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Running Blog: How COVID-19 Is Impacting The Spirits Industry

Photo for: Running Blog: How COVID-19 Is Impacting The Spirits Industry

25/05/2020 Stay updated with this running blog on spirits industry.

Bartender Spirits Awards will be gathering the latest news about the COVID 19’s affect on the spirits industry. We’ll be updating this blog regularly with important news and stories. 

25th May 2020

Elimination of ‘burdensome’ rules will help on-trade - The Spirits Business

The Distilled Spirits Council of the US (Discus) has welcomed a new executive order designed to help businesses recover from the pandemic and said it would work with the US administration to remove “unnecessary, burdensome regulations” across the hospitality sector.

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25th May 2020

California advances bill allowing some restaurants, bars to terminate leases amid coronavirus - San Francisco Chronicle

The California Senate advanced on Friday a bill that would allow some hospitality tenants to terminate leases if negotiations with landlords to modify terms aren’t successful during coronavirus.

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25th May 2020

Can anyone save New York’s Bars and Restaurants? - The New York Times

A bygone era? Bar and restaurant operating costs rely on full bars, close contact and intimate conversations.

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22 May 2020

CDC Posts Advice on Reopening U.S. Bars, Restaurants and Workplaces - Bloomberg

New guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advising states on how to reopen bars, restaurants and workplaces was posted by the agency on Thursday.

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22 May 2020

Vinexpo webinar to discuss ‘new normal’ for alcohol - The Spirits Business

The New Normal: Beverage Alcohol in a COVID Environment will take place on 3 June from 11 am to 11.45 am EST. The webinar will be sponsored by IWSR Drinks Market Analysis.

The discussion will ask whether 2019 was the last “normal year” of beverage alcohol consumption or will the same trends continue in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

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22 May 2020

Colorado releases draft guidelines for restaurants, bars to begin reopening; feedback sought - The Denver Channel

Colorado released the draft guidelines for restaurants, bars and cafes to begin reopening Tuesday – which shows the standards those eateries will have to meet in order to begin reopening and focuses on implementing outdoor seating and limiting interactions.

Owners and managers of restaurants and other stakeholders will have through Friday to give feedback to the state on the draft guidelines through a form.

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21 May 2020

California Will Allow Expanded Alcohol Service on Sidewalks and Parking Lots - Eater Los Angeles

California restaurants and bars could be permitted to serve cocktails and food on adjacent sidewalks, parking lots, and in city streets in the coming months.

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21 May 2020

Mixed drinks boost off-trade spirits sales in US - The Spirits Business

Off-trade alcohol sales in the US grew 34.8% in the seven-day period, led by spirits. Wine rose by 35.8%, followed by beer, flavored malt beverages, and cider which grew 29.3%. Beer in particular increased by 20.4%.

Nielsen said RTD cocktails provide convenience and the category continues to expand its presence and extend its “innovative combinations of flavors and liquor types”.

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21 May 2020

Coronavirus Conversations With Raffaele Berardi, The Ceo Of Fraternity Spirits - The Drinks Business

Raffaele Berardi, the CEO of Fraternity Spirits shares how he thinks Covid-19 will, or won’t, change the spirits sector. 

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20 May 2020

Off-Premise Alcohol Sales Are a Lifeline for Bars and Restaurants That Should Continue Permanently - Vinepair

Selling alcohol to go has given bars and restaurants a lifeline during Covid-19. The temporary orders have also shown that selling wine, beer, spirits, and cocktails to go can be done responsibly.

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20 May 2020

Restaurants, bars in NY want to open sooner than planned - Utica Observer-Dispatch

“Our plan to reopen restaurants and bars requires businesses to ensure employee wellness, require social distancing by customers and employees and institute enhanced cleaning protocols,” the group said in a letter to Empire State Development and other leaders obtained by the USA TODAY Network New York.

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19 May 2020

Discus calls for clarity on cocktails to-go laws - The Spirits Industry

The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (Discus) is urging lawmakers in Connecticut to clarify whether cocktails are permitted as part of the state’s takeaway alcohol rules.

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19 May 2020

‘A beautiful day’ in Italy, as shops and bars finally reopen - Metro.us

Italian shops, hairdressers and restaurants finally threw open their doors on Monday as the country sped up efforts to bounce back from the coronavirus crisis after a 10-week lockdown.

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15 May 2020

Consumers hesitant to return to bars reopening in US - The Spirits Industry 

Younger consumers were more likely to return to bars sooner than older demographics. A total of 16% of those questioned who were aged 21-34 visited a bar between 9-11 May, compared to 12% of those aged 35-54 and 4% of those over the age of 55.

