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Bitter Truth shortage?

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Top 10 Contributor
Posts 198
DanielDSM Posted: 21 Feb 2014 6:50 PM

I had several Bitter Truth products in my shopping cart. Sadly, for the last few weeks their bitters and liqueurs have been steadily going out of stock. AstorWines is also wiped out.

Anybody know if this is anything more than a usual supply/shortage that will pick up slack soon? I can't get DuNY or BT to reply. Feeling like something sinister is going on and I may have to hire some dark, shady character to help me locate bottles to stock up on in my zombie shelter... just in case.

[Stranded on an island essential cocktails: Sidecar, 3:1 Dry Martini with 2 olives, my own Neo Old Fashioned.]

Top 50 Contributor
Posts 65

I seem to recall that  Bitter Truth had to change the name to Berg & Hauck's Bitters for the US market (or at least part of it). Something to do with "potable" vs. "non-potable" bitters.

Maybe DrinkUp is changing over their stock. Not sure about the availability of the liqueurs...

In the meantime:

Top 10 Contributor
Posts 198


Thanks for that reply. I wondered about those labeling changes I was seeing on Amazon... I thought it might be some weird twist like "private bottling" we see in Scotch. However, you appear to be quite right with the naming change and reasons:

Kegworks info about Berg & Hauck


I suppose it'll be a treat that I have my sampler set, at least, with the "Bitter Truth" labels on them. ;)

However, their liqueurs seem to be out of stock too - and I'm not sure the non-potable/potable issue would have been the same problem? Or, maybe thinning out old stock and branding to make way for the new B&H as well accounts for that, too?

I finally got a reply from DrinkUpNY... makes me wonder if they don't read these forums? :)

They said, essentially, "Unfortunately the Bitter Truth bitters are out of stock and our distributor is unable to provide an ETA at the moment.  We apologize for the delay and plan to ship them once they arrive."

So, I might be able to get my bitters from Amazon (thank you for that link) but I'm still searching for the liqueurs I was looking forward to.

Oh well, forward and onward!

[Stranded on an island essential cocktails: Sidecar, 3:1 Dry Martini with 2 olives, my own Neo Old Fashioned.]

Top 10 Contributor
Posts 198

So, since I have a large cup of Sumatra coffee in me I spent time connecting those dots...


"Vision Wine and Spirits" is the new, exclusive US distributor for B&H/BT. Link is to their Press Release... which they really need to learn to date.

Berg & Hauck has a website which seems to be fairly flakey - won't load, shopping is a dead-end link, but maybe they hired a bitters guy as a web developer.

A blog "Stirred, not shaken" has a nice writeup, genesis, and future plans for the bitters company and jibes with the German export/US import subject we're talking about.

Lastly, at least since my coffee is running low, Kegworks pretty much states (from 2011 post) the original issue of seeing these new and interesting bitters sneak their way into the US and also jibes with present-day appearances that the issues were not totally resolved - leading to whatever rebranding/FDA overhaul we're hoping will settle into.


[Stranded on an island essential cocktails: Sidecar, 3:1 Dry Martini with 2 olives, my own Neo Old Fashioned.]

Top 10 Contributor
Posts 174

Not completely for the U.S. market, since bars and liquor stores (here in Massachusetts) could still get Bitter Truth bitters. It mattered about non-liquor store places selling it, like supermarkets and cocktail supply stores which lack liquor licenses. Plenty of bars here are still using Bitter Truth bitters and only a few use Berg & Hauck (because they're buying them from The Boston Shaker store across town).

Boston Bartender. Writer Cocktail Virgin blog & author Drink & Tell: A Boston Cocktail Book.

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