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The Booze Bin

What the wine trade can learn from 2016’s Aspen Food & Wine Classic Trends

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Earlier this month, I had the absolute privilege to escape New York City and head to Colorado for the 34th annual Food + Wine Classic in Aspen. Not only did my eyes soak up marvelous mountain vistas, I also had the chance to sample scrumptious snacks and luscious libations. And as a marketing professional, it was also a sneak peek behind the curtain to see what’s new and exciting in the world of wine and food. With over 5,000 epicurean attendees, Danny Myer, CEO of Union Square Hospitality Group explains, “It’s where I find out what my customers will be drinking next year.” So with a wine glass in one hand and a camera in the other, I embarked on a gourmet journey to discover the undeniable trends from the 2016 Food + Wine Classic in Aspen.

ASPEN

Rosé Reigns with diverse audiences

We have already reported that rosé wines are a growing trend in the wine industry, and if you’ve been to a liquor store at all this season, you’ve surely seen more and more rosé lining the shelves. This was certainly the case at the Food +

PR Industry Trends

BEER-CATION: 45 Must-Visit Breweries (INFOGRAPHIC)

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As a craft beer lover, one of my favorite things to do when traveling – or, heck, even hanging out in town – is visiting local breweries. So what makes a great brewery? Well, you need to ask the experts. And who are the experts exactly? In my book, it’s WE THE PEOPLE – the beer-lovers of the world. So in conducting my research of “must visit” craft breweries across the United States, I reached out to the coolest beer experts that I know – my friends – and asked them for their favorite brewery experiences. Whether it’s the location (at the beach, on a lake, in the heart of the city, on a mountain or in the country) or the atmosphere (funky, urban, hippy, industrial or vibrant) or the beers (innovative, flavorful, traditional or hoppy), the key thing that I learned is, visiting a brewery is really more than just popping in to get a brew. It’s a total interactive, sensory, learning experience. If you have a “successful” brewery visit, you actually gain an understanding of the culture, hospitality, flavors, people, scenery and even history of the area. That’s pretty cool.…

Digital Marketing

Man vs. Cocktail

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I’m noticing a trend: cocktail manufacturers are targeting men.

Case in point: Stoli. Interestingly, their research showed that while nearly three of four millennial men liked flavored cocktails, the vast majority 63% claimed that they avoid them in public because they were anxious about what their friends would say.

Nearly half of millennial men said that there was a negative stigma associated with men drinking flavored cocktails because they are seen as a drink for women.

Millennials are more insecure about this than older generations: 41% of millennial men think that their drink of choice is a reflection of their masculinity compared to 32% of Gen Xers and only 15% of boomers.

Stoli chose to tackle the issue head-on with a cheeky new ad campaign focusing on their flavored vodka and easy-to-order cocktails.

Adweek

Others have sought to overcome this perception hurdle by bringing the cocktail experience home. At Food Loves Tech, one of the featured gadgets was Bartesian’s home cocktail maker. Currently in pre-sales mode and seeking funding via a Kickstarter campaign, it takes the public cocktail experience into the home.


The Booze Bin

Sour Ale: A Beer for Wine Drinkers

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The adult beverage market is as vast as the sea, with ever changing tides to keep marketers on their toes. The explosion of the craft beer movement has brought a lot of recent attention to sour ales, which are popping up all over. Just when you thought you were learning the difference between porter and stout, sour beer is the new kid on the block. Intentionally acidic and/or tart, “sour beers” are the newest trend in alcohol segmentation.

History of Sour Beer

Marketers should understand that many of today’s products have crossover appeal; they are products that target more than one audience. A sour beer so complex, it lures the perpetual wine drinker in for a sip. A spirit aged in beer barrels, so enticing even the most staunch beer drinker would give it a try.

Have you tried Sour Beer yet?

The story of sour ales is almost as old as the story of beer itself. Modern day brewing is a sterile, thoughtful process, but it hasn’t always been so. Before pure yeast cultures were available, brewers of old would use wild yeast to start their…

The Booze Bin

Hot Trend Alert: Mixing It Up with Beer Cocktails

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So I was sitting at one of my favorite watering holes enjoying an Uberlin beer from a local brewery, Strangeways. The bartender said, “Hey, try this,” and proceeded to pour orange juice into my beer. I was disturbed…I mean, why would you want to taint a perfectly delicious beer? Well, it turns out that it’s now my new favorite drink. And, it was instant inspiration for discovering what else is out there in the land of beer mixology!

As the craft beer industry continues to flourish across the U.S. (check out this post on craft beers hitting the big time), it makes perfect sense that breweries and bartenders are looking for new ways to utilize the products that they have at their disposal. Liquor, champagne and even wine are used regularly to create cocktails, so why not beer? Not only do beer cocktails give beer lovers something fresh and unique to experience, these mixed drinks also are a great way for breweries to offer additional options to consumers who may not have a taste for beer. (It’s hard to believe, but those people do exist!) While the concept of “beer-tails” is not exactly new (hello, Corona in

Branding

Brewing Crisis: When Craft Beer Hits the Big Time

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DB beers

Photo: Heidi Crandall

On April 12, Devils Backbone, an independent brewery located in Nelson County, Virginia, announced they were being purchased by the biggest name in big beer, Anheuser-Busch InBev.