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15 May 2020

Texas Restaurant Association urges Governor to reopen bars - Chron

The Texas bar industry has lost $630 million in revenue during that time, while the state has lost $42 million in liquor tax revenue, according to the TRA. The closures have affected 75,000 jobs.

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14 May 2020

Over 50 SF Restaurant Owners Explain What They Need to Stay in Business - Eater SF

The folks behind the dining rooms of some of San Francisco’s buzziest restaurants say that they have a plan to save the city’s restaurant industry, and are urging city officials to dive deep into a 40-page report they’ve created that lays out that strategy. The plan is based on both health and safety recommendations and what over 50 of the city’s boldfaced restaurant names say they need — and its authors say that officials must act on its recommendations, or stand by and watch half of San Francisco’s restaurants close for good.

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14 May 2020

Most Americans claim to drink responsibly in lockdown - The Spirits Business 

The majority (86%) of US adults are confident they are consuming alcohol responsibly at home during the coronavirus lockdown, according to a new survey.

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14 May 2020

Coronavirus: Drinking more at home? Booze prices jump 6%, biggest hike since 2007 - The Mercury News

The coronavirus has boosted local prices of beer and booze, according to the Consumer Price Index for Los Angeles and Orange counties. The cost of store-bought alcoholic beverages was 6.1% costlier in April than a year ago, the biggest jump in more than 12 years. This comes as overall inflation in the region hits a five-year low.

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13 May 2020

Alcohol e-commerce develops in global markets - The Spirits Business

A new report by IWSR Drinks Market Analysis looked at how Covid-19 has pushed the development of the e-commerce channel in a number of markets across the world. The IWSR noted the “increasing importance” of e-commerce in the future.

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13 May 2020

On-demand food delivery apps are letting minors order alcohol, regulators say - The Verge

Food and beverage delivery services like DoorDash, Postmates, and Uber Eats aided in a surge of alcohol deliveries to underage minors in California last month, the state’s Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) found in a new investigation. And because of relaxed restrictions around alcohol takeout and delivery during COVID-19, the issue is getting worse, regulators say.

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12 May 2020

REBALANCING THE ‘COVID-19 EFFECT’ ON ALCOHOL SALES - Nielsen

A Nielsen investigation of the latest trends estimates that the U.S. alcohol market needs to sustain 22% volume growth across all alcohol categories sold off-premise in order to merely level off from the impact of closed bars and restaurants.

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12 May 2020

Here’s what to expect when Ohio restaurants, bars reopen - Beacon Journal

When restaurants and bars reopen for outdoor dining Friday and dine-in service May 21, they must follow strict requirements from the state to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Click the link to read a summary of what to expect if you venture out to dine in at area restaurants.

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11 May 2020

WSTA reiterates priorities for spirits post-Brexit - The Spirits Business

The Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) has written to the UK government highlighting its key priorities to ensure the best possible outcome for the industry at the end of the Brexit transition period on 31 December 2020.

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11th May 2020

Seven ways the government can help bars survive - San Antonio Express

Here are seven suggestions Boehm has for government agencies on how bars such as his might better survive, if not thrive, in the future.

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8 May 2020

Coronavirus: Hong Kong bars to reopen after weeks of Covid-19 shutdown with Lan Kwai Fong venues lining up cheap deals to attract customers - South China Morning Post

Pubs and bars will only be allowed to operate half-full to a maximum of four people per table from Friday, after their emergence as the city’s biggest infection cluster led to a mandatory shutdown of the industry from April 3.

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8 May 2020

Alcohol is proving lifeline to ease lockdown woes - The Drinks Business

Since the coronavirus lockdowns began, it’s been widely reported that sales of wines, beers and spirits have been booming in the retail sector, especially those businesses with direct delivery operations and e-commerce sites*.

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7 May 2020

Hand Sanitizer Should Taste Worse - Vice

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has said that it appreciates all of the manufacturers that have stepped up to make sanitizer but, going forward, it really needs to taste a lot worse.

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7 May 2020

Top 10 spirits marketing moves in April 2020 - The Spirits Business

A number of spirits brands, including Reyka Vodka and Kraken rum, unveiled light-hearted marketing campaigns last month, while Jameson launched an online educational platform for bartenders.

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7 May 2020

What It Will Take for Restaurants to Survive - The New Yorker

“My concern isn’t actually getting open,” the chef and TV personality Tom Colicchio says. “My concern is, once you’re open, how do you last for a year?”

