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Four Roses, Brooklyn Brewery Launch Beer Collab

The 2020 Brooklyn Black Ops aged in Four Roses Small Batch Bourbon barrels.

The latest edition of the Brooklyn Black Ops, a highly collected beer, is a collaboration between the New York brewery and Four Roses Distillery.

The limited-release beer aged in Four Roses Small Batch Bourbon barrels, selected by Four Roses Master Distiller Brent Elliott.

A Russian Imperial Stout, this vintage of Brooklyn Black Ops is 12.4% ABV. It raises a fluffy dark brown head, the company reports, and combines chocolate and coffee notes with an underpinning of vanilla-like oak. In addition to the barrel aging, the brew was re-fermented with Champagne yeast.

The 2020 Brooklyn Black Ops hits retail shelves later this month.

“The partnership began with a long-time friendship between Brooklyn Brewery Brewmaster, Garrett Oliver, and Four Roses COO and Director of Operations, Ryan Ashley, and the resulting beer is just as rich as the relationship in which it began,” says Elliott. “Four Roses Small Batch provides some very complex flavors and unique characteristics, so aging this iteration of Black Ops in the used barrels produced a beer with a hint of mellow bourbon character and a very smooth finish.”

The 2020 Brooklyn Black Ops will be available in limited quantities wherever Brooklyn Brewery is available, beginning in late November. Approximately 2,000 cases of cork-topped, 750-ml. bottles will roll out in the U.S. with a suggested retail price of $24.99 each.

“The combination of the legendary Brooklyn Black Ops and the equally respected Four Roses Small Batch Bourbon is a situation where the drinks are each ennobled by the other,” says Brooklyn Brewery Brewmaster Garrett Oliver. “And that’s a perfect partnership.”


Taub Family Selections New Packaging

Taub Family Selections has announced packaging updates for three of its winery partners: German winery S.A. Prüm, and Italian wineries Sella & Mosca and Teruzzi.

S.A Prüm has made updates to its Raimund Prüm line for Solitär ($13.99 per 750-ml.), formerly known as Luminance, and Essence ($13.99/750-ml.) with the 2019 vintage.

Sella & Mosca has debuted a new look for its flagship Cannonau di Sardegna Riserva DOC ($17.99/750-ml.) and La Cala Vermentino di Sardegna DOC ($15.99/750-ml.).

Teruzzi, formerly known as Teruzzi & Puthod, has announced a brand redesign, including a new logo and packaging for Terre di Tufi Toscana Bianco IGT ($24.99/750-ml.), a Vernaccia-based blend, and Isola Bianca Vernaccia di San Gimignano DOCG ($14.99/750-ml.).

New packaging for wines all is currently available nationwide. 


Belfour Spirits Special Edition Straight Rye Whiskey

Belfour Spirits Special Edition Straight Rye Whiskey.

Belfour Spirits, a whiskey producer led by Hockey Hall of Famer Ed Belfour, announced today the release of its Special Edition Straight Rye Whiskey, a tribute for Fighting Sioux hockey fans.

This whiskey is 106 proof, and represents the company’s first product to roll out since the launch of its three original spirits within the “Spirit of Champions” family in October 2019.  

Belfour started his hockey career playing for the Fighting Sioux. In his rookie year, Belfour — a freshman in goal — helped lead the team to its fifth NCAA Championship (in 1987). Belfour went on to enjoy a near 20-year career playing in the National Hockey League for the Chicago Blackhawks, Dallas Stars and Toronto Maple Leafs, among others. 

“Wearing a Fighting Sioux sweater was — and always will be — an incredible honor,” says Belfour, founder and CEO of Belfour Spirits. “I’ve been blessed to play for many great organizations, and while it all began for me in North Dakota, it’s the camaraderie of the greater team — the fans — that I remember most.”  

The Belfour decanter-like bottle showcases the Belfour eagle, wings and 1920’s typeface, and pays tribute to the Fighting Sioux with team colors. Each cork has an inlaid commemorative coin that reads “Ralph Engelstad Arena, Home of the Fighting Sioux.”

The Belfour Special Edition Straight Rye Whiskey has aromas of caramel, sweet dill, caraway and molasses, the company reports. The palate is white grape, apricot, raisin and brown sugar, before a smoky finish with a coating of white pepper.  

The Belfours distilled this whiskey at its distillery partner, Southern Distilling in Statesville, N.C, where the whiskey aged for a minimum of 24 months in new American white oak barrels.  As a special edition, this straight rye will have limited allocation, available in select stores in North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas and Illinois in the coming weeks. 

The suggested retail price is $99 per 750-ml. bottle.


Invivo X SJP Sauvignon Blanc 2020

Invivo X SJP Sauvignon Blanc 2020.

Actor, fashion designer and entrepreneur Sarah Jessica Parker has announced the 2020 vintage of her Invivo X SJP Sauvignon Blanc.

