Monthly Archives: December 2016

The most wonderful time of the year (for drinking)!

Each year, the cocktail bar Mace, in Manhattan’s East Village, transforms into a winter wonderland known as Miracle on 9th St. In the past couple of years, the concept has expanded to other cities (and countries), including Miracle on 7th St. in Washington, D.C.’s Shaw neighborhood. The D.C. version takes over three bars, Southern Efficiency, Eat the Rich and Mockingbird Hill. Eat the Rich is particularly noteworthy, as its decor takes more than a few cues from a certain retro Netflix series that became a pop cultural phenomenon in the summer of 2016.

Distilled Spirits Council CEO Naasz celebrates new whiskey fund by ringing NYSE closing bell

On a day when the Dow inched closer to 20,000, Distilled Spirits Council President & CEO Kraig R. Naasz toasted the new WSKY ETF and joined in ringing the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

“With spirits sales booming in both the United States and around the world, it seems fitting that we celebrate a new whiskey themed exchange-traded fund (ETF) as the stock market reaches toward historic heights,” says Naasz.

Spirited Funds/ETFMG Whiskey and Spirits ETF, trading as WSKY, invests primarily in companies that derive the majority of their revenue from producing and marketing whiskey and spirits.  Council member companies included in the fund are Brown-Forman, Campari, Constellation Brands, Diageo, MGP Ingredients, Moët Hennessy, Pernod Ricard and Rémy Cointreau.

Sales are flourishing for high-end premium and super-premium bourbon and Tennessee whiskey in the United States with sales increasing 50 and 155 percent, respectively, from 2010 to 2015.  Exports of U.S. spirits were up 4 percent last year – with U.S. whiskey exports up an impressive 5.4 percent.  In total, U.S. spirits retail sales have grown to more than $60 billion.

“The spirits sector is currently enjoying the busiest shopping season of the year,” adds Naasz.  “As we ring in the holiday season, we encourage consumers to enjoy themselves responsibly,” Naasz concluded.

USA Trade Tasting Announces ‘Unique & Innovative Products Pavilion’

When the USA Trade Tasting returns to New York City May 16-17, 2017, it will unveil a new feature, the “Unique & Innovative Products Pavilion,” (UIPP) a showcase of spirits, wine and beer brand innovation from around the world.

‘The Idea is to make New York the first test market around the globe for new concepts and ideas related to branded alcoholic products,” says Sid Patel, CEO and founder of Beverage Trade Network and USA Trade Tasting. “Suppliers can get key buyer feedback and plan their go to market strategy based on the feedback and initial buyer interest. On the other hand, buyers will get a chance to look at unique and innovative brands coming from all over the world in one dedicated area at the show. Buyers will be able to add unique brands to their portfolios and offer their retail customers something fresh and new.”

Each year, the USA Trade Tasting brings together small and medium sized importers, distributors, retailers and press professionals of the US wine, spirits and beer industry in New York City for 2 days of learning, buying and selling, networking and fun — all designed to help participants grow their bottom line.

Capped at 100 SKU’s between wines, spirits and beer, UIPP is an ideal platform for producers to get their innovative and unique brands out to the trade. US and Overseas brands looking to showcase their ideas and products can also find ‘The Unique and Innovative Products Pavilion (UIPP)’ section a good way to find a distributor or expand current retail distribution or even get just feedback about the test product or an idea.

UIPP is also an economical approach for both domestic and overseas suppliers to be in front of key US buyers. USATT will also assist overseas suppliers with TTB / COLA approves and samples procedure.

For more information, visit

GABF 2016: Germany and Bohemia By Way of Denver

And, we’re back! Took a bit of an extended hiatus from the videos while I was finishing up my third book, titled “The Drinkable Globe” (I know, how original). The book, from Turner Publishing, is scheduled to drop September 2017.

I’ve also changed the name of the video series from The Drinkable Week to The Drinkable Globe. You know, branding and all—also because I’ve shifted the format from weekly talking-head reports to travel-related vignettes.

In this edition, I hunt down only classic German and Czech-style brews at the 2016 Great American Beer Festival in Denver.