Published Date

December 12, 2019

Ross Colbert, head of KPMG’s Beverages Investment Banking business, sees 5 main themes developing in the Beverage industry for 2020.



  • Rapidly changing marketplace means beverages companies are no longer ‘one beer ponies’ but rather buy multiple existing and new brands to maintain a portfolio
  • Beer Adjacent = Canned Cocktails, Flavor Malt Beverages (FMBs) and Hard Seltzer
  • Creating a headwind for craft breweries
  • Cow Milk?  Cow Schmilk—plant based milk products (Almond, Oat, etall) are the fastest growing.
  • Traditional milk consumption in Britain is down 50% since the 1950s



  • Saltwater Brewery’s 100% biodegradable six-pack rings
  • Edible packaging from seaweed
  • 100% recycled Polyethylene Terephthalate (rPET) plastic
  • Both demand and regulation are driving this trend



  • Premium wine (>$20/bottle) was the fastest growth category in 2019
  • Increase sales by 3 million cases in past 3 years
  • Has been the fastest growth category for 10 YEARS (since 2009)
  • Volume no longer profitabLE
  • Large Alcohol business has divested mainstream products
  • Constellation sold 30 wine and spirit brands to E&J Gallo
  • Campari and Pernod Ricard offering more premium
  • Craft Beer America>Europe>Asia now Craft Tequila, Craft Mezcal and Craft Mixers



  • Forget soda, clean ingredients that create mental clarity, more energy, better moods, lower stress
  • Miracle Beverages:  Collagen Water, Kombucha and CBD(!!!)
  • By 2024, this market will reach $208.13 BILLION—a CAGR of 8.66%



  • Its an Amazon world, so online orders to delivery is king
  • U.S. Drizly offers ONE HOUR delivery ($4.99 fee) in major markets
  • They curate alcohol from local stores
  • Amazon (and Winter) are Coming: Tovess Gin: Amazon’s private label line in UK
  • E-commerce is almost passe, firms will have to think broader about distribution
  • RTD moving outside the coffee shop
  • Retail refrigeration space wars
  • Firms must be accessible, always on and packaged correctly


He also sees CBD as the biggest potential disruptor to the industry. 


For more information, please see Beverage 2020 and to speak with Ross contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 917/453-3373.

Published Date

December 11, 2019

Laphroaig Scotch Whisky has released the first chapter of its new collectable series of aged whiskies, The Ian Hunter Story™, Book One: Unique Character (MSRP: $1,2500).


This first chapter of the series celebrates Ian Hunter and starts with American oak as Ian Hunter’s decision to introduce American oak casks to Laphroaig’s maturation process is perhaps his greatest legacy. Laphroaig honors this innovation with an exquisite, Laphroaig 30 Year Old Cask Strength, matured solely in ex-bourbon barrels in tribute to Ian Hunter.


Color: Burnished gold. 

Nose: Sweet and medicinal with manuka honey, light peat smoke, cooked apple and rosemary vanilla. Orgeat syrup and a hint of lemon peel to complete the aroma. 

Palate: Peaty and peppery with notes of herbs, cedar, kumquat zest and gorse flower.

Finish: Coastal with subtle iodine, sea salt and seaweed notes. A touch of coffee and oaky character.

Published Date

Calgary’s own Chad Lawrence of Comery Block has been crowned Champion by The House of ANGOSTURA at the ANGOSTURA Global Cocktail Challenge (AGCC) North American Finals. The competition, which took place in Austin, TX in October, saw North America’s best bartenders compete for the opportunity to represent the region at the AGCC Global Finals. Lawrence will now join The House of ANGOSTURA on the island of Trinidad to compete against regional winners from around the world for the title of Global Brand Ambassador and a cash prize of $10,000 during Trinidad’s 2020 Carnival celebration in February.


Lawrence’s talent for mixology made the Calgary community proud when he won the judges over with two uniquely crafted ANGOSTURA creations, Along the Banks and Jaguar’s Breath

Published Date

December 9, 2019

The largest private collection of whisky ever to go to auction has been unveiled today (Monday 9 December). By value and volume, the collection is the most significant to ever go on public sale and has been described as ‘The Perfect Collection.

The collection has been built and nurtured by the late Mr. Richard Gooding - an American private collector from Colorado. Mr. Gooding spent decades in pursuit of creating ‘The Perfect Collection’ of whisky, leaving no stone unturned by travelling regularly to Scotland with his pilot in search of special bottles at auctions and distilleries.

North America as a whole makes up 27% of the total global Scotch Whisky exports (Source: SWA 2019).

The Perfect Collection’ by Mr. Richard Gooding, consists of over 3,900 bottles of primarily single malt Scotch whisky and will be sold by Perthshire online whisky auction specialists, Whisky Auctioneer next year. The Collection is comprised of some of the most coveted, valuable and rare bottles from distilleries including The Macallan, Bowmore and Springbank, some of which are individually valued at over £1m.

The eclectic library of whiskies also consists of a number of bottlings from some of Scotland’s lost distilleries, including Old Orkney from Stromness Distillery and Dallas Dhu; some of these have never been seen before at auction, by whisky experts or connoisseurs.