And then, the universe exploded.

Well, maybe not the entire universe. But if you follow craft beer, especially Virginia craft beer, you likely experienced an eruption of opinion across your news and social media feeds. Though the tone ranged from repulsed (“this is disgusting…a cancer in the bloodstream of good beer”) to resigned (“you will be much missed”), the largest, or at least the loudest, reaction from craft beer enthusiasts was that this was not a good thing, and would signal the decline of a quality craft product.

taps

AB InBev’s recent acquisitions include Blue Point, Elysian, 10 Barrel, and Goose Island Breweries, among others. photo: Eric Helgas for Bloomberg Businessweek

What’s going on:

Devils Backbone is the eighth independent brewery that AB InBev (primarily known for not-so-craft beers like Budweiser, Corona, and Bud Light Lime-a-rita) has acquired since 2011. While their strategy is clearly…

The Booze Bin

Three Important Things to Consider in Wine and Spirits Event Marketing

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Over the past six years at the agency, I’ve had the opportunity to work across a variety of industries, from consumer and technology to education and healthcare. Most recently I’ve broadened my experience into the spirits industry in the capacity of media relations and event marketing for a vodka and whisky brand.

Personally, I found that event marketing for the wine and spirits industry is way different than typical event marketing.

It requires attention to detail and a specialized skill set. Luckily, here at PadillaCRT we have the expertise to strategically provide our wine and spirits clients with ways to connect with their target consumers. For example, for our client Wines from Rioja, we have the know-how to conduct national press tours, sponsorships, tasting parties and media tours in major markets that build brand awareness and drive sales.

The following are three key wine and spirits event marketing learnings I’ve learned:

1. Understand the Three-Tier System: Have you ever wondered how a lovely bottle of wine from overseas makes it into your hands in America? Well, it starts with the three-tier system which is made up of producers, wholesale distributors and retailers. The three-tier system was created after Prohibition

The Booze Bin

Reviving Beer: Why National Beer Day Matters

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‘Twas the day before #NationalBeerDay, and marketers everywhere

Were scratching their heads and wondering, “Why do we need another made-up “holiday?”

Is it an arbitrary date on the calendar, selected by marketers to increase product promotion?

Does anyone even care?

The story of National Beer day begins during drier times in the United States. Prohibition, which began in 1920, was the nationwide constitutional ban on alcoholic beverages, from production to transportation to purchase. It was repealed 13 years later with the enactment of the Cullen-Harrison Act. Upon signing this legislation, also known as the “Beer Permit Act,” President Franklin D. Roosevelt famously remarked, “I think this would be a good time for a beer!”

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#NationalBeerDay was born on April 7, 1933

And just like that, FDR inadvertently created National Beer Day on April 7, 1933 – the anniversary of the date the bill took effect.

 But history is only one piece of the puzzle, and smart marketers should look to the future to stay connected with their customers.

EMERGING BEER TRENDS

There was a time when beer reigned supreme in the US, and wine…

The Booze Bin

Malternatives – Marketing Lessons from Alcohol Segmentation

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It seems like only yesterday I was writing about the seemingly out-of-nowhere arrival of Not Your Father’s Root Beer, and the marketing lessons to be learned from their hugely successful launch into the market. But six months have already passed, and we are beginning to see more and more hard soda brands on the shelves, just as we predicted. These beer-slash-soda brands have taken the market by storm, representing one of the most popular new trends in alcohol segmentation: “malternatives” aka flavored alternative malt beverages. Marketing professionals should take note of this influx of new brands and the buzz they generate to discover the lessons hiding just below the bottle caps.

Craft beer bar

“Malternatives” aka flavored alternative malt beverages, may soon be poured at a bar near you

Identify Whitespace

While craft brewers are taking market share away from megabrewers like MillerCoors, the industry titans are firing back with their own new product launches. They’ve honed in on what they see as “whitespace” in the market, opportunities to develop new products in a seemingly untapped category.

According to Bryan Ferschinger, MillerCoors’ director of innovation, “We’re seeing…

Branding

How Millennials Are Shaping the Alcoholic Beverage Industry

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womendrinking

New Year’s Day 2016 rang in a new era for booze marketers: On January 1, all millennials were of legal drinking age.

Millennials are now between 21 and 38 years old and 79 million strong. Even without the last stragglers reaching 21, millennials consumed 159.6 million cases of wine in 2015, according to a recent report on U.S. wine drinkers from the Wine Market Council (WMC). That represents 42 percent of all the wine consumed in this country last year, more than any other age group (Baby Boomers came in second with 114.1 cases).

Last month, I wrote about WMC’s presentation on marketing to women wine drinkers. Wine Spectator’s Ben O’Donnell produced an excellent summary of the WMC millennial data specific to wine in his post here. Building on those metrics, here are my three “a-ha” moments and key takeaways for marketers seeking to reach millennial drinkers:

1. There are two types of millennials

Segmenting millennials into older (30 to 38 years old) and younger (21 to 29 years old) groups reveals substantive behavior differences when looking at wine consumption behavior. Millennials inhabit two significantly different life stages: Younger millennials…