Beverage Wholesaler - October 16, 2017 To view this email as a web page, click here.
Cheers Weekly



NBWA Convention Coverage: Part 2

The National Beer Wholesaler Association’s convention and trade show took place last week in Las Vegas at Caesar’s Palace. During the second day of the event, a number of beer distributors, industry suppliers and celebrity speakers took the stage to recognize the industry’s resilience and educate attendees.
During the general session, Paul Bertucci kicked off Day 2 by speaking about NBWA’s Next Generation Group, which is composed of younger distributors (many of whom are second- or third-generation members in the family business). The association held its annual gathering of more than 200 Next Generation members in Boston over the summer.
There was also a changing of the guard, as Bertucci handed off his role to incoming Chairman of the Board Jim Matesich, President and CEO of Ohio’s Matesich Distributing. He spoke at length about his family’s history in the beer business, and how the industry needs to do more to prevent loss of market share and drinking occasions to the wine and spirits categories.
Joao Castro Neves, North America President and CEO of Anheuser Busch, spoke about the need to change the image of beer to combat declining sales. He pointed to a campaign AB has spearheaded in Europe in Australia, which positions beer as a sophisticated, healthy drink that appeals to female drinkers. Specifically, the campaign showcases beer’s lower calorie count compared to a glass of red wine, and its versatility of having a style for any consumer or drinking occasion.
During a panel discussion, Marksetin Beverage President Travis Markstein spoke to a panel of speakers representing the supplier, wholesale and retail tier about the changing face of retail. David Newman, Chief Insights and Strategy Officer at Crossmark (a research firm), presented data showing that the beer category has dropped from 65% to 51% share of the beverage alcohol market in the past 20 years, and he projects it will be surpassed by spirits in the coming decade if these trends continue.
single vineyard
American Whiskey Facing Supply and Demand Issues
“The whiskey category is growing and growing; we’re loving it,” says Elizabeth Gregg, general manager of Applejack Wine & Spirits. For the Denver area retailer, American whiskey is the fastest growing section of the store.
Most retailers around the country would echo similar sentiments. But many find the rise in American whiskey can present challenges for retailers, including tight allocation and higher prices.
“Overall there is plenty of whiskey available, but some of the bourbons people really want have become almost impossible to keep in stock,” says William Moore, chain general manager at Crown Liquors, who oversees all 29 retail stores in the Indianapolis area.
Even some products that previously were readily available are now in tight supply, the GM notes, citing some of the Weller products, Buffalo Trace and Willett. Now, these are often sold with one-bottle-per-customer limits. Says Moore, “But there are new bourbons coming out every day, so overall there are more SKUs on the market then there have ever been.” “We’re having difficulty keeping the Sazarec family of whiskies on the shelf,” says Scott Clark, owner of Sodie’s Wine & Spirits in Fort Smith, Arkansas. Buffalo Trace, Eagle Rare, Blanton’s and Weller don’t even get stocked on the shelf when an allotment is received. “We have a lengthy call list of good customers we contact to sell those items,” he adds.
“At this point it is impossible for the supply to keep up with the demand,” says Andrew McMurray, vice president of Zachys Wine & Liquor in Scarsdale, NY. “Nearly every month another whiskey becomes allocated. Beyond the limitations of the Antique Collection and the Pappy line, we have very limited access to Booker’s, Blanton’s, Weller, E.H. Taylor and even Buffalo Trace now.”

Two Roads Brewing in Connecticut has broken ground on an expansion of its Stratford location — a $12 million, 25,000-square-foot barrel-aging facility the company has dubbed
“Area Two,” which will focus exclusively on sour and
barrel-aged beers.

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Wholesaler: Johnson Brothers
Location: St. Paul, Minnesota
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