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Publisher’s Page – May 2015 News & Views

Posted on  | April 22, 2015   Bookmark and Share
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Frankly, I have always admired the opportunities that the retail/restaurant tier of our industry enjoy, having daily face time with their ultimate consumer. 

Through our publications and BeverageMedia.com we are in touch with tens of thousands of licensees. And now with the help of social media we have opened even more opportunities for interchange with the trade. But still, this doesn’t begin to compare in intensity to our most recent experience—the face time we enjoyed during an intense three days at the annual WSWA Convention in Orlando. We connected with an endless stream of suppliers and wholesalers. I heard what they had to say and what they thought about what I had to say, and I am still trying to absorb it all. 

This convention has been going on for 72 years, but it’s as true now as ever. With all the convenience of websites, mobile phones and social media, it is easy to miss out on the opportunities that personal contact—with the right people, of course—can offer when it comes to opening new doors. 

Another good example is coming up in June to connect with your colleagues during the ABL Convention in DC. Not to mention, they will also set you up with a little face time with your representatives in Congress.


A common frustration in dealing with the role of beverage alcohol in our society is the ease in which highly questionable
conclusions so often go unchallenged, and they need to be. Often the attacks on alcohol are supporting efforts that
have nothing to do with addressing social concerns.

For example, a Texas citizens’ group claims that increasing alcohol taxes from their current 3 cents per drink to 10
cents per drink would raise $708 million annually. But “more importantly,” it would prevent more than 113,000 cases of
alcohol dependence and abuse. The report states excessive alcohol use cost Texas $19.1 billion in 2013, or 74 cents per
drink. Amazing how they can determine the costs and benefits so precisely, no?

Meanwhile, legislative supporters of legalization of pot in Vermont are arguing that if pot is not allowed in the state, then alcohol should be banned as well because “U.S. college students report over 450,000 incidents of alcohol-related violence.” Conversely, “a 2014 study showed a lower incidence of violence in the first 9 months of marriage among marijuana users as opposed to non users.”

This would all be funny, if the consequences of legislators buying into this stuff wasn’t so serious.


Of all the spirit categories today, gin remains the most splintered, what with London Dry, New Western, Old Tom
and other types having developed over decades. But as our cover story details, one thing they all have in common is
botanicals, which are key to creating points of distinction among the many brands.

Our gin coverage rounds out with adventurous gin drinks in Cocktail Corner (page 62) and Bar Talk (page 50) with a
Chicago bartender who is pushing gin in a city known for its love of beer and whiskey. Speaking of cocktails, we are extra excited for the the Manhattan Cocktail Classic this year, which promises an expanded, better-than-ever event. The
opening night gala, taking place May 16th at a new location, Cipriani Wall Street, should be spectacular.

Winewise, we have stories this month on Italian white wines, and the surprising wines of Washington State, plus the latest in the ongoing conversation surrounding the meaning (and value) of the title “Sommelier.”

Finally, this is busy season when it comes to trade portfolio tastings. Be sure to check the Events Calendar on page 101,
and also online at BeverageMedia.com.



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