Ever controversial, BrewDog is planning to open a craft beer bar on the USA/Mexico border, making a physical statement about its values of “collaboration and inclusivity”, alluding to US President Donald Trump’s plans to build a 1,000 mile wall between the two countries.
Named ‘The Bar on the Edge’, the exact location of the remote bar remains a secret, but will aim to reflect the Scottish brewer’s ambition to expand to the “farthest reaches”.
All BrewDog has said is that half of the bar will be in Texas and the other half in Chihuahua, Mexico, and that it will be built out of old shipping containers.
The geographical border will be represented by a dotted line across the centre of the bar and along the venue’s outdoor seating area, with US beers served on the Mexico side and Mexican beers on the US side, as well as BrewDog’s range of craft beers, brewed in Columbus Ohio.
“Beer has always been a unifying factor between cultures – and our business was born from collaboration and an inclusive approach – so we thought it would be fun to place the bar a few feet further to actually cross the US-Mexico border too,” said James Watt, co-founder at BrewDog.
“We will request official permission from the local authorities to put it there and adhere to any red tape stuff, but I guess it would make it more difficult to build a wall if there’s a BrewDog bar in the way. We’re planning on putting the bar there anyway until someone tells us to move it.”
Although the bar will be nowhere near any regular footfall, BrewDog hopes it will become a “magnetic pole” for craft beer fans on both sides of the border to come together.
The announcement will be celebrated with a Tex-Mex craft beer event at the brewery’s DogTap taproom in Columbus, Ohio, this weekend, with beers from Texan breweries Alamo Beer Company, Brash Brewing, No Label Brewing, 512 Brewing, Copperhead Brewing and Buffalo Bayou set to feature alongside craft beer cocktails with Mexican mezcal and Tequila.

An article from The Drink Business by Lauren Eads


Demand for Wine and Spirit education ‘higher than ever’, says WSET


New figures from the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) reveal that demand for wine and spirits education is higher than ever, as more businesses recognise the return on investment in educated staff.
WSET, the largest global provider of qualifications in the field of wines and spirits, is reporting a record 85,487 candidates globally in the academic year finishing 31 July 2017, an increase of 19% on last year, marking 15 years of growth. The UK continued to lead the global table with candidate numbers up 14% to 19,401. However, Mainland China and USA followed closely behind both seeing impressive growth with candidates up 41% to 12,813 and 48% to 11,487 respectively.
Top 10 WSET Markets for the Academic Year 2016/17 (growth from previous year):
UK (+14%)
Mainland China (+41%)
USA (+48%)
Canada (+4%)
Hong Kong (+16%)
France (+32%)
Australia (+27%)
Taiwan (+5%)
South Korea (+13%)
Switzerland (+11%)
Trends behind the UK Growth
According to Wine Intelligence UK Landscapes 2016 Report (released June 2017) the number of regular wine consumers in the UK has dropped from 29 million two years ago to 28 million today. The silver lining for the trade is that wine consumers are showing higher spend per bottle and greater product interest when choosing wine to drink both at home and in restaurants.
The report notes that supermarkets are seeing consumers focus less on discount multi-buy offers and more on region of origin, brand awareness and recommendations, and generally becoming more adventurous with their choices. Evidence from a new study by Franklin & Sons has revealed similar behaviour for spirits purchasing, with consumers favouring more premium brands.
The need for more knowledgeable staff is therefore greater than ever, encouraging businesses to prioritise formal training and accredited qualifications for staff to cater to customers’ discerning tastes and drive profits.
Looking Ahead
In the last year, WSET expanded its global reach with the opening of its first international office in Hong Kong and launching courses in new markets including Czech Republic and Montenegro. WSET welcomed over 100 new Approved Programme Providers and there are now 750 Providers offering WSET courses to wine, spirits and sake trade professionals and consumer enthusiasts in over 70 countries. In the UK, a total of 243 Approved Programme Providers now offer WSET courses.
This year, as the USA remains a strong region for growth across the wine, spirits and sake arenas, WSET will be cementing its presence in the market with the appointment of a dedicated team on-territory that will nurture the future potential.
The new academic year will also see the release of the freshly updated Level 2 Award in Spirits and the availability of a full suite of printed materials for the Level 3 Award in Sake.
Ian Harris, WSET Chief Executive, says, “I am delighted to see that more and more businesses are recognising that education and well-trained staff are the foundations to better customer service and stronger profits. After another successful year for WSET we’re now setting out strategies to take our progress to the next level.”
Karen Douglas, WSET Director of Education, adds, “The new academic year will also see the release of an improved Level 2 Award in Spirits following the hard work of our Global Education team to make sure WSET offers the most up-to-date and best-in-class education through its network of Approved Programme Providers worldwide.”

