Beverage World presents the latest news from across the worldwide beverage market.

Diageo profit drops 18% on weak North American sales

London-based Diageo PLC said it was yet to feel any benefit from the improving U.S. economy as demand cooled for many of its major liquor brands across the world and first-half profit fell. Sales of Johnnie Walker Scotch whisky, Smirnoff vodka and Captain Morgan rum—Diageo’s three biggest brands—posted global declines in the six months ended Dec. 31. In North America, by some distance Diageo’s biggest and most profitable region, sales declined 2% in the period. (Wall Street Journal)


Bottled water goes fast amid tap water woes

Flint, Mich., residents have been quick to take advantage of a bottled water giveaway program, the latest response to persistent quality problems during the transition to a new municipal water system. Michigan Radio says it took about half an hour Wednesday morning for volunteers to give out about 200 cases of bottled water. (Detroit Free Press)


Challenge to craft beer taprooms is pulled

The Florida Retail Federation, a statewide lobbying group, has withdrawn its legal challenge that sought to change a loophole in Florida's beverage law that permits brewers to sell beer from taprooms. The federation, with support from Anheuser-Busch and MillerCoors distributors, filed a legal challenge earlier this month against the Department of Business and Professional Regulation to clarify whether on-site tasting rooms infringe on the post-Prohibition three-tier system. (bizjournals.com)


Fla. beer warehouses sell for $44 Million

Reyes Holdings LLC has dropped $44 million to acquire all the assets of Gold Coast Beverage Distributors Inc. The company paid $35 million for a 341,124-square-foot facility in Doral and $9 million for a 126,479-square-foot facility in Homestead. Rosemont, Ill.-based Reyes Holdings said its acquisition added 27 million cases to its capacity and allows it to cover South Florida. Gold Coast Beverage was the largest standalone distributor in Florida, supplying 10,600 locations with beverages produced by MillerCoors, Constellation Brands, Heineken USA, Diageo-Guinness USA, Pabst Brewing, Lagunitas Brewing, New Belgium and Sierra Nevada Brewing. (dailybusinessreview.com)


Keurig joins beverage environmental group

Keurig Green Mountain Inc. has joined the Beverage Industry Environmental Roundtable (BIER), a technical coalition of leading global beverage companies working together to advance environmental sustainability within the beverage sector. “We know that Keurig shares our commitment to and enthusiasm for environmental sustainability, and we are excited to have the organization contribute to BIER," says Tod Christenson, BIER Director.


Oskar Blues’ new brew a shout out to hops’ cousin

If you’ve ever popped opened a beer and smelled hints of marijuana, there’s a horticultural reason for that. Just ask Dale Katechis, who founded Colorado favorite Oskar Blues Brewery in 1997. Oskar Blues’ latest brew is a shout-out to hops’ not-so-distant cousin. The new year-round brew, Pinner, is a session beer — a 4.9 percent ABV, dry-hopped IPA. For those of you who haven’t read our New Cannabis Lexicon — which gathers 420-friendly terms new and old for the modern cannabis connoisseur — a pinner is a “tiny, thin joint low on marijuana content.” (thecannabist.com)