ALSA wraps up conference with details on restructure
By Amy Looker, editor - National Liquor News
The annual Australian Liquor Stores Association (ALSA) conference has wrapped up in Cairns this afternoon with confirmation that the industry body will be undergoing a restructure to provide better support to Australia's liquor retailers.
ALSA chief executive officer Terry Mott (pictured) said the restructure will provide increased resources to the State and Territory-based Liquor Stores Associations (LSAs) while freeing up ALSA to focus its resources on national issues.
"About a year ago we got to the point of getting an agreement from the ALSA board, after discussing this issue for the last five years, that if ALSA was able to take a leadership role in the space and properly represent what you needed as retailers in the regulatory, political and community space we needed to do something entirely different," Mott told delegates.
ALSA made the decision late last year to appoint an external consultant for a performance audit review who recommended that a restructure take place, which was formally implemented on July 1.
Part of the restructure includes the appointment of a media policy officer for ALSA, while Mott, who previously split his time between ALSA and LSA NSW, has now been appointed as the full time CEO of ALSA.
"With this increased support we can now efficiently provide the resources that the states and territories haven't had and we're confident that we can get a much greater share of voice that will be better organised and strategically positioned to help get retailers issues out there in the marketplace."
ALSA president Giuseppe Minissale said the restructure has upped the resources at ALSA and now allows ALSA and the LSAs to speak with the same voice.?
"Originally when the LSAs were formed, it was at a state level and then we created a body called ALSA that was supposed to tackle national issues. As time has gone by we've realised that the State bureaucracy levels is that they come up with their own plans and we weren't sure what was happening in each State.
"So to create this body that was more effective, we had to have a resource and now we have a body that feeds back to each State and everyone is working to the same tune," said Minissale.
By James Atkinson
Coca-Cola Amatil (CCA) has finally secured ranging in Woolworths Liquor stores for the Coors and Blue Moon beer brands.
CCA director of licensed and alcohol, Shane Richardson, revealed the long-awaited agreement?in an interview with TheShout at the Australian Liquor Stores Association (ALSA) conference in Cairns this week.
It comes a few months after Alison Watkins took the helm as group managing director of CCA, which had a fractious relationship with Woolworths under her predecessor Terry Davis.?
Richardson said Coors, Blue Moon and Samuel Adams had this month been rolled out in Dan Murphy's and BWS was soon to follow.
"They watched with interest as we've launched. They've respected the work we've done and that we haven't taken short cuts to try and build a brand in the market," he said.
"I would rather be setting this up for the next four to five years as opposed to delivering a great first year result under price pressure to deliver from thereon."
by Suzan Ryan - editor: bars&clubs
Wild Turkey has released a limited edition Diamond Anniversary bottle blending 13 to 16 years old bourbons, in celebration of Father?s Day.
The limited-edition Wild Turkey Diamond Anniversary was created to commemorate the bond between Wild Turkey father and son distilling team Jimmy Russell - the world?s longest-tenured, active Master Distiller ? and Eddie Russell, who has worked by his father?s side at the Lawrenceburg, Kentucky distillery for 33 years.
Throughout his 60 years at Wild Turkey, Jimmy launched Wild Turkey brands and expressions such as Tradition, Tribute, 17-year-old Wild Turkey for Japan, Rare Breed, American Spirit, Kentucky Spirit and Russell?s Reserve (which he co-created with son, Eddie). Jimmy also created the first the first honeyed Bourbon, at the time called Wild Turkey Liqueur (now known as American Honey), in 1976.
In recognition of this inspirational partnership, Eddie Russell wanted to create something special to honour his father and mentor. ?When I was creating Wild Turkey Diamond Anniversary, my father?s voice was in my head guiding me,? said Eddie. (continues below)
The result is Wild Turkey Diamond Anniversary ? the first time an alcohol brand has honoured an individual's substantial contribution to the success of a spirits brand.
Eddie Russell hand-selected rare barrels aged for 13 to 16 years (almost twice as long as Wild Turkey 101) to create a spirit with notes of caramel and vanilla and a spicy oak finish.
Campari will officially launch the Diamond Anniversary bottle at a special Father?s Day sit-down dinner next Thursday night, September 4, at Rockpool, Sydney.
?We are proud to launch Wild Turkey Diamond at Rockpool,? says Campari Australia national brand ambassador, Oliver Stuart.?
?Super Premium bourbon like Wild Turkey Diamond is at home in one of Australia?s finest restaurants ? Rockpool."
Presented in a commemorative wooden box, the 91 proof (45.5% ABV) limited edition bourbon is available at RRP $150 per bottle.
NSW liquor stores say 'enough is enough' on licence fees
By James Atkinson
The New South Wales Government?s decision to increase fees for liquor licence applications, approvals and authorisations with almost immediate effect has been met with disbelief by the packaged liquor sector.
The Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing (OLGR) last week announced fee hikes effective from September 1, including a $500 increase to the applications for new packaged liquor licences and a $200 increase for changing the licensee of an existing licence.
OLGR executive director Paul Newson said most of the application fees had not changed in over five years.?
?Some have not changed for over 30 years. Currently, the application fee recovers less than 30 per cent of the cost of actually processing an application,? he said.
But Liquor Stores Association NSW executive director Michael Waters questioned whether cost recovery was really behind the fee increases, which were announced ?with no stakeholder consultation nor forewarning?.
?Given the recent introduction of the annual so-called ?risk-based? licence fee scheme, one could be excused for thinking that this has moved beyond cost recovery to simply revenue raising as clearly the $9 million-plus that the Government will raise in ?base? annual risk-based licence fees is not enough!? he told TheShout.