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6 May 2020

Pegu Club, a Pioneering Manhattan Cocktail Bar, Won’t Reopen - The New York Times

Pegu Club, the SoHo bar that kicked the cocktail revival in New York City into high gear when it opened in 2005 and quickly became one of the most influential cocktail bars in the world, will not reopen, a victim of the citywide restaurant and bar shutdown in the coronavirus pandemic.

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6th May 2020

Spirits Europe unveils responsible drinking quiz - The Spirits Business

Trade body Spirits Europe has launched a new campaign to remind consumers about the importance of responsible drinking during lockdown.

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6th May 2020

Minnesota Distillery donates 80 gallons of sanitizer to Riverside Healthcare in Ontario - International Falls Journal

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5 May 2020

US LOCKDOWN ALCOHOL SALES: THE LATEST TRENDS - The Drinks Business

Here are the latest trends in alcoholic drinks sales in the US since the coronavirus lockdowns began, including the performance of wines, beers and spirits in both offline and online retail.

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5 May 2020

Restaurants, bars open as Montana lifts more virus closures - ctpost

Restaurants, bars, brewpubs and casinos began reopening in Montana on Monday with limits on crowds and servers donning masks and gloves, as the state lifts more closures imposed to fight the coronavirus

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5 May 2020

Global Data cuts growth projections for spirits - The Spirits Business

Global Data said in terms of local currency units value, adjusted to take Covid-19 into account, UK spirits sales forecasts have been adjusted from a 5.1% increase to a 6.9% decline.

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4 May 2020

The Drinks Trust fundraising surpasses £1m - Drinks International 

Following a request for support through the “Your Round, Help Your Trade” campaign, The Drinks Trust has raised more than £1m to support members of the industry who have been affected by COVID-19.

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4 May 2020

America’s Restaurants Start to Open Up, With a Side of Anxiety - Bloomberg

As states start lifting their lockdown orders, America’s burger joints, pizzerias, taquerias and diners find themselves on the reopening economy’s front line. Whether they’re ready or not.

Restaurants are among the first businesses allowed to throw open their doors in many places easing virus-fighting restrictions. And after weeks of laying off staff and living off takeout orders, owners can’t wait -- even if they’re not quite sure how to make it work.

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4th May 2020

Downey: bars will not survive without National Time Out 

Milk & Honey owner Jonathan Downey has ramped up campaign efforts to introduce a nine-month National Time Out on rent payments and warned that without one, bars will not survive the pandemic as landlords continue pursuing rent payments

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1st May 2020

Hospitality class action group launches to bring business interruption insurance claims - City A.M.

The hospitality insurance group action (HIGA) is open to businesses such as pubs, restaurants, hotels and nightclubs which have been forced to close because of the lockdown and are facing insurers refusing to pay out on business interruption claims.

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1st May 2020

Covid-19: Drinks Ireland comes up with new plan to safeguard sector - Drinks Insight Network

Drinks Ireland, a representative organization of the Irish alcoholic drinks manufacturers, has released a seven-point plan to safeguard the industry during Covid-19 crisis.

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30 April 2020

Imbibe Live canceled with new dates set for 2021 - Drinks International

Imbibe Live 2020 has been canceled due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and a new date has been set for the 2021 edition.

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30 April 2020 

Drinks Ireland creates coronavirus recovery plan - The Spirits Business

Trade body Drinks Ireland has released a seven-point plan to help the industry recover from the coronavirus pandemic, which calls for the creation of a working group and the abolishment of punitive tariffs

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29 April 2020

Gov. Mills approves bar, restaurants to sell 'cocktails to go' - News Center Maine 

A clarification to the "beverage" definition made in a previous Order was revisited Monday to include bars and restaurants to sell spirits-based cocktails

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29 April 2020

Restrictions On Booze Purchases In Australia To Lift From Today - 10 Daily

Retail Drinks Australia released a statement that explained its members’ voluntary national initiative -- which placed temporary restrictions on how many products a customer could purchase in one transaction -- would come to an end from the opening of trading hours on Tuesday.

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28 April 2020

Online auction of record-breaking whisky collection hit by cyber-attack - The Guardian

A record-breaking online auction of rare whiskies has been postponed indefinitely after being targeted in a cyber-attack.

The sale of Richard Gooding’s “The Perfect Collection” was marketed as “the largest and most unprecedented private whisky collection ever to be offered for public sale”.

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28 April 2020

RNDC and Young’s give $400k to World’s Biggest Tip Jar - The Spirits Business

Wine and spirits distribution firms Republic National Distributing Company (RNDC) and Young’s Market Company have pledged US$400,000 to the World’s Biggest Tip Jar in support of hospitality workers during the pandemic.

