Headlines

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

Maker's Mark Reduces ABV to Keep Up with Demand

The company that distills Maker’s Mark is reducing the alcohol content of the famous bourbon in an effort to keep up with growing global appetite for the product, Quartz reports. The move comes in response to concerns the company won't be able to meet rampant demand for Maker's Mark since it's "very low on supply,” Rob Samuels, COO of Beam Inc. (which also makes the less-expensive Jim Beam bourbon), wrote in an email to consumers. The spirit will now have an alcohol-by-volume content of 42 percent, instead of 45 percent. (Huffington Post)

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Judge Denies U.S., AB InBev Bid for Hearing

Anheuser-Busch InBev NV and the U.S. lost a bid for a Feb. 15 scheduling hearing in the government’s lawsuit to block the brewer’s $20.1 billion takeover of Grupo Modelo SAB because other parties have asked to enter the case. U.S. District Judge Richard Roberts today said requests by Constellation Brands Inc. and Crown Imports LLC, which imports Modelo’s brands in the U.S., to intervene in the suit haven’t received a response from the government. (Bloomberg)

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Mich. Beer Distributors Contribute $2 Billion to Economy

The report, produced by Dr. Bill Latham and Dr. Ken Lewis of the Center for Applied Business & Economic Research at the University of Delaware, offers an in-depth view of beer distributors' economic contributions by taking into account how beer distributor activities are intertwined with many parts of the economy, especially the personal services sector. The report also accounts for the amount of resources contributed by beer distributors in supporting community events and local economic development, contributing to charitable causes and promoting responsible alcohol use and adds the impacts of these activities to the usual impacts of distributor operations.

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New Belgium to Open Alaska, Louisiana

New Belgium Brewing has inked deals with seven distributors to open the state of Louisiana on April 1, 2013 and will distribute exclusively with the Odom Corporation in Alaska starting March 18. Louisiana will be New Belgium’s 31st state of distribution along with the District of Columbia.

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Diageo On Track with Nigeria Brewery Expansion

Diageo will complete by November a 235 million pound ($372 million) investment in Nigeria to boost its beer production capacity in Africa's most populous nation by 50 percent, the firm's president for Africa said on Monday. (Economic Times)

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Wirtz Expands Specialty Importer's Reach in Ill.

Specialty beer importer and producer Vanberg & DeWulf and Wirtz Beverage Illinois have announced a new partnership to expand the availability of the importer’s portfolio. Under the agreement, Wirtz Beverage Illinois will have the exclusive statewide rights to sell and market Vanberg & DeWulf’s collection of nearly 50 beers beginning this month. “For our entire careers we have been dedicated to bringing attention to spectacular beers made by independent family run breweries.” said Donald Feinberg, founder of Vanberg & DeWulf. “Chicago is both our home and an unbelievable haven for beer connoisseurs. Partnering with Wirtz Beverage provides us a great opportunity to grow in this market and beyond.”

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