Beverage Bulletin June 2010

California Beverage Retailers Association

P.O. Box 56686

Sherman Oaks, CA 91413

(818) 788-8120


June 1, 2010


Industry News

President Obama held his second State Dinner o n May 19 in honor of visiting President Calderon of Mexico. Mrs. Obama worked with Guest Chef Rick Bayless and White House Executive Chef Cristeta Comerford to create a menu that reflects the best of American cuisine, continuing this White House's commitment to serving fresh, sustainable and regional food, and honoring the culinary excellence and flavors that are present in Mexican cuisine. Herbs, radishes, and lettuces used in preparing tonight's dinner were harvested from the White House Kitchen Garden. White House Executive Pastry Chef William Yosses and his team made desserts using White House honey in the Graham Cracker Crumble and Goat Cheese Ice Cream. Each course featured a California Wine that also has a Mexican connection.

The Menu:

Jicama with Oranges, Grapefruit, and Pineapple Citrus Vinaigrette
Ulises Valdez Chardonnay 2007 "Russian River"

Herb Green Ceviche of Hawaiian Opah
Sesame-Cilantro Cracker

Oregon Wagyu Beef in Oaxacan Black Mole
Black Bean Tamalon and Grilled Green Beans
Herrera Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 "Selección Rebecca"

Chocolate-Cajeta Tart
Toasted Homemade Marshmallows
Graham Cracker Crumble and Goat Cheese Ice Cream
Mumm Napa "Carlos Santana Brut" N/V

Christie's International, the British auction house, is being sued by wine collector, William Koch. The issue is whether 32 old and rare wines that he bought at auction for more than $33,000 are counterfeit or questionable. Koch is also suing Christie's former wine director Michael Broadbent.

Oak Valley Estate, a South African winery, has a unique problem. Baboons raid the vineyard to eat grapes. A guard was hired to throw stones at the animals to scare them off. He had to stop because the baboons were throwing them back.

Hong Kong has overtaken the U.S. In sales at wine auctions. In the first quarter of this year (2010) Hong Kong sales totaled $28.5 million while U.S. Sales only came to $24.3 million.

Anchor Brewing Company has been sold to The Griffin Group. Griffin's executives, Tony Foglio and Keith Greggor, have pledged to continue brewing operations unchanged.

Restaurants and bars are adding a new service for customers. A bar patron can now use a do-it yourself breathalyzer to test blood alcohol content before leaving. The police use these gadgets and now people can test themselves before they get into a problem situation. The legal limit is a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of 0.08. A BAC of 0.08 means there is 0.08 grams of alcohol per 100 ml of blood. If a driver's BAC is 0.08 to 0.10 he is 11 times more likely to cause an accident. Operators have found that customers want to avoid a ticket, keep out of an accident, or just try out the novelty of using a breathalyzer in a non-threatening situation, without the police doing the testing. The units sell for as much as several hundred dollars or as little as $12.99. Sales agencies can be found on the internet by googling “breathalyzer”. (We are not endorsing any product or seller here.)

How does it work? A good article can be found at “How Stuff Works.” Go to

Pabst Brewing Company has been sold to investor C. Dean Metropoulos for $250 million. It was sold by the charitable foundation which was left by brewery executive Paul Kalmoanowitz. The company own the labels for Pabst, Schlitz, Colt 45, and Lone Star. These are all currently brewed under contract by Miller/ Coors SAB. C. Dean Metropoulos also owns a number of food labels including Chef Boyardee, Bumble Bee, Vlasic Pickles, Duncan Hines, and Ghirardelli Chocolates.

Constellation Brands had been buying brands at a record pace until 2 years ago. Now Constellation is consolidating divisions and retiring slow selling labels. The moves have enabled the company to cut debt by $600 million over the last fiscal year. Constellation has cut its work force to 6000 from a high of 9200 in 2007.

Diageo U.S. Has announced it will cut 90 jobs in its wine division and sell some brands.

Global warming is contributing to a revival of winegrowing in the UK. The country produced 3.1 million bottles in 2009. 45% of the bottlings were sparkling wine.

Coming Events

6/9-10 Unified Grocers Expo Long Beach

6/18 Beverage Industry Golf Cup Orange County

6/20 Father's Day

7/4 Independence Day

7/6 Women in Wine San Francisco Hotel Monaco

7/14 Women in Wine Los Angeles Hotel Palomar

7/16-20 California Gift Show- L.A.



Our industry is more controlled by laws than most others. The State Legislature and the ABC give us license privileges and take them away. More than 100 new alcoholic beverage laws have been introduced, passed, and sign by the Governor since this session started. Many critical issues are still pending. Is your business safe? Members are encouraged to look through the Legislative Bulletin. If there is a new law that is a problem for your business, call the association office now. The CBRA is your voice in Sacramento. If you are not a member, join today. The CBRA is your only voice when it comes to new beverage laws.

Brands and Comments

The CBRA Newsletter has not accepted any payment from any of the brands mentioned in this edition. The editor, Ron Ziff, welcomes comments at

CBRA Membership Remains Open

Now, more than ever, access to your industry is important. The CBRA is California's only statewide association of licensed retailers, and our membership continues to be open for the first time in 20 years.

At CBRA we deal with licenses and regulations that affect the beverage business on a daily basis. That's why CBRA offers practical solutions, unique products, services, information, and timely advice for both large and small beverage businesses. With reasonable fees, superior service, and associates that are easy to reach, CBRA helps you to run your business better and easier.

California Beverage Retailers Association – We know how to get it done.