just the Answer

just the Answer

Once a month, we put a drinks executive on the spot with a bout of quick-fire questions.



just the Answer: Funkin's CEO, Andrew King 23 Mar 2015

Cocktail mixers and syrups firm Funkin is now part of the AG Barr portfolio after the closure of a multi-million deal last month. Here, Funkin CEO Andrew King explains how he can help Barr grow its on-trade presence, why Angola is a new focus for cocktails and what he has planned for Irn Bru.


just the Answer - Meantime Brewing Co CEO Nick Miller 11 Mar 2015

Nick Miller spent 25 years working for big brewers - most recently with SABMiller - before deciding to take the role of CEO at London's Meantime Brewing Co in 2011. Here, Surrey-born Miller explains who he regards as competition, the future for UK craft brewers and the firm's plans for this year.


just the Answer - Sebastian Aguirre, Concha y Toro Marketing Director for Premium Wines 23 Jan 2015

This week, editor Olly Wehring has been travelling through the winelands of Chile with the country's biggest wine producer, Concha y Toro. While there, he met Sebastian Aguirre, the company's marketing director for premium wines, to delve deeper into CyT's biggest brand, Casillero del Diablo.


just the Answer: Bacardi's global category director for rums, Dmitry Ivanov 27 Nov 2014

Dmitry Ivanov was appointed global category director for rums at Bacardi in 2012. Earlier this month, editor Olly Wehring travelled to Puerto Rico to speak to him about the company's flagship white rum brand, where it went wrong in the past and Bacardi's hopes for its broader rum range going forward.


just the Answer: Dogfish Head Brewery president Sam Calagione 26 Nov 2014

Sam Calagione, founder of Dogfish Head Brewery, is one of the figureheads of the US craft beer scene. The Delaware-based firm's tagline is "Off-centred ales for off-centred people". Here Calagione, also a TV star, explains Dogfish's future plans, his attitude to the big brewers and why US craft brewery closures are inevitable.


just the Answer: Gonzalez Byass’ CEO, Jorge Grosse 25 Nov 2014

Jorge Grosse has been CEO of González Byass since mid-2006. Earlier this year, just-drink editor Olly Wehring met him in London to discuss Sherry, casks and the firm's moves to diversify its portfolio.


just the Answer: Wines of South Africa chief executive Siobhan Thompson 25 Sep 2014

Siobhan Thompson joined Wines of South Africa 11 months ago after joining from drinks firm Distell. just-drinks deputy editor James Wilmore talks to Thompson about the challenges she has faced in 2014 and the opportunities for South African wine in Asia and the rest of Africa.


just the Answer: Te Pa Family Vineyards owner, Haysley MacDonald 29 Jul 2014

The owner of Te Pa Family Vineyards, Haysley MacDonald, and his head wine maker, Liam McElhinney, have been making waves in New Zealand with their fresh approach to wine making. This month, just-drinks met them during a trip to London to hear how their agricultural backgrounds have shaped the business and why consolidation in Marlborough will only go so far.


just the Answer: Australian Vintage's CEO, Neil McGuigan 17 Jul 2014

Neil McGuigan, Australian Vintage's CEO, is not a man short of words. The affable, 55 year-old Aussie, who has been in charge for four years and is part of the family that started the company, is happy to tell it like it is on most subjects. Here, just-drinks' deputy editor, James Wilmore, talks to McGuigan about the state of the global wine market, the company's plans to get back into the US and the on-going tribulations at rival Treasury Wine Estates


just the Answer: Pernod Ricard's international marketing director for Havana Club, Nick Blacknell 14 Jul 2014

Earlier this year, the Worshipful Company of Distillers held a lively debate in London on the future of rum. Afterwards, just-drinks spoke to Nick Blacknell, Havana Club's international marketing director for Pernod Ricard, to discuss digital, diversity and the debate's motion “The future for rum lies with connoisseurs not clubbers”.


just the Answer: Beam Suntory's Asia-Pacific, South America president Nick Fink 26 Jun 2014

Spirits firm Beam is now under the control of Japan's Suntory Holdings after a US$16bn takeover earlier this year. So how will this new marriage work in some key global markets? just-drinks' deputy editor, James Wilmore, caught up with Beam Suntory's Asia-Pacific & South America president, Nick Fink, to find out.


just The Answer: Heineken's Africa & Middle East president, Siep Hiemstra 23 Jun 2014

Heineken will open its newest African brewery in Ethiopia next month as the brewer continues to expand across the continent. Last week, just-drinks sat down with Siep Hiemstra, Heineken's president for Africa and the Middle East, to talk football, Nigeria and if there's an African Tiger waiting to take on the world.


just The Answer: KWL Enterprises' CEO, Kevin Liles 19 Jun 2014

Kevin Liles, the former CEO of Def Jam Records, now heads up his own multi-industry firm, KWL Enterprises. This includes working as a consultant to stars such as Jay-Z and Mariah Carey, with whom he has just released a line of tea-blend soft drinks. Yesterday (18 June), he spoke to just-drinks about the celebrity tie-ups, how to make the most of new technology and Jay-Z and Carey's love for the beverage industry.


just the Answer: MillerCoors' Blue Moon Brewing Company founder, Keith Villa 9 Jun 2014

Keith Villa is the founder and head brewmaster of MillerCoors-owned Blue Moon Brewing Company, creator of the Belgium-style Blue Moon beer. During his visit to London last week, just-drinks sat down with the doctor of brewing to discuss quality issues in craft beer and what motivates him to experiment with bacon, peanut butter and chocolate. Villa also made clear why he considers Blue Moon a craft beer despite its corporate owners.


just the Answer - Laurent Pillet, MD of Pernod Ricard Sub-Saharan Africa 6 Jun 2014

After 18 years in Latin America, Laurent Pillet moved to sub-Saharan Africa in 2011 to head up Pernod Ricard's operations in the region. At the French company's Capital Markets Day this week, just-drinks sat down with Pillet to discuss the past, present and future for Pernod in the region.


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