Taking Stock: News & New Products

A round-up of the latest news from around the bar and restaurant industry.

Black Entrepreneur Incubator Powerhouse Pronghorn Appoints Jomaree Pinkard as New CEO

Pronghorn, an independent company dedicated to expanding diversity within the spirits industry by cultivating and investing in the next generation of Black founders, executives, and entrepreneurs, has announced its most recent capital investment in Hella Cocktail Co. Pronghorn’s capital investment in the brand will provide access to its supercharging services, designed to help continue scaling Hella’s business.

Furthermore, Hella Cocktail Co.’s Co-Founder, Jomaree Pinkard will transition to Chairman of Hella Cocktail Co., and assume his appointment as Pronghorn’s new CEO and Managing Director.  

“We are excited at the overwhelming support Pronghorn has extended to the Hella Cocktail family,” said Tobin Ludwig, Co-Founder at Hella Cocktail Co. “The investment in our shared vision at Hella is a true testament to Pronghorn’s mission to elevate brands across the category and create real industry change. We’re proud to see our Co-founder and Chairman, Jomaree Pinkard, bring his work to the next level for the entire spirits industry.”  

In Pinkard’s new role he will be leading Pronghorn’s tentpole initiatives that propel the company’s overarching mission of bridging the representation gap in the spirits industry. Pinkard will oversee the continuation of Pronghorn’s capital investments against the organization’s earmarked goal of supporting 57 Black-owned brands and will help accelerate its pipeline development of talent from the Black community to fill 1,800 roles committed to by suppliers, distributors, and retailers in the industry over the next ten years to generate $2.4 billion in economic value for the Black community.  


double aged tequila

Espanita Tequila Announces a New Double Barrel-Aged Reposado

Espanita Tequila welcomes a new limited-edition Barrel Reserve collection to their portfolio of award-winning 100% Blue Agave Spirits. Finished in Bourbon casks, Espanita Double Barrel Reposado Tequila is the first release from the limited-edition Barrel Reserve collection.

Double Barrel Espanita Reposado Tequila is initially matured in American White Oak casks, then the aging process is completed in freshly emptied Bourbon barrels sourced from Kentucky bourbon producers. The extended aging process and exposure to two different kinds of wood mellow the spirit and enrich the tequila’s flavor profile, resulting in a truly remarkable tequila with captivating aromas of fragrant orange zest, apricot chutney, toasted honey oak, Cherry Heering, and vanilla bean that are joined by heady bright scents of white-peppered sweet Agave and herbaceous highlights of lemongrass and chocolate mint. Tasting notes include roasted agave, cherry cola, and spiced nuts, followed by brown sugar-sprinkled grapefruit and candied ginger with tantalizing hints of clove, allspice, and toasted oak. The finish is smooth and nuanced with rich flavors of toasted coconut, apple wood, hazelnut spread, and lively citrus peel and cinnamon accents.


Distilled Spirits Council to Host 2023 Annual Conference June 14-15 in Chicago

The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS), the leading voice and advocate for the U.S. spirits industry, announced that registration is open for its 2023 Annual Conference June 14-15 at the Marriott Marquis in Chicago.

Themed “DISCUS 50th Celebration: 50 Years Advancing Spirits in America,” the conference will bring together a diverse group of top experts in their respective fields to identify challenges and opportunities facing the industry and to share ideas on how to navigate the rapidly changing spirits marketplace and legislative landscape.

Conference sessions will feature hot topics such as consumer retail experience, DEI, brand promotion, future industry innovation, challenges facing the industry from supply chain to economy, sustainability, consumer behavior data, e-commerce, no and low trends, a policy roundtable, and much more.

The “Innovation Showcase” will be back at the conference, a Shark-Tank style competition giving entrepreneurs a platform to showcase their unique inventions before a panel of judges. This year, the showcase will be taking place virtually leading up to the conference, allowing viewers to vote for their top picks. Highlights of the showcase will be featured at the conference where winners will be announced and attendees will have the opportunity to meet finalists during the opening reception.


Barr and McGarvey to Co-Chair the Congressional Bourbon Caucus

U.S. Reps. Andy Barr and Morgan McGarvey renewed the Congressional Bourbon Caucus as an official Congressional Member Organization for the 118th Congress.

The caucus was founded in 2009 and is made up of a bipartisan group of members that are dedicated to strengthening the bourbon industry in the United States and educating other members on legislative and regulatory issues impacting the industry. Barr and McGarvey will serve as Co-Chairs of the caucus.

