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2 INDUSTRY INSIGHT By Alan Forester, CPA, Attorney
30 INDUSTRY EVENT BOLS GENEVER’S COOL CALIFORNIA DEBUT Beverage Industry brass toast the Western U.S. Launch of Bols Genever—The World’s Most Authentic Spirit 32 BIN FEATURE JIM MYERSON REMEMBERED California Businessman and Entrepreneur Jim Myerson, brought sweet creativity to Wine Warehouse and 21st Century Spirits, his beverage industry endeavors 34 BRAND PROFILE DONQ RUM 36 SPEAK EASY JIM CLERKIN An informal conversation with Chief Operating Officer and Executive VP, Moët Hennessy USA 38 INDUSTRY NEWS 40 INDUSTRY NEWS THE 2008 U.S. DRINKS CONFERENCE 42 NEW PRODUCTS & PROMOTIONS 44 POUR OF THE MONTH THE LOCAL KING OF “CALL” DEL REY BEVERAGE DISTRIBUTORS
4 INDUSTRY EVENT 2009 NIGHTCLUB & BAR CONVENTION AND TRADE SHOW 6 CATEGORY FOCUS THINKING OUTSIDE THE CORK No Budget for the real stuff? There are numerous varieties of inexpensive sparkling wines – and not all of them want to taste like Champagne 12 HOLIDAY PROMOTION TSINGTAO BEER Tsingtao is bullish on the Chinese New Year 2009 marketing campaign that plays upon the endurance and strengths of its beers
14 BEER DEPARTMENT WHAT’S BREWING 20 COVER FEATURE GENERACIONES NEXT! Sauza’s prestige brand Tres Generaciones defies industry and economic gravity with a sleek new look and innovative marketing that puts their history in a bright new light
BY ALAN FORESTER, CPA, ATTORNEY
Beverage Industry News
VOLUME 95, ISSUE NUMBER 30 FOUNDED IN 1934 www.binonline.net
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SIN CONSUMPTION DURING BAD ECONOMIC TIMES
Bad news about the economy, job cuts, and the sub-prime mortgage mess is all over the news. When people’s income goes down in bad economic times, there is pressure to rethink spending decisions. There is not much room to cut essential expenses like food and shelter. But what about expenses related to the consumption of alleged “sin” products like alcohol, cigarettes, chocolate and greasy food? A closer look shows during bad economic times consumption of alcohol actually rises, presumably because it provides an escape from reality. But while consumption increases, consumer expenditures on alcohol decrease as a result of the reduction in consumer’s income. To put it another way, people consume more but cheaper brands of alcohol when the economy is bad than when it is good. Moreover, reduction in alcohol expenditures is mild. Many consumers still consider alcoholic beverages an “affordable indulgence,” despite the hard times. Cheaper alternatives abound in the alcohol industry. If imported wine is too expensive, you might try the domestic wineries. If Russian vodka is too expensive, how about a beer? Don't have enough for an import? Try a domestic. If the bar tab is too much to handle, stop off at the store and drink at home. Interestingly, the chocolate market very much mimics that of alcohol consumption. In bad economic times people consume more chocolate, while the overall expenditure on chocolate tends to go down during economic downturn. The basic explanation for this phenomenon is the same as in the alcohol industry: people substitute cheap chocolate for the more expensive and imported chocolate. Smoking is a vice, but many smokers aren't kicking the habit, even as prices continue to rise. Cigarette and tobacco product and sales are not significantly affected by bad economic times. Because smoking is an addiction, the demand for cigarettes is inelastic and does not decrease much as the income of consumers goes down. According to research, during past difficult times in the United States, the overall health of the nation was better because people only ate the necessities and stayed away from expensive, fatty foods. People cooked from scratch to save money, and in the process prepared healthier meals. Economic studies suggest that when the economy does poorly, people tend to spend less on eating out, alcohol, and chocolate, yet almost the same amount on cigarettes. Our current economic crisis should prove an interesting test of many of these theories of sin consumption. Alan Forester is an attorney, CPA and an expert witness in Alcoholic Beverage Control Law. For more information, please visit www.ABClawyer.com or call 877-LIQUOR-8 (877547-8678). I Disclaimer: This article is not to be construed as legal advice. Please check with an attorney before taking action.
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The 2009 Nightclub & Bar Convention and Trade Show Delivers
By Donna Hood Crecca, Courtesy of Nightclub & Bar Magazine
oday, the big questions for nightclub, bar, restaurant, hotel, casino and cruise line beverage pros is how to drive sales, satisfy the guest and stay on the cutting edge of hospitality in this challenging environment. Answers can be found at the 2009 Nightclub & Bar Convention and Trade Show, March 1 – 4 in Las Vegas.
concoctions by presenting original recipes that will be judged by a panel of the nation's leading mixologists. For more information on the Nightclub & Bar Convention and Trade Show, including the educational program, visit www.nightclub.com or www.ncbshow.com. I
Attendees will discover the keys to their success in 2009 among the more than 2,000 exhibitor booths showcasing the latest innovations from spirits, wine, beer, energy drinks, mixers, equipment, food, glassware, lighting, sound, furnishings and other key product suppliers, and learn how to cope and even excel in 2009 from the slate of outstanding keynote and educational program speakers. Additional answers to the big questions can also be found at two premier shows colocated with the Nightclub & Bar Convention and Trade Show: International Restaurant Show and HotelWorld Expo. The three events make up International Hospitality Week, which draws 30,000 professionals in the food, beverage and lodging industries from the United States and 22 countries to Las Vegas. New this year, all Nightclub & Bar registrants receive an International Hospitality Week Club Pass, which serves as an all-access pass to the hottest of the hot Las Vegas clubs: TAO Nightclub at the Venetian; LAVO Nightclub at the Palazzo;
Prive Nightclub at Planet Hollywood; ROK Vegas at New York, New York; MOON Nightclub, RAIN Nightclub, Ghostbar Ultra Lounge and The Playboy Club, all at the Palms; and Body English at Hard Rock Hotel. During International Hospitality Week, networking opportunities abound, beginning with the Welcome Kick-Off event on Sunday evening, March 1 at the Mandalay Bay Ballroom, sponsored by the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS). The Nightclub & Bar Top 100 Party at brand new Vegas hot spot XS in the Wynn will celebrate the nation’s leading independent nightclub, bar and lounge operators. Additional events provide ample opportunity to network with colleagues, partners and friends new and old. Well-crafted cocktails are big business, and today’s rising mixology stars will go head to head during the Shake It Up 2009 competition on the exhibit floor. Sponsored by Nightclub & Bar and Southern Wine & Spirits, the event showcases the top talent demonstrating their skill, flair and creative
More than 2000 booths will showcase products in the following categories: Beer, Wine and Spirits Energy Drinks and Mixers Beverages (non-alcohol) Beverage Service Food/Foodservice Equipment Glassware Décor and Furnishings ATMs Promotions Coin-OP Lighting and Sound POS/Technology Surveillance/Security Apparel/Uniforms Coffee and Tea Health/Hangover Remedy For a current list of all exhibitors, visit www.ncbshow.com.
