tools, Quickbooks accounting link, integrated video surveillance, customer purchase history and marketing tools, and secure, integrated credit, debit, gift and loyalty card processing.

Contact: 877-727-3548

URL: posnation.com

Retail Information Technology Enterprises (RITE)

A provider of Microsoft Dynamics Retail Management System, offering retail POS software, retail-hardened POS computer hardware, retail-hardened POS peripherals, software customizations and plug-ins, professional installation, training and ongoing support and maintenance.

Contact: 888-267-RITE(7483)

URL: rite.us

Retail Pro

Retail management software designed for specialty retail with a feature-rich front POS, store operations and back-office applications with additional in-depth reporting and analytics. 

Contact: 916-605-7200

URL: retailpro.com

Sage 

Sage North America specializes in business-management software and services for small- and mid-sized businesses.

Contact: 866-705-7243

URL: sage.com

ShopKeep

Developed by a wine retailer, ShopKeep POS is a complete iPad point-of-sale (POS) system, hardware and software.

Contact: 800-820-9814

URL: shopkeep.com

Square for Retail

Square for Retail is a new set of integrated tools from Square, purpose-built for retail businesses. Get access to all Square Point of Sale features, plus a package of more-powerful tools.

URL: squareup.com

Systems Technology Group

Partners with Toshiba in providing POS solutions, including POS hardware, POS software and services. Multiple integrated channels: the web, mobile, social media and phone, as well.

Contact: 716-821-9808

URL: stgpos.com

Tiger POS

A POS software system designed by alcohol retailers specifically for alcohol retail. Each item can be purchased and sold by various pack sizes. Create relationships among singles, 6-packs, 12-packs and cases. They have developed a solution to sell and track mix-six packs. Reduce shrinkage with detailed exception reports by employees.

Contact: 866-611-9837

URL: tigerpos.com

Vend

Vend is retail POS software, inventory management, ecommerce and customer loyalty for iPad, Mac and PC.

Contact: 844-814-5409

URL: vendhq.com

Windward Software

POS, accounting and inventory management software designed specifically for the liquor store and winery industries.

Contact: 716-821-9808

URL: windwardsoftware.com

Ecommerce

Atlantic Systems Inc.

The company’s Spirits Web Polling feature allows internet businesses to fully automate the ability to upload products to websites and download orders directly into Spirits, eliminating the need to manually enter online orders.

Contact: 732-280-6616

URL: atlanticsystemsinc.com

BigCommerce

Showcase brands and products on their responsive templates. Choose from high-converting online store themes designed especially for major ecommerce industries. Or create your website from scratch in their website-builder program. An all-in-one marketing and e-commerce platform that includes SEO, tools to create eye-catching online stores, and more than 100 built-in marketing tools that make it easy to sell on mobile, Facebook and eBay. 

Contact: 888-248-9325

URL: bigcommerce.com

Bindo

One-click setup instantly puts your products online and lets shoppers buy them via the Bindo Market app and website. Comprehensive yet easy-to-understand data across all devices. Sales summary reports. Income statement analysis. Side-by-side product comparison. Historical sales data comparison. Exportable spreadsheets

Contact: 800-692-4636

URL: bindopos.com

CashierLive

Integrated with BigCommerce. When you add BigCommerce to your Cashier Live account, inventory will transfer over with the push of a button. 

Contact: 877-312-1750

URL: cashierlive.com

City Hive

Omni-channel e-commerce solution (web/app) digitally transforming the beverage alcohol industry and trusted by 2,000+ retailers. 

Contact: (917) 920–2768

URL: cityhive.net  

Clover

Automatically connects with Clover POS. Clover Online offers a variety of professionally designed website templates.

Contact: 855-853-8340

URL: clover.com

Cybertill

Cybertill offers out-of-the-box, ready-to-launch websites, custom-build ecommerce websites, or real-time integration options to link your RetailStore platform with your existing ecommerce website.

Contact: enquiries@cybertill.com

URL: cybertill.com

Marketing36

Get approved to accept payments, connect your bank account and begin accepting and managing payments any way you’d like in under five minutes.

Contact: 970-800-2890

URL: marketing360.com

ePOS

ePOS Now integrates with websites and online stores through their app store, which allows connections to hundreds of online services. Integration allows your website to stay synchronized with the ePOS Now Back Office, ensuring your online store is connected to your physical store.

