Browsing Tag




October 4, 2013

How the US government’s shut down is wreaking havoc with the spirits industry
By Francine Cohe

Washington DC with monument in background quiet

Think that just because you’re not one of the 800,000 “non-essential personnel” furloughed during the government shut down this week that you and your hospitality/liquor industry brethren and the customers you serve won’t feel the sting? Think again.

While you’re all still expected to be at your job as normal, and it doesn’t seem evident that anything much has changed on a day to day basis, OND sales numbers, product innovation, and revenue (brand and tax revenue) is going to be down this year. Not to mention the possibility of product shortages. There’s no telling yet just how hard we’ll be hit. But it’s certain you’ll see the impact in some way.

Though it is highly unlikely you’re in the same boat as Allison Evanow of Square One Organic Spirits ( and Brian Facquet of Prohibition Distillery (, two craft distillers in the delegation organized by the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States ( to present their handcrafted products to VIPs at Berlin’s Bar Convent next week who were just notified that the venue had changed from the American Embassy to the Berlin Hilton thanks to our legislators not coming to consensus, the impact of this government shut down won’t go unnoticed.

Maybe it’ll be noticeable bare spots on your shelves because imported products are tied up at port. That’s a problem that Lizzie Asher, President of Macchu Pisco (, is presently facing. Or maybe you’re a retailer awaiting holiday VAPs to fill your shelves in one of the busiest selling seasons of the year and those new products simply aren’t available. Producers who live and breathe for those on and off premise account sales are certainly feeling it now. Jason Johnstone-Yellin of Single Cask Nation ( notes, “Single Cask Nation has product sitting at the Glenfarclas distillery that cannot be imported before TTB approval is received. Further, our US-sourced Chanukah releases are delayed while we wait to Continue Reading…



April 27, 2010

In Vino Veritas. Or Is It Veritas?
By John Henry

Photo by Jennifer Mitchell/Courtesy of Beam Global

The Word on the street rules. But the CHO elements (and I mean Carbon, Hydrogen and Oxygen of molecular alcohol) can definitely pit one’s word against another’s. We are in a business fueled by gossip and hearsay. From the outside, the modern corporate cubicle workplace looking in, it would seem that spirits business is a freewheeling one where people, drink, chat and maybe even wind up in strange sheets at the end of the night.

There is some truth to that. As there are in the divorces, whiskey widows, lipstick on the glass and strange flower expenses on the American Express bill. But a greater truth we seek. Just like the old Roman adage, in vino veritas. At least according to that imbiber. Let’s zero in a bit on the “word on the street.”

Rumors run rampant in this business. Especially amongst folks not often found out on the street. For instance, how about these gems: St Germain was offered $111 million by Heaven Hill and turned it down. Seeks 240 mil…William Grant has bought Tuthilltown…Pegu Club doesn’t serve Continue Reading…



February 13, 2010

Spirited sipping leads to $5,800 raised at the Hearts & Cocktails for Haiti Benefit

By Francine Cohen

Photo courtesy of Lush Life Productions

Who said people drink just for pleasure? Sometimes they drink to help those in pain. At least that’s what was going on at Bar Celona in Brooklyn on Sunday, January 31st when hundreds of spirits industry professionals and cocktail enthusiasts gathered to raise a glass and some much needed funds for Haiti.

Haitian American Ray Raymond of Leblon Cachaça and Dave Catania of Chairman’s Reserve organized this important evening and welcomed their industry friends and cocktail lovers to join them for cocktails created especially for the evening by some of New York’s best mixologists. Continue Reading…