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With a striking new label and competitive retail price, the 2001 Royal Cuvée is one of Gloria Ferrer’s most heralded sparklers
Gloria Ferrer Sparklers Perfect for Food Pairing, Anytime!
he perfect start to any meal, sparkling wine offers versatility in food pairing and complements a variety of flavors for any occasion throughout the year. In today’s uncertain economy, it is the sparkling wines from California that captivate our attention for their ability to combine quality and value in wines that stand up to their more expensive Champagne counterparts. Gloria Ferrer Caves & Vineyards, crafts six distinctive and diverse sparkling wines at a variety of price points. Each individual sparkling wine exhibits generous fruit aromas and flavors, fine mousse and a persistent, crisp finish, and all are crafted in the traditional méthode champenoise style. As a result, Gloria Ferrer has received over 260 Gold Medals in the past five years at wine competitions across the country, more than any other California sparkling wine house. The 2001 Royal Cuvée is one of Gloria Ferrer’s most heralded wines, having just been awarded 93 points by both the Wine Spectator, where it was named their top California sparkling wine, and Wine Enthusiast, where it was honored in the Top 100 list. With a striking new label and competitive retail price of $35, the 2001 Royal Cuvée will be an easily recognizable wine for consumers this year. Gloria Ferrer’s 2004 Blanc de Blancs (SRP $24) is another notable wine. Crafted entirely from hand-harvested Chardonnay, this sparkling wine spends more than three years cellar aging on the yeast, offering complexity and lasting effervescence. From classic pub fare to exotically international small plates, Gloria Ferrer sparkling wines are perfect food pairing companions at a great price. I
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STRONG AS AN OX, SMART AS A FOX
Tsingtao is bullish on the Chinese New Year 2009 marketing campaign that plays upon the endurance and strengths of its beers.
he Tsingtao brand continues to have much to celebrate as it enters the New Year. Tsingtao Lager remains the number one imported Chinese beer in the United States, while its sister product, the smooth and light-tasting Tsingtao Pure Draft (which is now available nationwide), will be featured on vibrant, new dual-branded point-ofsale sure to increase brand awareness during its number one selling period.
“Chinese New Year is the perfect time for retailers to generate ad features and displays for both Tsingtao brands,” affirms Tom Willett, Tsingtao brand manager for Crown Imports, Tsingtao’s U.S. importer. “We encourage on- and off-premise accounts to take full advantage of this unique promotional opportunity by utilizing all Tsingtao thematic materials to celebrate the ‘Year of the Ox.’ When we look at the on-premise channel, our California Field Sales teams and Tsingtao wholesalers plan to target new distribution and conduct promotional nights in accounts that align perfectly with Tsingtao Lager and Pure Draft’s distinct brand personalities.” In California, retailers can celebrate Chinese New Year and ring in (and ring up) increased sales and profits by featuring Tsingtao Beer’s 2009 “Year of the Ox” onand off-premise retail promotion materials, which will run throughout January and February 2009 (with the Chinese New Year celebration lasting from January 26 through February 9, 2008). For retail off-premise clients, Tsingtao Beer serves up many visually arresting 2009 “Year of the Ox” point-of-sale items guaranteed to generate consumer excitement among consumers, including bright red hanging lanterns, twosided satin banners, pennant strings,
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easel cards and tuck-in price cards. A chain grocery program will feature “Year of the Ox” coupon booklets at Tsingtao displays, with savings off the combined purchase any Tsingtao Beer brand and beef, chicken or sushi. “Since many of our grocery retailers offer fresh, ready-to-eat sushi in the seafood dept., Tsingtao’s coupon booklets offer our wholesalers a perfect opportunity to target out-ofthe beer department displays,” affirms Willett. “In doing so, we will help increase check-out ring and retailer profits. Also, California coupon booklets will include a special discount on popular Chinese Master Chef Martin Yan’s latest cookbook. Bar and restaurant accounts, meanwhile, can get into the spirit by decorating establishments with bamboo wall calendars, acrylic menu holders with personalized “Year of the Ox” inserts, bright red hanging lanterns, two-sided satin banners and pennant strings. Carrying old traditions to new heights in cyberspace, meanwhile, the Tsingtao Web Site (www.tsingtaobeer.com) will be bursting with Chinese New Year fun facts as well as serving suggestions and food pairing ideas. Fans of the brand will be able to download
print-quality Chinese New Year posters and wallpaper free on the site. The site includes new Chinese recipes from renowned celebrity Chef Martin Yan, which he devised to complement both Tsingtao Lager and Pure Draft. Web surfers can also learn how to say “Happy New Year” in various Asian languages. From Willett’s perspective, pairing food with beer continues to be a successful sales strategy in the on-premise channel, since food is consumed with beer in 66% of all dining occasions, according to a 2008 survey conducted by Technomic consumer research. Additional research recently released by the National Restaurant Association and IRI shows that beer/food pairings and the popularity of Asian food continues to grow. Pairing Tsingtao’s beers with Pan-Asian and other food styles will remain as “a key brand growth platform to build upon in 2009.” “When you combine the popularity of Asian food, today’s cooking shows and celebrity chefs, Tsingtao’s brands will continue to offer a relevant and compelling message to evolve our brands from ‘Chinatown to Downtown,’” he says. “Our exciting new brand alliance with Chef Yan, meanwhile, will help us to drive sampling with a much larger, general market consumer base. Also, we’re optimistic about working with Chef Yan to increase distribution for key Tsingtao packages in California retail channels. Many of the “Yan Can Cook” Road Show visits will include stops in California cities, and the Tsingtao brand will enjoy extra visibility thanks to inclusion in Yan’s cooking demos and custom recipes For more information, visit www.crownimportsllc.com. I
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BEVERAGE INDUSTRY NEWS