Contact: 855-434-3767

URL: eposnow.com/us

ERPLY

Product management and inventory replenishment is done in one place. Receive orders from sales representatives, physical stores, phone sales, email and ecommerce channels to one centralized inventory management system. Keep inventory in sync across all channels. 

Contact: 855-463-7759

URL: erply.com

Franpos

This is the new name for the brand iConnect. Their eCommerce solution is synced with your Franpos POS account, so customers can make purchases online and in-store. Inventory is automatically updated and synced to your account no matter where a sale is made. 

Contact: 408-898-3217

URL: franpos.com

HarborTouch

Process transactions over the Internet using their secure payment gateway: Authorize.Net. This e-commerce solution integrates with your existing website.

Contact: 800-201-0461

URL: harbortouch.com

Lightspeed

Create your online store with marketing, design and sales tools. Customize your checkout.

Contact: 866-932-1801

URL: lightspeedhq.com

The Merchant Solutions

Process debit and credit card payments online in a secure, real-time environment. Compatible with many existing shopping carts, TMS payment gateway solution will authenticate customers in real-time, reducing the risk of fraudulent transactions.

Contact: 888-707-2836

URL: themerchantsolutions.com

mPower Beverage

mPower Beverage’s POS software open architecture provides the ability to integrate with new or existing e-commerce websites.

Contact: 972-234-5884

URL: mpowerbeverage.com

NCR Corporation

View online activity through the point-of-sale. Automatically manage your inventory. Enable the same promotions across channels.

Contact: 800-262-7782

URL: ncr.com/retail

Netsuite

Rapidly create mobile, web and in-store experiences. From Oracle, powered by SuiteCommerce.

Contact: 877-638-7848

URL: netsuite.com

NCR Silver

NCR Silver App takes mobile payments and features intuitive sales reporting, loyalty rewards and other business management options. 

Contact: 877-630-9711

URL: ncrsilver.com

Sage 

Sage One enables you to manage business finances on your mobile device: iPhone, iPad or tablet. With Sage Live, you can use your tablet or smartphone to review flash reports and communicate with colleagues.

Contact: 866-705-7243

URL: sage.com

Sellr

A Sellr website puts your products at the forefront so customers can easily see what is available in your store. It includes features like content editor and page builder, latest modern code and design, custom branding and colors.

Contact: 888-662-8347

URL: getsellr.com

ShopKeep

Know your top-selling items, and which departments to expand, with detailed reporting on your digital devices.

Contact: 800-820-9814

URL: shopkeep.com

Square for Retail

With their website-building partners and APIs, you can build your online store and accept payments online through Square.

URL: squareup.com

Vend

With one login, all of your reports are in one place, with seamless inventory syncing. Choose a website design from one of several themes on their growing Theme Store, designed with mobile and tablets in mind. Customize the look of your online store and add pages whenever you want.

Contact: 844-814-5409

URL: vendhq.com

Weebly

Build customizable websites through drag-and-drop. Sell online. Complete platform to manage inventory, track orders and handle taxes. Built-in marketing.

URL: weebly.com

WineFetch

A fully customizable, SEO-friendly, PCI-compliant, mobile-optimized and secure e-commerce website. Secure checkout via Apple Pay.

URL: winefetch.com/retailers/

Windward Software

A Windward e-commerce website has customizable e-cart software solutions. Software package that integrates your online and offline businesses.

Contact: 716-821-9808

URL: windwardsoftware.com

Loyalty, Education and Communications Programs

AccuPOS

This system promises to help retailers make more money per customer by leveraging options such as loyalty point programs and seamless email collection & marketing.

Contact: 800-906-5010

URL: accupos.com

Bindo

An integrated CRM system that updates real-time, wherever, with one-click customer analytics comparisons. Customer directory. Feedback. Gift cards. Store credit. Reward programs. Analytics.

Contact: 800-692-4636

URL: bindopos.com

CashierLive

Keeps track of your loyal customer base so you can offer them discounts and promotions.

Contact: 877-312-1750

URL: cashierlive.com

City Hive

Robust loyalty platform and communications tools (email, push notifications, SMS) integrated into a beverage alcohol e-commerce solution.