An article from WSET Global

Businesses receive Napa Green certification


Fifty Napa County businesses were recognized last Thursday for their commitment to environmental sustainability at the inaugural Napa County Green Business Celebration.
Co-hosted by the Napa Valley Vintners (NVV), Sustainable Napa County and Napa County, the celebration acknowledged local businesses and organizations that received their Green Business Certifications or were recertified in the past 18 months.
Attendees included more than 100 business leaders, vintners and community officials.
To preserve and enhance the unique place that is the Napa Valley, Napa County was one of the first participants in the Bay Area Green Business Program, which later became the statewide California Green Business Program.
In 2008, the NVV and other industry partners launched Napa Green Certified Winery, customizing the program specifically for wine producers.
Through these programs, businesses demonstrate their commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship by going above and beyond environmental compliance.
Today, there are more than 90 Napa County Certified Green Businesses, including more than 60 wineries. Re-certification is every three years based on tracking water and energy use and waste diversion and demonstrating continuous improvement in resource conservation.

An article from Napa Valley Register

US company buys Romanian wine maker

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VinDacia Holding, a company in Albuquerque, New Mexico (USA), bought Cramele Husi (Husi wine cellars), one of the largest wine producers in Romania’s Moldova region, which has been on the market since 1954, reports local
Cramele Husi is currently led by Serghei Bunescu.
VinDacia Holdings opened in the US last year with the purpose to buy wine producers in Romania or at least to conclude a partnership with them to produce wine assortments to sell them on the US and China markets. The company is led by Rowland Hill, the former CEO of Snow Queen Vodka, while its vice-president is Ioana Engstrom, a Romanian woman emigrated to the US.
Cramele Husi has in its portfolio wines such as Busuioaca de Bohotin, Dealurile Husilor or Inima de Haiduc. It has three wineries with 110 employees and produces 20 wine varieties.

An article from The Romania Insider

California Winemakers No Longer Fight Drought—Now It’s Mildew


A wet winter and spring brought welcome relief, but has also raised the threat of fungus
“If you don’t find mildew in your vineyards, you haven’t looked hard enough,” said Glenn McGourty, a viticulture advisor for the University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) for Mendocino County. After years of drought conditions, California vintners are enjoying wetter conditions this year. But that means vineyards are being plagued with a new problem: mildew, including downy mildew, a form rarely seen in the Golden State. From cooler coastal regions experiencing an increase in a damp marine layer to Central Valley vineyards with more moisture than usual due to a very wet winter, growers and vineyard consultants alike are on the lookout for mildew.
Mark Battany, UCCE viticulture advisor for San Luis Obispo and northern Santa Barbara counties, says that cooler coastal areas in those counties have been ripe for powdery mildew this year. “We’ve also seen some limited downy mildew, a European import, in a few locations this season,” he said. “Quite rare for California.”
Battany adds that warm and wet spring weather, following the earlier wet winter, has created perfect conditions for downy mildew in both counties. Both types of mildew are capable of damaging plants and berries and impacting quality and quantity of wine.
Lawrence Sterling, director of operations at Iron Horse Vineyards in Sonoma County’s Green Valley, says the conditions for mildew are simple: “It loves moisture and lower temperatures, temps between 70° F to 85° F, and it stops when grapes reach about 18° Brix.” His team has been busy looking for it this year. “The Russian River Valley and Green Valley are powdery mildew heaven because of the marine layer, which brings the moisture and the lower temperatures that mildew loves.”

An article from Wine Spectator by Lynn Alley–Drought-Now-Its-Mildew

New Jersey museum finds cases of wine dating to 1796 in cellar

UNION, NEW JERSEY – A restoration project at a New Jersey museum has unearthed cases of wine nearly as old as the United States.
The Liberty Hall Museum in Union says it discovered almost three full cases of Madeira wine dating to 1796 while restoring its wine cellar. reports the museum also found 42 large glass jugs dating to the 1820s.
Madeira is a fortified wine.
Bill Schroh, director of operations at Liberty Hall, says it was the best wine to ship during the 18th century because it almost never spoils — even centuries later if stored properly.
Liberty Hall President John Kean says he’s sampled the wine. He compares it to a sweet sherry.

An article from Japan Times