In 2009, Jeff Smith was just a regular guy who loved beer. Then, one day, he got a notion: Casual beer bars and bottle shops were popping up everywhere. Would the same model work for cider? Jeff and his wife, Erin, opened Bushwhacker Cider, the nation’s very first cider bar, in 2010. How did it feel to do something so new? “It was scary, but it was also comforting,” he says. “Nobody had done it, so nobody could say how it should be or how it was supposed to look.” It’s a classic Portland story, and Bushwhacker still exemplifies...Read More
Common Ground: Beverage producers are looking across categories for new marketing and branding ideas.
The ingenuity of today’s alcohol beverage industry is fueled by equal parts imagination and enterprise. By looking for inspiration across categories, producers of wine, spirits, brews, and ciders are finding new audiences and creating new marketing opportunities. Before we delve into some successful examples of shared tactics, it’s important to know what’s driving these trends. According to Liz Thach, Ph.D., professor of wine and business management at Sonoma State University in California, the most likely catalyst is the eclectic palate of millennials, who “want to experiment,” she says. “Millennials are ‘seekers’ who want to try new things.” Of course,...Read More
While cider is certainly a growing category in bars and restaurants, it doesn’t yet have the universal availability of beer or wine. To find out how we can remedy this, I reached out to Dan Pucci, former cider director at Wassail in New York City (now founder of Wallabout Hospitality); Mattie Beason, co-owner of Black Twig Cider House in Durham, N.C.; Ambrosia Borowski, front house manager at The Northman in Chicago, Ill.; Jonathan Chambers, beverage director at Capitol Cider in Seattle, Wash.; and Diane Flynt, cider pioneer and owner of Foggy Ridge Cider in Dugspur, Va. Collectively, they’re some...Read More
Rising from the Ashes: Northern California Wine Country looks to the future in the wake of devastating wildfires.
As the smoke clears from the wildfires that ravaged many parts of California in October, Napa and Sonoma Wine Country was finally able to take a breath (literally) and assess the damage. In a unified voice, wineries, tasting rooms, restaurants, hotels, and other hospitality-driven companies have one clear message: We are open for business! In both Napa and Sonoma, the 2017 harvest was well underway before the flames descended. Representative organizations from both regions report close to 90 percent of grapes were in-tank when the disaster struck, so smoke taint isn’t considered a major threat to quality. In Napa...Read More
Talk to people in the beer, wine, and spirits business, and the three historically powerful hurricanes that devastated parts of Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico were severe, but they could have been worse. Spirited checked in with a handful of producers across the region to find out how they fared—and what’s being done to help those in need. “We were pretty lucky,” says Ron Yates, whose family owns Spicewood Vineyards in the Texas Hill Country, which got as much as 10 inches of rain in three or four days—about one-third of the area’s average annual total. That’s because Hill...Read More
Making Spirits Bright: Gift Ideas for the Imbibers on Your Listposted on November 20, 2017
Winter Sipsposted on November 21, 2017
Last Call: Bushwacker Cider (Portland, Ore.)posted on November 21, 2017
In the Spirit of Bulkposted on November 21, 2017
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