Contact: (917) 920–2768

URL: cityhive.net   

Clover

This FirstData product can create customer profiles and lists. See buying trends. Create promos and send them to specific customers or groups. Post offers to social media.

Contact: 855-853-8340

URL: clover.com

Constant Contact

With Constant Contact, you can create email marketing and other online marketing campaigns.

Contact: 855-783-2308

URL: constantcontact.com

Cybertill

Offer omnichannel loyalty incentives to drive customers online or in-store. Keep all of your loyalty customer data fully GDPR compliant. Offer customers a membership-card subscription program, a loyalty card or both. Create custom loyalty card designs.

Contact: enquiries@cybertill.com

URL: cybertill.com

DSMART

The DSMART SmartRegister system includes two monitors: a touchscreen monitor for the store owner/clerk, and a large widescreen monitor facing the customer. The clerk enters each transaction, processes financial services and receives payment on one side. On the other screen, customers watch their transactions and at the same time see custom-designed ads based on their purchases and ads for services in their immediate surrounding areas. Promotional offers relating to the ads can be printed on the receipt at the end of each sale.

Contact: 855-853-8340

URL: dsmartinc.com

ePOS

Through the loyalty module provide customers with branded loyalty cards, allowing your customers to collect points for their purchases and receive preferential pricing, to encourage repeat business and drive brand loyalty and awareness.

Contact: 855-434-3767 

URL: eposnow.com

ERPLY

Add new customers at POS to begin tracking; previous customer lists can be imported from legacy system. Create and track gift cards right in ERPLY; no third party software needed. Define loyalty-points rules and create promotional incentives. Send receipts, quotes or any other sales document directly to customers via email.

Contact: 855-463-7759

URL: erply.com

Franpos

This is the new name for the brand iConnect. Customers can sign into the customer display app using an account that is unique to your business. A fully customized experience allows you to tailor marketing and promotions to customers based on their behavior and preferences. Maintain an up-to-date customer database to help streamline marketing efforts.

Contact: 408-898-3217  

URL: franpos.com

HarborTouch

Offers customized, full-color gift cards. Choose from a broad selection of professionally designed card templates or produce your own cards with custom artwork and images. An online interface allows you to select a template or upload your own image and then customize the cards according to your business requirements.

Contact: 800-201-0461

URL: harbortouch.com

Lightspeed

Engage in multi-channel marketing. Create email campaigns, allow customers to post reviews and integrate with Facebook.

Contact: 866-932-1801

URL: lightspeedhq.com

LivePOS

Automatically collect and sort customer data. Integrates with Mailchimp and Constant Contact for CRM email blasts.

Contact: 888-884-9224

URL: livepos.com

MailChimp

MailChimp provides marketing automation for e-commerce businesses. Send emails, connect your e-commerce store, advertise and build your brand.

Contact: 855-783-2308

URL: mailchimp.com

Main Street Hub

Social media marketing company specializing in helping local businesses by managing your presence on all the social networks your customers care about.

URL: mainstreethub.com

Marketing360

Automated marketing reminders to customers before, during and after the sale to generate more business. Messages are specifically tailored to address new customers, top customers and infrequent customers. Upload your coupon, specify targets, set time limits for redemption and BuyFi will distribute it to the right customer segments.

Contact: 855-203-9165

URL: marketing360.com

The Merchant Solutions

End-to-end solution including loyalty program management, gift card production and customer service.

Contact: 888-707-2836

URL: themerchantsolutions.com

mPower Beverage

Keep track of points or dollars spent. Give higher points to customers for different categories and departments. Provide rewards cards to customers to easily scan them into transactions.

Contact: 972-234-5884

URL: mpowerbeverage.com

NCR Corporation

Learn from customer behavior to understand what they’ll be looking for in your store. Send a customer an offer via mobile, and remind them about it when they’re in your store.

Contact: 800-262-7782

URL: ncr.com/retail

NCR Silver

After your campaigns, view automated reports that include the performance of your marketing emails. NCR Silver also offers instant social sharing on Facebook and Twitter, to save time.

Contact: 877-630-9711

URL: ncrsilver.com

POSGuys

Offers customizable gift-card printing.

Contact: 800-903-6571

URL: posguys.com

POS Nation

Their system includes marketing and e-mail data to help grow businesses, and loyalty, layaway, gift cards and more options to increase sales.

