2011 ended on a high. Sales in the United States, the biggest single market for Broker’s Gin, were up 50% on 2010. A big thank you to everyone at Hood River Distillers, Inc. Total worldwide sales approached 30,000 9-litre cases. In December Martin and Andy were honoured to be presented with the Masters Award in the Super Premium category of the 2011 London Gin Masters, run by The Spirits Business magazine.
In September Martin braved the bright sunshine at the Duty Free Show in Cannes in the south of France. He worked closely with Underberg AG, BGL’s new partner in Germany and Austria. The relationship with Underberg has developed very positively and Martin and Andy look forward to spending more time with them at Prowein in March.
Outside the front door at Cannes Martin with Jürgen Scholz, Vice Export Director, Underberg AG,
Hubertina Underberg Ruder (wife of Franz Ruder, MD) and
Karen Trimmel, Export Director
Martin met several friends and business associates at the Cannes Show. And of course many of them wanted to borrow his bowler hat. Now here is a question to test readers of this newsletter. The gentleman on the left has appeared in one of our previous editions. The first reader to email us with the gentleman’s name will receive a bottle of Broker’s Gin as a prize. The gentleman himself and colleagues from the company where he works are of course excluded from the competition!
In the latter months of 2011 Martin made numerous visits to the continent of Europe – to Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Austria. In Belgium, Broker’s Gin has recently started working with Premium Spirits. The first sales numbers are very encouraging, especially from the sophisticated and cosmopolitan city of Brussels. Martin plans a second visit to the Belgian capital in March to start work with a major Brussels wholesaler.
Who is this gentleman? In Germany – with our partners Schlumberger/Underberg – lots of good things have been happening. Martin attended a trade fair in Stuttgart and followed this up with sales calls in Munich. Below right Martin is seen with Munich Sales Manager, Steen Risom, and Jan Leemke, Head of Wines & Spirits at the renowned Kaufhof department store. Jan confirmed that Broker’s is one of his best selling gins. Total sales in Germany more than doubled from 2010 to 2011.
Martin in Stuttgart with Peter Simon-Kupfer of Martin with Steen Risom and Jan Lemke
Martin’s recent visits to the picturesque mountain resort of Appenzell in eastern Switzerland have led to a new and exciting relationship with the Appenzeller Alpenbitter company. There are a lot of gin drinkers in Switzerland (and not just among the bankers). As Martin stepped aside to avoid a passing udder in Appenzell, he was overhead saying, “We want to milk this country for all it’s worth.”
Martin with salesman Carlo Tufaro at the famous Martin and Stefan Magli, MD Appenzeller Alpenbitter,
Schaffhausen Falls in Switzerland sharing the main street of Appenzell with a herd of cows
In Vienna, Martin was invited down into the depths of Schlumberger’s cellars where there are five miles of tunnels in which Schlumberger “champagne” develops its fabulous character. Not wanting to get lost, Martin took with him two excellent guides and bodyguards – Anne Deutsch, Marketing Manager, and Katrin Stagl, Marketing Assistant. They also took Martin on an above-ground tour of Vienna, which included a visit to the big Ocean Park entertainment complex (the largest in Austria) where they have listed Broker’s as their house gin.
Down among the riddling racks with Anne and Katrin
Not wanting to miss all the fun in Europe, Andy made a little foray over to Berlin in November, where he could be forgiven for thinking he had run into Alex from A Clockwork Orange.
Many thanks to Michael d’Aprile and Michael Stöve, Broker’s Gin’s sales agents in Berlin, for organising a great event at Salut bar. It takes a lot to keep Andy out until 3am, but they managed it! Despite that, Andy was able to visit several accounts the following day, including Berlin’s most prestigious department store, KDW, which has been a long-time supporter of Broker’s Gin.
Germany is really embracing Broker’s Gin and many new cocktails have been created there. Here is one.
A Clockwork Orange?
The Broker’s Bramble
40 ml Broker’s Gin
20 ml freshly squeezed lemon juice
10 ml simple syrup
20 ml Crème de Mûre
Combine ingredients, except for Crème de Mûre, in a cocktail shaker and shake with ice cubes. Strain into a tall glass filled with crushed ice. Drizzle the Crème de Mûre over the top. Garnish with berries. Serve with a straw.
