I’ll Drink to That: Karl duHoffmann of Anchor Brewing

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Episode 288 of I’ll Drink to That has been released, and features Karl duHoffmann of Anchor Brewers and Distillers and Orchard Hill Cider Mill in New York. Anchor Brewers and Distillers is the parent company of Anchor Steam Beer, among other things.

Karl duHoffmann remembers in this interview discussing sales with an up and coming domestic whiskey brand, when they asked him how much of their whiskey he could sell. His response was that within a year they wouldn’t have enough product available to meet requests. And that is what ended up happening. Which shows you that Karl has an eye for potential winners in the spirits market, but also brings home to bear just what an incredible run American whiskey has had in the last few years. Sales have been through the roof. And the market has shifted dramatically for other categories as well. Taiwanese whiskey? Indian rum? Karl gives a rundown of what is happening across the world.

The cool thing about Karl is that he doesn’t just work in spirits distribution, he also works in production. He has his own project as well. And that means he is the type of guy who looks specifically at what the producers he represents are doing, so he can get a sense of what they are up to technically. He can explain some of the details about why things taste as they do. Aging whiskey in a sub-tropical climate vs. aging it in Scotland? It turns out that this has implications for taste. Karl knows the difference.

Karl also his eye on sales, because that is a big part of his job. He can explain some of the factors that contributed to the move from vodka to whiskey in the market, and he can explain where other categories stand as well. Is the gin market expanding overall in the wake of numerous new gins being made available to consumers? How are the multinational spirits companies approaching innovation? What is the next spirits category likely to explode? And what about the growth of the craft category? Karl hits up all of these topics in the interview. Overall, if you have wondered about how that parallel world, the spirits world, compares to what is going on with wine, this is an interview to hear out.

Listen to the stream above, or check it out in iTunes.

I’ll Drink to That is the world’s leading wine podcast, hosted by Levi Dalton. Levi has had a long career working as a sommelier in some of the most distinguished and acclaimed dining rooms in America. He has served wine to guests of Restaurant Daniel, Masa, and Alto, all in Manhattan. Levi has also contributed articles on wine themes to publications such as The Art of Eating, Wine & Spirits magazine, Bon Appetit online, and Eater NY. Check out his pictures on Instagram and follow him on Twitter: @levi_opens_wine