Brazil is the seventh largest export market for the U.S. alcohol beverage industry. It offers great opportunities for domestic brands to expand internationally as the global interest in U.S. whiskey products steadily grows. Demand has increased each year in the past 4 years for American spirits. The increasing affluence in Brazil has created a “cocktail culture,” driving increased demand for whiskey and other distilled spirits. Rye whiskey is hard to source in Brazil.
Finger Lakes Distilling’s president, Brian McKenzie, recently traveled to Brazil with representatives of four other craft distillers from four other states. His April 7, 2014 blog “Bam Dia Brazil” on fingerlakesdistilling.com describes the experience and posts storytelling photos. He writes that the barriers to entry are high, especially the tariffs, but these premium spirits will retail at over $100 per bottle. He quips that Sao Paolo is home to the second largest global Ferrari dealership so this shouldn’t dampen sales.