Contact: 800-826-5009

URL: posnation.com

Sage 

Sage CRM provides you with end-to-end visibility of your business and a single view of your customer. Create and execute targeted campaigns using information drawn from across your business. 

Contact: 866-705-7243

URL: sage.com

Sellr

Scan a products UPC on this app to instantly promote content on your website, social media and in-store displays. Hundreds of thousands of products and descriptions are already uploaded into its library.

Contact: 888-662-8347  

URL: getsellr.com

ShopKeep

Email marketing: offer email receipts to your customers at checkout to increase your email list. Customize email receipts with your logo and trackable links to your social profiles. Advertise upcoming events and special offers.

Contact: 800-820-9814

URL: shopkeep.com

Square for Retail

Square automatically collects customer information to build a customer directory. Send email marketing campaigns, respond to feedback from customers and run your own customized loyalty program.

URL: squareup.com

Trift

Provides micro-learning content developed exclusively for beverage and grocery Industries. Train your employees with eight libraries with 200-plus titles. Courses embrace gamification, learner interaction and assesses knowledge in each course. Trift’s library is available anywhere, anytime, and on any device.

Contact: info@triftinc.com

URL: triftinc.com

Uber Eats

Get contactless delivery for restaurant takeout, groceries and more.

URL: ubereats.com

Vend

Switch on the customer loyalty feature and every qualifying purchase earns loyalty. New customers are automatically added into the program. 

Contact: 844-814-5409

URL: vendhq.com

Weebly

Simplified email marketing that syncs with your site and store. Engage customers and promote your brand with emails you design and send in minutes.

URL: weebly.com

WineFetch

Integrated marketing and promotional tools including an email newsletter engine, flexible promotion codes, event calendar and wine clubs. Data mining tools enable stores to send individualized offers to both in-store and online customers based on location and purchase history.

URL: winefetch.com/retailers/

Windward Software

Windward’s Retail System offers full compatibility for an integrated membership software program. Sell memberships to your customers at the POS to reward them accordingly.

Contact: 716-821-9808

URL: windwardsoftware.com

Digital Delivery Apps

Bevvi

Bevvi specializes in liquor, wine, beer and mixer delivery to homes and businesses in NYC, Fort Lauderdale, Long Island, Hoboken, Miami and New Haven.

URL: getbevvi.com

Delivery.com

Delivers alcohol to certain cities in 10 states. Connected with over 18,000 businesses nationwide in overall services that include food and grocery delivery.

URL: delivery.com/alcohol

Doordash

Now delivering alcohol along with food in states where available.

URL: doordash.com

Drizly

An alcohol e-commerce platform operating in most major markets. Delivers wine, beer or liquor to customers’ doors in under an hour. The nation’s largest digital alcohol delivery service — a pioneer in the space.

URL: drizly.com

City Hive

City Hive Connected drives incremental curbside and local delivery orders to licensed merchants, while allowing stores to maintain customer ownership.

Contact: (917) 920–2768

URL: cityhive.net 

Instacart

Order for delivery or pickup from local stores in cities like Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, Chicago, Austin, Washington D.C., Houston, Atlanta and many more.

URL: instacart.com

Minibar

Minibar Delivery partners with stores to provide consumers with order wine, spirits, beer and more. Now in 18 states and over 150 cities across the U.S. Additionally, Minibar Delivery offers three-to-five day shipping in California, Connecticut, Florida, New Jersey and New York.

URL: minibardelivery.com

Reserve Bar

Direct-to-consumer shipping for high-end spirits.

URL: reservebar.com

Saucey

Saucey offers 30-minute alcohol delivery to Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Orange County, Calif., New York City, Sacramento, San Diego, the San Francisco Bay Area and Washington, D.C., with expansion plans on the horizon. No minimum order, no delivery fee.

URL: saucey.com

Swill

Guarantees delivery in under an hour. Currently in dozens of major markets across the country.

URL: getswill.com

Kyle Swartz is editor of Beverage Dynamics magazine. Reach him at kswartz@epgmediallc.com or on Twitter @kswartzz. Read his recent piece Why RTDs Will Boom in 2021 and Beyond.

