This is the news we’re thinking about here at SevenFifty Daily.

September 8, 2017
1. The Court of Master Sommeliers

The Master Sommelier Diploma Exams in Florida are cancelled due to Hurricane Irma

SevenFifty Daily confirmed with Kathleen Lewis, executive director of the Court of Master Sommeliers, that the Master Sommelier Diploma Exams scheduled in Palm Beach, 9/11-13, are cancelled due to Hurricane Irma. “The Breakers is closing due to the hurricane. We are rescheduling the Master Sommelier Diploma Examination,” says Lewis, who notes that a new date and location has not yet been set.

2. Wine Searcher

Napa Valley faces shortage of workers and transportation for harvest

A heat spike last weekend and a labor shortage have combined to force many California vintner to pick earlier than expected. Vineyards attribute the shortage in transportation to the heatwave, which resulted in most of the vineyards’ grapes ripening at once, and vineyards attribute the labor shortage to the crackdown on immigration, causing less workers and higher pay requirements.
3. Forbes

AB InBev's High End beer division lays off 90 percent of its sales force

Anheuser-Busch InBev has laid off 380 employees from its High End division, which oversees craft brewery acquisitions and super-premium imports. The layoffs have wiped out at least 90% of The High End’s nationwide sales force but do not include employees who report directly to any of the 10 breweries within its portfolio. The layoffs are due to changing priority from acquisitions to efficiency within its acquired breweries.

4. The Heraldsburg Tribune

Sonoma winery seeks expansion, faces opposition from residents

Winemaker David Ramey plans to open a winery with multiple tasting rooms, guest housing, commercial office space, and picnic grounds to accommodate more than two dozen annual promotional parties, some with up to 300 guests. In two weeks, the county Permit and Resource Management Department will hold a  hearing that will address residents’ opposition. Local residents say the neighborhood cannot accommodate the anticipated traffic.

5. Brewbound

Massachusetts's Lord Hobo sells stake to private investment firm to fund expansion

Lord Hobo Brewing, which launched in 2015 and grew more than 400 percent last year, announced that it has sold a minority stake to Valterra Partners, a boutique private investment firm. The transaction is expected to close this month. The company expects to double production in 2017 to more than 30,000 barrels and expand into four additional markets before the end of the year.