BIN ONLINE www.binonline.net
THOMAS HOOKER BREWING
When Thomas Hooker Brewing owner Curt Cameron took over the company in 2006, his mission was to make Hooker the first choice among Connecticut beer drinkers by instilling a pride in a local, award winning brewery. Today, Thomas Hooker offers Seven ales and Three lagers including Blonde Ale, Hop Meadow IPA, Irish Red, American Pale Ale, Hooker Lager, Watermelon ale, Imperial Porter, Liberator Doppelbock, Old Marley Barleywine, and their world famous Octoberfest which was just ranked the best Octoberfest in the World by the NY Times Tasting Panel. In addition to making great beer, the brewery hosts events at their new facility on Tobey Road in Bloomfied, CT. Cameron says” We built the new facility for several reasons, first of course was expansion to give us the ability to keep up with the rapidly growing demand for our product here in CT, and in other states who we have been fielding countless requests from. The other reason is so that we can play host to visitors.” Cameron feels that inviting the public in to not only see, but experience the brewery is one of the key components to building the brand and creating a local following. The public can visit the brewery for tours and tastings every Saturday from 12 to 6, and on the first and 3rd Fridays of the month from 5 to 8pm, the brewery hosts an “open house” where for $10, fans get a pint glass, and can taste, tour, and enjoy a great start to the weekend. The best part is that the event benefits the breweries main charity “The Village for Children and Families”, to which Cameron has a special connection. In addition to growing the brand, the brewery has addressed the brewing industries raw material shortage by growing their own hops. On Cameron’s prop18 BIN 2 0 0 9 • I S S U E 1
erty in New Hartford CT, they have planted what they affectingly call the Hooker Hop Farm. In addition to allowing the brewery to wear the “CT Grown” designation, they hope to address the skyrocketing costs of hops. For more info visit www.hookerbeer.com
BITCH CREEK ESB WINS BIG AT U.S. BEER TASTING CHAMPIONSHIPS!
In its 20th year, Grand Teton Brewing Company has won again with their legendary Bitch Creek ESB. The 2008 summer results for the United States Beer Tasting Championships are in and Bitch Creek ESB was announced as their overall Grand Champion in the Bitter/ESB category. Bitch Creek ESB was also recognized as the Best of the Northwest/Pacific in the same category. Grand Teton Brewing’s XX Mountainberry Double Wheat Ale was recognized as Best of the Northwest/Pacific for the Fruit Beer category. XX Mountainberry was the 2008 summer release from Grand Teton Brewing’s renowned Cellar Reserve series. Over the last few years, Bitch Creek ESB has become dominant at the highest level of beer competitions. This year alone, it has been awarded and recognized at the World Beer Cup, North American Brewers Awards and the most prestigious Great American Beer Festival. To win consistently at this level requires a truly superior brew. Bitch Creek ESB perfectly balances big malt sweetness and robust hop flavor for a full-bodied, satisfying mahogany ale. Like the creek for which it’s named, Bitch Creek ESB is complex, full of character and not for the timid.For more info visit www.GrandTetonBrewing.com.
Go online and discover a wealth of resources at your fingertips.
• CURRENT ISSUE • NEW PRODUCTS • WILFRED WONG’S MONTHLY WINE SELECTIONS • BIN PRODUCT OF THE WEEK • BEVSOLUTIONS • ONLINE GUIDE TO NATIONAL BEVERAGE COMPANIES SUPPLIERS/IMPORTERS/ MARKETERS/WHOLESALERS • CLASSIFIEDS • INDUSTRY JOB POSTINGS • SPECIAL AD RATES AVAILABLE ONLINE
Sauza’s prestige brand Tres Generaciones defies industry and economic gravity with a sleek new look and innovative marketing that puts their history in a bright new light.
By ELYSE By Elyse Glickman
the spirit and the adherence to time-honored distillation traditions. However, as younger generations of tequila drinkers explore their options, newer players in the category have wooed them with architectural package design, lifestyle-driven ad campaigns and the sexiness of lounge and cocktail culture.
On top of that, old guard tequila brands also need to factor in the current economic climate and how that may affect their future as the category continues to expand. With all of these considerations in mind, however, the Tres Generaciones team has taken action while closely guarding the history that has made them a mainstay in the tequila world. They came up with an ingenious way to bridge the different generations of tequila drinkers, in the form of a relaunch that reconciles the company’s historic roots and legacy with a fresh, contemporary look and attitude for the new century. And with all of those updates comes a marketing push to match. “We (at Beam Global Spirits & Wine) decided to relaunch the Tres Generaciones expressions because we saw an opportunity to appeal to connoisseurs specifically about the history and heritage of Sauza as well as the passion, knowledge and wisdom that goes into every bottle,” states Derek Sauls, who serves as a US Super Premium Brand Manger for Tres Generaciones. “With the rise of the super-premium category, the timing of the relaunch couldn’t be better. ‘Three G’s,’ as some people like to call it, is at its heart a great tequila that embodies the art and craftsmanship of what makes a great tequila and what it should taste like. Furthermore, the relaunch of the brand will ultimately enable us to get across key messages about the greater Sauza history and legacy to consumers, as well as the craftsmanship and triple distillation process that differentiates it from other brands.”
or several generations of American tequila drinkers, key selling points for premium brands have included the family trees of tequila dynasties wholly committed to perfecting the art of
Western Business Unit of Beam Global Spirits and Wine. “This is a premium product that comes out of the distillery that made everything happen in this category. In the past, the wonderful, rich history has not been told as strongly. For this reason, our responsibility to the distributors, restaurateurs and bartender communities is to not
Entertainment in Tres Generaciones
TRES GENERACIONES ULTIMATE MARGARITA
1 1/2 parts Tres Generaciones Plata Tequila 1 part premium triple sec 1 part premium orange liqueur 1 part fresh lime juice Rim the outside of a margarita glass with lime and dip into salt. Fill a drink shaker with ice and all of the ingredients. Shake and strain into chilled martini glass. Serve chilled.
