News Briefs

Manuel Rubiralta Diaz
, executive president of Bacardi y Compañía S.A. de C.V. died unexpectedly last month at the age of 63. He had been overseeing Bacardi’s commercial operations in Mexico since 2000.
Pittsburgh Brewing Co. received approval of its reorganization plans to emerge from bankruptcy with new ownership, under the name Iron City Brewing Co. Tim Hickman will serve as the company’s new president. As part of the approved reorganization plan, Iron City Brewing Co. will invest $4.1 million for modernization of the Lawrenceville, Pa., facility. The company also plans to increase marketing efforts behind its Iron City, I.C. Light, I.C. Golden Lager, Augustiner Lager and Augustiner Dark brands.
Soyuz-Victan USA, Jersey City, N.J., has appointed Georgia Crown Distributing Co. and Alabama Crown Distributing as distributors for Silk Vodka in Georgia and Alabama. The product will launch in these markets early this summer.
Heaven Hill Distilleries Inc. has acquired the Mohawk distilled spirits portfolio from Boisset America. The agreement adds the Mohawk and Newport franchises, Basilica Imported Liqueur line and Rosita Tequila to Heaven Hill’s portfolio. The company says it also will strengthen Heaven Hill’s business in Michigan, Texas, Louisiana, Wisconsin and New York. Boisset America will retain its imported spirits business.
First Horizon Bank has launched a food and beverage finance group to serve beverage distributors, fast food and restaurant franchisees/franchisors, and regional and national restaurant companies. The division will be based in Atlanta and offer a range of financial services, including treasury management, merchant services, lines of credit, acquisition finance, insurance, employee benefits and investment banking.
Fizzy Lizzy LLC, based in New York City, has entered into an exclusive distribution agreement with Exclusive Beverage Inc., a distributor of non-alcohol beverages, for distribution of the Fizzy Lizzy line of sparkling fruit juices throughout New York City and Nassau and Suffolk counties.
“We expect to see a significant increase in market penetration as a result of this agreement,” said Elizabeth Morrill, founder and chief executive officer of Fizzy Lizzy, regarding the agreement.
Ardea Beverage Co., Minneapolis, maker of Airforce Nutrisoda, launched a complete Web site for Spanish-speaking consumers. The Spanish version of provides information on Nutrisoda nutrient-enhanced sodas, health and wellness tips, nutritional information, diabetes resources and recipes, and can be accessed  under the Spanish flag.
Union Beverage, a division of Glazer’s Distributors, has signed a distribution agreement for Windy City Soda throughout the state of Illinois through four warehouses located in Chicago, Rockford, Champaign and Collinsville, Ill. Windy City Soda currently produces root beer and diet root beer in 12 ounce glass bottles. Additional flavors and package sizes are under development.
New Sun Nutrition’s FRS energy products will be available at more than 2,500 company-operated GNC stores across the country. The energy drink and chewable products are slated to hit GNC shelves early next month, and GNC plans to make FRS products available to franchisees via catalog and upcoming new product events.
Numi Organic Tea, Boston, recently ranked as the 24th fastest-growing inner-city company in ICIC-Inc.’s Inner City 100 list. The company was recognized for its more than 500 percent growth rate during a five year period.
Hobarama LLC, Miami, maker of Bawls Guarana, has added nearly 20 new distributors to the company’s growing sales network to expand its presence in the Northeast and Midwest. Great State will handle the brand in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. In New York, the company signed Buffalo Beverage, Rochester Beer, Finger Lakes Distributing, Spirit and Sanzone, Ryan Sales and Doldo Distributing. In Pennsylvania it has teamed with All-Star Distributing and Metro Beverage. The company will work with Central Beverage, Mullarkey Distributing, Gaudio Distributing and R.C./Evansville in Illinois. It signed Carlson Distributing in South Dakota; Home Juice Co., in Tennessee; and Lee Distributing, Beer Capitol and Better Brands in Wisconsin.