“The creamy, fuller-flavored case for rye beers,” 5/3/2013 – LA Times
Rye is another grain more known for its use in bread, but as craft brewers experiment and take inspiration from historical beer styles, rye is becoming more popular as a brewing ingredient. Rye lends a creamy head to a brew, and it can make for a fuller, more rounded mouthfeel. The hearty grain also tends to dry-out beer and can impart a subtle spicy flavor. The influence of rye on a beer’s taste is difficult to describe, but lovers of rye bread will know the distinctive flavor it supplies. The grain gets used in many craft beer styles, from the traditional roggenbier like those made by TAPS Fish House or LA Aleworks, to pale ales like Ohana Brewing’s Live and Let Rye or County Line Rye from Surf Brewery in Ventura. In recent years, rye has found its way into the grist of many IPAs, and the qualities that rye provides are a great match for the hop-forward flavors of IPAs. Read more!
“Booze From Local Crops Booming,” 5/3/2013 – Huffington Post
With all the orchards and corn fields that dot the Hudson Valley landscape, Tuthilltown Spirits doesn’t have to look far for the grains and apples to make their whiskey, vodka and gin. The 10-year-old company crafts many of their liquors from ingredients grown no more than a few minutes away, the bounty of the rolling hills that surround it. The process is sometimes referred to as “grain to glass” – the beer-and-whiskey version of the foodie slogan “farm to table.” Both phrases imply a connection to fresh, local ingredients. Tuthilltown is part of a larger hand-crafted booze movement that has Wood Creek Distillers in Colorado growing its own potatoes for high-end vodka and Wigle Whiskey in Pittsburgh using local, organic heirloom rye. Read more!
“Blue Ice Vodka’s Certification As ‘Gluten Free’ Revives Debate Over Distilled Spirits, Celiac Disease,” 5/3/2013 – Huffington Post
This week, 21st Century Distillery announced that its flagship Blue Ice Potato Vodka had become the first distilled spirit to be certified as “gluten-free” by the federal government. Specifically, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau — “TTB” for short — approved a request by 21st Century Distillery to change the label of the vodka to include a red sticker that says “gluten free.” Thomas Gibson, the company’s chief operating officer, told The Huffington Post that the company initially applied for this designation two and a half years ago. Getting it, he explained, required extensive testing of the vodka and distilling plant by the TTB. But he said the approval was worth the work. “We’re the first spirits product that can put gluten-free on the label,” he said. “We’re going to be changing our packaging so that moving forward, all the bottles will have that seal. We’re really excited about that.” Read more!
“Maker’s Mark Alcohol Content Mistake Causes Sales To Soar,” 5/2/2013 – Huffington Post
Sales of Maker’s Mark soared 44 percent after the company announced it would lower the alcohol content in its bourbon because of a limited supply of whiskey. A consumer outcry led Beam to quickly reverse that decision, but not before die-hard fans stocked up. The company said it had benefited from the timing of ingredient costs, selling a higher proportion of more-expensive products, price increases and a shift in advertising spending to the second and third quarters from the first quarter. The company affirmed its full-year forecast, which called for earnings before one-time items to grow at a high single-digit percentage rate from the $2.40 per share it earned in 2012. It said it still expected 2013 free cash flow of $300 million to $350 million. Read more!
“Mix It Up With Blood Orange Cocktails For Spring And Summer,” 5/1/2013 – Forbes
Blood Orange season comes to a close in March, but you can keep this fruit’s vibrant, slightly bitter juiciness alive with a summery blood orange cocktail. Named for their ruby red interior, the blood orange tastes much like a regular orange but with a spicy, slightly bitter kick. The fruit originated in Sicily and of course the Sicilians found a clever way to keep the blood orange spirit alive by crafting a liqueur: Solerno. Made exclusively from Sicilian blood oranges, Solerno is the creation of master distiller Lesley Gracie, (also the creator of Hendrick’s Gin). Essential blood orange oils are combined with fresh Italian lemons and a neutral spirit base, and then lightly sweetened with natural sugar, sucrose…not corn syrup. Solerno’s heady orange aromas make this liqueur intoxicating enough to drink over ice, or with lemon flavored sparkling water, but it plays quite nicely in the cocktail format. Read more!