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Irish Whiskey: More than Just Luck


Jameson, the industry leader in volume and recognition, is also at the forefront of innovation

 The Irish resurgence is looking more and more like a sustainable trend

 By Jeff Cioletti

Irish whiskey continues to be the big international growth story in the spirits space, with another year of double-digit gains for the U.S. market. And it’s become a force to be reckoned with, as the base it’s been growing from isn’t nearly as small as it used to be.

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Local Beverage Pros React to the New Tax Law


There's really no other way to put it.  In December, the White House signed a historic tax bill into law that was absolutely loaded with "goodies" for the beer, wine, and spirits business.  A number of the Maryland-D.C. area's top beverage industry professionals weighed in on the changes, and their enthusiasm was obvious.

Jaime Windon, owner and co-founder of St. Michaels-based Lyon Distilling Co., declared during a recent interview with the Beverage Journal, "The tiered changes create a more competitive and equitable tax system, which significantly benefits smaller distilleries and every distillery in Maryland. Historically, the high federal excise tax rate on distilled spirits has been a huge barrier to growth. The largest tax savings apply to distilleries producing less than 100,000 gallons of spirits each year, indeed reducing the rate from $13.50 per proof gallon to $2.70 per proof gallon. To put that in perspective, in our first year [2012], Lyon made less than 1,000 gallons. In 2018, we plan to make 10,000 gallons. That represents a potential savings of $108,000 in federal excise tax under the new law."

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James 'Andy' Anderson: Leaving a Legacy that Exceeds Expectations


Apologies ahead of time to anyone I didn't get to talk to for this tribute feature on long-time Maryland beverage salesman James "Andy" Anderson.  I know I missed quite a few of you.  Because every time I would talk to a former co-worker, boss, or relative of his, that person would inevitably end the interview with, "Hey, did you also speak to so-and-so?  No?  Oh, you absolutely HAVE to get some quotes from him!  He knew him best!" Maybe that was Anderson's secret magic.  He made so many people in his professional and personal life feel like they knew him best.  Anderson died on Jan. 31 after a battle with cancer.  He was 75.  Anderson grew up in the College Park/Greenbelt area and graduated from High Point High School in 1960.  He first worked for the local telephone company as a lineman before getting involved in beverage sales.

He worked for Standard, retired from Reliable Churchill, then came out of retirement to sell for Prestige Beverage Group.  His work ethic was practically legendary.  But it was his ability to work with others and help them that really distinguished him.

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Chianti 101


Thomas Jefferson, World War II soldiers, Hannibal Lecter: all appreciated a good Chianti. While Chianti has long been popular in the U.S.—Americans drink more than a quarter of Chianti’s annual production—it sometimes faces a Rodney Dangerfield-like lack of respect.

It’s their own fault. The question that Chianti has never settled on is whether it’s a brand, or a region. Many large producers push for the easy brand recognition to move cheaper, often rustic wine; more premium producers, particularly in Chianti Classico, argue for a terroir-based wine, as shown by the recent push to officially recognize the DOCG’s subzones. It’s a hard slog—getting lazy Americans to simply remember to say “Classico” is challenge enough—but many top producers are forging ahead.

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