The beverage business blog from Olly Wehring
If you would like to offer your comments, opinions, suggest topics or just have a good rant, please feel free to email: Olly Wehring.
Sending out an SOS
14 Aug 2013 15:44
Ah, August: You are like a month of Sundays, with lots of sunshine, plenty of R'n'R and very little else going on.
Hell, we even came close to covering a press release today that carried the title 'The World's Largest Message-in-a-Bottle is Lost at Sea'.
The bottle, which was released near Tenerife in March by Norwegian soft drink brand Solo, has gone missing somewhere in the Atlantic.
While not exactly news, the development now has me following the bottle's own Twitter feed.
Now, back to my deckchair.
Monster & Me: We Won't Blame the Weather
12 Aug 2013 13:39
It's almost six years to the day that I let out an almighty whine about the weather; specifically, how drinks companies were blaming/crediting the weather for their performances.
It's taken quite some time, but finally I feel vindicated in my whinge.
Here's a quote from the chairman & CEO of Monster Beverage, Rodney Sacks, as he delivered the company's H1 results last week.
"We don't have weather in our vocabulary. I think that weather does play a part in every beverage. But, we really don't know what effect it has. We don't measure it. That's why, sometimes when weather is up, we don't say: "Well, we did great because of weather. We did badly because of weather." We generally tend to try and manage the business outside of the weather issues."
Running - and drinking - for Alan Lodge
26 Jul 2013 12:34
The Ardbeg Islay Half Marathon takes place next weekend, and just-drinks will be on the start line.
Along with a gaggle of my peers, I'll be running 13.1 miles on the Scottish island of Islay on Saturday 3 August.
Whilst I will be doing this - in part - for the sake of my health – I shall mainly be running – and afterwards, drinking Ardbeg - in memory of Alan Lodge.
I knew Alan for just over three years, during which time he wrote for The Drinks Business here in the UK. Alan was all set to move across to sister publication The Spirits Business when, in February last year he suffered a brain haemorrhage and passed away.
Alan was 29.
So, along with Lucy Britner and Hamish Smith from Drinks International, Chris Losh and Laura Foster from Imbibe, Joel Harrison from caskstrength.com, Sandrae Sharpen from Cocktail Lovers, Richard Siddle from Harpers, Marcin Miller from Quercus Communications, freelance writer Richard Woodard and Becky Paskin from The Spirits Business, I'll be raising funds for the National Brain Appeal.
If you'd like to make a donation in honour of Alan, you can do so here.
MAY-DAY! MAY-DAY! just-drinks is closed on May Day
03 May 2013 17:33
It's the May Day Bank Holiday here in the UK this coming Monday (6 May). So, we'll be spending the day watching the garden get a thorough drenching for the day, rather than mining the drinks world for news.
We're back on Tuesday.
Up the workers!
Beam Inc - Hey, fellas, I have an idea
03 May 2013 12:53
Did anyone else find it curious yesterday to see volumes of Maker's Mark soar in Beam Inc's first quarter? After all, a 44% leap in quarterly volumes year-on-year positively jumped off the page.
My eyebrows rose even higher when Beam CEO Matt Shattock conceded that the brands performance in the three months to the end of March was related to the company's announcement – and then the subsequent climbdown – that it was reducing the Bourbon's abv.
Maybe, if Beam makes this move every quarter – perhaps with a different brand each time – it would prevent the “cycling tough comps” line from having to be resorted to.
Craft Brewers - Think Global. Drink Local
29 Apr 2013 13:01
Click play, below, to see how one craft brewer is taking on the "mass corporate machine", courtesy of The Motley Fool.
Beefeater Borough's Reserve: But, where are the beefeaters?
22 Apr 2013 15:53
Well, Pernod Ricard, I must say I am a mite disappointed in you.
Just over four years ago, Pernod's Chivas Brothers Scotch and premium gin unit put on the party to end all parties to back the launch of Beefeater 24. The addition of a permanent extension to Beefeater's portfolio warranted a fleet of Mercedes to collect us from the nearest train station, the hire of the home of the Duke of Northumberland, Syon Park, and the recruitment of the circus troupe and vaudeville act Lost Vagueness to provide entertainment at literally every corner.
The announcement - if you want to call it that - of the latest Beefeater extension today, however, didn't quite match up.
All we got to herald the launch of Beefeater Burrough's Reserve on this miserable Monday was a press release and a photo. No swanky cars, no posh pile in the country... Dammit, not even any fire-eating beefeaters.
And, as many of you know, my opinion has always been: No fire-eating beefeaters; no comment.
26 Mar 2013 12:47
Last week, BBC Radio 4 broadcast a panel discussion on the current state of the wine industry in the UK. It makes for pretty interesting listening.
My favourite quote: "Wine is a complicated, difficult business with a relatively low level of proven profitability."
That's the spirit!
Click here to listen to the 30-minute programme.
Gangnam breaks into the wine world - as forecast on just-drinks
12 Mar 2013 12:02
This year, Chris had a lot of fun suggesting that Gangnam Style will take over the wine industry, with wine regions the world over expected to ride the wave of the dance craze.
Hats off, then, to John Jordan, the owner of Jordan Winery in Sonoma County, California, for being the first - that we know of.
Whisky, whisky everywhere...
01 Mar 2013 15:30
We all like a laugh at someone else's expense, don't we? Witness, for example, the gleeful coverage today and yesterday of a whisky spill at Pernod Ricard's Chivas Brothers bottling operations up in Scotland.
When we spoke to the folk at Chivas this morning, they played down the volumes being quoted, but conceded that “a significant amount” of Scotch went down the plughole at its Dumbarton bottling facility on Tuesday evening.
More seriously, the unit was at pains to point out that none of the whisky hit any rivers in the area. “We have informed Scottish Water and other relevant authorities,” Chivas said.
You wouldn't catch me being so wasteful. I have a rule that I must sup the melted ice from my whisky glass the morning after.