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Why RTDs Will Boom in 2021 and Beyond

Cool Cat is among a large number of new RTD brands that tap into premiumization and mixology.

How hot are Ready to Drink cocktails (RTDs) in 2020? The category has grown 43% in global consumption this year, according to the IWSR, with U.S. consumers leading the charge. Moreover, the IWSR projects that global RTD volumes will post +21.8% compound annual growth between 2019 and 2024 (gaining share mostly from beer).

Many major companies have recently released their own takes on canned cocktails.

That’s a lot of winning for RTDs. Why have these premade drinks, typically canned, taken off in 2020? And what is fueling their massive growth potential ahead?

Premiumization and Mixology

RTDs have evolved considerably.

Several decades ago they were mostly sugary, made of unnatural ingredients and relegated to the bottom shelf. Now, RTDs have advanced into higher quality, tapping into the premiumization trend.

“We’re trying to offer an elevated beverage experience,” says Rocco Venneri, founder of the new RTD brand Cool Cat. These naturally flavored spritzers have a base of California pinot grigio, cane sugar and are gluten free. “Our wine is sourced from Napa and has a great foundation, taste and quality,” Venneri adds.

This ties into the broader consumer movement towards “better for you” products.

Volley is a new, 100% blue agave tequila-based seltzer brand.

“Consumers are looking more now for what’s in products, what they’re putting into their bodies,” says Christopher Wirth, cofounder of Volley, a new, 100% blue agave tequila-based seltzer brand. Volley’s initial flavor lineup includes Zesty Lime, Spicy Ginger, Sharp Grapefruit and Tropical Mango.

“The health and wellness movement is playing out in the alcohol space,” Wirth says. “Using natural flavors is very important for RTD products. We use organic juice, sparkling water and high-quality tequila. We use no artificial flavors, no artificial ingredients. We found the highest-quality tequila that we could afford to put into our RTDs. We’re obsessive with our ingredient quality and transparency.”

The original selling point of RTDs is convenience. How easier it is drinking these products than mixing up cocktails in your own home. (Hence why RTDs now mostly come in cans.) But convenience alone is no longer enough for today’s consumers.

“People love the convenience, but want better quality from their RTDs,” says Brent Albertson, CEO of Zing Zang, which makes mixers and a new RTD line. “Everybody remembers those ‘90s-era RTDs, but it’s a whole new world now for RTDs. I don’t think people have a problem spending $15 on a pack of RTD cocktails.”

Part of this growth story owes to the 2020 lockdowns. With bars and restaurants closed or limited nationwide — and the pandemic keeping people home — consumers have missed out on genuine mixology.

“I think people still really love bartender-quality drinks, but don’t like to bartend themselves,” says Albertson. Making mixed drinks is messy, involves many ingredients and does not always turn out as desired, flavor-wise. “RTDs help answer that at-home-bartending question,” Albertson adds.

Agreeing with him is Wirth.

“A lot of this is consumers thinking, ‘What’s the version of my favorite bar’s cocktail in an RTD?” he says. “And it’s also, ‘What is clean, what is transparent with ingredients and what is real?’”

High West Distillery recently unveiled two new RTDs: a Manhattan and Old Fashioned, both barrel finished.

High West Distillery recently unveiled two new RTDs in glass bottles: a Manhattan and Old Fashioned, both barrel finished.

“We tried to achieve high-end bartender quality, straight out of the bottle,” says High West Master Distiller Brendan Coyle. “These are more expensive products, because we sourced only the highest ingredients.”

Hard Seltzer Alternative

The rise of premium RTDs is inseparable from the hard seltzer boom. The latter has become a gateway into the wider category of premium, clean-tasting, canned products.

While continuing its colossal growth, the hard seltzer category has also solidified around a few major winners. Outside of these mega-brands, the remainder of the category is a zillion lookalike competitors from producers of all sizes.

“Right now the hard seltzer space is very crowded with big brands and local breweries’ offerings,” says Carrie Shafir, General Manager, Blue Point Brewing. “So we felt less like jumping onto the hard seltzer bandwagon. We wanted to look more at what was next, at how we could help mold a category instead of jumping into an already-crowded landscape.”

Blue Point, owned by AB InBev, recently launched LIIT, a line of canned Long Island Iced Teas. Initial flavors include Mango, Lemon, and Raspberry Lime, all made with 100% real tea. LIIT also looks to capitalize on the consumer trend of variety.

