First-Ever Briefing on State of the Alcohol Industry Set for December 10

Washington, D.C. (December 3, 2009)—Six prominent thought leaders from the spirits, wine and beer industries will speak at the State of the Alcohol Industry Briefing to discuss how  2009 impacted their business segments and what’s in store for 2010. The inaugural event is hosted by the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America (WSWA) at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., at 5:00 p.m., Thursday, December 10.

“No industry has escaped the wrath of the current economic storm and the alcohol industry is no exception. However, the beverage alcohol industry has managed to weather the storm better than some,” said WSWA President and CEO Craig Wolf.  “The trends of this past year and forecasts for 2010 make for a perfect time to share with the media the value our industry brings to the economy and the cross section of stable jobs that are generated and supported by our companies.”

Craig Wolf will moderate the panel, which will include:

·         Mark Brown, CEO, Sazerac Company, Inc.

·         W. “Rocky” Wirtz, President, Wirtz Beverage Group

·         Phil Terry, CEO, Monarch Beverage Co., Inc.

·         David Jabour, President, Twin Liquors

·         Danny Brager, Vice President, Beverage Alcohol Team, The Nielsen Company

Jim Bareuther, Executive Vice President of the Brown-Forman Company, a major spirits supplier, pulled out of the line up due to last minute conflicts. He was replaced by Mark Brown, President of the Sazerac Company, a prominent spirits supplier.

Rarely have all three tiers (suppliers, wholesalers and retailers) and all three segments (spirits, wine and beer) had the opportunity to come together before the media to discuss the industry at such a critical time. The briefing, followed by a gala reception, will offer the media an insider’s view of the alcohol industry and help to dispel the myth that the industry is recession proof.  

The event will also serve as a forum to caution policymakers against temptations to raise taxes and harm one of the few industries that continues to contribute to the nation’s recovery. Serving as the central link between all three tiers and with 330 members representing all three segments, WSWA is planning to make the State of the Alcohol Industry an annual event at the National Press Club.

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