GSN Alert: 2020 James Beard Media Award Winners – Beverage Categories

Congratulations to the winners of the 2020 James Beard Media Awards, presented by Capital One. Although we typically celebrate the best of the best at an event in New York City, the Foundation cancelled the annual in-person event to ensure everyone’s safety during the COVID-19 pandemic.

At a time when both the media and the food industries have been decimated by the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Foundation understands the positive impact that a James Beard Award nomination or win can have on a career. Whether in the kitchen or in the newsroom—now more than ever—celebrating these professionals is paramount for our community.

Join us at 1:30 P.M. ET today as we kick off our new digital series, James Beard Awards at Home. The series will be an ongoing conversation with the committee chairs and winners of the James Beard Foundation Media Awards about the nature and future of writing, reporting, and broadcasting about food during a global pandemic. Stay tuned for more information on the full schedule and lineup of participants.

Now on to the winners!

2020 James Beard Foundation Book Awards

For cookbooks and other non-fiction food- or beverage-related books that were published in the U.S. in 2019.

Beverage with Recipes

The NoMad Cocktail Book
Leo Robitschek
(Ten Speed Press)

Beverage without Recipes

World Atlas of Wine 8th Edition
Hugh Johnson and Jancis Robinson
(Mitchell Beazley)

2020 James Beard Foundation Journalism Awards

For articles published in English in 2019.

Personal Essay, Short Form

“For 20 Years, happy hour has seen us through work — and life”
M. Carrie Allan
The Washington Post

Wine, Spirits, and Other Beverages

“Seltzer Is Over. Mineral Water Is Forever.”
Jordan Michelman
PUNCH

GSN Spirited News: May 26th 2020 Edition

Absolut has launched a new collection of ready-to-drink cocktails. The new releases are split into two lines, Absolut Vodka Sodas and Absolut Cocktails. The 5% abv vodka sodas come in three flavors—Lime & Cucumber, Grapefruit & Rosemary, and Raspberry & Lemongrass—all at 97 calories per serving. Absolut Cocktails include a Mango Mule and a Grapefruit Paloma at 7% abv, and a Berry Vodkarita at 10%. Absolut’s new RTDs are now in national distribution, retailing at around $13 a 4-pack of 12-ounce cans.

Teeling Irish whiskey is launching a special Father’s Day edition of its single malt expression. Selling exclusively on ReserveBar through June at $60 a bottle, the limited edition is finished in five different types of wine casks. $5 from every bottle sold will go to the Raise Your Spirits campaign supporting bars and restaurants.

Brown-Forman has teamed up with Whiskey Barrel Foods to create Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Cocktail Bitters, designed to complement Jack Daniel’s flavor profile when used in cocktails. The bitters are at 46.9% abv and bring flavors of vanilla, wood, berry, ginger, and maple. Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Cocktail Bitters are now available on Whiskey Barrel Foods’ website for $15 a 3-ounce bottle.

Five midwestern distilleries have teamed to create Distiller’s Handshake, a new blended whiskey sold to benefit Iowa’s service workers during the Covid-19 pandemic. The 50% abv blend is acollaboration among Iowa’s Templeton Rye, Cat’s Eye Distillery, Cedar Ridge Distillery, Mississippi River Distilling Company, and Illinois’ Blaum Bros Distilling Company. The whiskey retails at $50, with all proceeds going to the Iowa Restaurant Association and bartenders throughout the state.

Loveland, Colorado-based craft distiller The Family Jones has unveiled Ella Jones Straight Bourbon WhiskeyThe newcomer has a mashbill of 75% corn, 15% rye, and 10% malt—all sourced from Colorado—and is a blend of whiskies with an average age of 2.8 years. Bottled at 47% abv, Ella Jones is rolling out in Colorado at a retail price of $55 a 750ml.

Courtesy of Shanken News Daily

GSN Brews News: May 26th 2020 Edition

Inglewood, California’s Three Weavers Brewing Company has announced Even Sassier, a new rye IPA. The 7.2% abv ale is this season’s reinvention of Three Weavers’ Return of Sassy Rye IPA, this time as a hazy IPA brewed to bring out citrus and fruit notes without sacrificing the flavors from the rye in the mashbill. Even Sassier is now available for pickup from the brewery and in retailers throughout California in 4-packs of 16-ounce cans.

