What We’re Reading: Uninteresting Lawyers, United Spirits Profit Jumps 71%, Hops and Spirits Renew an Old Friendship, LA IPA’s, Growlers In LA, Dried Fruit, Playing Gin

February 15th, 2013 — 5:40pm

The Least Interesting Lawyers in the World, 2/7/2013 – Wall Street Journal
Last week the government filed an antitrust suit to prevent Budweiser maker Anheuser-Busch InBev ABI.BT -0.62% from buying the half of Grupo Modelo GMODELO.MX +0.54% that it doesn’t already own. Based in Mexico, Modelo brews Corona Extra and other brands. Antitrust law is allegedly to prevent firms from exercising monopoly power to abuse customers. But antitrust enforcers have difficulty finding actual monopolies. So they end up attacking proposed mergers like the AB-Modelo tie-up, in which the resulting company would serve all of 46% of the U.S. beer market. Read more!

United Spirits Profit Jumps 71%, 2/4/2013 – Wall Street Journal
BANGALORE–United Spirits Ltd. 532432.BY -0.46% Monday posted a 71% rise in its third-quarter net profit, helped by rising sales of its higher-priced liquor brands. Net profit for the three months through December was 805.5 million rupees ($15.2 million), compared with 470.6 million rupees a year earlier, the company said in a stock exchange filing. Sales rose 11% to 21.74 billion rupees from 19.54 billion rupees. Overall sales volume increased 6.9% from a year earlier to 32.6 million cases, the company said. Each case typically has 9 liters of liquor or 12 liquor bottles of 750 milliliters each. Read more!

Hops and Spirits Renew an Old Friendship, 2/5/2013 – New York Times
Hops, the plants that give beers their bitter edge and much of their aroma — and the favorite plaything of hop-happy brewers — have been adopted by a handful of American distillers as the predominant flavor note in a number of new spirits. Charbay, the hypercreative Napa Valley winery and distillery, has produced hopped whiskeys; so have Corsair, in Tennessee, and New Holland Brewing, in Michigan. Charbay’s California neighbor, the Anchor Distilling Company, has its Hophead, which it calls “the world’s first vodka distilled from hops.” And this spring, New York Distilling Company in Brooklyn will introduce a gin flavored not only with juniper but also with hops. For each product, the hops are introduced at different points in the distilling process, but the liquors share an aggressive, spicy pungency. As in beer, hops in spirits are no wallflowers. Read more!

The Best of Los Angeles’ IPAs, 2/8/2013 – Los Angeles Times
Craft beer has exploded in popularity in the past few years, and of the myriad styles of beer, one in particular has become the standard-bearer of the American craft beer industry: the IPA. Modern American versions of the centuries-old English style are known for their potent hop aroma and bitter punch that keep hop heads across the nation clamoring for the most pungent examples. Few breweries can get away with not producing these fan-favorite brews, and L.A.’s local breweries are producing some excellent and unique examples. Read more!

Bottomless beer bottles—where to find growlers in L.A., 2/6/2013 – Los Angeles Times
Craft beer fans in Los Angeles have never had more choices for local beer, and you’re not limited to enjoying fresh brews just in the brewery’s tap rooms or buying bottles or cans to take home. One of the best ways to enjoy the freshest brews at home is with a growler — a specialized glass jug that you can have filled and re-filled at nearly all of L.A.’s local breweries. Historically, growlers were metal pails with tight-fitting lidsthat were used to take beer home from the saloon. These days, growlers are glass jugs that hold either one or two liters of beer. Read more!

The Hot List: Dried Fruit, 2/6/2013 – Liquor.com
February is a tough month to be a cocktail lover. The last of the winter citrus is quickly disappearing from store shelves, and it’s awhile until the new spring crop. You can certainly find fruits grown around the world, but they’re just not the same as ripe local produce. While you could stick to all-alcohol drinks—like Manhattans, Negronis and Martinis—we have another idea: dried fruit. You can now buy a range of dehydrated fruits, which you can use to infuse an array of spirits, from vodka to bourbon. (The process is incredibly easy and your concoction only needs to rest for about a day.) But before you start experimenting, we suggest you try these two recipes from top bartender and Liquor.com advisory board member Aisha Sharpe. Read more!

Playing Gin, 2/8/2013 – Tasting Table
The clink of ice in a glass. The scent of freshly squeezed lime juice. The aroma of Tanqueray’s juniper-forward gin. Is it cocktail hour yet? Purists may insist that the best way to enjoy this spirit is on the rocks, or gussied up with a splash of tonic. With gin this good, that’s hardly a bad approach. But with seven days in the week, consider those drinks just a starting point. After all, you wouldn’t want to overlook a classic Aviation cocktail (get the recipe), where gin meets such friendly bedfellows as Maraschino liqueur and lemon juice. Read more!