What’s Old is New Again
In providing a refresher course on Tres Generaciones’ history, it is important to note the legacy of those Tres Generaciones or three generations of tequila craftsmen Sauls mentions repeatedly-Don Cenobio, Don Eladio and Don Francisco Javier Sauza—figures strongly into the package redesign. What’s inside the bottles, meanwhile, continues to deliver what made this brand one of the most historic in the category. An industry pioneer, Don Cenobio Sauza created his signature Sauza tequila in 1873 and was the first to bottle and export the spirit and call it “tequila”. During his long career, Don Eladio, spent the second generation bringing worldwide recognition to Sauza as well as introducing new methods to the process of making great tequila. Grandson, Don Francisco Javier, who brought Sauza tequila into the modern age by improving on his father’s techniques and, in honor of his father and grandfather, created Tres Generaciones. “What we are hoping to do at the distributor and trade level is retell the history of the brand, which is amazing when you consider this is the company that professionalized the distillation of tequila and grew the business,” says Pryce Greenow, General Manager,
TRES GENERACIONES NEAT
1 1/2 parts Tres Generaciones Anejo Tequila Fill snifter with tequila and sip Simplicity at its finest
TRES GENERACIONES ROCKS
1 1/2 parts Tres Generaciones Reposado Tequila 3 cubes of ice 1 slice of lime Fill glass with ice and a slice of lime, and pour over the tequila
COVER FEATURE continued
only remind them about the history, but also demonstrate that this history is nothing without the quality of the product behind it. We have a strong relationship with the US Bartender Guild based in San Francisco, which we hope will help in terms of the kind of outreach work we are trying to do initially. Tres Generaciones represents the best expression of tequila that came from the Sauza family, who was the first family of the tequila. It’s a wonderful story that has been told, but we want to amplify that.” According to Sauls, the first, very limited run of Tres Generaciones tequila was created for a small, very exclusive group of family and friends to commemorate a century of tequila innovation. Though Don Francisco Javier Sauza did not know it at the time, this gesture—complete with hand-blown and hand-numbered artisan bottles— ended up becoming industry standardbearer from the inside out. It was a foreshadowing of things to come three decades later, when ultra-premium tequila became a category in its own right. However, the grandson’s drive to
Pictured L-R: Pryce Greenow - General Mgr.- West Region & Doug Gibson - Division VP West Coast Division Beam Global Spirits & Wine, Inc.
“What we are hoping to do at the distributor and trade level is retell the history of the brand, which is amazing when you consider this is the company that professionalized the distillation of tequila and grew the business,”
– Pryce Greenow, General Manager, Western Business Unit of Beam Global Spirits & Wine
innovate was in line with his forbearers. Back in 1873, Don Cenobio Sauza created the signature style of tequila when he opened his first distillery, La Perseverancia, and became first distiller to dare to bottle the spirit and actually call it tequila. When Don Eladio picked up the reins, he set out to improve upon the tequila-making process. Because innovations on Don Eladio’s watch brought wider recognition and respect to the Sauza family, Francisco Javier, in turn, was moved to create Tres Generaciones to honor his father and grandfather who transformed a regional spirit into an international phenomenon. “All together, the three of them were tequila pioneers who set out to define this category of tequila and make Sauza one of the most recognizable names of tequila in the world as well as one of the world’s best selling tequilas today,” affirms Sauls. “Francisco Javier Sauza’s intention was to create something special to celebrate the Sauza family’s three-generation commitment building the tequila industry as well as to pay tribute to his father and grandfather. Even though Tres Generaciones in its new form will be new to some audiences, we won’t lose sight of the contributions of the three Sauza Dons who were true pioneers of this industry nor the quality that has kept it front and center. Just as they passed all the knowledge, skills and wisdom of crafting tequila down
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through time, from generation to generation, we want to cultivate that and be true to that in terms of how Tres Generaciones is marketed to our clients and final consumers. Through the events and promotions we will be doing throughout 2009, recognizing the next generation of high achievers”
Message on a Bottle
As the Beam team and the distributors get together to implement and carry out various programs and practices for a product, Sauls notes the bottle’s new design tells a large part of the Sauza family story as well as up the glamour quotient for younger legal purchase age tequila drinkers that want something that is high in quality, something “new” and a rediscovered treasure from an “old school” time. “The new bottle design contains several visual references to the quality of the product and the historical legacy of the Sauza Dons,” explains Sauls. “The triple distillation process that defines Tres Generaciones is called out on the label along with the 1873 date, when La Perseverancia was founded by Don Cenobio.” Unlike other modern ultra premium tequila brands dressed in architecturally-designed bottles, the Tres Generaciones new bottle is more about consistency and preservation of ideas that have made it cutting edge throughout its history. Other artistic flourishes and designs on the new bot-
COVER FEATURE continued
tle celebrate the accomplishments of the three Sauza Dons. There are three agave leaves on the back of the bottle and three medallions on the front of the bottle to symbolize and honor the three founding Sauza Dons. There is also a Sauza family crest that appears on the neck of the bottle that serves as another reminder of the heritage and history of the three Sauza Dons’ contributions to modern tequila production and enjoyment. The launch of the new packaging may have a great new contemporary look to it, according to Doug Gibson, West Coast Division VP at Beam Global Spirits & Wine, but he wants to make it clear to consumers at all levels that the quality of what’s in the bottle remains the same. “During this year, marketing to the trades, we’re getting back to basics and talking to people in the industry about Tres Generaciones’ core values and making sure the name is top of mind to these influential people, even with all of those other brands out there,” says Gibson. “I have had the good fortune of being affiliated with the brand and this portfolio of products for over 15 years. During this time, the thing we have built our business (with people in the trade) on is that tequila education is the key for getting the message across. We treated this brand when approaching our trade base the way sommeliers would approach fine wines. We carry product in our bags so we can go into meetings with our restaurateurs, bartenders, retailers and other professional clients and have a meaningful conversation about the quality that goes into every bottle. We go out there and tell people about the Sauza family history and what each Don did to bring tequila production to the next level of excellence, as well as what makes the creation and distillation of Tres Generaciones different from the other ultra premiums.”
