What We’re Reading: Diageo to Lift Scotch Whisky Production at Clynelish Distillery; Japan’s Beer Drinkers Still Not Raising a Glass to Abenomics; It’s Suntory Time: Japan Buys U.S. Liquor Maker; Under New Food Safety Law, Bartenders Have To Wear Gloves; Japanese beverage company Suntory Holdings to buy Jim Beam; Study: Heavy Drinking Is Toxic To The Brains Of Men, But Not Those Of Women; The 9 Most Important Bartenders in History
Diageo to Lift Scotch Whisky Production at Clynelish Distillery - 1/16/2014 – Wall Street Journal
Investment of $49 Million Will Double Production as Global Scotch Whisky Demand Grows
LONDON— Diageo DGE.LN -1.55% PLC said Thursday it would invest $49 million in expanding its Clynelish Scotch whisky distillery, part of a bet by the U.K. drinks giant that global demand for the liquor will continue to grow. Located deep in the Scottish Highlands, the Clynelish distillery produces single-malt whisky which is sold on its own or used in blended whiskies such as Johnnie Walker. The planned expansion will double the distillery’s production to nine million liters of alcohol a year. Keith Miller, Diageo’s director of distillation and maturation, said increasing production at Clynelish would help meet global demand for scotch. Exports of scotch, which must be distilled in Scotland and aged in oak barrels for at least three years, have increased 87% in the last decade according to the Scotch Whisky Association. Read the rest here!
Japan’s Beer Drinkers Still Not Raising a Glass to Abenomics - 1/16/2014 – Wall Street Journal
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s pro-growth policies have boosted growth, weakened the yen and lifted prices, but the change in Japan’s economy is still not filtering into greater glugging of beer. The domestic beer market remains stubbornly stagnant, with shipments in 2013 dipping 1%–the ninth consecutive annual fall–to the lowest level for at least 21 years. Earlier in the year some of the big brewers had hoped beer shipments would log their first gain in nearly a decade, amid signs of rising demand for beer at restaurants, and for premium beer products. But it seems greater consumption of higher-end brews and on drinks after work or on special occasions, did not make up for falling consumption elsewhere in the beer market. Read the rest here!
It’s Suntory Time: Japan Buys U.S. Liquor Maker - 1/14/2014 – Wall Street Journal
Japan-based beer and soft-drink maker Suntory has agreed to buy Beam Inc., which has a stable of well-known spirits, including the eponymous Jim Beam bourbon, for almost $14 billion. Tak Umezawa of A.T. Kearney tells WSJ’s Ramy Inocencio why Suntory wants to expand in the liquor industry. Read the rest here!
Under new food safety law, bartenders have to wear gloves - 1/14/2014 – Los Angeles Times
Chefs aren’t the only ones affected by a new food safety law that bans culinary workers from touching certain foods with their bare hands. Like chefs, bartenders have to wear gloves or use other utensils to make their drinks. No touching ice, fruit garnishes or anything else that goes directly into your glass. Changes to the California Retail Food Code that went into effect at the beginning of 2014 require disposable gloves or utensils such as tongs, paper or scoops to be used when handling “ready-to-eat” foods, which include sushi, bread, deli meats and fresh fruit and vegetables. Basically, nothing that won’t be cooked or reheated before it goes out to diners can be touched with bare hands. “Technically speaking, these rules do apply to bars,” says Angelica Pappas, a spokeswoman for the California Restaurant Assn. “It’s been a common question we’ve heard … so there may be more information to come on this in guidance documents from the health inspectors.” Read the rest here!
Japanese beverage company Suntory Holdings to buy Jim Beam - 1/13/2014 – Los Angeles Times
Japanese beverage firm Suntory Holdings will buy Beam, the company behind American bourbon Jim Beam, for $13.6 billion. In addition to Jim Beam, Suntory will acquire Maker’s Mark and Knob Creek bourbons, Teacher’s and Laphroaig Scotch whiskeys, Canadian club whiskey, Courvoisier cognac, Sauza tequila and Pinnacle vodka. The sale is expected to close in the second quarter of 2014. If you’ve seen the 2003 movie “Lost in Translation,” the name Suntory may sound familiar. Bill Murray‘s character was in Tokyo filming a commercial for the company. In one of the movie’s memorable lines, Murray says: “For relaxing times, make it Suntory time.” For those worried Jim Beam will no longer be a quintessential American liquor: The brand will continue to be run out of the Chicago headquarters by its current management team, Suntory announced Monday. No plans have been made to alter the product. Read the rest here!
Study: Heavy Drinking Is Toxic To The Brains Of Men, But Not Those Of Women - 1/16/2014 – Forbes
One of the largest studies ever conducted on the long-term effects of alcohol consumption suggests that heavy drinking is linked to significant cognitive decline in middle-aged men. The brains of women, however, seem to be protected against this toxic effect for reasons that aren’t clear. Cognitive decline in the study was defined in two ways: a decrease in executive function (the brain’s processing speed and efficiency), and deterioration in memory. Researchers analyzed data from the Whitehall II cohort study, which began in the mid-1980s with roughly 10,000 British civil servants who agreed to complete lifestyle questionnaires and undergo a physical exam at specified times during a nearly 20-year span. The study design allowed researchers to track effects of lifestyle choices, including drinking alcohol, over extended periods of time. Read the rest here!
The 9 Most Important Bartenders in History - 1/14/2014 – Liquor.com
While you’re making a drink or looking at a bar menu, do you ever find yourself wondering where a classic cocktail recipe came from? We certainly do. And we love reading about cocktails almost as much as we love drinking them. (Thankfully, both are crucial parts of our job!) Fortunately, the history of many recipes are well established and can often be traced back to a number of pioneering and creative bartenders, from Jerry Thomas and his seminal 1862 recipe book The Bon Vivant’s Companion to modern-day bartending legend and Liquor.com advisory board member Dale DeGroff, who has been instrumental in kicking off the modern cocktail era. Read the rest here!