What We’re Reading – May 13, 2014

Long Before Jack Daniels, George Washington Was a Whiskey Tycoon

Smithsonian has a great feature on George Washington’s Distillery at Mount Vernon. It notes our first President “was a man of innovation, who rarely let an opportunity slip by.” So when his plantation manager suggested making whiskey, Washington took it and soon became the largest distiller in the U.S.

The story credits the Distilled Spirits Council of the U.S. with providing key funding to recreate the historic distillery; the original burned to the ground a few years after Washington died.

You can read the story, and see an online video about how whiskey was made in 1797, here.

How an Innovative Whiskey Brand Won Angel Investors

Entrepreneur recounts the first steps in Cleveland Whiskey Co. Founder Tom Lix raised more than $1 million from public, private and angel investors. After launching last year, it sold nearly 50,000 bottles of whiskey in 10 months, earning about $1 million in revenue. To see Lix’s lessons learned, click here.

Muir’s Tavern’s Secret to 70 Years of Success: It Hasn’t Changed

Muir’s Tavern has been on Federal Hill in Baltimore for 70 years. The secret to its success: It hasn’t changed, while everything else has. You can read the story and see the video, from WJZ-TV, here.

Hops Prices Soar as Craft Beer Booms

Craft beer’s double-digit production growth has doubled the price of hops favored by craft brewers. At $7-$10 a pound, hops are now at the highest levels since 2007-08. Back then, the price increase was a drought, not a boom in demand. You can read the story from CNBC here.

How to Taste Sparkling Wine Like a Pro

The Daily Meal tells all, here.

In Today’s Issue, For Subscribers Only

    • Grupo Campari 1st Period Organic Sales Off 3%, Pre-Tax Profit Plunges
    • Beer Institute Hires Top Soft Drink Lobbyist to Lead Association
    • Brad Vassar Named EVP, COO of Southern Wine & Spirits
    • Resveratrol Doesn’t Help or Hurt You, but Keep Drinking Red Wine Anyway: Study
    • Feds: Throw the Book at Counterfeit Wine Dealer
    • Mississippi Gov. Signs Off-Premise Tastings Law
    • Spirits News Notes

o         Panache Beverage Gets Reprieve from Senior Lender
o         Northwestern Honors B-F CEO, Board Chair

    • Beer News Notes

o         Saint Arnold Releases Beer to Support Operation Homefront
o         Upslope Brewing to Intro Thai Style White IPA in Mixed 12-Packs
o         Jasper Ridge Brewery Names Head Brewer

    • Wine News Notes

o         Ocean-Aged Wine Tastes Different
o         J&L Wine Distributors to Rep Tondre Wines
o         Hess Collection Adds a Region, Steps Up National Account Focus
o         Bacigalupi Vineyards Marks 50 Years

    • Distributor News Notes

o         Birmingham Beverage Changes Name to AlaBev

    • Regulator News Notes
    • Bev/Al Quote of the Day
    • F.Y.I.–

o         Why Kids Won’t Eat Nourishing Fare

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