What’s news in the worlds of spirits, beer, and wine:
- While rare bourbons fly off the shelves at ever-increasing prices, mainstream U.S. whiskey producers are rightly scared of a potential EU retaliation against a Trump steel tariff.
- As Spritzes make a run at rosé as the “it-drink” of summer, Euro grocery giant Lidl has launched their own low-cost, house brand imitating Aperol – “Bitterol”, which has been flying off shelves so fast they can’t keep it in stock.
- As global beer behemoths snap up craft brewers left-and-right, the trade group Brewers Association is deploying branding tools to help differentiate true independent brewers from their acquired bretheren on store shelves.
- This week, the Beer Institute held their annual meeting. The keynote from MillerCoors CEO Gavin Hattersley called for unity amongst brewers citing threats from legalized weed, spirits, and Amazon.
- French grape harvests are headed for a historic low due to cold weather, with Bordeaux hit especially hard.
- British sales of low-cost wines are falling precipitously, as consumers increasingly favor more premium wines, high end spirits and craft beers.
- Airlines are some of the biggest wine buyers in the world, but they also choose wines that drink differently at a cruising altitude vs. its bretheren on the ground.
- UC-Davis is not just for wine anymore. Their burgeoning Coffee Center just received a quarter of a million dollar donation from equipment maker Wilbur Curtis.
- Papua New Guinea currently exports about 48 million kilograms of coffee beans annually, but that number could drop drastically. Growers are locked in battle with the dreaded Coffee Berry Borer beetle and demanding that the new government free up funds to fight the pest.