Internationally renowned mixologist Eddie Perales moves into the mix as Sauza’s brand ambassador Eddie Perales, a 25-year beverage industry veteran who has participated in bartending contests around the globe (including the prestigious 42 Below Cocktail World Cup in New Zealand) and has long-been a member of Las Vegas’ mixology vanguard, is now bringing his passion and artistry to the Sauza family and the Tres Generaciones brand. In his new post, Perales will be spending a significant amount of 2009 traveling around California to on-premise accounts not only relaying the Tres Generaciones story from his perspective, but also through his talents as a mixologist, reestablishing its position as one of the industry’s top ultra-premium brands. He will be teaching bartenders and restaurateurs how to showcase the complex layers of flavors, fragrant agave aromas and the shimmering silver, gold and amber hues of Tres Generaciones. He will use a variety of recipes as teaching tools that highlight the spirits unique qualities without overwhelming attendees less experienced mixing cocktails. Perales will also be explaining how Tres Generaciones is a significant leader in an industry shift where tequila—the fastest growing spirit on the market—is widely being embraced as a viable alternative for vodka or rum in different popular cocktails. Through his work for Tres Generaciones, he will be encouraging those in attendance to use all of their senses when making a presentation for their customers and introduce them to every aspect of the spirit, noting the freshness and adaptability of each Tres Generaciones variety in ways that also illuminates its stellar history.
A Window of Opportunity
Speaking of preservation, Beam’s team emphasize repeatedly that their current marketing tactics are not about the “new” old thing or the “new, new” thing, but of keeping traditions alive for the next generation of tequila connoisseurs and aficionados through education, from the trade level down to the consumers. We were fortunate that the quality of what was in the bottles was consistent. However, over time, we did get away from the history a bit and wanted to shift the message back to its history. While we acknowledge there are a lot of great tequilas out there, Tres Generaciones is one of the originals. The brand enters 2009 with the introduction of its marketing lynchpin, The Tres Generaciones Society. According to Sauls, the charter members of this exclusive consumer group consist of, “top tier tastemakers, business leaders and other key members of the tequila community.” Those invited into the Tres Generaciones Society can log onto a special Tres Generaciones micro website, to share their own exclusive knowledge and wisdom about their craft / profession and tequila—particularly the Tres Generaciones brand—and exchange
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COVER FEATURE continued
information to learn new things about it from their peers. The site will also feature news about new developments in the brand, cocktail ideas and special members-only events taking place throughout the country. “Tres Generaciones is poised to help revitalize the lost practice of sharing wisdom and knowledge for the next generation, just as the Sauza family has done,” says Sauls. As one Sauza honored the achievements of the person who came before him, the Tres Generaciones brand in effect will be honoring three generations of distinctive achievers in key industries across the country throughout 2009. To further pinpoint these individuals, we are reaching out to different social media groups and we are partnering with Business Week to reach out to individuals who we see as high achievers and influencers who can carry that message on to other people in various key markets across the country, Los Angeles being one of those markets.” Sauls adds that the process that was done to find society members and develop effective marketing for the relaunch of Tres Generaciones is in keeping with general marketing practices at Beam Global Spirits & Wine, in terms of how team members at each brand deliver the company’s overall vision of “Building Brands People Want to Talk About” while carrying out the specific messages about what makes those individual brands unique in the market place. “We groom all of our brands, including Tres Generaciones, to be products people want to talk about, through a certain set of tools, principles and processes for our marketing efforts that work on a variety of levels,” he adds. “In the case of our society, what we’re doing is we’re inviting a group of select people with a shared passion for this product, and a goal to attain a similar level of excellence in their own careers. After they have been in the society and understand the
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process of keeping the messages behind Tres Generaciones’ crowning achievements alive, we encourage them to invite their friends, family and colleagues to join this society. This is how we hope to see it grow.”
Taking It From the Top
While Sauls focuses on the strategies needed to capture the imagination of consumer tequila connoisseurs, Greenow and Gibson are also involved in awareness programs designed to generate the same level of enthusiasm among wholesalers, distributors and accounts. Greenow points out that while the new “Society” will help “build a better conversation between ourselves and the consumers about the products,” they intend to invest a significant amount of time, attention and money to ensure brand history and messages that get out to key decision makers in the trades is meaningful and lasting. “We are not doing anything for Tres Generaciones on the cheap because we ultimately want to maintain our solid foundation and find effective ways to link what we are doing with consumers to the trade and vice versa,” asserts Greenow. “At the current time, our focus is on outreach to distributors who will then pass valuable knowledge and key messages on to their accounts. The first three months of 2009 will be intended to reintroduce the product to the trade, who will in turn ensure there will be product on the market.” Greenow then describes an ambitious new brand incentive program that mirrors the history that defines Tres Generaciones’ brand identity. “There is a beautiful pewter replica of the new bottle shape that comes in a wonderful gift case, and what we are doing is recognizing people across a range of different people three generations of success,” Greenow explains. “For example, we would go to a client like Southern Wine and Spirits, and pay tribute with this package to veter-
History: New and Improved
The relaunch also emphasizes continued improvements that ensure Tres Generaciones Plata, Reposado and Anejo tequilas will continue to make history. “Whether it is consumed straight, on the rocks, or in a margarita, Tres Generaciones will always deliver a great experience,” Sauls points out. “The Plata is a crystal-clear, unaged tequila made from 100% Weber blue agave that is heightened by the triple distillation process for a clean, smooth taste and an aroma with hints of citrus and sweet floral notes. The Reposado, also made from 100% Weber Blue Agave and triple distilled, is aged in American oak barrels for at least two months. It has a bright gold color and flavor notes of wood, pepper, herbs, spices. The Anejo, which Sauls emphasizes is the crowning achievement for this brand and the family, is aged for at least 12 months in charred American oak, which in turn enhances the 100% Weber Blue agave with subtle flavors imparted by charred wood of caramel, vanilla and finish of rich oak.” The timeless appeal of the line will also be prevalent, as Sauls and his forces will be working with mixologists to develop recipes showcasing the unique qualities of each tequila. These programs also involve educating key account people and other staff Sauza Tres Generaciones’ history. National tequila ambassadors will be working with people in California to keep them updated on the production process and historical legacy.
COVER FEATURE continued
an members of the group who set the distributor on the right course for the brand in the early days, the middle generation who took our brand and brought it to new levels of success and then the up-and-comers who are bringing the brand into the future.” Gibson further explains that while Beam is working hard to help wholesalers and distributors continue take pride in their association with the brand, it is important to reward industry veterans for having taken on responsibility of helping build it and maintain its status in the past and recognize the efforts of newer people in the chain who have shown that they are invested in bringing the brand into the future. “What the Sauza Dons ultimately did was pioneer tequila as an industry,” assesses Greenow. “It is a relatively recent process (compared to others
“California is not just a great tequila market, but a great market for Tres Generaciones across the board...It’s a perfect market for us in that it is easier for us to reach tequila connoisseurs, and offers an ongoing and strong means to continue educating those consumers about the three Sauza Dons and their contributions to the tequila category and marketplace.”
