December 1933

21st Amendment Ratified, Prohibition Ended


December 5, 2017 marks 84 years since the United States ratified the 21st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and paved the way for the modern three-tier beverage alcohol system.

Inaugural Retailer and Consumer Day to Kick Off WSWA’s 76th Annual Convention & Exposition

(Washington, D.C.) – For retailers aiming to strengthen their bar programs and enthusiasts looking to learn from the masters, The Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America (WSWA) is proud to announce the first-ever Retailer and Consumer Day, to take place March 31 at its 76th Annual Convention & Exposition at Grande Lakes Orlando, Florida.

Why are the classic cocktails made the way they are? What are the latest trends in each spirit category? Learn from the premier wholesaler mixologists that set these trends at the day’s first session: a Master Mixology Class. Zane Lamprey (host of “Four Sheets” premiering on #DrinkTV) will lead a discussion with master mixologists Troy Clarke (Martignetti Companies), Natalia Cardenas (Breakthru Beverage Illinois), David Ortiz (Republic National Distributing Company), and Armando Rosario (Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits). Audience members will have the opportunity to rotate through two small group mixology demos offered by spirit type: Gin, Vodka, Bourbon/Whiskey, and Tequila. Each breakout will cover topics like acid/base balance, new techniques, flavor combinations, and how glassware makes a difference. It’s advanced cocktail training for industry professionals or anyone who wants to mix like one.

Wine connoisseurs will love the Wine Seminar, which kicks off with a keynote by Master Sommelier Bob Bath of Culinary Institute of America, Greystone and COPIA Napa.  This TED-like talk will explore trends in current consumption, wine varietals, what you should have in your personal cellar and wines by region. Taste established brands, and a few that have yet to make their market debuts, and chat with representatives from the wineries.  This session is also relevant for on and off-premise retailers. 

Shop and sip at the Wine & Spirits MarketPlace, showcasing books, bar tools, aprons, and other fun items for sale. Wine and spirits brands are invited to pour and display their products. Enter a blind tasting challenge to see if you can discern the difference between wine sold in pouches, kegs, or cans, and learn from WSWA member experts about other innovative wine packaging. Questions about attending or exhibiting at the MarketPlace can be answered by contacting

Retailers may find that staying to attend the new WSWA Supplier Leadership Series dramatically changes the way they do business. Here, industry heavyweights will address distribution-related issues as well as brand building, how to stand out in a sea of similar SKUs, alternative 3-tier compliant routes to market, finding venture capital, and navigating compliance and state laws. Bruce Himelstein, named “One of the Top 25 Most Extraordinary Minds in Sales & Marketing” for his work with Ritz-Carlton, will be keynote speaker. Mr. Himelstein will be joined by Louis Zweig (Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits), Kristen Bareuther (First Beverage Ventures), Cheryl Durzy (LibDib), Harry Kohlmann (Park Street), Ryan Moses (Best Brands), and Brian Rosen (BevStrat) for this important education session.

The Retailer and Consumer Day is sponsored by Chilled Magazine and The SOMM Journal, and by WSWA’s in-market distributor partners Breakthru Beverage, Republic National Distributing Company, and Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits.

The Retailer and Consumer Day is $150 per person; click here to register. Sessions are included in the Convention registration fee for all registered attendees of #WSWA76. For more information, contact

#WSWA76 will take place March 31 – April 3. This year’s event features keynote speaker Ice-T, the lively Taste of the Industry grand tasting, mixology and tasting competitions, two packed Exhibit Halls, Brand Battle, and more. Learn about the WSWA Annual Convention & Exposition at

WSWA is the national trade association representing the wholesale tier of the wine and spirits industry, dedicated to advancing the interests and independence of wholesalers, distributors and brokers of wine and spirits. Founded in 1943, WSWA has more than 370 member locations in 50 states and the District of Columbia and its members distribute more than 80 percent of all wine and spirits sold at wholesale in the U.S.



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