“There’s a whole group of consumers out there who want more than what hard seltzer is giving them, but they don’t want to go full Twisted Tea,” says Shafir. “They want something that fits in the middle space. The biggest pain point for hard seltzer is lack of flavor and an artificial taste.”

“We’re using cane sugar and natural tear, so LIIT is not a sugar bomb. It’s subtly sweet,” she adds. “And tea has a lot of those better-for-you components.”

Blue Point Brewing recently launched LIIT, a line of canned Long Island Iced Teas.

Notice how these RTD brands contain such diverse flavors and ingredients. Variety is key in this category.

“I think what’s happening is that younger people, Millennials especially, want options,” says Albertson of Zing Zang. “They grew up with all those Gatorade flavors. Millennials are used to having so many options, in a good way. They want variety.”

RTDs On-Premise, Post-Pandemic

Some day sooner than later, Covid-19 will recede, and crowds will return to bars and restaurants once again. This will be momentous for society — but perhaps bad for RTDs? After all, the category gained traction this year partly because consumers could not drink their favorite bartender’s cocktails.

But RTDs may not necessarily become a loser in the post-pandemic world.

“Cool Cat is going to be built on-premise once things lift again,” says Venneri. The brand is already available for purchase at high-end New York spots like The Standard Hotel, STK Downtown and Bottino.

“We’re not going to be in the bodegas and CVS and where a lot beer and hard seltzer brands are sold,” Venneri says. “This is an exploratory brand for consumers. I do think there will be a lot of pickup for RTDs at upscale on-premise. You can walk around with a canned cocktail at pool areas, country clubs and hotels.”

RTD producers also see a space for their products at beer festivals, once those return. After all, if you like craft beer or hard seltzer, odds are you would also enjoy the variety of flavor and convenience of canned cocktails. 

“We’ve always prided ourselves on experiential marketing,” says Shafir of Blue Point Brewing. “We look forward to sampling LIIT at big beer events, with 3,000 to 5,000 people at a festival.”

When the pandemic ends, it’s unlikely that dominant consumer trends will suddenly shift. Especially those already established before the Covid-19 crisis. If anything, this bizarre year sped up many trends that were already emerging, or on the horizon.

“The ‘healthier for you’ trend started before the pandemic,” says High West Master Distiller Brendan Coyle. ““Now everyone is paying even more attention to what they put in their bodies. I think that will continue after the pandemic.”

“The ‘healthier for you’ trend started before the pandemic,” points out Coyle of High West. “Now everyone is paying even more attention to what they put in their bodies. I think that will continue after the pandemic. I think it will actually trend more. I think people will become even more picky about what they put into their bodies.”

Confusing Category?

Trends and market momentum both point towards growth ahead for RTDs. Nevertheless, one potential setback for the category is consumer confusion.

“There’s no clear line drawn between hard seltzers and RTDs,” says Wirth of Volley, which is tequila-based. “We’re slightly guilty of it ourselves. We define ourselves as hard seltzer on our cans.”

Why is that?

“When we were deciding how to categorize our brand, it came down to how we felt RTDs could be seen as cocktail, as heavier in ABV,” says Volley Co-founder Camila Soriano, “whereas Volley is a lighter beverage, fitting more in the hard seltzer category. We don’t think seltzer needs to be a malt-based category.”

The Volley co-founders do not believe that the FDA needs to step in and define “hard seltzer” versus “RTD.” Rather, the co-founders think that the onus is on brands in how they define themselves in the eyes of consumers. As long as brands are transparent about what’s in the drink, the Volley team thinks that customers will return.

“The biggest thing for us is educating the consumer,” says Venneri of Cool Cat. “We’re not a spiked seltzer. We’re in the cooler as an RTD, but standing out in quality. It will take some time to educate the consumer, who still looks at the category as an all-in-one.”

This is especially important when a 4-pack of Cool Cat wine spritzers costs $17.99.

“On our branding we try to hammer home why that’s a better value than buying a 6-pack of malt-based seltzer,” Venneri says. “We show how what our 4-pack represents in terms of a bottle of wine: how four cans equals two whole bottles. For a consumer who can afford a $15 or $20 bottle of wine, that sounds good to me. Part of our overall branding is to educate the consumer.”