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28 April 2020

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27 April 2020

Bars gain further protection from landlords - The Spirits Business

Trade body UK Hospitality has welcomed the government’s new measures to prevent landlords from using aggressive methods to collect rent from businesses, which will provide “extra protection” for the industry.

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27 April 2020

GlenAllachie Distillery launches the second batch of limited-edition wood finishes ahead of virtual tasting - Scotsman Food & Drink

The GlenAllachie Distillery is launching its second batch of limited-edition wood finishes and marking the occasion with a virtual tasting, hosted by master distiller Billy Walker.

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24 April 2020

Ryan Reynolds donates 30% of aviation gin’s UK profits to the drinks trust - The Drinks Business

Hollywood hunk and general do-gooder Ryan Reynolds will be donating 30% of the profits from UK sales of his Aviation Gin to industry charity The Drinks Trust.

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24 April 2020

Craft Distillers Were Booming. Now They Face Bust  - The New York Times

In recent years, sales for small liquor makers have been surging, but coronavirus has shuttered tasting rooms and disrupted distribution.

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24 April 2020

Women of the Vine & Spirits Announces Complimentary Access in Response to COVID-19 - Wine Business.com

The organization is now offering complimentary access through June 15 to provide resources and support for all those affected in alcohol beverage, hospitality and on-premise industry sectors.

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23 April 2020

New Site Makes Popular NYC Bars a Zoom Hangout Spot - Eater

Here’s a new level of bar replacement: Zoom happy hours — but with backgrounds of popular NYC bars. A new website called Virtualcheers.org lets customers download a background photo of 12 different bars in the city — including Williamsburg’s Loosie Rouge and Lower East Side’s Pretty Ricky’s — for group hangout sessions on the video platform.

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23rd April 2020

Premium-and-above spirits boost US off-trade sales - The Spirits Business

Off-trade spirits sales in the US grew 32.4% in the week to 11 April 2020, bolstered by premium and ultra-premium variants, according to Nielsen data.

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23rd April 2020

U.S. Distilled Spirits Industry Urges Senate and House Leadership to Provide Additional Economic Relief For Distillers Amid COVID-19 Crisis - Distilled Spirits

In a letter sent on 22nd April to Senate and House leadership, U.S. distilled spirits trade associations urged Congress to provide additional economic relief to the thousands of distilleries facing enormous financial hardship due to the impact of COVID-19. 

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23rd April 2020

Sotheby’s Hong Kong to hold largest online spirits sale - The Drinks Business

Owing to the ever-changing Covid-19 situation, the 2020 Sotheby’s Spring Sales in Hong Kong were moved from April to July. In the meantime, the auction house has added a series of online auctions, hoping to quench the thirst of buyers.

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22 April 2020

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22 April 2020

How Small Distilleries Are Adapting During COVID-19 - Liquor.com

In a period of unprecedented upheaval, success will be defined by how rapidly small businesses/distilleries can adjust. Here’s a look at what some distilleries are doing to keep the lights on.

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22 April 2020

The new speakeasy: Uber Eats has turned into a rogue cocktail bar - The Washington Post

Uber drivers have been delivering cocktails and mimosas without ID’ing, in some cases leaving the to-go drinks at the door without ever seeing the customer

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22 April 2020

Restaurants Shunned From U.S. Aid Program Could Get Second Chance With New $310 Billion Bill - Eater

New York restaurants shut out of a federal aid program are about to get another chance at COVID-19 financial relief, hopefully with better odds this time. Congress is on the verge of adding $310 billion to the depleted Paycheck Protection Program, with a sizable portion going toward small business — a crucial development for a policy that’s been criticized for its deference to chains like Potbelly, Ruth’s Chris, and Shake Shack.

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21 April 2020

Cognac Show 2020 to take place online - The Spirits Business

As trade shows and events are forced to cancel amid the covid-19 crisis, The Cognac Show will be heading online at the end of April offering a range of tastings and cocktail masterclasses.

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21 April 2020

Pubs and restaurants will be last to re-open after lockdown - and could stay shut until Christmas - Birmingham Live

Bars, pubs and restaurants will be among the last outlets to re-open after the coronavirus lockdown.

That's according to Michael Gove, who spoke out on Sunday on the BBC as the UK faces weeks more of a nationwide shutdown.

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21 April 2020

Eden Mill to raise funds for NHS with launch of limited edition blue bottles of original gin - Scotsman Food & Drink

The St Andrews based distillery is set to give £2 from every original gin blue bottle sold to help support frontline healthcare workers helping to battle Covid-19.

