Green With Envy
I recently attended the International Society of
Beverage Technologists Annual Meeting in San Antonio, Texas, where the
keynote address was presented by Susan Neely, president of the American
Beverage Association. What I found most motivating in her speech was
ABA’s plan to play a leadership role and anticipate future challenges
the industry might face concerning environmental issues.
The beverage industry does possess a respectable track
record regarding packaging and its impact on the environment, but more
needs to be done to take a leadership role on the issue, Neely said.
She pointed out that the
industry has been criticized in regard to packaging and environmental
stewardship for the lack of recycling collection capabilities in
communities. Beverage companies may not hold the sole responsibility for
improperly disposed packaging, but beverage products and companies are more
visible because the brand is on the package. This gives beverage companies
a disproportionate share of responsibility, the speaker explained.
Beverage companies control 100 percent of the package
inception, Neely continued. The next step is to
take responsibility for the total lifecycle of that package from the design
of the package, through the collection and the end use. “If we can
define what the appropriate level of responsibility is, we can avoid owning
the entire problem,” Neely said.
The ABA also is partnering with the National Recycling
Coalition, which is a coalition of government leaders responsible for
programs at the local and state level, and working with them to advance
recycling programs nationwide and not bottle bills, which the coalition
agrees is flawed public policy, Neely said. The ABA instead is looking at
legislation for recycling funding options and a comprehensive approach to
taking leadership in moving beverage packaging all the way through its
The beverage industry could be the industry that
everyone else looks to as the ideal, Neely said. Wouldn’t that make
everyone green with envy?
Last month, the Brewers Association celebrated the
anniversary of the repeal of Prohibition. The association and its members
marked the April 7 anniversary with “Brew Year’s Eve”
celebrations. On that date in 1933, newly elected President Roosevelt
asked Congress to modify the Volstead Act to allow for
legal consumption of beer of a specific strength. This year, craft
breweries across the nation offered special-release beers and brewery
tours, as well as craft beer and food pairings. That same day, cable
network A&E premiered its documentary “The American Brew: The
Rich and Surprising History of Beer in America.”
The program featured an overview of Prohibition, history, impact on the
country and why it was repealed. Grey Goose
Grey Goose vodka partnered
with Celebrity Cruises to bring its spirits expertise to the sea. Until
July, Trevor Burnett, Grey Goose brand ambassador, will travel on Celebrity
cruise ships as its on-board spirits ambassador. He will host
martini-mixing seminars, lead martini flights, train Celebrity Cruise staff
on the art of cocktail mixing, and interact with guests on trips to Alaska,
Hawaii, the Caribbean, Europe and Russia.
Recycling for charity
The high value of aluminum is helping fund the
construction of houses in Habitat for Humanity’s Cans for Habitat
program. To date, more than 1,000 affliates have recycled nearly 500,000
pounds of aluminum that have generated $400,000 toward the construction of
homes for underprivileged families. The program recognized its top
participating affiliates and their recycling efforts, including Habitat for
Humanity of Yuma, Ariz., which partnered with Arizona Western College to collect 91,000 pounds of aluminum. Ultra-premium price tag
For a price tag of $1
million, one very wealthy consumer can buy the premier bottle of Mendis
coconut brandy and get a vacation. As part of the launch of ultra-premium
coconut brandy, Mendis International Inc., New York City, presented the
first bottle for sale for $1 million. In addition to the brandy, the
purchaser also will receive a first-class flight to the Maldives to stay in
a five-star resort. The company also is offering the second bottle of
coconut brandy to the winner of an online draw.
Prêt a ‘pour’-er
Making martinis got a little easier thanks to Effen
Vodka’s Martini Machine. The
“machine” is a platform that holds one bottle of Effen vodka
with a ready-to-dispense tap for pouring vodka for martinis. The company
says a 1.75-liter bottle of Effen goes from freezer to the Martini Machine
for effortless entertaining. The “machine” is available in a
limited-edition package with a bottle of Effen vodka, tap, custom stand and
a cocktail recipe book featuring 50 original drink recipes for a suggested
retail price of $54.99.
Best in the world?
Goose Island’s India Pale Ale “may just be
the best beer in the world,” according to Roger Protz, the only
recipient of the British Guild of Beer’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
In an article profiling beer culture and beers from around the world, Protz
suggests the Chicago company’s IPA might hold the illustrious title. Protz is considered an
expert in the beer world, having written 15 books on the subject, and is
the editor of the “Good Beer Guide,” an annual publication
produced in conjunction with the Campaign for Real Ale. The article
appeared in London’s The Guardian newspaper, to which Protz regularly contributes.