– Doug Gibson Div. VP , West Coast Division Beam Global Spirits & Wine
which are over 1000 years old), where enterprising people took some distillation methods developed by Spanish colonialists, then refined it, created an industry and brought it to the next level. When it comes to our partners in distribution, charity retail and restaurants, we are looking to work with people who have that same pioneering spirit as the Sauza family. Tres Generaciones greatly contributed to the ultra category…the best expression of what tequila could be. Today, in addition to changing people’s perception of tequila being a ‘party drink,’ we are giving tequila the package it deserves and restoring it to its proper status and place in the ultra-premium category. Furthermore, we are providing an epic story context any supplier would kill to have behind his brand. I see the process as polishing a diamond to reveal its extraordinary character.”
The Real Stars of the Show
While several familiar ultra-premium spirits brands have adopted equally familiar celebrities to represent their products, Beam Global Spirits & Wine has made it known that the leading men of Tres Generaciones will remain the Sauza Dons. “We are not looking to partner with celebrities,” declares Sauls. “We want to connect with real people—highachievers across different industries eager to share what they know about what makes a fine tequila with the next generation of young connoisseurs. We want to bring back the idea that heritage, quality and the art of tequila should be preserved by passing it along, just as doctors pass what they know to emerging medical professionals, executive chefs pass info along to culinary
school graduates and veteran mixologists pass along to new maverick bartenders behind the bar.” Gibson, meanwhile, notes that unlike other ultra premium spirits brands, there is no shortcut to achieving Tres Generaciones’ ambitious goals throughout 2009. Conveying the messages effectively requires the team to make sure wholesalers and distributors have product available for sale to on- and off-premise accounts, complete with the story of what made Tres Generaciones one of the world’s leading tequilas. “An ideal situation for us is to start the education process with wholesalers to ensure they are fully re-educated on key messages, especially as new reps enter the company all the time,” notes Gibson. “Later in the spring, especially for offpremise accounts, we hope to re-introduce the strategy of hosting special tequila tasting dinners to offer educational value, especially pairing tequilas with foods the way you would with wines.” Sauls notes that California is one of the star states when it comes to industry support of the brand as well as continued consumer interest. To keep the momentum of the relaunch going throughout 2009, the team is continuing a push to reinforce key partnerships with on- and off-premise accounts to bring in new generations of clients via ongoing support and recognition of the day-to-day efforts of distributor partners. “California is not just a great tequila market, but a great market for Tres Generaciones across the board,” affirms Gibson. “It is easier for us to reach tequila connoisseurs, and offers an ongoing and strong means to continue educating those consumers about the three Sauza Dons and their contributions to the tequila category and marketplace.” I
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Having a BOLS (Genever) in San Francisco
Beverage industry brass toast the Western U.S. Launch of Bols Genever—The World’s Most Authentic Spirit
THE HOLLAND HOUSE Glass: A small pre-chilled martinicocktail glass. Ingredients: 1 3/4 shots of Bols Genever 3/4 shot of Noilly Prat dry vermouth 1/2 shot of freshly squeezed lemon juice 1/4 shot of maraschino liqueur Technique: Shake the ingredients with large, hard, cold ice cubes and double-strain into the glass. Garnish: Spray and rim a zest of lemon. This strong, dry, complex cocktail was the signature drink of the Holland House, once one of New York’s finest cocktail bars and the former workplace of Harry Craddock before he moved across to the Savoy Bar in London. The Very Old Fashioned Glass: A shortdrink (rocks) glass. Ingredients: 2 shots of Bols Genever 1/2 barspoons muscovado sugar 2-3 dashes Jerry Thomas’ Own Decanter Bitters 1/2 shot Rich sugar syrup (2:1) Technique: Stir a shot of genever with a dash of bitters and a small amount of muscovado sugar, using large, cold, hard ice cubes. While still stirring, keep adding ice and tasting, until you reach the desired point of ice dilution, sugar solutions and flavour. Garnish: Spray and rim a zest of orange. The Old Fashioned is one of the oldest sorts of cocktail, and one with genever as old-school as they get. Enjoy this stylish, simple drink for what it is: a connoisseurs’ drink from more than a century ago.
Tal Nadari, Piet van Leijenhorst - Master Distiller, Sandie van Doorne, Hubb van Doorne
Jonny Raglin - Bartender
David Wondrich, Historian/Author and Piet van Leijenhorst - Master Distiller
n October 1 of last fall, Lucas Bols of Amsterdamn, Holland heralded the U.S. debut of its premium Genever spirit to the U.S. market in San Francisco. The first order of business was to drive home the fact that Genever is not gin, but maltwine—a category on to itself integrating corn, rye and wheat in addition to botanicals over the distillation process. A select number of guests in the beverage industry experienced the difference for themselves as part of a special luncheon staged at one of San Francisco’s historic mansions.
Lucas Bols, the world’s oldest distilled spirits brand, has produced this spirit in the past, and the spirit itself has been in production for two centuries. However, what this special debut marks is the rebirth of Bols Genever, considered to be one of the ‘original white spirits.’ The entire Lucas Bols team, including master distiller Piet VanLeijenhorst and special guest speaker David Wondrich, were on hand to field questions from the select guests. Imported by Cattani Imports and distributed by Young’s Market in California and Southern Wine & Spirits in New York. According to sources at Bols, this event (which included cocktails made from the recipes below), was literally just a taste of things to come. In the next issue of BIN, Bol’s distiller and principals will tell the story behind what could be the next great spirit hitting the best bars in New York and California. I
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California Businessman and Entrepreneur Jim Myerson, 82, brought sweet creativity to Wine Warehouse and 21st Century Spirits, his beverage industry endeavors.
im Myerson, described by his peers as a “modern businessman with old-fashioned ethics,” not only leaves behind the legacies of his successful family businesses and Blue Ice Vodka, one of America’s vanguard vodka brands, but also a lasting impact on California’s wine and spirits industry.