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21 April 2020

Restaurants describe huge shortfalls within government’s coronavirus relief programs - CNBC 

Restaurants reported $30 billion in losses in March, a projected $50 billion in losses in April, and are teeing up for a $240 billion Covid-19-related loss nationwide by the end of the year.

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20 April 2020

20 April 2020

Here’s How the White House Envisions Restaurants and Bars Reopening - Food & Wine

Large venues like restaurants “can operate under moderate physical distancing protocols,” and “bars may operate with diminished standing-room occupancy, where applicable and appropriate.”

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20 April 2020

JAPANESE WHISKY AGED IN CHERRY TREE WOOD LAUNCHED - The Drinks Business

Yoshino Spirits Co. has launched what it claims is the first whisky to be aged in Japanese cherry tree wood, which will go on sale around the world this month.

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17 April 2020

How bars, restaurants, and other hospitality businesses are arguing that their business interruption insurance does cover COVID-19 related shut-downs and their insurance companies were wrong to deny claims - Libation Law Blog

Businesses impacted by COVID-19 should be aware of these lawsuits and arguments as it is not a certainty that the blanket denials of coverage are proper and that no coverage is owed under property-damage based business interruption insurance.

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17th April 2020

Global Hospitality Group sbe Distributes Relief Effort Care Packages To San Francisco, Las Vegas, Miami, & Los Angeles Employees Affected by COVID-19 Pandemic  - Food & Beverage Magazine 

sbe is a worldwide powerhouse, with a huge presence across the U.S. through its hotels, restaurants, nightlife entities and original brands.

Global lifestyle hospitality brand sbe continued its giveback program for its furloughed and laid off employees with a care package delivery to its San Francisco team members on Thursday, April 9th. This was the fourth city to receive the give back following Las Vegas, Miami and Los Angeles, a noble effort by sbe led by its CEO Sam Nazarian.

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16 April 2020

Our Whisky launches first virtual whisky festival to raise funds for a charity that supports hospitality staff - Scotsman Food and Drink 

The whisky experts at OurWhisky are launching their first virtual whisky festival in a bid to connect lovers of a good dram with their favourite distillers and blenders around the world while raising money for hospitality workers affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

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16 April 2020

Massive Channel Shifting Continues: Off-Premise and Online Sales Surge  - Winebusiness.com

Nielsen reported that alcohol sales were up 25 percent in off-premise channels in the week ending April 4, with less week-to-week volatility (up only +4 percent versus the previous week’s sales). Online sales of alcoholic beverages continued to climb with increases of 246 percent through March 21; 291 percent through March 28, and 441 percent through April 4. By comparison, e-commerce sales across all departments tracked by Nielsen were up 41 percent in the most recent week.

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16 April 2020

Michigan Allows Bars and Restaurants to Sell Unused Alcohol Back to the State in Exchange for Cash  - Eater Detroit

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed an executive order on Monday designed to provide financial relief to Michigan bars and restaurants with liquor licenses. The new order places the Michigan Liquor Control Commission in charge of organizing a spirits “buyback” program for alcohol purchased prior to the dine-in closures on March 16.

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15 April 2020

Distillers Can't Help U.S. Fight Covid-19 Without Revised FDA Hand-Sanitizer Guidance - Forbes

The problem for distillers is that the production method FDA requires in the guidance calls for denatured alcohol. The TTB guidance suspended excise taxes for alcohol used for hand sanitizers, but only if the alcohol is denatured. The CARES Act Congress passed at the end of March codified TTB's guidance on excise taxes into law.

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15 April 2020

Social media interaction with alcohol brands up 327% - The Spirits Business

Alcohol brands witnessed a 327% spike in social media engagement in March, with consumers keen to engage with those donating money or resources to help during the covid-19 pandemic.

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14 April 2020

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14 April 2020

Diageo North America Announces #TipsFromHome Social Pledge Movement To Rally Further Support For The Bar & Restaurant Community - PR Newswire

With a $500,000 Kickoff Pledge, #TipsFromHome will Serve as an Ongoing Financial Relief Program to Serve Those Who Serve Us

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13 April 2020

Isle of Raasay unveils cask programme - The Spirits Business

Scotland’s Isle of Raasay Distillery has launched an exclusive cask membership programme, which will see the site’s first 45 casks made available to whisky lovers.