Anheuser-Busch InBev has announced Stella Artois Solstice Lager, a new summer seasonal from the Belgian brand. The 4.5% abv lager has 105 calories per serving and is brewed with citrus essences for a crisp, summer-friendly beer. Initially launching in Phoenix next week, Stella Artois Solstice Lager will roll out nationally beginning June 8 in 6- and 12-packs of 12-ounce bottles through Labor Day.

San Francisco, California’s 21st Amendment Brewery has launched its latest seasonal release, Tropical Sparkale. The 4.2% abv ale is made with pineapple, coconut, and apple, and is brewed to reduce gluten in the final product. Tropical Sparkale is now available in 6-packs of 12-ounce cans throughout 21st Amendment’s 30-state distribution footprint.

Courtesy of Shanken News Daily

GSN Review: Rabbit Hole Boxergrail Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey

It’s a story as old as the universe: boy likes Scotch, boy meets girl, girls likes Bourbon, boy likes Bourbon, boy and girl start making booze. We’ve all been there, right? Meet Kaveh Zamanian and his sweetheart Heather. It’s a true story and the booze they’re making is Louisville-based Rabbit Hole.

But what is Bourbon without its best buddy, Rye Whiskey? Kaveh concocted a perfect combination of rye (95%) and malted barley (5%) and created a rye whiskey that has spent more than two years in #4 charred American white oak barrels made by the Kelvin Cooperage.

Boxergrail Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey, composed of 95% rye, celebrates Louisville’s rich boxing heritage. Local fighters, emerging from neighborhood gyms, followed a path down a boxing rabbit hole to become prizefighting champions. This rye whiskey adds malted barley to its mash bill. Deliberately distilled from a proprietary cooking process and aged in hand-selected barrels, this  whiskey is crafted in small batches.

As well, Rabbit Hole has partnered with Tales of the Cocktail to donate up to $150,000 to their CAPS program. Read more about the initiative here.

Rabbit Hole Boxergrail Rye Whiskey (95 proof)
Visual: Copper.
Nose: Immediate rye spice with a lot of high woody notes. Fresh leather, brown bread, raisin, along with slight toffee and sugar frosting.
Taste: Nice bite and rye kick to the palate. Smooth entry with a huge body. Really chewy and memorable.
Finish: The spice goes on for miles until it finally lays down with a final cinnamon finish.
Overall: A truly lovely rye. Rabbit Hole is a stellar distillery producing some of America’s best spirits.
GSN Rating: A++

For more information go to: Rabbit Hole Distillery

GSN Alert: Mugs by Day, Pint Glasses by Night

Morning runs to the coffee shop and happy hour cocktails at the bar have been halted for more than two months now. We wanted to know how this impacts in-home brewing and mixology. Influence Central surveyed 630 consumers in May as part of an effort to understand the consumer mindset during COVID-19.

CHEERS TO THE QUARANTINI 

Alcohol has always been a part of restaurant profitability and social culture in the U.S. With varied rules around alcohol sales and delivery state-to-state, alcohol brands have found themselves in an interesting spot. Some creative brands like Grey Goose, have hired out-of-work bartenders to become online mixologists for home-drinking cocktail makers.

  • Only 26% of consumers share that they’re consuming even more alcoholic beverages at home now than they were before. But drinks abound even if at typical consumption levels.
  • Among all consumers when it comes to drinking choices, wine tops the list of drink choices, with cocktails and beer rounding up the top three:
    • 43% turn to red wine
    • 38% prefer white wine
    • 37% are mixing up cocktails, while 18% prefer hard alcohol straight up or on the rocks.
    • 31% drink beer
    • 14% love hard seltzer
    • 13% like hard cider
  • 94% have not utilized any of the home delivery services for alcoholic beverages yet and are still going in-store for their alcohol purchases.
  • Of those who are utilizing home delivery services for alcoholic beverages, 65% have only just recently started turning to these services. 

Marketers of alcohol brands and services should be pouring themselves into these findings and capitalizing on a market that hasn’t quite taken off. The momentum of Online Grocery Pick-up can be an example to both national alcohol brands, as well as local businesses, including the rapidly growing craft beer industry.

