OnTrend Concepts
Spirits Sales + Marketing Digest

February 15, 2022

Nick Cook, Publisher

Happy Tuesday everyone: here’s the summary of the latest and greatest in the craft and emerging spirits world.


Two biggest stories are Endless West’s big funding and the US Treasury anti-trust report targeting major companies in the alcohol space. Endless West made a splash a few years ago by using labs and chemistry to replicate the molecular structure of prestigious spirits (aka tastes like Pappy’s, but it’s made using NGS and highly complex flavors). The US Treasury is highlighting the disparity in the industry of a booming number of small and medium spirits suppliers vs a highly concentrated level of distributors. While they didn’t recommend breaking up current corporations, they did put the pressure on the TTB and DOJ to put more investigation on M&As (both horizontal and vertical mergers). How will this play out in the industry going forward? Will we see less M&A or will we still see the status quo?


In other compliance news, Iowa, Arizona, and Rhode Island are all working to make spirits more accessible through DTC, decreased taxes, and permanent to-go. Continued liberalization of spirits legalization get us closer and closer to an even playing field among other alcohols and even non-alcoholic drinks, but how can craft spirits be ready to capitalize on the ever-evolving legal map?


Lots of great stories and press releases this week too. Du Nord is exploding and building a new facility. Whipshots is getting a more aggressive focus in line with RNDC. Legal fight between Mason Dixon Distillery and Drake’s Organic Spirits. And more!


And now, the news…

Issue #8

Spirits Startup Endless West Scoops $60 Million For Sustainable Alcohol Expansion

The food tech startup made waves in the F&B market with its release of a “molecular whisky” back in 2018.

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Competition in the Markets for Beer, Wine, and Spirits

The US Treasury published an antitrust report focused on tackling monopolistic competition in the three-tiered alcohol industry.

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Bill would allow shipping of alcoholic spirits made in Iowa

A bill to make it legal for Iowa distillers to ship spirits like whiskey and vodka directly to customers in Iowa and other states has cleared initial review in the Iowa House, but that may be as far as it goes in the 2022 legislative session.

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Arizona lawmakers could cut tax on ready-to-drink spirits

Canned mixed drinks made from spirits such as vodka or tequila are taxed in Arizona at nearly 20 times the rate as a similar one made from malt liquor.

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Bill that would permanently allow to-go alcohol sales heads to McKee’s desk

Rhode Island lawmakers have given restaurants the green light to permanently sell beer, wine and mixed drinks with takeout food orders.

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Ohio liquor sales: Vodka, American whiskey reign supreme

Vodka and American whiskey accounted for more than half the spirits sold in Ohio in 2021.

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TTB Newsletter for February 9, 2022 - Special Edition

TTB’s responses to proposed CFR changes - Distilled Spirits and Malt Beverage Labeling and Advertising Regulations Final Rule

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A warning from Pa. bars, restaurants on complexities of privatizing liquor sales

Privatization of Pennsylvania’s liquor business may be a good idea, but the state’s family-owned bars, taverns and licensed restaurants have questions about how the state House bill to do so could impact our businesses and customers before we can support such a change.

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Pa. distillery fighting Minnesota company over ‘boxtail’ name for boxed cocktails

Mason Dixon Distillery in Gettysburg and Drake’s Organic Spirits, Inc. in Minnesota both use “boxtails” to market their pre-mixed boxed cocktails.

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Starco Brands Announces National Retail Distribution of Whipshots

Starco Brands today announced that Whipshots, the groundbreaking vodka-infused whipped cream in partnership with global artist Cardi B, has launched its national retail program with their current distributor RNDC.

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Du Nord Social Spirits to build new headquarters in North Minneapolis

Minneapolis distillery Du Nord Social Spirits is plotting a big expansion, including new headquarters, after its Lake Street warehouse was destroyed in the 2020 riots.

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Kentucky spirits company names its first whiskey director

She joins Blue Run Spirits from Campari Group, where she managed product innovation projects across the company’s North American portfolio.

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Bellefonte’s Big Spring Spirits is expanding to Pittsburgh’s South Shore

The Distillery at South Shore is a historic building — the Joseph S. Finch & Co. Building, a whiskey distillery built in 1856.

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Halewood Artisanal Spirits’ John Crabbie & Co Chair Pier single malt – Product Launch

Chair Pier Single Malt was produced at the micro-distillery of the same name in Edinburgh, and the first single malt Scotch whisky to be made in the city in almost 100 years.

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Bettaway’s Beverage & Logistics Expertise Helps Lyre’s Non-Alcoholic Spirits Accelerate U.S. Growth

When Australian-based Lyre’s, the world’s leading non-alcoholic spirits brand, wanted to expand into the U.S. market, it recognized the need for a logistics partner that knew the playing field, had specific expertise, and could flex and scale quickly.

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ReserveBar Is Taking $20 Off Everything From These BIPOC- and Women-Owned Spirits Brands

As part of its Spirited Change Initiative, the site is spotlighting several minority- and women-owned businesses.

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