Featured brands include Cielo Tequila, Heroes Vodka and Napa Smith Brewery
Nashville, TN – April 17, 2013 – National brand supplier Lipman Brands announced today several recent strategic moves related to portfolio growth and increased distribution of its diverse portfolio of wines, spirits, beers and mixers.
LIPMAN BRANDS PRODUCT NEWS
Lipman Brands announced today that it will officially re-launch the acclaimed El Diamante del Cielo Tequila at the 2013 WSWA Convention in Orlando. Produced from the highest quality Weber Blue Agave, Cielo was acquired by Lipman in 2010. The previously nationally distributed brand will re-enter the market with updated packaging for its Anejo, Reposado, and Silver tequilas, including a new bottle with rebranded metallic labels. The original Anejo and Reposado recipes will be used, according to company CEO Robert Lipman. Cielo is billed as the highest-rated tequila ever, receiving four double gold medals at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition (2006), 96 points from Beverage Tasting Institute (2007) and voted Paul Pacult’s Best of the Best 2006-2007.
Veteran-owned Heroes Vodka, an award-winning 4X distilled American spirit, was launched in a limited test market in Tennessee in February 2012. In its first year, Heroes Vodka experienced significant growth including distribution in 10 states, and a national market plan with authorizations from retail giants BevMo! and Walmart. On the heels of a national announcement last month to give back a portion of all purchases to AMVETS, Heroes Vodka is also available in Navy and Coast Guard Exchange Stores and has enjoyed success in several on-premise establishments.
In a strategic move to increase its craft beer portfolio, Lipman Brands added Napa Smith Brewery to its offerings in January 2013. The only production brewery located in the Napa Valley, Napa Smith is “brewed for food” by the nation’s most experienced craft brewer, Don Barkley, who got his start in 1978 at New Albion Brewery. With nearly a dozen current offerings, Napa Smith is distributed nationally with a significant presence at Walt Disney World. It also has developed a substantial presence in Sweden achieving coveted listings from the government monopoly on their Organic IPA and a new West Coast IPA. In 2011, Lipman Brands launched Hap & Harry’s Tennessee Beers brewed in Nashville at Yazoo Brewery. Hap & Harry’s Tennessee Lager is one of the top-selling local beers in the state; Tennessee Ale will be available on tap and in bottles this spring.
Red Eye Original Premium Bloody Mary Mix will also be showcased at WSWA. The established brand billed as “big Texas taste that beats all the rest,” is featured at Cost Plus World Markets and hundreds of other retail and on-premise accounts nationwide.
Later this year, Lipman Brands will roll out its master blend of Old Hickory Great American Whiskey. The statuesque bottle features a historical image of acclaimed U.S. President Andrew Jackson – a connoisseur of fine whiskeys – on its front label. WSWA attendees will be the first to taste the 100% American Grain hand-crafted blend of the finest corn, rye and barley grains aged in oak in Bardstown, KY.
Lipman Brands will round out its offerings at WSWA with award-winning Lonely Cow Wines made in New Zealand and the collection of Country Club Vodkas, a legacy brand in distribution since 1957.
For more information, contact:
Double Diamond Marketing + Communications
Consumers tasting Hopageddon at Pour House, Nashville
Don visits with customers at Pour House, Nashville
Later that evening, Don hosted a tasting at Whole Foods in Green Hills. The following day, there were two tastings: one at Riverfront Tavern and the other at Whole Foods in Franklin, TN. On Saturday, Don served fabulous Napa Smith brews at the East Nashville Beer Festival. Don had a great time in Nashville. Thanks to everyone who came to the tastings or the beer fest. We hope you enjoyed your Napa Smith brew!
All of their beers are “Brewed for Food” through their balanced use of roasted malts and aromatic hops, and they believe they should be invited to the dinner table just like a bottle of fine wine.
In their very first year entered, Napa Smith was fortunate to win numerous Gold Medals at prestigious beer competitions such as the California State Fair and the Los Angeles International Fair.
