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Posted by on in September 2020 Editions

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A Family Legacy Continues

John Holmes, proprietor of Antietam Spirits in Boonsboro, recently turned the store over to his son, Chase, after running the business since 1972. Holmes had taken over the store from his own father, who founded it (as Ye Olde Spirits Shop in Frederick) in 1960. Along the way, he received lots of good advice from his dad -- advice that he has imparted to his son.

Chiefly? 

"Number one," he replied during a recent interview with the Beverage Journal, "you have to have product that people want. Today's customers want to know their choice is going to be there. They want to get in and get out. If people come in too many times and can't find what they want, they're not coming back. Also, you cannot have enough personal service for people! This is not a high-profit business. You have to do volume to make real money."

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Changes in state-level COVID-19 restrictions, as well as consumer behaviors, have led to crests and troughs in customer traffic across all industries.  Each industry has been impacted differently, and some are further along in their economic recovery than others.  Unfortunately, the on-premise side of the beverage alcohol industry has seen the deepest dip in business and has been the slowest to realize any significant bounce-back.

Let’s take a look at some numbers … just in the State of Maryland: 

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Medalla Light, Puerto Rico’s top-selling beer is now in Maryland and Washington, DC

Cervecera de Puerto Rico, which has crafted Medalla Light for 40 years, officially announced their partnership with EMD Sales, Inc. for beer distribution in the Mid-Atlantic region.

Medalla Light is brewed on the tropical island of Puerto Rico by Cervecera de Puerto Rico … one of the leading barley-based companies in Latin America and the Caribbean.  Medalla Light’s reputation for its premium quality and crisp, refreshing taste has quickly become the beer of choice for those seeking a chance to celebrate. Medalla Light has won multiple awards and has earned worldwide recognition at the Monde Selection in Brussels, the North American Beer Awards and the Australian International Beer Awards. 

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Ten Rising Stars Charting Creative New Paths—and Pushing for Inclusivity—in the World of Wine, Beer, and Spirits

By Dorothy J. Gaiter


It has been a long time coming and progress is still slow and fitful, but Black people are having an increasing impact in the world of wine, beer, and spirits. Some have well-established reputations, such as André Mack, winemaker and owner of Maison Noir wines; legendary mixologist Franky Marshall, who has mentored countless Black spirits professionals; and Brooklyn Brewery’s supremely talented brewmaster, Garrett Oliver.

Beyond them, however, is a growing number of tough, imaginative Black men and women, less-widely known, who are determined to make a mark in their trade through hard work and creativity. And, as they pave new paths, they are  just as determined to find ways to raise up others. In this issue, we profile 10 professionals who are helping make the world of beverage alcohol a more delicious and inclusive place.

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Posted by on in September 2020 Editions

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Experts weigh in on how to recruit top talent, avoid common hiring mistakes, and ask better interview questions 

By Hannah Wallace


People are the most essential asset to any business, yet hiring the right person for the right role is one of the most difficult skills to master. Even experienced recruiters say that hiring—part science, part art—requires years of experience, observation, and study to get it right.

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