Following the launch of the first vintage of Invivo X SJP Sauvignon Blanc — which sold more than 500,000 bottles worldwide — Parker and Invivo Cofounders Tim Lightbourne and Rob Cameron have made their 2020 second release together, virtually. New York-based Parker dialed in Lightbourne and Cameron from their winery in Te Kauwhata, New Zealand to create and sign off their latest blend, over a two-hour Zoom chat.

The nose of this wine evidences ripe citrus, tropical fruit and a hint of something savory, the company says. The palate bears fruit and light oak, with white wine tannins providing the framework

Parker has pushed the style a little further this year, the company says for a softer wine with more oak influence. For an increased oak touch, the winemakers used new French barriques and hogsheads as well as non-barrel blonde oak products, and also employed more pre-fermentation maceration than in 2019.

Invivo X SJP Sauvignon Blanc 2020 is 13.2% ABV, and retails for a suggested price of $18-$20 per 750-ml. bottle. The 2020 vintage will be available later this month.


Podcast: What’s Next for Hard Seltzer?

In our latest podcast about the on- and off-premise alcohol industries, Editors Kyle Swartz and Melissa Dowling discuss the ongoing boom in hard seltzer, and what’s next for this red-hot category.

How much more can hard seltzer grow in 2021? And what category innovations can we expect in the coming year?

Check out our hard seltzer podcast episode here.

Like that podcast? Then you’ll also want to check out our other recent episodes:


Woodford Reserve Unveils Holiday Bottle 2020

The 2020 holiday bottle from Woodford Reserve features artwork by Nick Hirst.

Ahead of the holiday season, Woodford Reserve has released its annual holiday bottle.

This year the bottle features festive artwork by UK-based architect Nick Hirst.

Hirst’s painting “Winter Slumber” depicts the contrast between the warm, wooden interior of the historic warehouse at Woodford Reserve, and the stone exterior of the building.

This snowy scene, recognizable to anyone who has visited Woodford Reserve during the past 24 years, celebrates the fact that whiskey ages year-around — regardless of weather.

“Nick Hirst effortlessly captures the distillery with an artful elegance and architect’s eye,” says Woodford Reserve Master Distiller Chris Morris.

The holiday bottles are on sale across the U.S. with a retail price of $49.99 per 1-L bottle.

“At Woodford Reserve, I was looking for an opportunity to compare the colder exteriors to the warm interiors of the older buildings, while continuing to ‘tell the story’ of how the whiskey was made,” explains Hirst. “There was also a strong connection between the color of the rich wooden interiors of some of the buildings and the color of the bottle itself. The stone walls of the barrel store, with the barrel run leading into the wooden interior, was an ideal composition.”

Specializing in historic buildings, Hirst has worked for 20 years in sites across the world, from North Africa to the Middle East and Russia. His work has previously exhibited at the Royal Academy and Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour in London.

The “Winter Slumber” painting is based on a few preliminary pencil sketches from his visit to the distillery in Versailles, Kentucky, later laid onto a watercolor paper, with the detail added with gouache and pen-work.

“As I worked on the painting, I kept a bottle of Woodford Reserve on the drawing board, as a reminder of the color palette,” Hirst says. “Inevitably, the bottle made its way into a drawing.”

This follows recent news of Woodford Reserve Baccarat Edition hitting retail shelves nationwide.


The GlenDronach Announces Port Wood Finish Single Malt

The GlenDronach Port Wood single malt Scotch whisky.

The GlenDronach Distillery has unveiled the launch of The GlenDronach Port Wood single malt Scotch whisky.

The GlenDronach Distillery was established in 1826 by Founder James Allardice, at a time when both sherry and port were “de rigueur,” the company says, with port pipes traveling along Portugal’s Douro River, destined for the wine cellars of Scotland. The GlenDronach Port Wood matured in the distillery’s signature Pedro Ximénez and Oloroso sherry casks, followed by a second maturation in port pipes from Douro Valley in Portugal. 

“The GlenDronach means ‘valley of the brambles’ in old Scots Gaelic. We are delighted to celebrate this heritage with a Portuguese twist on our revered Pedro Ximénez and Oloroso sherry cask maturation, which uses the finest Spanish oak,” says The GlenDronach Master Blender Dr. Rachel Barrie. “This extra maturation in Port casks imparts a deep cherry wood color and enriches the layers of fruit in The GlenDronach, with delightful waves of Victoria plum, brambles and sandalwood on the nose. Layers upon layers of rich fruit flavor open up on the palate with notes of roasted apple crumble and gingerbread, developing into baked orange and black cherry back-notes.” 

The GlenDronach Port Wood is bottled at 46% ABV and non-chill filtered. It is available for purchase at retailers across the US. 