Over the years, Wine Warehouse (which he co-founded) and 21st Century Spirits emerged as bonafide institutions for both connoisseur consumers and beverage industry movers and shakers. However, these landmark achievements were built with Myerson’s characteristic warmth, savvy and good humor. His commitment to the success of his businesses and staff lasted up to the date of his passing, November 10, 2008. Myerson, however, was modest about his achievements, and described his liquor business as, “an old-school family business with a team of valued employees, extending the Myerson family values of honor and hard work throughout their companies.” However, his peers also respected him for being a modern businessman who always staying up to date with new products and practices. Through it all, he was known for “hand-shake contracts”—his word was his bond and he believed in giving people
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the opportunity to do their very best work. Los Angeles native Myerson was born in 1926, where he attended Los Angeles schools. After honing his life and business skills at Stanford University (graduating in 1949), he went on to serve as a radio technician in the U.S. Navy during World War II. After the war, he dedicated nearly 60 years to the Ben Myerson Candy Company working with his brother Bob Myerson, one of California's oldest family owned candy companies founded by their father Ben Myerson in 1937. Myerson spent nine years on the board of directors of the National Confectioners Association and was inducted into the Candy Hall of Fame in 2004 for his work at Ben Myerson Candy Company. Although their work in the candy industry earned them a sweet reputation in the local business community, in 1973 the Myerson brothers went on to establish
Wine Warehouse. Today, it is recognized as an industry standard bearer that sells and distributes more than 10,000 wines, beers, spirits, non-alcoholic beverages and glassware, as one of the state's largest distributors with branches in both Northern and Southern California. Starting with a single container of French Burgundy, Myerson and his brother built the business upon delivering quality and value to consumers, carefully selecting international products to represent the best offerings. Late in his life, Myerson's creative and entrepreneurial spirit inspired the launch of Blue Ice Vodka in 2001 for his family's 21st Century Spirits company. Blue Ice, a premium American potato vodka made in Idaho, was for Myerson was “a fun challenge” that he dedicated his retirement years to. “Creating something new is a passion for me,” remarked Myerson last year, who loved the challenge of building his premium vodka into a national brand. James P. Myerson, current president of Wine Warehouse, eulogized his uncle by noting, “Above everything else, Uncle Jim was a dreamer. His outgoing personality, ingenuity and ultimate focus on customer service and being two steps ahead of the crowd, made the products and companies he helped to build stand out. Uncle Jim
Up until the end, Jim was the ultimate educator for Blue Ice Vodka, even when we went out to dinner at some of our favorite restaurants on our own time. He would always order the Blue Ice martini, shaken, not stirred.
made friends easily in each industry he was a part of, and never skipped a beat.” Myerson was also widely known for his zest for life, inside and out of the beverage world. He enjoyed sharing his interests in sailing, skiing, traveling and golf with family and friends. A dedicated Francophile, he mastered the language, and was fortunate to make many friends on his many trips to France that enriched his life personally and professionally. “There was never a time that Jim felt illness would curtail his ambition or stop him from planning for the future of Blue Ice Vodka,” says Diane, his wife of 50 years. “He was looking forward to the launch of the Blue Ice Organic Winter Wheat Vodka. Up until the end, Jim was the ultimate educator for Blue Ice Vodka, even when we went out to dinner at some of our favorite restaurants on our own time. He would always order the Blue Ice martini, shaken, not stirred. If the waiter told him there was no Blue Ice martini, he would take whoever was assigned to our table to the bar, show him or her the bottle, explain the perfect martini and then offer them chapter and verse on what made Blue Ice Vodka special, no doubt inspiring those who listened to him.”
Diane also delights in describing how Blue Ice Organic martinis were served at his memorial, as a vivid and flavorful reminder of his legacy. “He was very passionate about the vodka he spent the last five years of his life creating,” she explains. “What he left unfinished was the Blue Ice Organic Vodka, slated to come out this January. While we still look forward to the launch, the excitement of this new product launch would have been something he would have loved to witness first hand.” At the aforementioned memorial, the cocktail itself was a perfect coda for the man behind the vodka: a martini shaken, not stirred. It had to specifically be shaken 25 times, and accented with an onion and olive on the side. In addition to his wife, he is survived by daughter Dana Myerson Agamalian, her husband John and grandchildren Alexa and Grant, as well as daughter Carol Myerson Sever, her husband Jim and grandchildren Ellery, Olivia and Rory. Also surviving him is his brother Bob and sister-in-law Barbara Myerson, along with nephews James P. Myerson and Allen Myerson and niece Linda Myerson Dean. I
LIQUOR LICENSE SPECIALIST
Liquor License Specialists is the complete source for all of your licensing needs. Liquor License Specialists has been in business for 27 years and maintains offices in Los Angeles and Orlando. Their professional staff works with all segments of the Alcoholic Beverage Industry. Liquor License Specialists will work with you to determine your licensing needs and create a custom solution. With the largest inventory of licenses nationwide, their Processing Department will work with you to complete all Liquor Board applications. ABC Escrow, their in-house escrow company, is dedicated to Alcoholic Beverage Contracts. Please visit: www.liquorlicense.com or call 1-800-222-5777 x 29 with any questions. DRINKiQ.com will soon offer content specific to more than twenty-eight countries and will be available in more than fourteen languages. There are also plans to add Spanish language content to the US site. Wine Entertaining Showcase in Chicago in November. “The Food & Wine Entertaining Showcase allowed us to serve Prairie alongside leading chefs and wineries from around the world,” said Dean Phillips, president and CEO of Phillips Distilling Company. “Being in good company, along with serving delicious cocktails, was a great introduction to those who had never tasted Prairie before and another extension to those who are already loyal to the brand.” A beautifully smooth vodka distilled from organic #2 yellow corn and certified both organic and kosher, Prairie Organic Vodka was served at the booth by famed Blackbird Mixologist, Matty Colston in two original cocktails. The Lady Killer recipe is also available on the Prairie Organic Vodka Web site.
BEDFORD & GROVE TO HEAD UP US DISTRIBUTION FOR BOCA LOCA CACHAÇA
Boca Loca Cachaça Company, producer and importer of award-winning Brazilian Cachaça, appointed Bedford & Grove to head up US distribution. The move comes at a time of significant growth for the Boca Loca brand in the US. Bedford & Grove will be overseeing the brand’s expansion into new key states, including California, New York, New Jersey and Texas. This growth comes on the heels of greater expansion into European markets. Boca Loca’s accolades include Gold Medals from the Ministry of Rum and the 2007 San Francisco World Spirits Competition, and recognition as a “Top 10 Spirit of 2007” (About.com).
