Beverage Wholesaler - September 18, 2017 To view this email as a web page, click here.
Cheers Weekly
An Alternative to Diesel Fuel

After spending many years in the beer wholesaling business, Eddie Murray decided a decade ago to "take a leap of faith," as he puts it, and get into the natural gas business. He's currently the Director of Business Development for Houston-based Freedom CNG, which owns and operates compressed natural gas stations used for fleet trucks.
I recently spoke to Murray about his early career, the jump into fuel and what advice he has for wholesalers who want to switch to alternative energy sources to be more sustainable and save money.
Beverage Wholesaler: Your area of the country recently survived Hurricane Harvey. What's been the impact on the company and on fuel costs locally?
Eddie Murray: What we in the industry talk about all the time is happening right now, with the shortage of diesel and gasoline, which is sending prices spiking. The diesel shortage won't be permanent, but the price of national gas has been stable for 16 years. The movement has been within the same 12 cent range for years, which means we haven't changed the price at the pump in all that time.
BW: How did you get into the natural gas industry in the first place?
EM: I was in the beer business for a long time, starting in 1978 in New York City. I worked for Manhattan Beer for a few years, then went to the Guinness Import Company, worked on Mexican beer accounts on the west coast, and ended up at Boulevard Brewing in Kansas City for a few years. One day I decided to try something totally different, so I got into this industry on the marketing and brand development side. I still have a lot of guys I know at beer distributors, and I keep telling them if they diversify their fleet they can save a lot of money.
single vineyard
Five On-Premise American Whiskey Trends
There’s no question that American whiskey is a big trend right now. “It has become—and will remain—expected that consumers can walk into any bar and have a wide selection of whiskeys and craft whiskey cocktails to choose from, the way craft beer selections are expected,” says Sarah Geist, general manager of Barrel + Rye in Geneva, IL. About 150 of the restaurant’s 200 whiskeys are American, priced from $8 to $80 for a 1 1/2-oz. pour.

Problems with Availability
Consumer thirst for bourbon and other American whiskey styles has operational ramifications for bar and restaurant owners. While stocking backbars with sought-after bottles, many wonder how long this surge of growth can last.
“Some producers were also surprised by the demand and are playing catch-up, but making good whiskey takes time. A few brands have decided to omit age statements from labels, which allows them to blend variously aged stocks.
Indeed, allocation is tight for many popular labels, making procurement tricky and expensive: Are those cult bottles worth the price?
“No one saw the extent of this brown spirits explosion coming. By dropping age statements and heavy allocation, the big distilleries have managed to keep most of their labels in bars and stores,” says Brian Bolter, owner/beverage director of Dry 85: Bourbon, Beer, Provisions in Annapolis, MD.

Approximately 90% of the solar array atop JJ Taylor’s 225,000 square-foot warehouse in Fort Myers, Florida came loose
as a result of Hurricane Irma, which also flooded the building.
It’s expected the facility won’t be operational for 4-6 months.

Director of Commercial Strategy
Wholesaler: Southern Glazer’s
Location: Miramar, FL
Requirements: Bachelor’s required, MBA preferred; work experience in management consulting and/or corporate strategy and development.

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