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11 April 2020

Will current shifts in consumer behaviour permanently disrupt the beverage alcohol industry? - The IWSR

The COVID-19 pandemic has transformed the world over the past few weeks. Global beverage alcohol markets and companies have been subject to massive volatility, including the mass shut-down of the on-trade in many countries and consumer stockpiling through retail and e-commerce.

The picture changes by the day, but amid the disruption, a number of clearly defined trends have emerged and grown in significance. In the short term, the impact of the six trends identified by the IWSR is significant – but will they solidify into longer-term changes in consumer behaviour?

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11 April 2020

These Distilleries Aren’t Just Making Booze—They Could Be Saving Your Life  - Fodors Travels

One of the most incredible and heart-warming results of this crisis is the amount of sanitizer these companies are simply giving away.

According to multiple distillers, turning their warehouse into hand sanitizer factories was relatively easy. It was the demand that blew them away.

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10th April 2020

Breakthru gives $500k to provide meals for vulnerable groups - The Spirits Business

North American drinks distributor Breakthru Beverage Group has pledged US$500,000 to purchase meals for vulnerable groups and frontline responders battling against the covid-19 pandemic.

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10th April 2020

Coronavirus prompts some states to close liquor stores, while others allow cocktail deliveries - Fox News

With restaurants and bars shuttered from coast to coast in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus, Americans are now becoming increasingly reliant on their local liquor stores to wet their whistles. But how easy it is to get a bottle of booze depends on if your state considers a liquor store to be an “essential business” or not.

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9 April 2020

Booze Call: Distilleries can ship directly to consumers - WHSV

For Virginia residents, alcohol runs could be made with a quick trip to the front door.

The Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority announced it would allow certain distilleries to ship directly to in-state customers to alleviate potential financial hardships during the coronavirus pandemic.

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9th April 2020

Some Restaurant Relief Funds Are So Overwhelmed With Applications They’ve Stopped Taking New Ones - Eater

COVID-19 dealt a devastating blow to the restaurant industry. In the first weeks state governments began enacting social distancing restrictions, dining rooms shut down, putting millions of restaurant employees out of work. With government aid still an open question, it was immediately clear that both workers and restaurant owners would need financial help from other sources to get through this indefinite period of time.


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8 April 2020

Master of Malt observes 200% increase in online alcohol orders - Essential Retail

The eCommerce drinks platform also demonstrated a substantial change in purchasing behaviour in regard to alcoholic products during the period 23-29 March, precipitated by the temporary closure of bars and restaurants throughout the country.

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8 April 2020

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7 April 2020

Mexican tequila makers, unlike brewers, plan to keep up production, exports  - Reuters

Mexican tequila makers have sought to dispel concerns that their exports to the United States will dry up, after two large brewers in the country suspended production to comply with government rules put in place due to the new coronavirus.

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7 April 2020

The Spirits Business launches Covid-19 Campaign  - The Spirits Business

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, The Spirits Business magazine has launched The Spirits Business’ Covid-19 Campaign to raise funds for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust and The Drinks Trust.

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7th Apr 2020

Will The Covid-19 Crisis Change Alcohol E-Commerce Forever? Like, Forever Ever? - Rabobank

Based on interviews and data obtained by Rabobank, we estimate that US off-premise alcohol sales increased 40% to 60% YOY for the week ending March 21. That increase is dwarfed by the massive rise in online alcohol purchases (see Table 1). Even as evidence trickles in that in-store sales are starting to normalize, it appears that online sales are holding steady at all-time highs.

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6 April 2020

Whiskey Club Holds Coronavirus Benefit For Manassas Workers - Patch

The Old Town Whiskey Club is holding a fundraising campaign called Old Town Strong to help restaurant and bar employees who work in downtown Manassas try to make ends meet during the coronavirus crisis.

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6th Apr 2020

Agave could generate efficient biofuel for transport - The Spirits Business

A team of researchers from the University of Sydney, University of Adelaide and the UK’s University of Exeter analysed the potential to produce bioethanol from the agave plant, the high-sugar succulent commonly grown in Mexico.

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6th Apr 2020

Restaurants Find Hope in Delivering Donated Meals to Hospitals - The New York Times

As Americans pitch in to order meals for beleaguered health care workers, the deliveries can be a lifeline for restaurants and food trucks as well as hospitals.

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3 April 2020

Drinks Trust raises £400,000 for industry workers - The Spirits Business

The emergency fund will be used to help people who work on zero-hours contracts or who have been made redundant, despite the UK government’s job retention scheme.

The Drinks Trust said priority would be given to those facing “significant” financial hardship.

