Cheers - November 2015

Cheers is dedicated to delivering hospitality professionals the information, insights and data necessary to drive their beverage business by covering trends and innovations in operations, merchandising, service and training.

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 20 of 51 21 November/December 2015 • 1990 [First issue of Cheers published] Blackstone merlot Cloudy Bay sauvignon blanc Kininvie Scotch whisky Sutter Home chardonnay 1991 Burnett's vodka Fat Tire Brewing Otter Creek Brewery 1992 Skyy vodka 1993 Anchor Distilling Co. Belvedere vodka Calico Jack rum Lagunitas Brewing Co. Left Hand Brewing Co. New Glarus Brewing Co. 1994 El Jimador tequila Kona Brewing Co. Magic Hat Brewery 1995 Bacardí Limón Blue Moon Brewing Co. Carolina Brewery Del Maguey mezcal Dogfi sh Head Fat Bastard wines Lokoya wine Tequila Rose liqueur 1996 Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits Co. Ecco Domani wines Elysian Brewing Co. Magic Hat Brewing Co. Ménage à Trois wines Platinum 7X vodka Pyrat rum Stone Brewing Woodford Reserve bourbon Victory Brewing Co. GREY GOOSE (1997) Liquor impresario Sidney Frank hatched the idea for a luxury American vodka brand in 1996. The founder/CEO of Sidney Frank Importing Co. effectively created the superpremium category with Grey Goose, a vodka produced in France from winter wheat and natural spring water. Grey Goose was packaged in elegant smoked glass bottles embossed with a silhouette of fl ying geese and shipped in wood crates like fi ne wine. And at $30 a bottle, it was priced at nearly double the leading premium vodkas at the time. It was named the best-tasting vodka in the world by the Beverage Testing Institute in 1998, which helped some justify the price point. Frank, who died in 2006, had already struck branding (or rebranding) gold with Jägermeister in the 1980s. He transformed the herbal liqueur from a digestif enjoyed by elderly Germans to the "it" shot of the college crowd. Grey Goose was a bigger success and a more lucrative venture: The brand was sold to Bacardi for $2.2 billion in 2004. HENDRICK'S GIN (1999) Given vodka's dominance in the past few decades, gin was a tough sell. The spirit's strong juniper aroma and fl avor tends to remind consumers of an unfortunate run-in with harsh gins in their younger days. Then came Hendrick's, which not only dialed back the juniper, it incorporated distinct fl avors of Bulgarian rose and cucumber, among other botanicals. The brand, which is packaged in a deep blue, apothecary-style bottle, pioneered the cucumber garnish in the Gin and Tonic. Developed in Scotland by William Grant & Sons, Hendrick's timing was perfect as the craft cocktail movement was just catching on. The gin has developed a cult following thanks in part to its unique marketing. Earlier this year, a 125- ft. Hendrick's Flying Cucumber blimp graced several major markets. The "most unusual" brand admits that "It is not for everyone." But it's evidently for quite a lot of people. MIKE'S HARD LEMONADE (1999) There are so many fruit-fl avored and soda-inspired alcoholic beverages today (spiked root beer, anyone?) that it's hard to imagine that boozy lemonade was once a novel concept. But Mike's Hard Lemonade found a sweet spot following the bust of the wine cooler category and before ciders, alcoholic ginger beers and fruity ales took off. Mike's was introduced in Canada in 1996 as a vodka-based carbonated beverage with natural fl avors. For its foray into the American market three years later, it was changed to a mixture of lemonade fl avor and an unfl avored malt liquor base, because of tax and beverage laws in the U.S. The brand, which now comes in more than 15 fl avors, has managed to weather the ups and downs of the fi ckle fermented malt beverage market. FMBs are hot again, and a hit with the all-important Millennial consumer. Mike's biggest challenge may be the category's increased competition. MIONETTO (2000) Sparkling wine has always been a lower-cost alternative to the special-occasion sip Champagne. But the proliferation of prosecco in the U.S. during the past 15 years has helped Americans realize that bubbles can be an everyday beverage. Mionetto USA, founded in 1997, wasn't the fi rst prosecco to be widely distributed in the U.S.; Zardetto had been exporting here since 1984. But Mionetto, which says it "set NOTEWORTHY BRANDS LAUNCHED IN 25 YEARS OF CHEERS

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Cheers - Cheers - November 2015