Published Date

OAXACA, Mexico, April 19, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Sombra Mezcal, a spirit distilled to sustain the land and the people of Oaxaca, today announces its first-ever sustainable cocktail competition, "Shake and Stir to Sustain the Land and the People." Open to professional bartenders in the U.S., entries are accepted from April 22 through August 22, 2018 on Sombra's website. Sombra Mezcal is the brainchild of Richard Betts, a Master Sommelier whose love of Oaxaca inspired him to open a distillery (palenque) that sets the highest standards for eco-friendly production. Newly opened, Sombra's palenque ensures consistent quality and innovation from the fields to the bottle. Click here for an Earth Day message from Richard Betts, Founder, Sombra Mezcal.

Anti-waste pioneers, Trash Tiki's Kelsey Ramage and Iain Griffiths, will judge the competition, which is being conducted virtually to minimize its carbon footprint. Ultimately, the goal is for trend-setting bartenders to educate consumers who are equally eco-conscious and want to do right by the environment.

"We have never seen a sustainable bartending competition conducted virtually and we are really excited to be a part of it," say Ramage and Griffiths. "Travel is often carbon-intensive and dispensing with it offers an exciting avenue to explore as a future for cocktail competitions. Oaxaca is very dear to our hearts and this is a great opportunity for the winner to experience what Sombra is doing at their palenque first-hand and get a taste of Oaxaca's magic."

The Grand Prize winner receives a one-week trip to Oaxaca, a destination for Mezcal and gastronomy for a hands-on apprenticeship at Sombra's eco-friendly new palenque. Groundbreaking green initiatives include using certified sustainable wood, rainwater and solar power and upcycling distillation by-products into adobe bricks for local housing.

The competition taps into bars across the country that are recycling, upcycling and innovating ways to safeguard the environment. Some examples include transforming citrus juice and rinds into cocktail shrubs and vinegars, utilizing fruit pits as the base for new cocktail ingredients and finding alternatives to plastic straws.

"The Trash Tiki folks are leading anti-waste and eco-friendly pioneers in the bar world," says Betts. "We are truly honored to work with them to promote the idea that sustainable cocktails can not only help protect the planet and its people, but also taste delicious. The competition enables Sombra to expand its sustainability commitment beyond our palenque to help engage the U.S. bartending community at large, and ultimately, consumers." 

Published Date

DURHAM, N.C., April 18, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Bedlam Vodka, made by North Carolina based Graybeard Distillery, has been awarded Gold Medal by the 2018 San Francisco World Spirits Competition.  This competition is considered the most influential spirits contest in the world and was founded in 2000 as a way to recognize exceptional products in the spirits category.  Per the competition, a Gold Medal is awarded to products that are "near the pinnacle of achievement in their particular category," and also "set the standard for all others of their type." 

This prestigious award comes exactly one year after Bedlam's industry-leading debut at the 74th Annual Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America Convention & Exposition (WSWA), sweeping multiple category awards.  Cindy Nachman-Senders with WSWA stated that "each year we recognize brands that gain the attention of industry leaders and influencers in tasting competitions, in events like Brand Battle, and with our Hot New Now Media Award.  We are proud to watch the great success of Bedlam Vodka, winner of the 2017 Brand Battle and Hot New Now Media Award and offer hearty congratulations on the occasion of their one-year anniversary."

Since the 2017 WSWA Convention, Bedlam experienced a trailblazing year of growth.  In addition to now being distributed in four states, Bedlam has served as the exclusive vodka at ESPN's ESPY awards pre-show, selected as the exclusive spirit backstage at the 51st Annual CMA Awards, named as one of the top 4 global "Best New Vodkas of 2017" by Supercall, highlighted by The Tasting Panel Magazine as earning an award-winning 93 point rating, and finally chosen by Warner Brothers Records to be a part of Jason Derulo's "If I'm Lucky" music video. 

Heading in to this year's 75th annual WSWA Convention & Exposition, Bedlam has emerged as an industry disruptor with its rice-based vodka.  "With Bedlam we are trying to show the world the true potential of this spirit with a unique base grain and a complex profile unseen in today's vodkas," says Graybeard Distillery CEO Brandon Evans.   "Bedlam is truly the first Drinkable Vodka."

