Diageo Profit Soars, Bolstered by U.S., 1/31/2013 – Wall Street Journal
LONDON—Diageo PLC is making headway in the U.S. market by raising prices across its portfolio of liquors, a move that has helped the London-based spirits maker offset its beleaguered business across Southern Europe. The maker of Johnnie Walker scotch, Smirnoff vodka and Guinness stout began raising prices last May in the U.S., its biggest and most profitable market. The push continued into the latter half of the year, with the company boosting its U.S. prices by 2% to 3%. Read more!
A Craft Chemist Making Over Big Beer, 1/25/2013 – Wall Street Journal
Rebecca Reid makes small batches of beer for the world’s largest brewer in search of the next big thing as brewmaster at Anheuser-Busch InBev’s ABI.BT +4.18% pilot brewery in St. Louis, the 29-year-old chemical engineer experiments with new beers in a scaled-down replica of the main brewery next door. Each batch of beer is just 10 barrels, barely a drop in the bucket for a company that ships 100 million barrels in the U.S. each year. Almost all of the 500 recipes she and her team brew each year never make it out of the building. But Ms. Reid’s efforts are increasingly critical for Anheuser-Busch, which has watched a growing number of Americans drop its giant domestic brands such as Budweiser, Bud Light and Michelob in favor of small “craft” beers sprouting across the country. In recent years, other types of alcohol such as liquor and cider also have swiped restless U.S. beer drinkers. Anheuser-Busch’s beer shipments in the U.S. rose 0.6% last year but its share of the U.S. beer market dipped to 46.3% from 46.8%, estimates Beer Marketer’s Insights, a trade publication and data provider. Read more!
Junipero Gin By Anchor Distilling Company Is Getting Us Through Winter, 1/31/2013 – Huffington Post
We know it’s wintertime. We know that gin cocktails are generally meant to be harbingers of spring and summer. But it’s always around this time of winter that we like to just go ahead and pretend like spring is right around the corner. With that in mind, let’s talk about Junipero gin.
Junipero is made by the Anchor Distilling Company out of San Francisco, and they call it “San Francisco’s original craft gin.” First introduced in 1996, Junipero is — to put it plainly — a bit like gin on steroids. This stuff is high proof (at 49.3% it is nearly 100 proof), high flavor and high intensity. We love it, in case that wasn’t clear. If you’ve tried gin and thought, “I don’t like how it tastes like a Christmas tree,” Junipero is probably not for you. If you prefer your martinis to be made with gin, however, and have begun to fall in love with the herbaceous, bracing quality of the spirit, this is your logical next step. Read more!
Liquor Stores NA Ltd About To Put More Money In Your Pocket, 1/25/2013 – Forbes
On 1/29/13, Liquor Stores NA Ltd (Toronto: LIQ) will trade ex-dividend, for its monthly dividend of $0.09, payable on 2/15/13. As a percentage of LIQ’s recent stock price of $19.23, this dividend works out to approximately 0.47%. Read more!
To call Leftover Cuties retro or throwback would be too easy, and frankly dismissive. Sure, the music fits beside Billie Holiday, but it’s also current in its sex appeal, its sophistication, its confidence. The Cuties’ music – plied with upright bass, accordion, the brushed drums, and yes, ukulele – is not slavishly old-timey, but honors its forebears in the right way. Melody. Sharp playing. Stylized, confident, character-laden singing. Come on in for a drink, a kiss and the Leftover Cuties. http://leftovercuties.com/
Among the truly historic bars still around Los Angeles, none are more connected to their history than Cole’s. Other than being able to get a proper cocktail and great French Dip sandwich, it’s old bones is a major part of the draw. And if we narrow our scope down to exactly which part of Cole’s history is most talked about, any bartender holding court behind the rail will tell you it is “The Professionals.”
This is my second attempt at writing this piece, the first one may have been a little too journalistic and I have been asked to write something more in my own words; from my own point of view. And I will. But for those of you perusing this article that have never been to Cole’s, The Professionals board which sits behind the bar needs a little bit of explanation.
The Professionals were a group of guys (and one woman) who frequented Cole’s in the Fifties and Sixties. They were traders at The Pacific Stock Exchange which was located at Sixth and Spring (now some lofts occupy the building) and frequented Cole’s so much so that the Owner at the time installed a phone on the end of the bar which had a direct line to the trading room floor, so that they didn’t have to stop working to start drinking and vice versa. They were regulars for so long that Cole’s was like a second home to them. They became close personal friends with the owner at the time, and the idea came about to create a board which would sit behind the bar with all of their names on it. The board sits there to this day.
About a year ago, during Saturday brunch shifts, I became acquainted with the former owner who began coming in for a drink during visits to downtown. Because I’m a pretty gregarious guy and because he was in the midst of a walk down memory lane, our conversations quickly switched from friendly banter to his experiences as the owner of Cole’s then ultimately and unsurprisingly to The Professionals. I was as curious as our customers about the board, and other than the little tidbits of information the other bartenders and I could gather, I didn’t know too much about the place. He began by telling me about who they were and where they were from, but soon had to go to meeting ( he’s now a successful real estate broker), but promised he’d be back, and if he could he’d bring as many of the Professionals who are still alive as he could.
He did not disappoint. A few weeks later, he came in with as many of the Professionals he could muster. They regaled us with tales of the heavy drinking good times they’d had at Coles, from a Thanksgiving day “Turkey Shoot” where shots of Wild Turkey 101 were lined up on the rail and shot by everyone, to fights which destroyed much of the bar and repayment of several thousand dollars were due, which they all gladly chipped in and payed. You could tell that Coles was such a huge part of their lives and held such great memories for them. And that is something that we aim to continue the tradition of. We realized that the close personal connection to Coles The Professionals had, is really the heart of the bar. It is something we strive to continue. One of the most asked questions is: “Are you going to add to the Professionals board?” followed closely by “If you do, how do I get my name up there?” I’m happy to say that after a lot of ruminating about this idea, kicking it around for at least as long as I have been a bartender at Coles, if not longer, we have continued the tradition and have posted our first three names. How do you get your name up there? Come in, have a drink and find out.
Leandro DiMonriva, Cole’s Red Car Bar, Bartender