A HIGHLY CAFFEINATED HOME-BREWED NATION

Home brewed coffee abounds during COVID-19. The number of movies, TV shows and memes that portray the morning hustle and hurry-up mentality of American culture is staggering. So, it’s not surprising that the line at your Starbucks’ or McDonald’s Drive-thru was long or that office coffee stations were as common as copy machines. But what happens when consumers’ to-do lists are still expansive, with increased reliance on caffeine increased to battle long unremitting, but you’re home most mornings? Well, it turns out that it’s coffee that happens:

  • 89% of consumers have at least one person in their household who now drinks coffee at home.
  • 56% brew more pots and cups of coffee at home than before social distancing, generally brewing 2 or more times each day.
  • When asked what they are using to brew coffee, 66% purchase ground coffee, 49% use K-Cups and 20% grind coffee beans.
  • Among the different types of coffee brands being purchased for home:
    • 50% opt for well-known chain coffee shop brands (such as Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts and Caribou).
    • 46% preferring well-known grocery store brands (such as Folgers or Maxwell House).
    • 29% choose other specialty coffee brands.
    • 24% opt for generic supermarket house brand.
  • 42% had typically brewed coffee at the office prior to the shift to stay-at-home.
  • 71% purchase creamers or other additives specifically for coffee.

People clearly still want their daily pick-me-ups of caffeine during the pandemic, creating a swath of opportunities for coffee brands and coffee appliances alike. Plus, it’s opened the door to new coffee drinks, such as the hugely popular and trending “Dalgona” whipped coffee made with instant coffee whipped with sugar and water, then poured over milk. Clearly, home baristas have arrived!

Stacy DeBroff is a Social and digital media strategist, best-selling author, attorney, and founder and CEO of Influence Central, which delivers cutting-edge social media and digital campaigns focused on influencer marketing.

 

GSN Review: The Vice Tri Blend Wine

The USA Triathlon Foundation recently announced a partnership with The Vice Wine, a luxury winery based in Napa Valley, California, and operating out of California and New York, through 2022.

Proceeds from The Vice Wine’s triathlon-inspired luxury limited edition batch “The Tri Blend” will benefit the USA Triathlon Foundation and help to support its mission, which is to transform lives through sport by providing opportunities to swim, bike and run. The Vice Wine is co-founded by Malek Amrani, a multi-time member of USA Triathlon’s amateur Team USA, and his wife, Torie Greenberg.

“Elite and amateur triathletes alike have an ongoing quest for improvement in sports, while maintaining a clean and healthy diet, which is a pillar of the triathlete lifestyle,” Amrani, Founder and Winemaker of The Vice Wine, said. “In 2017, triathlon became a vice for me and helped me tremendously thrive in my field of winemaking. I’m proud that the simple pleasure of enjoying a glass of The Vice Wine can now help the USA Triathlon Foundation achieve its mission.”

The Tri Blend is available exclusively at The Vice Wine’s online shop at thevicewine.com. Based on triathlon’s three disciplines, the blend includes three distinctive grapes and is ultimately comprised of 16 percent Petite Sirah, 54 percent Malbec and 30 percent Cabernet Franc. The inspiration behind the precise blending is the percentage of total race time spent on each discipline — swim, bike and run — by world champion Katie Zaferes en route to her victory at the 2019 ITU World Triathlon Grand Final in Lausanne, Switzerland.

“In triathlon, you have to consistently train for a long season and excel at all three sports during a race to score a victory,” Amrani said. “As in triathlon, I’ve worked very hard for the past three years to craft three unique wines from three vineyards of Napa Valley to blend this winner.”

“When I found out the inspiration behind The Vice ‘Tri Blend’ was my win at the ITU Grand Final 2019, I was both honored and excited,” Zaferes said. “It’s such an original and neat way to celebrate that day. I love that the blend of the wine is based on each component of the race, which really makes it all the more meaningful. I’m not usually an avid wine drinker, but this type of specialty wine has me looking forward to both savoring it and holding onto it just as I wanted to do with that moment in Lausanne last year. I just can’t wait for the moment when we can reunite with family and friends again and celebrate with such a meaningful wine that brings back many happy memories as we start a new journey to get back to racing, while being able to support the mission of the USA Triathlon Foundation.”

The Vice Wine will continuously craft dedicated batches for the triathlon community in support of the USA Triathlon Foundation. The Vice Wine will be available in the expo area for athletes over 21 years of age at the Legacy Triathlon in Long Beach, California, and the Toyota USA Triathlon Age Group National Championships in Milwaukee. In addition, USA Triathlon annual members will receive a discount code via email for 25 percent off of all The Vice Wine products through May 25, as well as additional exclusive offers throughout the year.

