The just-drinks Interview
Every month, just-drinks gives a drinks executive a grilling.
20 February 2014
Earlier this week, we published the first part of an interview with MillerCoors' sales president, Ed McBrien, where he explained the thinking behind's the JV's biggest launch to date, Miller Fortune. Here in part two, McBrien talks to deputy editor James Wilmore about the familiar territory of light beer in the US and plans for a major new cider launch.
18 February 2014
Last week, MillerCoors unveiled the biggest brand launch in its five-and-a-half year history: Miller Fortune, a beer designed to take on the spirits market. But, how will this strategy play out, and what else does the brewing JV have in store to rescue its flagging volumes? Here, in the first part of an exclusive two-part interview just-drinks deputy editor James Wilmore tackles the US firm's sales president, Ed McBrien.
27 January 2014
Since breaking out of its Italian roots in the late-1990s, Gruppo Campari has expanded its horizons through a series of acquisitions. Headed by Bob Kunze-Concewitz, the company now sells its 50-plus brands in 190 countries. Here just-drinks' deputy editor, James Wilmore, travelled to Manchester to talk through the company's latest movements with Kunze-Concewitz.
23 January 2014
In the first part of just-drinks' interview with the CEO of Edrington, Ian Curle set out why his company was bringing its global distribution in-house and investing heavily in its The Macallan Scotch whisky. In part two, Curle talks about his company's unique ownership structure and shares his thoughts on the next possible golden era for Scotch.
21 January 2014
Late last year, just-drinks travelled to New York to interview - for the first time - the CEO of Edrington, owner of the Cutty Sark, The Famous Grouse, Highland Park and The Macallan Scotch whisky brands, Brugal rum and Snow Leopard vodka.
28 November 2013
In the first part of just-drinks' interview with the head of Czech brewer Budejovicky Budvar, Jirí Bocek discussed the company's ownership structure and its position in the Czech beer market. Here, in part two, he tells us about his plans beyond Czech and gives us his view on the never-ending legal tussle with Anheuser-Busch InBev.
27 November 2013
Back in September, Portuguese wine producer Esporao celebrated its 40th anniversary. But, while the Alentejo-based firm is proud of its history, the company is transforming itself into a progressive operation, thanks to its CEO, Joao Roquette. just-drinks' deputy editor, James Wilmore, visited Esporao's vineyards to talk wine, revolution and jazz with the company chief.
26 November 2013
Last month, I travelled to Czech to take in a tour of Budejovicky Budvar's brewery in the south of the country. While there, I was granted an audience with group director Jirí Bocek. During our time together, we discussed the firm's ownership structure, its plans for future expansion, and that legal row.
17 October 2013
As a privately-held company, Bacardi has the luxury of only having to disclose to the wider world what it wants to. But, with a long and rich history, the spirits group is keen to talk up the provenance of its brands. Here, in the first of a two-part exclusive interview, Bacardi's president & CEO, Ed Shirley, talks about the benefits of working for a family-owned firm, the opportunities for its brands and the rise of cocktail culture.
12 September 2013
Last week, just-drinks caught up with Irish Distillers' CEO Anna Malmhake. Part one of the interview ran on Tuesday. Here, in the second and concluding part of the interview, Malmhake discusses Irish whiskey's image, Pernod's competitors in the category and the threat of alcohol legislation in Ireland.
10 September 2013
Last week, Irish Distillers held an event to showcase its EUR100m (US$132m) investment in its Midleton Distillery, near Cork. What hopes does the Pernod Ricard subsidiary have for Irish whiskey? Can it build on the category's renaissance and break out of its niche? just-drinks' deputy editor James Wilmore talks to the CEO of Irish Distillers, Anna Malmhake.
16 August 2013
Seattle's Jones Soda has been on a financial roller-coaster over the past few years. But with the group edging closer to turning a profit and costs trimmed to more manageable levels, a candid CEO Jennifer Cue tells just-drinks what went wrong, and of the new challenges facing US soft drinks firms in a changing CSD market.
30 May 2013
Earlier this week, just-drinks editor Olly Wehring visited Beijing to cover Pernod Ricard's latest Capital Market Day. While there, Olly spoke to Alexandre Ricard, the company's deputy CEO & COO, in his first interview since it was announced he would become CEO of Pernod in 2015.
21 May 2013
To coincide with this week's London International Wine Fair, just-drinks managed to secure some time yesterday (20 May) with Dan Jago, the UK and group wine director for Tesco. In the first of this two-part interview, we look at Jago's time in the wine industry, Tesco's relationship with the wine consumer in the UK, and the 'E' word.
9 April 2013
In 2011, Tim Matz took on the job as the MD of Accolade Wines' North American division. Since then, the company has bought a clutch of wine brands - many of which are now part of Matz's purview - and has lost its chief executive. Late last month, just-drinks' deputy editor, James Wilmore, sat down with Matz at ProWein to talk through the challenges the company faces, the US wine market and the positive aspects of working for a private equity group.
8 January 2013
Last year, just-drinks travelled to the US to report on Diageo's investor conference. The subject of the presentations was the company's hopes and plans for the Latin America & Caribbean region. While there, just-drinks' managing editor, Olly Wehring sat down with regional president Randy Millian, to discuss the region, as well Diageo's distribution presence, the battle with brewers and the looming shadow of Brazil.
13 December 2012
Earlier this year, Ben Cooper met the CEO of Brown-Forman, Paul Varga, in the company's heartland, the US. In the first instalment of this two-part interview, the two look at Brown-Forman's position in the drinks industry, its portfolio of spirits brands and its prospects and ambitions in the emerging markets.
12 November 2012
Last week we ran the first part of an exclusive interview with Constellation Brands' CEO Rob Sands. In this second and final part here, Sands discusses the group's spirits portfolio, its pending move to take control of Crown Imports and his hopes for Modelo's Modelo Especial beer brand.
6 November 2012
The current CEO of Constellation Brands, Rob Sands, is only the group's third boss in its 67-year history - and he's been with the firm for 26 years. Clearly, then, he'll know a things or two about the drinks industry. Here, just-drinks catches up with Sands to talk premiumisation, Pinot and partnerships.
12 July 2012
Earlier this week, we ran part one of our interview with the CEO of Remy Martin, Patrick Piana. Here, in the second and concluding part, Piana looks at the emerging markets as well as the mature markets of the US and Western Europe, and argues for value over volume in the Cognac category.