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3 April 2020

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2 April 2020

Relief on alcohol tax payments – TTB announces postponement of tax payments and other filing deadlines - Libation Law Blog

TTB has announced the postponement of tax payment and other filing due dates due to the COVID-19 epidemic. The notification takes the form of a circular, TTB Industry Circular 2020-2. It is specifically premised on the Executive’s instruction to Treasury to provide relief to Americans adversely affected by the COVID-19 emergency.

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2nd Apr 2020

How to save our restaurants and 300,000 hospitality jobs - The Lowell Sun

Restaurants are in terrible shape, much worse than after 9/11 or the financial crisis. Some will never reopen. More than 100,000 restaurant employees lost their jobs. We need bold, quick action. Click on the link for the 8 steps to take immediately.

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2nd Apr 2020

Digital Classes To Become A Cocktail, Beer And Wine Expert While You’re Socially Distancing  - Forbes

A digital cocktail class from Liquor Lab. COURTESY LIQUOR LAB

As people social distance during the coronavirus, the spirits, wine and beer industry have come up with creative ways to keep people engaged while learning more about their products — and providing a welcome distraction from the pandemic.

While you have some extra time on your hands, why not learn how to make some great cocktails at home, or taste through some wines to learn what you like, and why. 

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1 April 2020

Tomatin plans virtual whisky festival - The Spirits Business

Scott Adamson, global brand ambassador at Tomatin Distillery, said: “The greatest benefit to organising the Lockdown Whisky Festival is that it’s virtual, so we can bring the community together to enjoy and learn from some of the best distilleries in the industry, all from the comfort of home at a time when staying in and staying safe has never been more important.

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1 April 2020

Why are liquor stores considered ‘essential’ during COVID-19 pandemic? Here are 5 reasons - Click 2 Houston

Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, one type of business that seems to have had an increase in activity is liquor stores.

This has led many to wonder why liquor stores are considered “essential” businesses, particularly when alcoholic beverages are sold at grocery stores to begin with and can just be purchased there.

Here are five reasons why it can be beneficial for liquor stores to remain open during the pandemic.

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30 Mar 2020

HOSPITALITY SHIFTS DOWN 76% DUE TO CORONAVIRUS - The Drinks Business

“The hospitality sector has been hit hard and everything possible needs to be done to help preserve its ability to bounce back when the pandemic loosens its grip on the economy,” said Peter Briffet, CEO of Wagestream.

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30 Mar 2020

Distell gives 10% of Scotch whisky sales to help on-trade - The Spirits Business

The proceeds will be donated to Scottish drinks industry charity The Ben to help on-trade employees affected by covid-19.

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27 March 2020

How the Spirits Industry Is Helping Out During the COVID-19 PandemicFood & Wine

Spirits companies have been stepping up to help out—and not just by turning their attention to making sanitizer. Nearly every brand you can think of has pledged to support those in the hospitality industry that have been affected by this outbreak.

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27 Mar 2020

Kentucky Distillers and Legislators Approve Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) Sales via Phone or Online - Distillery Trail

Kentucky Distillers’ Association President Eric Gregory said, “During these trying and uncertain times, the passage of HB 415 will provide spirits, beer and wine producers with the means necessary to grow jobs and investment in our beloved Commonwealth.”

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26 March 2020

‘Whiskey webs’ could spot fake spirits - The Spirits Business

Scientists from the University of Louisville and North Carolina State University discovered that when whiskey dries on a surface it leaves behind a distinctive mark, which has been likened to the ring that forms from a spilled coffee.

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26 March 2020

US spirits sales rise as consumers ‘stock up’ - The Spirits Business

For spirits, all major sub-categories except brandy rose by double digits during the period. The greatest gains were for pre-mixed cocktails, Tequila and gin, which each grew by 49.6%, 43.3% and 39.1%, respectively.

25 March 2020

For Bartenders, The Show Must Go Online - Forbes

As restaurants and bars wait for the government to step in and help, out-of-work bartenders are getting creative, pivoting to online cocktailing or delivery kits to keep income flowing. 

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25 March 2020

Distilled Spirits Council Member Companies Donate More Than $8.37 Million to U.S. Bartenders Guild Foundation Emergency Relief Fund and Other Charitable Organizations 

“This is an industry with a lot of heart,” said Chris Swonger, President and CEO of the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States. “Time and again, distillers come together in times of crisis to support each other and to aid those in need in their communities.  We will continue to do our to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and ensure the health and safety of our workers and the public.”

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24 March 2020

Restaurant Industry Asks for $145 Billion Recovery Fund from the Government- CNBC

With hundreds of billions projected in sales declines, and millions in job losses, the National Restaurant Association asked the federal government for $145 billion in relief for restaurants and their employees.

