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New York Personal Page – July 2013

Posted on  | June 25, 2013   Bookmark and Share
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Hidden Dangers

No doubt you heard: New Jersey investigators cited 29 establishments on suspicion of filling empty bottles of premium liquor with cheaper brands.

Setting aside for a moment that this is clearly an unacceptable practice, one may think: “No harm done.” Did the customer even notice the difference? Not a big deal. Well it is a big deal.

We don’t need headlines such as:
• Russia declares an emergency as deaths from fake vodka soar.
• China: Its black market in fake alcohol is a health risk and costly to legitimate restaurants and bars.
• 24 die in Indonesia from tainted alcohol.

So, you figure, that doesn’t happen here! Of course not, and that is the point. We offer significant protection against that kind of danger… it is called the three tier system. Our products pass through a carefully controlled system from supplier, to wholesaler to retail licensee. It’s a system that ensures both safety and trust.

Refilling a bottle, even if the contents do not harm someone, is just the kind of explosive ammunition that those who seek to attack our industry are looking for. Don’t give them the tools to do it.

William Slone, Chairman

.05% is Not the Solution

In May, the National Transportation Safety Board recommended that the threshold for DUI blood alcohol count (BAC) be lowered from .08% to .05%. Unfortunately, this proposal has the potential to sidetrack both our industry and our society.

There has been tremendous progress in reducing incidents associated with drunk driving in recent years. Public education, more effective enforcement and technologies like interlock devices have all played a role. Meanwhile, multiple studies show that the greatest danger from DUI comes from chronic offenders with blood alcohol levels well above .08%. Lowering the BAC threshold to .05% is not going to serve as a deterrent to these people. On the contrary, because drinkers can reach .05% without feeling tipsy, changing the legal limit could generate undue concern among the general public, and could have a chilling effect at restaurants and bars.

Jason A. Glasser, Chief Executive Officer

Seeing Clearly

The vodka category has been a pioneer in innovative, playful and unexpected flavors for years and the trend has spread of course to other spirits. Our vodka feature this month takes a refreshingly retro look at neutral versions, still a popular segment for a diverse body of consumers and often necessary as an anchor product for flavorful expansion.

This issue also catches up with Punch, the old-fashioned crowd-pleaser that is infinitely variable and showing up on more and more menus at restaurants and bars across the country. We’d love your feedback about how punch is doing in your establishment or how you suggest spirit choices for customers to craft punches at home—share your thoughts here on our website, our facebook page or tweet at us @bevmedia.

Take a trip to ProWein 2013 with our recap of the Dusseldorf wine trade show and relive all the fun from Manhattan Cocktail Classic 2013 at the start of our Around Town pages. I hope all our readers are having a fun and productive summer.

Jody Slone-Spitalnik, Chief Operating Officer


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