DIAGEO TAKES RESPONSIBLE DRINKING ONLINE
Diageo’s new global online resource, DRINKiQ.com is intended for all interested parties to share programs and tools designed to fight alcohol misuse and help individuals make responsible choices about drinking – or not drinking. DRINKiQ.com features unique tools such as videos of experts answering commonly asked questions about alcohol issues, information on how to responsibly host events and parties, and other downloadable resources. A key feature of DRINKiQ.com is The Responsibility Channel, an online community where consumers, parents, teachers, government officials, retailers and others can post and share videos and programs they have found effective in addressing alcohol-related issues. DRINKiQ.com also features unique tools such as videos of experts answering commonly asked questions about alcohol issues, information on how to responsibly host events and parties, and other downloadable resources.
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WHISKY INDUSTRY HONORS FOUR ROSES BOURBON
More than 200 whisky distilleries attended Malt Advocate Magazine’s annual WhiskyFest celebration in New York City – and among the hundreds, Four Roses Distillery, based in Lawrenceburg, Ky., was honored with the 2008 Distillery of the Year Award. Four Roses Bourbon has been extremely busy over the past few years. A change of ownership and the urging of Hall of Fame Master Distiller, Jim Rutledge (pictured above with Malt Advocate’s John Hansell), led to the brand’s domestic welcoming in 2002. Since then, the growth of barrel inventories reached the capacity to introduce a single barrel Bourbon in 2004 followed by a small batch product in 2006. In the last two years, the brand has expanded distribution to about a dozen markets outside Kentucky, and released three limited edition bot-
PRAIRIE ORGANIC VODKA POURED AT 10TH ANNUAL FOOD & WINE ENTERTAINING SHOWCASE IN CHICAGO
Phillips Distilling Company, the fifth-generation, family-owned maker of distilled spirits, featured its Prairie Organic Vodka at the 2008 Food &
tlings – the most recent being the first in a series of annual small batch barrel strength bottlings, entitled Mariage Collection. “The distillery’s success in such a short period of time is attributed to the quality of the product, the uniqueness of the brand and the Four Roses employees,” said Master Distiller Jim Rutledge. The Four Roses Distillery is one of the most unique one can come across – not only because of the Spanish-mission architecture, but because Four Roses is the only brand to produce 10 distinct Bourbon recipes, each with their own unique character, spiciness, and rich, fruity flavors.
Shaun O'Sullivan, co-founder and co-owner of 21st Amendment Brewery, and Clara Kalin, 75, who was the Grand Marshal of the parade. Photo courtesy of Anthony Dimaano
21ST AMENDMENT BREWERY HOSTS REPEAL PROHIBITION PARTY AND PARADE
A local brewery offered two $100 bounties for local residents turning 21 and 75 on December 5, 2008, the 75th Anniversary of the Repeal of Prohibition. The birthday boy(s)/girl(s) were named the Grand Marshals of Repeal Prohibition Week at 21st Amendment Brewery and led the Repeal Prohibition Parade (aka We Want Beer! March) on Friday, December 5.
The Repeal Prohibition Parade began at Justin Herman Plaza (1 Market Street, San Francisco) with a full marching band and a coterie of revelers in 1930’s garb and ended at 21st Amendment Brewery (563 2nd Street, San Francisco) with a Repeal Prohibition celebration featuring a three-piece jazz band, special menu items, and a password-only speakeasy. Passwords were hidden around town.
CONSTELLATION SELLS VALUE SPIRITS BRANDS
Constellation will sell its value spirits business for $334 million to New Orleans-based
Sazerac Company. Clearly a huge step for Sazerac, who is gaining 40 brands including Barton, Skol, Mr. Boston, Fleischmann's, the 99 schnapps line, the diAmore line, ChiChi's pre-mixed cocktail line, Montezuma Tequila, in addition to numerous other brands representing over 600 SKUs. The total volume added up to 10 million cases in fiscal year 2008, with net sales totaling approximately $200 million. Distillery and bottling facilities included in the sale are located at Bardstown and Owensboro, Ky., as well as a leased bottling facility at Carson, Calif. The transaction is expected to close by the end of February 2009. All the after-tax proceeds (about $210) will be used to pay off Constellation's debt. Constellation is keeping its premium and mid-premium brands, including Svedka, Black Velvet and Paul Masson Grande Amber Brandy. According to the company, Svedka is the fourth largest imported vodka brand in the U.S., while the other two brands are each number two by volume in their respective categories. These three brands total almost 5 million cases. Constellation will also retain its distillery and production facility at Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada. I
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POUR OF THE MONTH
POUR OF THE MONTH
David Quackenbush - Del Rey Beverage Distributors
The Local King of “Call” Del Rey Beverage Distributors
For more than 16 years, Del Rey Beverage Distributors has kept the restaurants and bars of L.A.’s trendy west side well-stocked with a convenient and thorough selection of quality wines, spirits and beers. Up until five years ago, they also had a selection of mixers to go along with their liquors. However, based on the demand for Finest Call Mixers—especially the Margarita and the Sweet & Sour varieties—David Quackenbush made the decision to carry this brand almost exclusively. While some of his peers may see this exclusivity as a bit risky, Quackenbush stresses it is one of the smartest business moves he’s ever made. And for 2009, he’s reinforced that decision with an impressive order of 180 cases. Though a significant part of the order are the best selling Margarita and Sweet & Sour, he made sure he has ample quantities of other popular flavors to start out 2009 on a flavorful note. “We’ve tried most of what’s on the market in terms of mixers, probably about 80 percent,” Quackenbush says matter-of-factly. “We have found based on our customers’ feedback that Finest Call sells better than any other brand we’ve carried,” “Finest Call has more going for it than any other brand, especially with the taste and the quality which is consistent among all the flavors. Additionally, our bartender customers tell us they love the easy-tohandle bottle design and easy-pour spout.” Quackenbush adds that since Del Rey Beverage Distributors started carrying the entire Finest Call line, their customers shop their warehouse with added confidence, knowing that their personal favorites and most in-demand flavors will be in stock and ready to go. Del Rey Beverage Distributors is located at 4935 McConnell Ave Ste 14, Los Angeles, CA 90066 (310) 305-7387. I
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Tony Charmello - Young's Market Company & David Quackenbush