The EU and United Kingdom imposed 25% tariffs on American whiskey in 2018, with the EU’s tariffs set to increase to 50% in June of 2021. Rep. Barr led a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai with over four dozen members of Congress encouraging the Administration to negotiate a suspension and elimination of the tariffs. While the tariffs were suspended, the EU is set to reimpose a tariff of 50% in 2024 if there is no agreement in the dispute.


Silk & Spice Announces Three New Wines

silk spice wine

Silk & Spice launches three new wines to complement the Silk & Spice Red Blend: Silk & Spice White Blend, Silk & Spice Silk Route, and Silk & Spice Spice Road. 

First launched in 2016, Silk & Spice pays homage to the sense of adventure, knowledge, and courage of the Portuguese sailors who, during the Age of Discovery, started the silk and spice trade routes from the far east to the rest of the world. The wine is expertly blended to capture the silky and spicy aromas and flavors found in Portuguese indigenous grapes, and the fruit forward, contemporary taste has struck a chord with the US consumer. So much so, in 2022, Silk & Spice sold over 100,000 cases in the US, outpacing category trends.

The new wine extensions include:

  • Silk & Spice White Blend 2021 Vintage: Silk & Spice White Blend presents aromas of ripe peach, melon, and white flowers, balanced with notes of sweet spices and vanilla.
  • Silk & Spice Silk Route 2020 Vintage: The smoothest Red Blend in the portfolio, this wine went through a gentle maceration process to preserve its fruit forward notes and freshness. With hints of red fruits, white chocolate, and light vanilla on the nose, this wine is incredibly easy to drink and perfect for everyday consumption. Depicted on the eye-catching label is the Bombyx Mori, otherwise known as the domesticated Silk Moth, responsible for making the global silk trade what it is today – another nod to the silk trade routes that inspired this new wine. 
  • Silk & Spice Spice Road 2020 Vintage: The boldest of the new Silk & Spice offerings, this wine is made from a selection of grapes with optimum ripening. It delivers a full bodied, oaky flavor with notes of spicy black pepper and rich dark chocolate. The compass on the label highlights some of the most important spices traded during the Portuguese explorer’s journeys that can now be found around the world.


BrewDog USA Announces Eric Franco as VP of U.S. Sales

BrewDog, the internationally recognized, Scottish-born craft beer maker with a growing footprint throughout the states, announces Eric Franco as its new Vice President, U.S. Sales. Franco takes the helm as BrewDog’s growth reaches new milestones, including being ranked as one of the top 40 largest breweries in the U.S. by volume according to the Brewer's Association, expanding its retail footprint with BrewDog Atlanta, its first bar in the Southeast, opening BrewDog Las Vegas, its largest location yet with a 30,000 square-foot venue, and continued expansion expected in Colorado in 2023.  

Following roles with MillerCoors, SAB Miller and Founders Brewing Co., Franco joins the BrewDog team with more than 25 years of experience across the brewing and cannabis industries in both domestic and international markets.


tattersall birkie

Tattersall Distilling releases Birkie WI-SKI™

Tattersall Distilling announced its partnership with the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation (ABSF), the official non-profit and host of the cross-country ski event, the American Birkebeiner. To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Birkie, Tattersall and the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation released a limited edition collaboration spirit, Tattersall WI-SKI™, a straight rye whiskey aged in used maple syrup barrels.

To create this unique spirit, Tattersall finished their three-year-old Straight Rye Whiskey in used maple syrup barrels. The maple syrup barrels were used Tattersall bourbon barrels that had most recently aged maple syrup in them for over six months. The finishing barrels add not only notes of maple syrup to the whiskey, but also subtle notes of the bourbon as well. The result is a robust, peppery sipper with a hint of sweetness that tastes even better after a day on the ski trails. 


Plan to Attend or Participate in Bar & Restaurant Expo, March 27-29, 2023

To learn about the latest trends, issues and hot topics, and to experience and taste the best products within the bar, restaurant and hospitality industry, plan to attend Bar & Restaurant Expo, March 27-29, 2023 in Las Vegas. Visit BarandRestaurantExpo.com.

To book your sponsorship or exhibit space at Bar & Restaurant Expo, contact:

Veronica Gonnello ​(for companies A to G)​ e: [email protected]​ p: 212-895-8244

​Tim Schultz​ (for companies H to Q) ​e: [email protected]​ p: 917-258-8589

Fadi Alsayegh ​(for companies R to Z)​ e: [email protected] p: 917-258-5174​

Also, be sure to follow Bar & Restaurant on Facebook and Instagram for all the latest industry news and trends.