On the nose is Victoria plum, bramble and strawberry jam, the company reports, with top notes of cherry blossom and honeysuckle on a base of sandalwood and ginger. The palate is rich fruits: blackberry and roasted apple crumble with freshly baked gingerbread, developing into a baked orange and black cherry back-note. On the finish is orange peel, sultana and cherry cake lingering into rish fruit.

This follows the summer release of The GlenDronach Kingsman Edition 1989 Vintage.


How Beverage Alcohol Retailers Used Technology in 2020

As part of our ongoing tracking of beverage industry technology adoption, the Beverage Information Group surveyed readers over the summer. The annual tech survey asked off-premise retailers and on-premise operators about their current technology, related to point of sale systems, marketing management, online ordering and more.

This is Part 1 of a two-part series. Part 2, coming in the next week, will list out the best providers of retail tech services.

Below are some of the highlights from the survey responses:

Is your POS linked to your ecommerce website?

Source: The Beverage Information Group

Is your POS linked to your social media?

Source: The Beverage Information Group

What CRM services did you use?

Source: The Beverage Information Group

What type of POS did you use?

Source: The Beverage Information Group

For more information about our beverage reader surveys and for pricing information about adding questions to upcoming surveys, contact Debbie Rittenberg at drittenberg@epgmediallc.com.


BevMo! Purchased By Digital Delivery Service goPuff

West Coast Big Box chain BevMo! has sold to the digital delivery service goPuff.

The purchase price is reportedly $350 million, which includes BevMo!’s footprint of 161 stores throughout California, Arizona and Washington.

“We’re proud to bring goPuff’s operations to California, and look forward to investing in talent and real estate across the state,” says goPuff Co-founder and Co-CEO Rafael Ilishayev. “Partnering with BevMo! quickly advances our strategic objectives of providing more customers in new geographies with a seamless solution for their instant needs. Through this acquisition, goPuff will operate coast-to-coast, solidifying our presence as a leading, national consumer business.”

With a distribution network of 200-plus fulfillment centers, goPuff currently serves customers in more than 500 U.S. cities. The acquisition accelerates goPuff’s entry into California, the company says, providing millions of new customers in BevMo!’s network of neighborhood stores, with access to immediate delivery of everyday items, including baby and pet products, cleaning supplies, food and alcohol, along with local items.

“BevMo! has an extremely loyal customer base and a deep infrastructure across three states,” says goPuff Co-founder and Co-CEO Yakir Gola. “Bringing its iconic brand, locations and employees together with goPuff’s tech-driven, vertically integrated operating model positions us for unparalleled opportunity. We’re thrilled to welcome BevMo! employees to the goPuff team and look forward to building relationships with these new local communities.”

The BevMo! stores will provide infrastructure for goPuff to integrate its network of fulfillment centers, the company says, enabling the digital delivery service to reach customers across the West Coast in 30 minutes or less.

“Joining goPuff, a company that has created a truly differentiated approach and defined the instant needs category, will allow us to better meet our consumers’ evolving needs, including delivering everyday essentials directly to their doorstep,” says Josiah Knutsen, CEO of BevMo!. “We look forward to helping introduce goPuff to California and working together to further enhance the experience for BevMo! customers and our communities at large.”

The transaction is anticipated to close within 30 days, subject to customary closing conditions.

Evercore acted as financial advisor to goPuff in connection with the transaction. Cooley LLP acted as goPuff’s legal advisor.

J.P. Morgan provided financial advisory services to BevMo! Kirkland & Ellis LLP acted as BevMo!’s legal advisor in connection with the transaction.


Clear Election Day Result: Marijuana Wins

There was at least one undisputed winner from Election Day 2020: legal cannabis.

Arizona, Montana, New Jersey and South Dakota all legalized marijuana for adults 21 and older, as voters in each state approved their respective ballot initiatives at the ballot box. That made a clean sweep for recreational pot in states where the issue was up for vote.

South Dakota also passed a medical marijuana initiative, becoming the first state in American history to enact both policies on the same day.

“This historic set of victories will place even greater pressure on Congress to address the glaring and untenable conflicts between state and federal laws when it comes to cannabis legalization,” says Steve Hawkins, executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project, which was founded in 1995 and has played a role in 10 state-level legalization victories over the past eight years.

Heading into Election Day, 11 states had legalized marijuana for adults 21 and over, and 34 states had legalized medical marijuana. Now, there are 15 legalization states and 36 medical marijuana states in the country.

“With the passage of these initiatives, one-third of the population now lives in jurisdictions that have legalized cannabis for adult use, and 70% of all states have embraced cannabis for medical use,” says Hawkins. “This is not a partisan issue. And with more Republican senators representing states with medical marijuana and legal marijuana for adults, we’re hopeful that marijuana reform can serve as an opportunity for bipartisan cooperation.”

“It’s also worth noting that the victory in New Jersey has the potential to accelerate reform efforts in neighboring states,” he adds.