Inventory for November 22nd, 2015

Welcome back to this week’s inventory! Japan is getting its (first) artisanal gin distillery, Borco takes over distribution for Punt e Mes and Antica Formula, Mezcal sales are booming, Lidl expands its spirits range, and global whisky consumption continues to grow.

Let the Christmas shopping commence, eh? But not to worry, it’s not all horrible high streets and stressed out parents dragging their crying kids to the tune of ‘Holy Night’. Freunde von Freunden offers an antidote to the commercial pre-Christmas season. Stop by the FvF Apartment on Mulackstraße from November 28th onwards to shop for unique gifts, experience tea tastings, and enjoy some lived-baked delights.

1) Japan’s first Craft Gin Distillery to open in 2016

Another day, another gin. Or so it seems. Marcin Miller and David Croll have founded the Number One Drinks Company Japan and are readying themselves to open the country’s first artisanal gin distillery in January 2016. Speaking to The Spirits Business the two reveal that they lured away Alex Davies from Chase and Cotswold distillers to take on the role of head distiller. Miller and Croll are aware of the fact that gin is a highly popular choice when it comes to craft distilleries “we are confident that, by offering an exceptional spirit with a genuine point of difference we will attract discerning consumers. Our initial emphasis will be on engaging with the Japanese bartending community and, thereafter, exporting to a small number of markets on allocation only”.

The two know the spirit market well, having worked in the whisky export business for the past 10 years. Head distiller Davies is excited: “Kyoto is famed for its cuisine, has an abundance of fruit unique to the area and is the cradle of Japanese craft, from sake brewing to kimono weaving, woodblock printing, ceramics and lacquer work. I have stacks of ideas already and can’t wait to start distilling in the most inspiring and forward-thinking city I’ve ever visited.”

2) Borco takes over Distribution for Punt e Mes und Antica Formula

Borco is expanding its portfolio and will take over the distribution for Punt e Mes und Antica Formula in Germany beginning with the first of January 2016. Both vermouth brands belong to the Milan-based Fratelli Branca Distillery and were distributed by Borco between 2007 – 2012. This change makes sense because Borco is Germany’s exclusive distributors for Fernet Branca, also part of the Fratelli Branca family.

3) Mezcal Sales are Growing

We’ve happily watched the popularity of Mezcal increase over the last few years and new statistics are backing us up. “Mezcal sales value is growing at 22% and now amounts to $88m a year, according to the Consejo Regulador del Mezcal”. Drinks International reports that there is now a total of 116 Mezcal brands exporting globally, an increase of 48% between 2011 and 2014.

The Consejo told Drinks International “For the world, mezcal is it just a Mexican spirit. For us it has become the engine of economic development for the traditional communities, in contrast to their marginalisation.” New cities being targeted include Los Angeles, New York, Sydney, London, Berlin, and Singapore.

4) Lidl expands Craft Beer and Spirits Range

Lidl just announced the expansion of its beer, wine, and spirits offering. The Grocer reports that the retailer will add 48 new wines, 26 premium spirits, and six new craft beers to its UK outlets. This move isn’t singular to Great Britain though, earlier this month our resident beer expert Dirk Hoplitschek explored Lidl’s three new German craft beers. Earlier this month Barley Blanc (a light Bock with Halltertau Blanc hops), Barrique Style (a dark double Bock), and Paradiso Zwickl (cellar beer with Mosaic hops) hit the shelves. You know that when craft beers gets to Lidl, it’s no longer a niche market.

5) Whisky Consumption to Hit 3.2bn by 2020

The global whisky market is set to pass the 3.2bs-case mark by 2020, this according to the IWSR via Drinks International. That means that by 2020 whisky would overtake vodka and become the second largest spirits category behind national spirits. Both whisky and tequila are meant to be the fastest growing spirits categories.

“The lion’s share of the growth will stem from Asia, with China and India outperforming all other markets. However, growth in North America, Africa & Middle East and the duty free markets will all contribute to the category’s overall expansion.”


Foto: Two Men via Shutterstock

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