Cheers May 2016

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.

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Page 8 of 51 9 May 2016 • DRINK CULTURE MARRIOTT KICKS OFF BOURBON BATTLES COCKTAIL COMPETITION Marriott Hotels, the flagship brand of Marriott International, is rolling out its Bourbon Battles competition, a five-city tour in the search for a bourbon cocktail champion. Hosted by spirits expert and author Heather Greene, the event series made its debut in Lexington, KY, on April 14, followed by stops in Portland, Calgary and Boston, culminating in New York on National Bourbon Day, June 14. Marriott Hotels' Bourbon Battles feature four contestants per event; the winners have a chance to compete in the finale round in New York. At each Battle, the Marriott bartenders will go up against local mixologists to prove their bourbon mixing skills. Ashley Sherrow, bartender at the Griffin Gate Marriott Resort & Spa in Lexington, won the first round. The competition is part of the broader Marriott Hotels Bourbon Program, an on-property experi- ence for guests and visitors. Why bourbon? The spirit "has all the essential elements to create an engaging bar experience for our guests," according to Matthew Carroll, vice president brand manage- ment, Marriott Hotels. "It has a rich history and compelling stories driven by unique brands. It offers options for everyone's taste, from creative cocktails to exclusive pours." The hotel chain's bourbon competition, he said, "is a fun, innovative way to showcase the evolution of the bourbon world and helps bring even more creativity and unexpected tastes to our guests." A PREVIEW OF BEVERAGE ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION TRENDS SOURCE: Beverage Information Group Distilled spirits posted another year of steady volume growth in 2015, according to the Beverage Information & Insights Group, the re- search unit of Cheers' parent company. According to the just-published 2016 Handbook Advance, total distilled spirits consumption reached a projected 215.9 million nine-liter cases. The Beverage Information Group's director of client services Marybeth Came presented a pre- view on spirits, wine and beer consumption trends from the Handbook Advance findings at the Women's Beverage Alcohol Symposium in Newton, MA, on April 13th. Here's a summary of the highlights. Pockets of growth in distilled spirits consumption included brandy and Cognac (up 5.6% over 2014), tequila (up 4.4%) and all things whiskey. Brown spirits, particularly straights (which reached 19.7 million nine-liter cases in 2015), continue to captivate consumers' interest as they are perceived as heritage-filled and authentic, traits that play di- rectly into the purchasing prerequisites of today's customers. Modest growth continues in the vodka category (up 1.1% from 2014), but deceleration can be associated with flavor fatigue, espe- cially among imported offerings. Volume growth in the beer category was flat year over year, as today's consumers continue to move away from mainstream and flagship brands toward imports, higher-end craft and superpremium offerings. The total wine segment increased 2.0% in 2015, led by signifi- cant gains in the sparkling category. Millennial consumers are drinking more distilled spirits, partic- ularly vodka, tequila and rum. Older Millennials (age 25 to 34) are drinking more wine with a preference for table and sparkling wines; they're also driving beer consumption, favoring imports, light beers and craft offerings. For more information about the Handbook Advance and other beverage alcohol industry data from BIIG, visit and 198.7 205.6 210.6 211.7 215.9 190 195 200 205 210 215 220 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015p Distilled Spirits Volume From left: Rob Samuels, chief operating officer of Maker's Mark Distillery; Dante Wheat from The Garage Bar (Louisville, KY); Lexington Bourbon Battle winner Ashley Sherrow from Griffin Gate Marriott in Lexington; host Heather Greene; Drew Jordan from the Boston Marriott Burlington (Burlington, MA); and Ty Corriveau from Saul Good Restaurant & Pub (Lexington). DISTILLED SPIRITS VOLUME

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