Napa Smith is proud to feature the beers of America’s most experienced craft brewer – Don Barkley.
A passion for brewing inspired Don Barkely to give up his job in Silicon Valley and enroll in the world-renowned Brewing program at UC Davis. Don made craft beer from 1978-83 at New Albion Brewery, America’s first new brewery since Prohibition. When Don started, budgets were tight, so he really did work for beer while living in a small tent on the mountainside above the brewery. The beer and tent were literally his “Room & Board” – but he was doing what he loved.
Don went on to help found Mendocino Brewing Company, and during his 25 years there as Master Brewer, Don became an icon, creating such legendary beers as Red Tail Ale and Eye of the Hawk Select Ale.
Don has now joined Napa Smith Brewery, coming home to his deep roots in Napa. Don’s great-great-grandfather settled in the Napa Valley in the 1850’s as one of the very first hop farmers. So while Don is now being paid a real salary (don’t worry, he still gets beer), he is doing what he loves and carrying on the family legacy.
The best beers are fresh beers – so Napa Smith adds a dose of nitrogen before filling and closes each bottle with an oxygen scavenging bottle cap to prevent oxidation, and also uses a UV protectant glass to reduce the negative effects of light.]]>
When New Albion closed in 1983, its founder, Jack McAuliffe, returned to his former career as an engineer and left brewing behind. And for a time, no one was quite sure where McAuliffe was, and for all but a few old-timers in the brewing industry, few remembered his important contribution to craft beer.
One person who did was Jim Koch. With his Boston Beer Co. — makers of Samuel Adams — he was also an early craft beer pioneer, having started his company in 1984. In the early 1990s, almost by accident, he discovered that the trademark for New Albion had expired and registered it, fearing that it could be exploited by an unscrupulous business.
But you can read that story in my newspaper column that ran last month, the “Return of New Albion”. In a nutshell, Jack finally returned to the spotlight, and during the Great American Beer Festival two years ago, he and Jim Koch finally met. Over brunch, a plan was hatched, and last July, McAuliffe flew to Boston where he and Koch brewed one of the original New Albion beers, the pale ale. Draft was served at GABF last year, and last month, six-pack bottles started appearing on shelves, with all of the profits donated by Boston Beer to McAuliffe as an overdue thank you for his legacy.
And as cool a story as that has been, it’s not the first time that a New Albion beer has been recreated. For the very first SF Beer Week in 2009, our official beer was a faithful recreation of New Albion Ale. It was made by Don Barkley, who was essentially the assistant brewer for New Albion. Barkley made it at his new brewery, Napa Smith. He used the original brew logs, which he’d maintained since the brewery closed.
As we were planning the first SF Beer Week, several of the founders were brainstorming during GABF at the Falling Rock, a popular hangout for beer people during the annual festival in Denver, Colorado. I happened to notice Don Barkley was there, too, and off went a light bulb. Don had recently come out of retirement and was brewing at Napa Smith Brewery, so I suggested that it might be fun to have Don recreate a New Albion beer for SF Beer Week. Not surprisingly, everybody agreed that it was a great idea.
So I ran the idea past Don, not sure what his reaction might be. After all, it had been thirty years, and he’d gone on to help start Mendocino Brewing Co. and more recently was involved in a new start-up brewery. New Albion seemed like two lifetimes ago. Happily, he was thrilled, and told me he still had all the old brewing logs from that time, and agreed it was a worthwhile idea.
As we got closer to the kick-off of SF Beer Week in 2009, we realized we’d sort of forgotten about the New Albion beer, and Dave McLean, from Magnolia, agreed to reach out to Don to see if he was still interested in making it. He was, and set to work, pulling out the old brew logs. When he opened Mendocino Brewing, he took the New Albion yeast with him, and so was able to obtain some of that yeast from them. He reproduced the malt, which they used to get from the now defunct San Francisco malting house Bauer & Schweitzer, by blending two different malts to approximate it. Barkley at the time recalled that they first had Bullion hops, but later used Northern Brewer, before ending up using primarily Cluster and Cascade hops.
