Published On: Fri, Aug 14th, 2015

How liquor companies are breaking into minority markets

the Jewish Whisky Company, is gaining fast in popularity since its inception in 2012.

Jared Card pours Arran and Kilchoman single malts at Whisky Jewbilee 2012.(Whiskey Jewbilee )jewbilee620

To the casual observer, a recent gathering of whiskey aficionados at a trendy New York catering space might have appeared like any high-end tasting affair. The crowd was a typical one — primarily professionals in their 20s through 50s. The routine was familiar, too: At each tasting station, brand representatives talked up their spirits — mostly top-shelf single-malt Scotches and bourbons — with a geeky enthusiasm and then offered samples of the pricey pours.


But to those paying closer attention, a few signs suggested this night was different from all other nights, to borrow an apt phrase from a Jewish text. For starters, many of the men in attendance wore a yarmulke, the skullcap associated with the Jewish faith. And the feast that accompanied the drinking was strictly kosher, replete with the classic Jewish stew known as cholent.

In short, this wasn’t just any whiskey festival. It was the Whisky Jewbilee, a one-of-a-kind gathering of Jews with a passion for quality booze. The annual New York bash, put together by a company appropriately called the Jewish Whisky Company, is gaining fast in popularity since its inception in 2012. Even with $125 ticket price, attendance has doubled to 450, and the number of brands represented has nearly tripled to 80. Moreover, the festival is going national: Jewbilees are planned in the coming months for Chicago and Seattle.

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Market Watch, by Charles Passy 


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