What We’re Reading: America’s Next Great City Is Inside L.A.; 90 Proof New York; The Three Most Important Southern California Craft Beers of 2013; Diageo, Yum Brands, And P&G — One Winning Strategy; Where To Make Your Own Craft Beer In Japan

January 10th, 2014 — 12:55pm

America’s Next Great City Is Inside L.A., Jan 2014 – GQ Magazine
For decades, Downtown has been the dark center of L.A.: a wasteland of half-empty office buildings and fully empty streets. But amid the glittering towers and crumbly Art Deco facades, a new generation of adventurous chefs, bartenders, loft dwellers, artists, and developers are creating a neighborhood as electrifying and gritty as New York in the ’70s. Brett Martin navigates his way through the coolest new downtown in America. Read the rest here! 

90 Proof New York, 12/27/2013 – New York Times
Steven DeAngelo was bored on Wall Street. Colin Spoelman never found a job he wanted to do. Brad Estabrooke was laid off from one he would never miss. Dave Kyrejko was a former art school student working with fish tanks and aquariums. The four men are now part of a boomlet in small distilleries in New York City, the first of their kind since Prohibition. On a recent morning in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, Mr. Spoelman, 34, walked through what may be the world’s smallest corn field and offered a tour of the Kings County Distillery, which in 2010 became the city’s first legal whiskey distillery in more than 80 years. The air smelled of sweet fermenting corn; the shelves inside held bottles of bourbon and moonshine. Read the rest here!

Craft beer
The three most important Southern California craft beers of 2013, 1/2/2014 – Los Angeles Times
2013 was the best year for craft beer that Los Angeles has yet seen, and there were more brewery openings, more new beers, and more excitement among beer drinkers than ever before. Everyone has their favorite new brewed-in-L.A. beer, but these are three of the most important beers to be released in Los Angeles in 2013. Groundbreaking, hype-making, and prescient, you’re going to be hearing a lot more about these brews, and the people behind them, in 2014.
• Golden Road Brewing’s Heal the Bay IPA
• Noble Ale Works’ Naughty Sauce
• Smog City Brewing’s GrapeApe IPA
Read the rest here!

Diageo, Yum Brands, And P&G — One Winning Strategy, 12/27/2013 –  Forbes
Diageo (NYSE:DEO), Yum Brands (NYSE:YUM), and P&G (NYSE:PG) are in different businesses but they have one thing in common: they have all been successful in expanding their overseas presence.  Beverage maker Diageo mixes global drinks with local drinks and liquors to create product offerings that cater to local markets. Diageo’s Gordon Edge, a mix of gin and lemon, caters to the UK market. Meanwhile Safari Luna, a mixed of fruit and liquor, caters to the Netherlands. Allied Domecq’s Presidente brandy and cola mix caters to the Mexican market, while TG — a mix of Scotch and guanana — caters to the Brazilian market. Campari’s Mixx, a mix of grapefruit and Campari, caters to the Italian and Swiss market. In some cases, Diageo has localized marketing to promote local brands, as is the case with its Bulliet brand, marketed to local bars. “By restricting ad spending and selling only to select bars, Diageo aimed to create an independent, hipster aura around Bulleit,” writes Wall Street’s Peter Evans. “The plan worked: Buoyed by the renaissance in bourbon and with a growing following in the cocktail trade, sales of Bulleit have increased fivefold in the past three years, largely through “on-trade” sales in bars.” This localized strategy is in sharp contrast to the globalized strategy for the company’s major brands, like Smirnoff, Johnnie Walker and Guinness. Read the rest here!

Where to Make Your Own Craft Beer in Japan, 1/3/2014 – Wall Street Journal
At Kiuchi Brewery in Japan’s Ibaraki Prefecture, about two hours north of Tokyo by train, Shigeru Sakurai’s first experiment with fruit-flavored beer showed promise. The wort, which had been spiked with fresh grape juice, glowed a warm shade of purple in the December afternoon light. The liquid was slightly sweet, with a pronounced grapey flavor and sharp, pine-like aromas that came from the Nelson Sauvin hops Mr. Sakurai had added to the base of his white ale. “The grape juice didn’t contain added sugar, so it shouldn’t cause problems with fermentation,” observed brewery worker Haruna Katsuyama. Once chilled, the wort would be transferred to a fermentation tank, and the Kiuchi staff would complete the brewing process. In four weeks, Mr. Sakurai would receive the finished product in the mail. Read the rest here!