In October Martin flew to Bangkok for a week, taking his daughter Cecilia with him as a supporting brand ambassadress. Martin’s annual visits to Thailand are certainly producing results. Our business continues to grow each year and our importer Italasia, through Jamie Carr and his sales team, are constantly gaining distribution of Broker’s Gin among Bangkok’s premier accounts. One of the biggest successes of 2011 was the inclusion of Broker’s Gin on the drinks menu of the prestigious new boutique hotel The Muse. Martin commented, “We are very proud to be associated with The Muse, undoubtedly one of the pearls of the Bangkok hotel scene.”
Sharp-eyed readers will have noticed that Andy too has recently enjoyed the pleasures that Thailand has to offer, some of which were reported in the last newsletter.
The Muse Hotel, Bangkok Martin and Cecilia with Bodo Klingenberg,
GM of The Muse, and Max Benedetti, GM of Italasia
When Martin returned from Thailand, Andy jetted off on a tour of the States embracing Ohio, Michigan, Texas and Colorado. He enjoyed working with the new RNDC team in Ohio. One of the highlights was revisiting the Saigon restaurant in Cleveland where the manager, Julie, has been promoting Broker’s Gin since his first visit there two and a half years earlier.
Andy at Saigon restaurant in Cleveland with Ana (left) and Julie Downtown Detroit
Surrounding neighbourhoods not so shiny!
In Michigan Andy worked with several sales representatives from the General Liquor Company and conducted two store tastings, all to great effect. He plans to be back in Michigan in May. In both Ohio and Michigan Andy was accompanied by Vincent Melita, HRD’s new East Coast Manager – a great addition to the team.
Andy had a free Sunday in Michigan and visited the Henry Ford museum in Dearborn and the adjoining Greenfield Village, where numerous historic houses and other buildings have been relocated, including the house in which Henry Ford grew up. They are both fascinating places.
One somewhat macabre exhibit is the presidential limousine in which President Kennedy was assassinated. Some years ago, on a visit to Dallas, Andy saw the X’s that mark the spot outside the Old Texas School Book Depository where the shooting occurred. And he visited the JFK museum there. The limousine was another poignant reminder of that tragic event. Surprisingly, the limo continued in service for a number of years, having had a hard – and doubtless bullet-proof – top fitted to it.
JFK’s fateful limousine Greenfield Village, the only place in the world where
you are likely to see one Ford Model T following another
Andy headed south from Michigan, to Houston, where he worked with RNDC, both on-premise and off-premise. He was particularly pleased to see the progress being made on-premise, and hopes in due course to run a Broker’s Gin cocktail competition with the help of Nick Babcock, RNDC Houston’s resident mixologist.
The final segment of Andy’s US tour was in Denver, where he was very pleased to work with the Colorado RNDC team again. Broker’s Gin sales in Colorado have seen very strong growth. But Andy made a slight detour between Houston and Denver, with a weekend side-trip to Barbados. As you would.
“One of us had to go,” said Andy Andy with Allister Straker
Broker’s is one of only seven gins on the island! High jinks outside Andy’s hotel
In Barbados he met the charming people of Stansfeld Scott, who import Broker’s Gin to the island. They included Jayshree Kessaram, the delightful lady in charge of the show, and Allister Straker, who manages Broker’s Gin activity. Andy enjoyed his visit so much that he plans to go back again in May.
In November Martin made his final visit of 2011 to the USA. He made stops in upstate New York, then spent a week among the beautiful autumn colours of Virginia and Washington DC. He worked with on-premise sales reps from distributor DOPS. Together they made several new placements. Martin has been promised a special tour of the White House on his next visit. We shall refrain from speculation on who might open the door.
Martin with Lindsay Derringer Martin with Theda Bogdon
Andy’s final trip of 2011 was a vacation in South America. Never able to take his mind off work, he met up with Broker’s Gin’s new importers in Argentina and enjoyed an excellent dinner with them at Unik restaurant in Buenos Aires. The after-dinner toast was with neat Broker’s Gin, straight from the freezer. Way to go!
While in Latin America, so to speak, we would like to thank Richport Distribution in Panama, who have now ordered four consignments of Broker’s Gin. We understand that Broker’s is being sold in duty-free shops at the borders between Panama and Colombia, and between Panama and Costa Rica, and at cruise ship terminals. Andy has offered to check it out.
Finally a word of welcome and thanks to the Strag Group who have bought Broker’s Gin for the Norwegian market.
Now it’s back to preparing for the Prowein 2012 International Trade Fair in Dusseldorf, Germany, on 4-6 March. We hope to see some of you there
Andy with Stéphane Beauhaire (left) and Ignacio Issazadeh
of Kiara Trading in Buenos Aires
With best wishes
M & A