Category: Industry Briefs

Results from the 2017 Press Democrat North Coast Wine Challenge

Before committing to a competition, vintners typically ask themselves the key question, “What will it do for me?” The Press Democrat North Coast Wine Challenge offers a compelling feature that many vintners love: only gold medal winners are published. This is a significant attractor for wine producers that may not be willing to risk being awarded a bronze medal. In April, industry professionals gathered to judge this year’s entries. California’s North Coast AVA, originally established in 1983, covers more than 3 million acres and counts about 50 sub-AVAs within its borders. Eligible wines include those labeled with an AVA...

Read More

Inside Beverage Law: The Corruption Chronicles, Part 2 (Guest Column)

The regulatory perception that the alcohol beverage industry is, at its heart, corrupt, comes from the pre-Prohibition American saloon. In the early part of the last century, brewers and distillers used many questionable sales techniques, such as excessive credit, free goods, secretly paying retail employees, consignment sales, and other inducements to persuade saloon owners to carry their products over competing brands. Preventing the reemergence of these abusive business practices has been a core concern of alcohol regulators since Prohibition was repealed. These “tied house” laws still exist today, in one form or another, both federally and in every state...

Read More

Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America Announces Promotions

Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America (WSWA) recently announced multiple team member promotions. Kari Langerman has been promoted to senior director, meetings and conventions; Reid Teschner to manager, state and regulatory affairs; Michael Steiner to coordinator, finance and administration; and Meg Taylor to senior manager, communications and membership. Additionally, WSWA welcomed Emily Magram to its ranks as coordinator, communications and membership. WSWA is a national trade association representing the wholesale tier of the wine and spirits industry. It’s 400-plus member companies distribute more than 80 percent of all wine and spirits sold at wholesale in the United...

Read More

Cheryl Durzy Launches LibDib for Web-Based Distribution

Taking a cue from on-demand service apps such as Uber and CropMobster, wine industry veteran Cheryl Durzy has launched Liberation Distribution TM (aka LibDib), a web-based distribution platform compliant with the alcohol industry’s three-tier model. Working with software developer Richard Brashears and attorney Frank I. Hoppe, Durzy’s vision of “an outlet for small-scale and artisan producers” has launched in California and New York, with plans for a roll-out to all 50 states to be completed within the next three years. “Large distributors don’t support small makers,” says Durzy, “but the demand for craft beverages and unique flavors is growing....

Read More

Theresa McCulla to Document Brewing for Smithsonian

As part of a three-year initiative, the Smithsonian National Museum of American History has hired Theresa McCulla to oversee its American Brewing History project. A social and cultural historian of food, she’ll use her knowledge to design a research plan using material and archival sources, conduct oral histories, and publish articles for both scholarly and popular audiences with a primary focus on homebrewing and the craft brewing industry. “Brewing history connects us to stories of tradition and innovation, agriculture and industry, and other broad strands of the American experience,” said Paula Johnson, Smithsonian food history curator, in a prepared...

Read More