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24 March 2020

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24 March 2020

Beverage Trade Network announces new subscription based  online courses for beverage industry professionals. First course to be available from 10 April 2020.

BTN Online Courses wineries and distilleries

In the online course, Sid Patel, CEO of Beverage Trade Network will be giving a detailed action plan on how wineries and distilleries can ride this wave. In the webinar, you will get the benefit of knowing about 15 takeaways you can start working on today to navigate this time, and know about the current risk factors floating in the industry, so you can prepare your business for that. 

Register here

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23 March 2020

DISTILLERIES FILL THE HAND SANITIZER SHORTAGE 

So proud of the Distilleries stepping in to help combat the hand sanitizer shortage by using the alcohol in their facilities. Distilleries around the nation are increasingly switching up their operations and using their supplies of high-proof alcohol to provide much-needed hand sanitizer during the covid-19 outbreak.

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23 March 2020

Troubled Times — Restructuring Tools for Breweries, Wineries, Distilleries, Bars and Restaurants in the COVID-19 Era - Libation Law Blog

The impact of COVID-19 on an already challenged industry has been devastating and promises to get worse. Numerous states and municipalities have ordered breweries, distilleries, bars and restaurants to temporarily close (often excepting take-out and delivery services), and even where locations remain open, consumers are largely staying at home at the direction of authorities (social distancing and quarantining). With COVID-19 cases still multiplying quickly in the United States, these issues are unfortunately likely to worsen before they improve.

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22 March 2020

LIQUOR LAWS LOOSEN UP IN THE FACE OF DELIVERY-ONLY DINING! - Eater

CNBC (https://snip.ly/vwnp4q) Restaurant industry asks for $145 billion recovery fund from the government The National Restaurant Association is asking the federal government for financial relief for the industry as it forecasts sales declines of $225 billion over the next three months due to the coronavirus outbreak.

New Hampshire, Maryland, Illinois, California, and Texas have made similar temporary changes to allow alcohol delivery, as have jurisdictions like Washington D.C. and Atlanta. “They’ve relaxed a lot of laws, and quickly, in light of the potential economic harm to thousands of businesses and millions of employees,” says Art Decelle, senior counsel at Lehrman Beverage Law, whose focus is federal and state regulations in the beer, wine, distilled spirits, and industrial alcohol industries. “And it’s appropriate that they help people stay afloat in a very uncertain period.” Before the new temporary changes took effect, 12 states allowed alcohol delivery, and 31 allowed beer and wine to be shipped directly to customers at home!

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20 March 2020

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20 March 2020

A Hospitality Attorney Provides Guidance On How Shuttered Bars & Restaurants Can Sell Alcohol During The Coronavirus And Resources For Business Owners Struggling To Stay OpenForbes

When New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo announced bars, restaurants, wineries, breweries and distilleries could sell alcohol to go Monday, operators seemed grateful for the move, but unsure if it could work for their business, and confused about specifics of how to implement.

Gina Pace  spoke to Alex Victor, a hospitality attorney Davidoff, Hutcher & Citron for a bit of clarity on the guidance from the New York State Liquor Authority which may prove useful to other states considering similar closures to help stop the spread of coronavirus.

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20 March 2020

Online Alcohol Providers See Major Boost Amid Coronavirus Sheltering - Shanken News Daily

As COVID-19 continues to force Americans to stay at home, online purchases of beverage alcohol are seeing major increases.

“The increase in online purchases in the past two weeks has been unprecedented,” said Devaraj Southworth, CEO and co-founder of Thirstie, the New York-based e-commerce platform that works with hundreds of retailers around the country. 

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19 March 2020

Customers stock up on alcohol as Fine Wine & Good Spirits stores across Pennsylvania close as part of COVID-19 mitigation - Fox43

The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board says the closures will last at least until the end of the month.

After consultation with the Wolf Administration and Pennsylvania Department of Health, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board announced the indefinite closure of all Fine Wine & Good Spirits stores.

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19 March 2020

ABG offers online masterclasses for bartenders - The Spirits Business

Amber Beverage Group’s global brand ambassadors will host digital masterclasses for bartenders across its Moskovskaya vodka, Rooster Rojo Tequila, Cross Keys Gin and Riga Black Balsam liqueur brands. As the coronavirus pandemic continues, consumers are being encouraged to stay at home in a bid to stop the spread of the disease.

To ensure bartender communities remain active, Amber Beverage Group (ABG) is offering digital masterclasses from its brand ambassadors.

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