The first SF Beer Week, we didn’t have a public opening event like the amazing celebration we have now at the Concourse Exhibition Center, but instead Anchor Brewery graciously allowed us to hold a private event for the Bay Area brewing community. So while we weren’t able to include the public, most of the brewers, bar and restaurant owners and writers who helped pull SF Beer Week together had a chance to all get together before the roller coaster ride that is beer week started racing.
But the first beer events on the SF Beer Week calendar took place earlier in the day, starting at the Toronado Pub. Don Barkley began a series of five events taking kegs of what was called “Napa Smith’s Original Albion Ale” on a pub crawl where each hour, on the hour, he visited the Toronado, Magnolia, Monk’s Kettle, City Beer Store, and finally, 21st Amendment. We dubbed the pub-crawl “Albion Don in the Temple of Beer.” At each destination, Don raised the “Scepter of St. Gambrinus,” which he carried with him, and led a toast to SF Beer Week. It was the first time anyone had tasted New Albion beer for three decades and it was the perfect way to kick-off our very first beer week. And it’s also perfect that there are now bottles of New Albion Beer available for the first time as our 5th SF Beer Week is about to start. It’s another great reason to toast Bay Area beer.
About the Author
Jay Brooks has been writing about beer for 20 years, and is a co-founder of SF Beer Week. His syndicated newspaper column, Brooks on Beer, can be seen in at least half-a-dozen papers in the Bay Area and he’s also the author of the forthcoming California Breweries North, due out August 1, 2013 from Stackpole Books. You can find him ranting online at his idiosyncratic Brookston Beer Bulletin.
Napa Smith has been incredibly well received yet again this year. Coming off our Silver Medal win for our Organic IPA in 2011, there were many folks looking to try us and sample some of our new offerings. The Hopageddon, our imperial IPA with 144 IBUs but a balanced finish has really been a hit! We are tapping our 2nd 1/2 barrel going into tonights session and expect to blow through it early. We had a special guest, “The Grim Reaper” join us in Denver to introduce Hopageddon… here he is with brew master Don Barkley and Radio personality Matt Need:
Denver has been a terrific host as always. The Napa Smith team had the opportunity to hang with radio/comedians/celebs Matt Need and Trevor O’Connor on their “Unfiltered and Unadjusted” radio show. The lovely and talented Lisa Landry was on air too and great fun. A bunch of the Napa Smith team went to her comedy show Friday night as well.
Here is the video of the whole radio show:
Here are some shots from the GABF and our adventures around Denver…
We will do an update to this post after tonights session.. in the meantime, kick back and enjoy!]]>
Stockholm Beer & Whisky Festival is a manifestation for enhanced knowledge of Beer, Whisky, Cider and Calvados, the International competitions, Schools/Master Classes, restaurants and much more, this year for the 21st time! And for the first time ever, Napa Valley’s own Steve Morgan, President of Napa Smith Brewery joined in as a judge for the tasting. Napa Smith beers have been in Sweeden since March 2012 and have been selling like crazy! Steve joined our importer TOMP at the festival and toured stores and we are told a few bars along the way.
The Taste Experience, for the 3rd time – in direct connection to Stockholm Beer & Whisky Festival – with Wine, Champagne, Rum, Tequila, Cognac, Culinary Delicacy and much more – a major success!
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Market Watch serves the information needs of the on-premise and off-premise markets for spirits, wine and beer. Our readers are America’s most successful on-premise operators and retail stores who look to MARKET WATCH for unique industry trends and information.MARKET WATCH with 28 years experience stands alone as the authoritative source of trends and usable information for our readers and your customers.
The article focuses on some of the “extreme beers” in the market, was fairly limited, but the cover was nice exposure to an important audience.]]>