Taste of the Industry is always a highlight of the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America Convention. It’s a chance for marketers to showcase emerging brands in front of key decision makers at the major distribution outfits across the country. It’s impossible to even come close to trying everything in the hall in two hours—it’d be tough to do so if they dedicated an entire day to the event. But among the beverages I did manage to try, there were quite a few standouts. Here’s my shortlist, in no particular order.
A few words with David Solomon, importer of Brod Irish Whiskey and Golia Mongolian vodka.
Just in time for St. Patrick’s Day, The Drinkable Week heads to Ireland to celebrate Irish whiskey’s worldwide resurgence. It also happens to coincide with the spirit’s presence in Week 11 of The Year of Drinking Adventurously. So grab that glass of Green Spot, Yellow Spot or Redbreast (that’s a lot of colors!) and join me on this Gaelic getaway.
• The Brewers Association this week released its mid-year figures for the craft beer segment…and it was pretty much more of the same. For the first six months of 2015, craft beer volume was up 16 percent. That means craft brewers sold 12.2 million barrels of beer, up from 10.6 million for the comparable period in 2014. Also of note is the updated brewery count. As of June 30, there are 3,739 operating breweries in the United States. Of course that was a month ago and since nearly two breweries are opening every day, that number is likely over 4,000 now. For a little perspective, that number’s only about half the number of wineries, so ignore all of that talk of a supposed bubble. Still, the number is colossal.