July Trade News

pandemic-related shifts could outlive pandemic

Total beverage alcohol volume in the US rose 2% in 2020, the biggest increase in 20 years, according to data in the recently released IWSR Drinks Market Analysis. RTDs grew 62.3% by volume in 2020, led by hard seltzers which grew 130%. Spirits finished the year up 4.6%, wine was up slightly at 0.7%, while beer dropped 2.8%. The report concludes that 2021 is already on pace to beat 2019’s figures in total beverage alcohol consumption, suggesting that pandemic-related shifts in buying patterns could outlive the pandemic. 

fretboard brewing beers now in ky

Blue Ash, Ohio based Fretboard Brewing beers are available in Kentucky! Beginning on June 21, Core brands like Reba Strawberry Blonde, World Beer Cup winner Vlad Pilsner and their West Coast IPA, Improv, became available. Two of Fretboard’s most exciting summer seasonal releases also joined in the mix; Klosterman Honey Wheat Lager, a familiar collaboration with Cincinnati’s own, Klosterman Baking Company and Kool On Ocean Shandy. Cans are available throughout the state and draft is available in northern and central Kentucky.  

beer industry strong in the face of adversity

Over the last 15 months, the beer industry has faced myriad challenges and setbacks while displaying remarkable resiliency. The sudden, long-term closure of bars and restaurants resulted in a nearly $20 billion drop in retail beer sales and the loss of more than 568,000 jobs that the beer industry supports. Brewers, distributors and retailers were forced to dispose of over $800 million in expired beer trapped nationwide in kegs beyond their freshness dates. Despite all the setbacks and challenges, the beer industry has shown great strength in the face of this adversity supporting more than 2 million local jobs and contributing more than $330 billion to the economy. 

labatt’s sustainable packaging

Labatt Blue and Labatt Blue Light 16 ounce six packs in all US markets will now be packaged with new recycled and photodegradable green plastic Hi-Cone RingCycles™. The new packaging from Labatt is made with more than 50% post-consumer recycled content and are photodegradable, which means they break down when exposed to UV light. The rings are green and stamped with information on how to recycle the new sustainable packaging. 


Lawmakers in 14 states (including Ohio and Kentucky) and the District of Columbia, have approved measures allowing restaurants to sell cocktails to go permanently. Before the pandemic, states and localities largely barred bars and restaurants from selling cocktails to go, but the crisis changed lawmakers’ perspectives. The biggest opposition to the new legislation has come from trade groups representing liquor stores.  


California wineries are taking action to protect their vines against fire and drought, as 2021 appears to be yet another dry year. The Napa Firewise Foundation, the Napa Valley Vintners Association, as well as individual wineries have taken on prevention strategy efforts like perimeter sprinkler structures and training staff on putting out spot fires. “Almost as soon as the wildfire situation subsided last fall, our leadership recognized that we can no longer cross our fingers and hope for the best,” said Napa Valley Vintners Association VP of Industry Relations, Rex Stults.  


After 10 years, Goodwood Brewing and Spirits has given Louisville Lager a refresh! This crisp premium lager, is the only beer brewed with 100% Kentucky grown grains and uses white ash – common in baseball bats –  to enhance brewing. The result is a light bodied, perfectly balanced lager with a sweet finish delivered by those Kentucky grains.