Six items that have consumers buzzing in the world of beer, wine and spirits as we head into the weekend.
1. Sam Adams Sponsors Lobster Trucks:Lobster rolls and Sam Adams Summer Ale are two staples of summer in New England. Now Sam Adamsis bringing the two together. In honor of national Lobster Day on June 15, the brewery is partnering with Red Hook Lobster Pound to deliver Summer Ale-infused lobsters rolls to patrons. The truck will be in Washington, D.C., on June 8 and in Manhattan on June 15. The truck's exact location will be a secret, unless you follow them on Twitter. The first 50 visitors to find and visit the truck in each city will receive a free lobster roll.
2. Molson Coors Gets EU Greenlight:Molson Coors received EU regulatory approval on Wednesday for the purchase of European brewer StarBev . The $3.5 billion dollar deal will allow Molson Coors to boost its presence in emerging markets. It’s a much needed move from the company, which generates 98 percent of its sales from the U.S., Canada and the U.K. With only a 2.7-percent volume share globally, Molson Coors is ranked ninth among brewers worldwide.
3. Tsingtao and Suntory Team Up In Shanghai:The rapid growth of the world’s biggest beer market is proving to be too quick for even the largest brewers. Tsingtao Brewer, China’s No. 2 brewery by volume and Japan’s Suntory Holdings are teaming up to tackle the challenge of manufacturing and distributing beer in Shanghai and its surrounding province. The deal gives Tsingtao and Suntory the biggest share of the Shanghai/Jiangsu Province market at 32 percent. China’s beer consumption is double that of the United States and is expected to grow 5 percent per year.
4. Bonefish Grill Hopes Wine Tastings Hit The Right Note:Wine tastings are the latest way for many restaurants and bars to capture consumer interest and drive sales. Starwood's Sheraton hotel chain recently announced a new tasting menu in their hotels and now Bonefish Grill is introducing half-glass wine tastings. During “Taste the Notes" Thursdays, the chain will pair each chosen wine with a musical genre. Restaurant patrons can then order a half-glass of any of the wines at a cost of $2 to $4. The wine and music descriptions range from “folksy, floral Masi Masianco Pinot Grigrio to the bold, big-band, nine-grape ensemble in Sokol Blosser "Evolution" White Blend. “ The tastings will even include some wines done in collaboration with musicians, such as The Dreaming Tree Cabernet Sauvignon from the Dave Matthews Band and Simi Winemakers.
5. Diageo Pours $1.5 Billion Into Scotch Output:London-based Diageo is investing $1.5 billion to build a new malt whiskey distillery in Scotland. The company says the investment will allow it to meet rising global demand for Scotch, which has risen for seven consecutive years and saw a 23 percent spike in 2011, according to the Scotch Whiskey Association. Diageo says much of the demand growth is coming from sub-Saharan Africa, Asia and Latin America.
6. Bad News for Bordeaux Demand:It's been a boom period for Bordeaux producers the last few years but it appears that those high flying days may be coming to an end. Top Bordeaux providers tell the Wall Street Journal that sales expectations in the "en primeur" market (when Bordeaux is still in the barrel, two years before its bottled) are down 86 percent versus two years ago. Producers say the decline is the result of concerns about the quality of the 2011 vintage and economic concerns in Europe and China.