Until recently, the Collection has been housed in Mr. Gooding’s ‘Pub’ - a dedicated room located in his Colorado family home that was specially designed to showcase each one of his whiskies in all their glory.

In what is a major coup for the Perthshire-based company and part of a growing trend of the democratisation of whisky sales from traditional auction houses to online, each bottle in Mr. Gooding’s collection will go on sale next year over two separate auctions.

Nancy Gooding, wife of the late Mr. Gooding commented:

“It was clear to us as a family that collecting Scotch was one of Richard’s greatest passions – an endeavour that spanned over two decades. He loved every aspect of it; from researching the many single malt distilleries to visiting them and tasting their whiskies.

“He was always so pleased to acquire the bottles that he was searching for over the years - his mission was to collect a bottle that represented every single distillery, but his favourite was always Bowmore with his preferred whisky being Black Bowmore.

“Richard truly loved and was proud of his collection and enjoyed sharing it with friends and fellow Scotch lovers in his ‘pub’ at home.”

Iain McClune, Founder of Whisky Auctioneer said:

“The Perfect Collection by Mr. Gooding is truly one of a kind and a testament to his dedication to collecting Scotch whisky. Its sheer scale and rarity makes it one of the most exciting discoveries in the whisky world, and we’re thrilled to unveil it to the public ahead of it going live on our online auction site next year.

“This library of whiskies is filled with very special bottles, each of which has been researched and meticulously examined for condition and authenticity. Amongst the over 3,900 bottles is the largest collection of The Macallan ever to go to auction, including the limited opportunity to acquire the 1926 Valerio Adami and 1926 Fine & Rare 60 Year Old bottlings.

” Becky Paskin, Whisky Expert and Writer, said:

“It’s incredibly rare that a complete whisky collection of this size and value comes to auction at once, but it is the sheer diversity and comprehensiveness of Mr. Gooding’s collection that makes it so intriguing.

“He was a perfectly eclectic and passionate collector, often flying around the world to source elusive whiskies, and while there are a number of high profile bottles like the 1926 Macallans and Black Bowmores, he also amassed a treasure of enchanting gems from such a wide range of distilleries, including many that are long lost. As a whole, the collection provides a fascinating insight into one man’s ambition and dedication to one of his great loves.

” Angus MacRaild, Whisky Writer and Consultant, commented:

“What I love about Mr Gooding’s Collection is, beyond its immediately impressive value, its sheer breadth and diversity of bottles. Looking through it, you can tell it was put together by someone who loved whisky - and loved to drink it. So many of the bottles in this collection are special because they represent such outstanding quality; from wonderful independent rarities, to ancient bottlings of legendary single malts from before the Second World War, to some classic official bottlings.

“There are so many wonderful facets of Scotch Whisky represented here, and the fact that Mr. Gooding created this before the internet, before social media and totally under the radar makes it all the more thrilling to uncover and learn from.

” The Perfect Collection by Mr Richard Gooding will go live on Whisky Auctioneer from 7-17 February and 10-20 April 2020.

Published Date

(December 6, 2019—Los Angeles, CA) This week, Fia, Santa Monica’s California Coast-meets-Amalfi Coast restaurant, launches Fia Lounge, a new bar concept within the restaurant. Vincenzo Marianella, Fia’s resident barman and a fixture of Los Angeles’ cocktail community, offers an extensive selection of drinks exclusively available inside the front bar space, alongside chef-driven bar bites from Executive Chef Brendan Collins. Fia Lounge guests enter through the separate side door into the restaurant’s front bar—a sophisticated setting replete with lush greenery and modern European touches that mirror Fia’s outdoor garden—including high-top café tables, brick walls, a fireplace, and cozy seating.


With a selection of more than 25 cocktails sorted into five sections, Fia Lounge offers something for every type of imbiber—from those looking for a modern interpretation of a throwback 80s cocktail (Japanese Cosmo) to the connoisseur searching for top-shelf drinks made with ultra-premium spirits (Royal Sidecar, $65), and everything in between. Marianella’s creative and expertly crafted drinks encompass the classics as well as introduce new techniques to the LA bar scene—for example, the Velvet Revolution incorporates sucrose ester to impart a velvety texture.  


Also distinguishing Fia Lounge from its culinary counterpart is the soundtrack, unique from the music played in Fia’s dining spaces, featuring a modern, electronic-based playlist emanating from a newly installed sound system. Fia Lounge will welcome a rotating roster of DJs on the weekends, creating a distinct nighttime atmosphere for Westsiders and beyond.  


“When we opened Fia in August, we knew this space had the potential to offer so many different experiences,” says Owner Michael Greco. “The reception to Vincenzo’s cocktails at Fia has been so positive that we wanted to give him the opportunity to be even more innovative. Adding a lounge component seemed like the perfect opportunity to further showcase his fantastic drinks to our current clientele as well as speak to an entirely new demographic of guests.”

“It’s my goal to offer the best cocktail program in Los Angeles, and I’m incredibly proud of the cocktails our team has created at Fia Lounge,” says Marianella. “There is truly something for everyone on the new menu, and hopefully we can inspire people to try something new as well.”


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