“A can also reduces the waste involved,” he adds. “It’s a lot different than opening a bottle of wine on a Wednesday and then wasting the rest. RTD wine spritzers are great for people who want to drink casually.”

Higher-ABV RTDs

Zing Zang is a new RTD line that clocks in at 9% ABV.

RTD cocktails like Cool Cat are also ideal for consumers who want a bit more oomph in their canned drink. These wine spritzers are 6.9% ABV.

“People are not going to be binge-drinking these like a 4.5%-ABV hard seltzer,” says Venneri. “But Cool Cat is only 150 calories at 6.9% ABV. There’s a value proposition there for the customer.”

And there’s an acknowledgement that not everybody wants low-cal, low-ABV all the time, despite the current buzz of those trends. Plenty of people still like alcoholic beverages that provide more of a kick, considering the retail cost.

Another reason why many RTDs have higher ABVs is the reality of production.

“We needed to get these to taste like how bartender-made cocktails taste,” says Albertson of Zing Zang, whose new RTD line clocks in at 9% ABV. “We tried 8%. We tried 7%, 6%, 12%. It was like the three bears: too soft or too hot. 9% had the best taste.”

Alternative Packaging

While cans have led the way for RTDs, products with alternative packaging also showcase the depth of variety in this category. (They also avoid the issue of the current aluminum shortage in America.)

For instance, those High West barrel-aged cocktails come in glass bottles.

“From a quality perspective, we don’t think there’s a lot lost by canning cocktails, but from a perception perspective, we do think something can be lost in terms of buyers viewing what is a high-end product,” says Coyle.

Cans also present a problem with shelf stabilization for certain cocktail recipes.

“High acid levels can eat away at the insides of a can, so there’s still work to be done on that side of production,” Coyle says.

Solving this problem will open the door for citrus-based canned cocktails in the future. In the meantime, canned citrus RTDs remain difficult to pull off.

Another brand that has embraced alternative packaging is Bartesian. Launched in 2019, this company sells a $350 mixing machine that makes drinks using individual capsules, made of recyclable plastic, that contain premade mixes of premium juice, bitters and other non-alcoholic ingredients. Simply add booze (or not, for mocktails) and enjoy.

Launched in 2019, Bartesian is a mixing machine that uses recyclable-plastic capsules containing premium juice, bitters and other non-alcoholic ingredients.

Bartesian and its recyclable-plastic capsules ($2.50 each, or $14.99 per 6-pack) are already in 1,600 retail stores. Subscription options are available. “It’s an opportunity for consumers to have premium cocktails when they don’t have all the ingredients at home,” says Founder and CEO Ryan Close. “We can’t make these machines fast enough. We’re selling out immediately.”

“We were trending as a product before this pandemic hit,” he adds. “People were already staying in more with the rise of the Netflix lifestyle. This pandemic has only exacerbated what was already happening. People are obviously still going to go out, but I think that will be the exception versus the rule.”

The wine-based punch BeatBox comes in a Tetra Pak box.

One of the pioneers in alternative packaging is BeatBox Beverages. This wine-based punch gained fame on “Shark Tank” after earning a $1-million investment from Mark Cuban (his largest at the time). BeatBox comes in Tetra Pak.

Company founders see continued growth ahead for RTDs, despite potential consumer confusion.

“People don’t care about what kind of alcohol is inside their RTD,” says CEO Justin Fenchel. “The RTD movement has lines blurred. But people when they shop do so based on things like nutritional, or brand appeal. They care about the quality of the spirit used, or the quality of the grapes in the wine used, or whether the ingredients are all natural.”

BeatBox COO Aimy Steadman agrees. “Nobody really knows what alcohol is in many of these RTDs,” she says. “I’m really interested to see how this all evolves, especially with more sustainable ingredients. For us, we love seeing so much new innovation coming in.”

Correction: A previous version of this story said that Bartesian’s individual capsules were made of glass. In fact, the capsules are made of recyclable plastic.

Kyle Swartz is editor of Beverage Dynamics magazine. Reach him at kswartz@epgmediallc.com or on Twitter @kswartzz. Read his recent piece 5 Trends in Beer and Hard Seltzer in 2020-21.

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