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Buffalo Trace Ramps Up Whiskey Production

The many brands of Buffalo Trace.
The many brands of Buffalo Trace. Source:

“A significant capital investment of more than $200 million to expand the distilling operations will take place over the next seven years, including new investments in cooking, fermenting, bottling, land, and additional barrel warehouses. Two additional barrel warehouses have already taken shape; recently acquired buildings adjacent to Buffalo Trace Distillery have been converted back to their original purpose as barrel warehouses, called “T” and “U,” which hold 50,000 barrels of bourbon each. “T” is completely full, with “U” expected to be full by June 2016. Next up are two more barrel warehouses to be filled in the next 12 months, “R” and “S,” which will hold an additional 100,000 aging barrels total. The buildings had been sold off in the 1980s and used as office buildings after the collapse of the bourbon industry in the late 1970s. “It is very gratifying to see the buildings once again being used for their original purpose,” commented Mark Brown, president of Buffalo Trace Distillery….”



Turkey’s Policies Inadvertently Encourage Moonshining

Booze Politics
Teetotaling President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is driving people to illicit drink. Photo credit: Wikipedia.
Teetotaling President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Photo credit: Wikipedia.

“In keeping with its Islamist roots, Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has been doing its best to keep it that way. The party’s leader, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, urges Turks to stop drinking or at least do so only at home. Yesilay (Green Crescent), a temperance movement founded in 1920, cheers him on. Big tax rises since 2004 have more than trebled in real terms the price of raki, an anise-flavoured spirit that was the preferred tipple of Kemal Ataturk, the nation’s founding father. Sales of bootleg alcohol, some of it deadly, are rising. According to the OECD, perhaps 29% of the booze consumed in Turkey is sold illegally”… (Read more at the Economist)


Got the Wine Blahs? Try Another Grape


Romance WinesI admit it—I keep a box of Pinot Grigio in the fridge. I also have various Merlots, Cabernet Sauvignons, and Pinot Noirs on my wine rack. These are my House wines, the wines I sip (or gulp) after a day at the office while I corral my children to the dinner table.

Most of these wines I pick up at the grocery store on Saturday mornings, when I am loading up the cart with diapers, peanut butter, bananas, and the other staples of life. From  month to month, the wine brands I buy change, but the grapes frequently remain the same. This is not unusual—most wine consumers tend to settle on brands and grapes. “Give me the Chardonnay” is one of the most uttered sentences in modern America.

It’s cliche but true—variety is the spice of life, and these days there is no excuse for mindless repetition. Try a different grape. The market offers an incredible array of wine options at prices that hedge risk. Pasqua Sangiovese runs $10, and is a long way from the dreck that used to come in the straw basket clad bottles. It noses of blackberry, vanilla, and leather, and it paired well with bacon pizza. Keep reading


The 21st Amendment Continues to Choke the Drinks Trade

Booze Politics

21st AmendmentTennessee recently passed a law limiting any company from owning more than two liquor-store licenses. Why? Well, current holders of liquor licenses don’t want out-of-state grocery chains to enter the market and, gasp, sell more brands of liquor at lower prices.

Would that this were an egregious exception, but such consumer-unfriendly policies are the norm. Consider some examples from around our great nation:

  • In Ohio, the only liquor that gets sold are brands approved by the government. If you are a distiller, you need to ask the state to allow your hooch to cross Ohio’s borders, and you need to ask that the state liquor authority purchase your product and stock it in the state-run stores. If the bureaucrats don’t think consumers want your booze, well, you’re out of luck. Ohio, it should be noted, is but one of the 17 control states.
  • The Texas Legislature has banned corporations from obtaining liquor licenses. Why? Well, as in Tennessee, the concern is that out-of-state grocers will outcompete current retailers. Texas, hypocritically, nonetheless permits in-state liquor chain stores to form by permitting family members to pool their liquor licenses.
  • Four states allow consumers to purchase wines made out of state directly only if their home state has a “reciprocal agreement” with the state where the winery is located.

One could go on…. (Read more at the R Street Institute Blog)


Nasty Politics May Kill Drinks Reform In Colorado

Booze Politics
A liquor store in Breckenridge, Colorado. Photo credit: David Shankbone, Wikipedia.
A liquor store in Breckenridge, Colorado. Photo credit: David Shankbone, Wikipedia.

Colorado loves its drinks. It is the home of Stranahan’s whiskey and great microbrews too numerous to list. The Rocky Mountain State also is the home of the Great American Beer Festival, which began in 1982 and draws tens of thousands of visitors each autumn.

So you might think that an initiative to improve consumers’ retail access to drinks would be a no-brainer for the state’s leaders – give the people what they want and they’ll vote you back into office.

Think again. Current law only allows the state’s grocery and convenience stores to sell “near beer,” a watery, bland, Prohibition Era product with an alcohol content of less than 3.2 percent. Colorado is one of only five states that still mandate near beer. Brewers would not produce this dreck were it not for archaic state laws that create a captive market…. (Read more at the R Street Institute Blog)


Beer Pipeline Built

Source: Sp00ky, Wikimapia
Photo credit: Sp00ky, Wikimapia

From the Wall Street Journal:

“BRUGES, Belgium— Xavier Vanneste, heir to a dynasty of beer brewers in this medieval city, had a pipe dream. When he woke up and looked out of his window one spring morning, he saw workers on the street laying underground utility cables in front of his house, situated on the same ancient square as the brewery he runs…. His brain wave? A beer pipeline…. It stretches 2 miles from the brewery, De Halve Maan, or The Half Moon, in the city center to the bottling plant in an industrial area. It will be able to carry 1,500 gallons of beer an hour at 12 mph. Hundreds of truck trips a year will no longer be necessary. Read more at



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