Division Spotlight: Beverage Group Magazines

The three magazines in the beverage group (Beverage Dynamics, Cheers and StateWays) have a long history of covering the beverage alcohol industry.

Beverage Dynamics has been around for 85 years, starting less than a year after the repeal of Prohibition as Liquor Store & Dispenser magazine. In the 1950s the name was changed to Liquor Store, then to Beverage Dynamics in the late 1980s. Other than a few years when it was called Beverage & Food Dynamics, the name has remained constant since then.

Cheers is celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2015, and StateWays has been around since the 1970s.


Why Three Separate Magazines?

In order to understand how the three books serve the readers, first you need a little history about the alcohol industry.

The U.S. retail market is divided into two parts: control states and open states. In general, control states (Pennsylvania, Oregon, Michigan and Ohio among them) only allow spirits and wine sales at state-owned stores. The control states make up about 25% of the retail beverage alcohol market (18 states and two counties in Maryland). StateWays is written for control state personnel, who work in state-owned stores and who handle the purchasing, merchandising and responsibility programs in those states. In nearly all controls states, some portion of the tax dollars collected from alcohol states is used for responsible drinking campaigns and code enforcement.

Open states sell licenses for retailers to operate off-premise stores (called off-premise because alcohol is consumed outside of the store, generally at home). State laws vary – for example in Colorado licensees can only own one location, so there are no chain stores, and whether beer can be sold only in licensed stores varies greatly among open states. Beverage Dynamics serves the owners, managers and employees of open state retail locations.

The other half of the beverage alcohol market is on-premise bars and restaurants (called on-premise because alcohol must be consumed within the bar/restaurant). Cheers serves the on-premise market, which includes bartenders, restaurant managers, and chain executives. Stories focus on hospitality topics, drink recipe creation, marketplace trends, and of course the new product announcements and category updates contained in the other two magazines.


What We Cover

Over the course of a year, the beverage magazines need to provide updates on every category in the beverage alcohol industry. The major ones include spirits like vodka, rum, whisk(e)y (American, Canadian, Irish, Scotch and international), cordials and liqueurs, gin, tequila, and brandy/Cognac; wines like Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Pinot Grigio, Malbec, and Sparkling/Champagne; as well as domestic, imported and craft beers.

Yes, we do receive sample bottles of new products. Part of our job as editors is to taste-test products on a regular basis to help us stay on top of emerging trends. As you can imagine, the conferences and other events in our industry are also heavily focused on enjoying a cocktail, glass of wine or pint of beer.


Updated Look and Feel

Over the past year, the beverage group publications have undergone some major changes. Both Cheers and Beverage Dynamics magazines were redesigned, as were their corresponding email newsletters and websites. Be sure to check out http://www.cheersonline.com and http://www.beveragedynamics.com, especially if you haven’t visited those sites recently. StateWays will be next to receive similar updates in the coming months. Richard Brandes, who had edited Beverage Dynamics for nearly 25 years and StateWays for more than a decade announced his retirement in August, adding to the long list of changes within the group.


Who Creates the Content?

The staff that works on the three beverage titles includes:


Amy Collins – Publisher

Melissa Dowling – Editor of Cheers

Jeremy Nedelka – Editor of Beverage Dynamics and StateWays

Bruce Kostic – Senior Sales Manager

Mark Marcon – Senior Sales Manager

Debbie Rittenberg – Senior Sales Manager

Dodi Vessels – Managing Art Director

Adam Lane – Art Director, Beverage Dynamics and StateWays