Blog Archives

New Video: Chasing spirits in Germany’s Black Forest

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When most of us hear the word “schnaps,” we think of those artificially sweetened liqueurs designed for folks who think they like to drink, but really don’t. True, schnaps, however, is an unaged brandy distilled from any number of fruits in German-speaking countries. The schnaps-making capital of the world is Germany’s Black Forest region, home to some 14,000—yes, those three zeroes belong there—farm distilleries. If you want to drink close to the source, you don’t need to go to local bars. You just need to seek out a few of the area’s Schnapsbrunnen (literally, “schnaps fountains”), small, unattended kiosks with fresh-off-the-stills bottles of the spirit, drinking cups or glasses and slotted lockboxes where drinkers can insert a euro or two for the privilege. It’s all on the honor system, but no cheating! You want the distillers to be able to continue to make the stuff, don’t you?

Enjoy the latest episode, which invites you on my schnaps-soaked odyssey through the Black Forest!

 

Distilled Spirits Council rebrands with new logo and website

This just in from The Distilled Spirits Council 

DISCUSlogoThe Distilled Spirits Council today announced the launch of a rebranding initiative, featuring a new logo, website and annual report, as part of an ongoing modernization effort.

 “The distilled spirits sector has achieved both record sales and exports, with eight consecutive years of market share growth,” says Distilled Spirits Council president & CEO Kraig R. Naasz. “To celebrate this achievement, we are introducing a modern branding initiative that reflects consumer enthusiasm for spirits and celebrates the cocktail culture both domestically and around the globe. Read the rest of this entry

American & Irish whiskey, tequila and Cognac drive spirits industry growth

distilled-spiritsIt’s always a bit like Christmas morning when the Distilled Spirits Council hosts its annual media and analyst briefing in New York. And the haul of goodies was just as bountiful this year as in past years—well, if you’re like me and you consider a year’s worth of category-specific spirits sales figures “goodies.” Read the rest of this entry

Craft spirits trends for 2018

I wrote this for the latest edition of the American Craft Spirits Association‘s e-newsletter. Thought I’d share it with you, as well. 

It’s hard to believe that yet another year is behind us. If 2017 proved anything, it’s that these are indeed exciting times to be in the craft spirits business. And that’s going to be doubly true in 2018. Here’s a look at some of the big spirits trends to keep an eye on in the new year.

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Republic Restoratives releases Washington, D.C.’s first apple brandy

Chapmans

The fourth product release from Republic Restoratives, Washington D.C.’s community-funded and community-driven craft distillery, is rooted in one of America’s oldest spirits-making traditions.

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The Family Coppola launches Great Women Spirits line

The Family Coppola—yep, the film- and wine-making one— has announced the launch of Great Women Spirits, which will be available this October in select restaurants and retailers. Great Women Spirits, which the Coppolas describe as “small-batch, house-crafted, classically styled spirits,” will begin production with its brand of vodka, gin, and brandy, and has plans to expand the collection in the near future.