Published Date

LOS ANGELES, April 19, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Mulholland Distilling, producer of Los Angeles' signature American Whiskey, New World Gin and 100% non-GMO Corn Vodka, announced it has won a unanimous Double Gold medal for its New World Gin at the 2018 San Francisco World Spirits Competition, also earning Silver medals for its American Whiskey and 100% non-GMO Corn Gluten-Free Vodka.

The highly regarded competition was held at Hotel Nikko in San Francisco from April 13th-15th. Now in its eighteenth year, the SFWSC is the first comprehensive, annual international spirits judging ever held in the U.S. and is based on an exacting blind tasting procedure.

With over 2,200 spirits entered this year, the unanimous Double Gold medals are awarded to a very small number of entries and are the highest honor of the competition. The unanimous Double Gold medals are awarded to the spirits entries that receive a Gold medal rating by all members of the judging panel and are considered the finest examples of their class in the world. Silver award recipients are also considered among the best examples in their categories, representing outstanding spirits that show finesse, refinement and complexity.

From founders Matthew Alper, native Angeleno and film industry vet, and Walton Goggins, award-winning actor, Mulholland Distilling is one of the first spirits companies from the city of Los Angeles since prohibition. Its premium portfolio reflects the vibrant, rich culture of L.A.

"Our New World Gin was created to engage and embrace everyone. It's who we are as people and as a company. We're so excited the SFWSC has honored us with this award," said Matthew Alper. "It embodies everything we're about and really sets us up for the rest of 2018 and on into 2019!"

This year, judges included master mixologists, sommeliers, spirits experts, authors and cocktail luminaries, including Anthony Dias Blue, Tony Abou-Ganim, Erik Adkins, Bridget Albert, Stephen Beal, Francesco Lafranconi, Steven Izzo and others. Mulholland Distilling spirits, along with other award-winning products, will be featured on the competition's website,

Experience The Spirit of Los Angeles™ at and @mulhollanddistilling.

Published Date

Boulder, Colo. • April 19, 2018 India Pale Ale (IPA) is the leading craft beer style in the U.S., and the new release from Brewers Publications, Brewing Eclectic IPA: Pushing the Boundaries of India Pale Ale by Dick Cantwell, explores the style's evolution, provides guidance for designing unique beers, and 25 original IPA recipes.

The Brewers Association reports that IPA is now the third most popular style of all beers, following only American lagers and light lagers. IPA has 3.1 percent of the total beer market by volume, 6.4 percent in retail dollar sales, and is between 24 - 33 percent of the craft category.

“There’s no mistaking that we are living in the heyday of IPA,” declares Cantwell. “We’re enjoying a style of beer that would have been deemed undrinkable by its earlier 18th and 19th century consumers. Brewers are using a wide range of ingredients, from cocoa nibs, coffee, fruits, and vegetables, to spices, herbs, and even wood, to push the boundaries of the style.”

Among the most well-respected and experienced craft brewers in the world, Cantwell provides scores of tips and methods for first-time brewers and beer veterans alike to concoct a delectable brew and shares the story of how and why the proliferation of American IPA came to be.

Dick Cantwell co-founded Elysian Brewing Company in 1996, where he served as head brewer until its sale to Anheuser-Busch in 2015. During his tenure, Elysian was named Large Brewpub of the Year three times at the Great American Beer Festival® (1999, 2003 and 2004). In 2004, Cantwell received the Brewers Association’s Russell Schehrer Award for Innovation in Brewing.

He has written for various beer magazines, authored Barley Wine with Fal Allen (Brewers Publications, 1998), The Brewers Association’s Guide to Starting Your Own Brewery, Second Edition (Brewers Publications, 2013), and Wood & Beer: A Brewer’s Guide (Brewers Publications, 2016) with Peter Bouckaert.

Cantwell, who has served as an international and national beer judge, as well as the Brewers Association’s Quality Ambassador, recently became the director of brewing operations at Magnolia Brewing in San Francisco.

Brewers Publications supports the mission of the Brewers Association by publishing books of enduring value for amateur and professional brewers, as well as titles that promote understanding and appreciation of American craft beer. With over 50 titles to choose from, it’s the leading publisher of contemporary and relevant brewing literature for today’s craft brewers, homebrewers and beer enthusiasts.

For more information or to request a review copy of Brewing Eclectic IPA, please visit


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