What You Missed This Month: March

Image courtesy of Diageo, Inc., © 2018

It's that time again...Time for your March industry update.

It seems like no matter where you call home, this year’s wintry weather was especially wicked. But luckily, we’re starting to see the soothing sunlight at the end of the tunnel. And you know what that means — light, refreshing spring cocktails are just around the corner (rosé, anyone?). But before we get there, why not find a sunny place to sit and check out what you missed this March in industry news?

Talk about a “Good” Friday

For the first time in almost a century, pubs across the Republic of Ireland opened their doors for thirsty patrons just days before Easter Sunday — all thanks to a move to legalize the sale of alcohol over the Easter holiday. Before now, such action was banned due to what some considered “outdated” legislation related to Ireland’s longstanding ties to Catholicism and Christian traditions, but according to members of the country’s pub owners group, it had long been detrimental to tourists and local businesses alike. According to the group, the Vintners Federation of Ireland, the change was expected to bring in around $49 million for the country’s pubs. “The Good Friday ban is from a different era,” VFI chief executive Padraig Cribben said, per the BBC. “Like all other businesses who were never subject to a ban, publicans now have a choice to open.”

Hopkins study continues despite criticism

Researchers from Johns Hopkins have said that they will continue to participate in a controversial study of the relationship between alcohol and heart disease despite potential conflicts of interest. The Baltimore Sun reports that the study relates to whether having one drink a day can decrease the risk of heart disease and diabetes — but, the paper reports, that 10-year project is largely funded by donations from alcohol companies (like Anheuser-Busch and Heineken) via donations to the National Institutes of Health, which means that results could be skewed or potentially predetermined. In preparation for the  $100-million study, Hopkins and 15 other international research organizations are in the process of recruiting participants — who must be at least 50 years old and occasional drinkers. Other requirements include a history of heart events, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, pre-diabetes, or type 2 diabetes. The study will split participants into two groups — one whose members will drink daily and another whose will only indulge on special occasions.

High praise for ‘Lost Spirits’

Since the start of 2018, two international industry organizations have designated California’s Lost Spirits Distillery as “Best Distillery Experience,” and now, The American Distilling Institute has joined the ranks. According to reporting from Markets Insider, the group — the oldest and largest organization of small-batch, independently-owned distillers in the United States — recently awarded Lost Spirits the title at its annual conference, and the franchise won out of over 1,600 contenders. Lost Spirits, which prides itself on implementing new techniques, imbuing new flavors, and developing new innovations, is best known for its unique rums and malts, and while tastings and tours are in high demand, they’re available by reservation only.

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