A table is available on the OLGR website, which shows the fee changes effective from September 1, 2014.
By Clyde Mooney ? editor Australian Hotelier
The elegant Rose & Crown Hotel has sold amid bids from a wide range of qualified parties and investors.
Wrapping up the on-market tender campaign for the prominent venue in Parramatta ? one of the fastest growing urban areas in the country ? the successful bidder was another investor, and significantly a new entrant to the hotel sector.
CBRE Hotels took the Top 200 venue to market on behalf of private investor partnership TWL Hotels, and insist the nature of the purchaser demonstrates the truth of ?new capital entering the market?.
?The venue generated significant investor interest from around the country and from a variety of purchaser types ? attracted to not only the successful hotel operation, but the prospect of investing in the vibrant Parramatta precinct,? says CBRE Hotels director Dan Dragicevich.?
The freehold going concern hotel has enjoyed tightly held ownership, having had only two freehold owners in the past 100 years, and TheShout understands the incoming owners will be engaging operators to manage the business.
by Suzan Ryan: editor - bars&clubs
Congratulations to Jimmy Irvine, bar manager at Hinky Dinks in Darlinghurst, for taking out the first ever national final of the Australian Monin Cup, at Chippendale, Sydney, last night.
The event is part of the global Monin Cup, a competition designed to foster new talent, aged 18-27 years old, in the Australian bar scene.
The three finalists ? Jimmy Irvine (pictured below on the cover of b&c), Perry ?Pez? Collier of The Lychee Lounge and Kari Nicol of Eau de Vie Melbourne ? were tasked to create two original cocktails using no less than 10ml of Monin product, which werejudged on originality, creativity, appearance and flavour. (continues below)
Irvine, 23, mixed two cocktails, Treehouse Sling for round one and The Breakfast Fizz for round two. The Breakfast Fizz was inspired by a cocktail Irvine sampled at the recent Tales of the Cocktail event in New Orleans that used breakfast cereal in a reimagining of the classic Fizz.?
The second round cocktail was prepared from ingredients supplied via a ?mystery box?, presented to finalists who were then given just five minutes to contemplate their final creation.
The Breakfast Fizz impressed the judges: Bars & Clubs publisher, Paul Wootton; Bartender magazine editor, Sam Bygrave; Tomas Vikario from Monin; and Reece Griffiths from Low 302.
Irvine?s win secures him top spot as Australia?s representative at the Asia Pacific finals in Kuala Lumpur later this year.
Despite the miserable weather outside, an enthusiastic crowd turned out to support the finalists, who whipped up their drinks in a Master Chef-type battle against the clock with entertainment provided by the Sydney Kings cheerleaders and 1950s-style waitresses offering hotdogs and rum and vodka-based Monin drinks mixed especially for the event.
A bus was supplied by Monin to ferry the crowd, judges and contestants on to the after party, sponsored by The Keystone Group, at Sweethearts Rooftop bar in Kings Cross.
By James Atkinson - editor TheShout
Jack Daniel?s has reprised its personalised engraving service for the Gentleman Jack brand ahead of Father?s Day on Sunday September 7.
The initiative gives consumers the chance to treat their father to a bespoke bottle of Gentleman Jack, engraved with its own personalised message.
?Whether you want to poke fun at your ?old man?, charm the pants off him or simply express your gratitude, Jack Daniel?s engraving offering will provide even the clueless gift givers with the ultimate solution to make any dad?s day,? Jack Daniel?s said.
The engraved bottles of Gentleman Jack can be ordered through the brand?s Australian Facebook page.
By James Atkinson - editor TheShout
The Australian Liquor Stores Association?s national conference kicked off in Cairns Sunday night with 160 retailers and suppliers in attendance.
Opening the business sessions Monday morning, ALSA CEO Terry Mott told delegates that last year marked the association?s 30th anniversary, which was cause for a major review of its purpose and service delivery for members.
He said the result was the first attempt at making ALSA ?a truly national organisation, rather than a meeting point for state and territory liquor stores associations, the major chains and the Master Grocers?.
?A year and eight meetings later, plus countless emails and phone calls, the ALSA board agreed to a restructure and we are now implementing that,? he said.
Mott and ALSA president Giuseppe Minissale were followed by Peter Baines OAM, founder of the Hands Across The Water charity and an expert on leadership skills, as well as an upbeat economic briefing from conference stalwart, Peter Switzer.
?Retail is on the comeback trail,? the economist said. ?Inflation adjusted retail sales grew 3.1 per cent over 2013-14, that?s the best annual growth in six years!?
Monday?s highlights included a grilling from Switzer, of panellists including the CEOs of Australia?s major beverage suppliers and liquor retailers in the Switzer Live session, as well as the twilight cocktail dinner cruise hosted by Coopers Premium Beverages aboard the Ocean Spirit I.
Steve Lewis, CEO of UK retailer Majestic Wine, will address the conference Tuesday morning.
By James Atkinson - editor TheShout
Independent Liquor Group (ILG) has become wholesaler to the Star Group of 40 hotels and bottleshops in Queensland.
ILG CEO Allen De Costa said the transaction will almost double ILG Queensland's current volume.
"The Star Group is Queensland's premier hotel group and this partnership will give the industry even greater confidence that ILG is the obvious choice when it comes to wholesaling and liquor marketing," he said in an internal memorandum.
"We now need to deliver on our offer and make sure we provide the Star Group with the fantastic level of service that ILG is renowned for."
De Costa told TheShout the deal brings to about $70 million the amount of new business ILG has taken from Australian Liquor Marketers (ALM).
Kevin Dilks, general manager - retail at Star Liquor Group, said the deal will result in the creation of a new banner group, Star Liquor.
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