Welcome back to the second inventory of the year! Because we’re still in the beginning of the year, The Spirits Business was so kind as to put together a “top ten list 2017”. And we’ve gathered our two favorites from their listicle, the booze ban on Sri Lankan women has finally been lifted after 60 years, UK-based Bier Huis snaps up distribution deal with Belgian Clover Gin, Liquor.com discusses if sober bartenders are hurting their business, and a new bart tool is making the rounds in Germany.
The key to Betty White’s long and happy life is vodka and hot dogs. How could we not click on that? Liquor.com spoke to her while the icon was preparing for her 96th birthday that’s coming up January 17th. They asked her how she stays happy and healthy after nine successful decades of living. Her reply? “Vodka and hot dogs. Probably in that order“. We’ll cheers to that!
Ten Stories that Rocked the Spirits World in 2017
Every industry gets their “this is what happened” last year, why not ours? The Spirits Business was so kind as to put it together for us. One of our favorites was the revival of three “lost” single malt distilleries: Port Ellen, Brora, and Rosebank. TSB reports “Port Ellen and Brora, two of the most highly collectable whiskies in the industry, will start distillation once again after drinks giant Diageo pledged a £35 million (US$46m) investment to open the closed sites. The cult names will begin distilling again by 2020, with Diageo considering 12-year-old whiskies as the “benchmark” from the distilleries”. Another joyous story is the Cognac revival heard around the world. “After finally recovering from declines prompted by the Chinese government’s austerity drive, global Cognac exports reached their highest level in both volume and value terms in 2016, the Bureau National Interprofessionnel du Cognac confirmed. Volume climbed by 6% and value by 6.8% in the 2016 calendar year, resulting in a turnover of €2.76 billion (now US$3.2bn). The Cognac industry now accounts for more than 20% of French wine and spirits exports, the trade group said. In total, 179.1m bottles of Cognac were shipped globally, approximately 20m more than in 2012”. Read the other eight stories here.
Booze Ban on Sri Lankan Women Lifted After 60 Years
Here’s some nice piece of information: after a whole 60 years, the Sri Lankan government got their senses together and finally scrapped the law that prevented women legally purchasing alcohol or working in a licensed premise for the past SIXTY YEARS. Sorry, did we mention it took them the better half of the 20th century and 18 years into the 21st? The drinks businss reports “The change to the law, which was announced by Sri Lanka’s Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera, will allow women aged 18 and over in the country to buy alcohol legally for the first time in 60 years, after officials agreed that the law was discriminatory. It will also mean that women will now be allowed to legally work in places that sell alcohol, without needing the approval of the state’s excise commissioner, which included restaurants, bars and off-trade retailers”. Cue producers branding their products pink and towards women. Everyone’s a winner here.
Bier Huis snaps up Wholesale Deal with Clover Gin
The Belgian Clover Gin launched at Imbibe Live 2017 and the UK is set to get a whole lot more of it. Just last week, Imbibe announced that Bier Huis has secured the exclusive distribution rights to the Antwerp-made gin. Produced by three sisters the gin is said to have a “lovely, fresh aroma of cardamom, leading to a palate of coriander seeds, black pepper, pear, lavender and of course, juniper”. Owner of Bier Huis David Jones says “Once I tried this gin in the summer I made it my mission for us to bring it into the UK. ‘It’s one of the best gins I have ever sampled. Along with the fantastic bottle design”.
Sober Bartending: Does it Hurt The Business?
As the industry becomes more and more aware of the pitfalls they can claim as their own, so does the awareness around how to avoid them. Though not a majority, a decent amount of sober bartenders do exist. Liquor.com took to this topic recently, noting that “recent studies have shown that restaurant and bar workers rank first among drug- and alcohol-addiction-prone jobs”. Author John deBary asks the question, can you be successful in the industry while remaining sober? (for whatever reason that might be) It seems more complicated than a yes or no answer. There certainly are bartenders whose career has taken off during sobriety (deBary namechecks 2017 US Diageo World Class winner Chris Cardone here), but many feel like they’ve been passed up for job opportunities because of their sobriety. The author doesn’t offer a clear answer but what becomes apparent reading the article is that this is a topic people care about and will most likely be closer explored over the course of this new year.
Who’s Come A-Knockin’?
A fun little tidbit to round off the week. The German bar community was graced with a new bar tool this week, its name: the Barknocker. Its sole function is to open shakers. A fist-sized cube like thing that’s made of wood and rubber, ready to revolutionize the bar industry. The tool was developed by well-known Dresden bartender Niko Pavlidis, his reasoning is medicinal: the Barknocker is said to protect professional bartenders’ wrists when repeatedly opening the shaker. So far the reaction has been rather comical than welcoming. Most bartenders seem to ask themselves if they now need a welding machine to close the shaker? Do you really need a tool like this if you’re careful when working? Or is this malicious criticism wielded by Pavlidis’ peers? As usual, the truth is probably found somewhere in the middle.
Bildquelle: via Shutterstock