The Vice Tri Blend Wine (14.6 ABV)
Visual: Rich raspberry red.
Nose: Heavy fruit with more of a sweet bent than an oaky one. The scent is luxurious, well appointed and mouthwatering.
Taste: Initially, it has a sweet grape character, but upon a second quick sip, the tannins come out and create a dry foil to the bottom heavy fruit.
Finish: Medium long, as is appropriate for this style.
Overall: This is a very well blended wine that has quite a bit of bright character and vivacity. You can definitely tell that the Malbec is in the majority, which makes for a great canvas upon which the Cab Franc and the Petite Sirah lay upon. An excellent choice to enjoy with a light meal.
GSN Rating: A-

For more information go to: The Vice Wine

GSN Spirited News: May 19th 2020 Edition

Brooklyn, New York-based Widow Jane has announced Lucky Thirteen, a new barrel pick program featuring 100 barrels of whiskey. Each barrel is aged for 13 years after distilling from a high-rye mash bill. The whiskies are proofed down to 45.5%-49.5% abv, with master distiller Lisa Wicker choosing the final proof after considering where in the rick house each barrel aged. Barrels will be available across the U.S., with Total Wine, plus other retailers in California, Florida, New York, and other states signing on to purchase barrels. The whiskies will retail at around $90 a bottle.

San Francisco-based Hotaling & Co. has added Convite Mezcal to its portfolio. Hotaling will bring three of Convite’s agave spirits to the U.S.: Mezcal Espadín Esencial ($45/40% abv); Mezcal Espadín-Madrecuishe Blend, a $70 bottling at 42% abv made from Espadín and wild-grown Madrecuishe agaves; and Mezcal Coyote, a $160 bottling made from 12-year-old wild-grown Coyote agave that’s bottled at 46% abv. The spirits are available now in New York, California, Texas, Massachusetts, Illinois, and Georgia.

Martini & Rossi, part of the Bacardi portfolio, has launched two new frozen RTD cocktails, Frosé and Frosecco. The 6.5% abv wine cocktails come in 10-ounce packages and can be consumed right from the pouch or poured into glasses. Both are made from Italian wine with natural fruit flavors added and do not contain artificial sweeteners or high fructose corn syrup. Martini & Rossi Frosé and Frosecco are now available across the U.S. for $4 a pouch.

Seagram’s Gin has debuted its latest flavored expression, Watermelon Twisted. Featuring a base of Seagram’s Extra Dry gin that’s infused with watermelon flavors, Seagram’s Watermelon Twisted gin is now available nationwide, retail priced at $11 a 750-ml. The new extension joins the flagship dry gin as well as Pineapple, Lime, Peach, Grape, Red Berry, Melon, and Apple Twisted gins.

Lucas Bols has relaunched its Bols Liqueurs range with a new formula and packaging. The line, which includes Blue Curaçao, Apricot Brandy, and Peach flavors, among numerous others, is now made with natural botanicals. The Bols Liqueurs bottles have been updated as well: they now feature a new logo, and are more in line with the look of the Bols Genever lineup.

Purcellville, Virginia-based Catoctin Creek Distilling Company will launch #InThisTogether Rye on June 1, with all profits going to charities supporting struggling bars and restaurants. The 40% abv whiskey was blended from spirits left over from the distillery’s barrel select program, from which many restaurant accounts had to abstain after suffering financial hardship due to Covid-19. Catoctin took those previously selected single barrels and blended them into this new “Infinity Barrel” Rye, which retails at $49 a 750-ml. It will be sold at the distillery with curbside pickup and at retailers in Washington D.C., Delaware, and Maryland through distributor Prestige-Ledroit. It’s also available online for direct shipping in Virginia only.

San Francisco-based Hotaling & Co. has added The Arran single malt Scotch whisky to its portfolio. Effective June 1, Hotaling will be the exclusive importer of The Arran’s entire lineup, which includes the Robert Burns Malt; 10-, 18-, and 21-year-old whiskies; and a variety of cask-finished expressions, with retail pricing ranging from $40-$246 a 750-ml.

Sailor Jerry has unveiled a new limited-edition commemorative bottle in partnership with the United Service Organizations (USO). Retailing at $15 a 750-ml., the special edition pays homage to the brand’s namesake, Norman “Sailor Jerry” Collins, who served in the Navy, and will be distributed nationally through the summer season. As part of the launch, Sailor Jerry and Anchor Media are donating $150,000 to the USO, adding to Sailor Jerry’s total contribution of $1 million supporting the USO and other military organizations since 2016.

Courtesy of Shanken News Daily