Vermont Hard Cider Company, LLC,Bret Williams, President and CEO of Green Mountain Beverage, recently announced that the hard cider company is changing its name to Vermont Hard Cider Company, LLC effective August 1, 2011. The name change comes at a time when the hard cider category is experiencing significant growth in the United States. The company produces the nation’s number one cider ‘ Woodchuck Hard Cider, which is available in all 50 states and is currently celebrating its 20th Anniversary in 2011! In June 2003 when Williams put together the deal to buy the company, the legal name became ‘Beverage Acquisition Group, LLC’ with Green Mountain Beverage as the d/b/a. At the time, it was uncertain if the company would survive, let alone be able to sell hard cider exclusively. Over the years, the Woodchuck Brand has grown three-fold and has enabled the company to remain solely focused on the hard cider category. ‘The name ‘Vermont Hard Cider Company’ better reflects who we are and what we do,’ Williams said. ‘Vermont, as well as our Company, stands for good people doing good things in a good way.’ Vermont Hard Cider Company will continue to operate in its current facility on Pond Lane, while actively pursuing expansion options in the Middlebury area. About Vermont Hard Cider Company, LLCVermont Hard Cider Company, LLC, located in Middlebury, Vermont, is the leading hard cider producer in the United States, which includes the nation’s number one cider ‘ Woodchuck® Hard Cider. Having won 16 IMPACT Hot Brand Awards, Vermont Hard Cider Company, LLC is recognized for its superior cider brands. Vermont Hard Cider Company, LLC handcrafts and manages all levels of quality control in a state-of-the-art cidery in Middlebury, VT by employing a team of cider makers with over 30 years of combined experience directly in cider making and a team devoted exclusively to producing, marketing, and selling hard cider. More information is available at www.woodchuck.com(link is external).
BIRMINGHAM, England (CMC) – Inexperienced West Indies will hope to silence their many detractors when they clash with a dominant England in the historic day/night opening Test at Edgbaston here today, in what is likely to be their sternest challenge in recent times.Written off long before arriving here for the three-Test series, the Caribbean side are expected to be put under intense pressure from an England squad still buoyant from their emphatic series win over South Africa last month.Further, the Windies have not won a Test here in 17 years and are also without a series win in nearly three decades, since the incomparable Sir Vivian Richards presided over a 3-1 victory in 1988.Captain Jason Holder, on his first tour of England since taking over the helm of the side two years ago, told reporters here yesterday that despite being underdogs, he had been boosted by his side’s form in the recent first class tour matches.“We’re obviously huge underdogs. England are a very good cricket team. They’ve played some very good cricket and a number of their players are in good form,” Holder said.“And likewise for us, we’ve had a pretty decent year so far in Test cricket – we’ve won one Test game so far and we’ve lost two.In that last series against Pakistan, I felt there was significant improvement. We had guys who showed progress and improvement and (are) showing signs they can compete here at Test level.“For us, we’ve just been focusing on ourselves primarily and trying to nail down our processes, and I think we have been doing that in the warm-up games so far, so we only hope that can transcend into the Test series.”West Indies have showed signs of form in the tour matches, with four batsmen – Kyle Hope, Shai Hope, Roston Chase and Kieran Powell – all getting hundreds in the drawn game against Derbyshire last week.Chase, in particular, has been outstanding with scores over fifty in his four innings on tour while Jermaine Blackwood has also been among the runs.Seamer Kemar Roach, on his first Test tour in nearly two years following a spell on the sidelines due to injury and loss of form, started the tour with a five-wicket haul against Essex while rookie 20-year-old speedster Alzarri Joseph shone with a four-wicket haul against Kent.Pacer Holder, who bowled well in the Derbyshire day/night game, said it was important the Windies bring all the facets of their game together, especially since they would be playing under lights with the pink ball.“I think our bowling has really carried us throughout the last few Test matches. We’ve got people like Shannon Gabriel who has had a pretty decent year, myself I haven’t been doing too badly,” he pointed.“We’ve got Miguel Cummins, young Alzarri Joseph – Kemar Roach is actually showing some very, very good form, so I’m really confident in our bowling.“It’s just for our batsmen to make some runs. We’ve struggled in the past primarily with our batting but so far on this tour we’ve been doing really well so I’m expecting things from the batsmen.”He added: “The mood is good. We have two solid weeks of preparation here in England. I felt these three tour games were of good benefit to us. We got a chance to get acclimatised, obviously (got) a chance to see how the pink ball operates here in England and obviously the red ball so it was a pretty good exercise in the last two weeks.”The Windies enter the series with a less than stellar recent record, with just three wins in their last 23 Tests and without a Test series win in three years.In fact, the last time West Indies beat a side ranked higher was in 2012 when they secured a 2-0 series win over New Zealand in the Caribbean.The Test, the first to be played with the pink ball in England, bowls off at 14:00hrs (09:00hrs Eastern Caribbean time).SQUADS:ENGLAND – Joe Root (captain), Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Jonathan Bairstow, Stuart Broad, Alastair Cook, Dawid Malan, Toby Roland-Jones, Ben Stokes, Mark Stoneman, Tom Westley.WEST INDIES – Jason Holder (captain), Kraigg Braithwaite, Devendra Bishoo, Jermaine Blackwood, Roston Chase, Miguel Cummins, Shane Dowrich, Shannon Gabriel, Shimron Hetmyer, Kyle Hope, Shai Hope, Alzarri Joseph, Kieran Powell, Raymon Reifer, Kemar Roach.
… as GTT calls for audit into Digicel’s ‘illegal’ bypass with SurinameGuyana Telephone Telegraph (GTT) has called for an independent audit into Digicel Guyana Inc unlicensed trans-border link between Guyana and Suriname that has been active for more than five years.This call was made as the telephone giant and other agencies support to a fair and competitive telecoms landscape. GTT believes that the time has come for this matter to be investigated and brought to light – one that can finally provide transparency to the Guyanese public.The telephone company in a release stated that there is no ambiguity about this bypass activity – in fact, it claimed that it is a demonstration of remarkable arrogance and disregard for rule of law in Guyana.Only recently, Digicel reportedly indicated to the PUC that its bypass operation was not appropriate for the discussion at hand but did not deny any aspect of the operation.GTT is also of the view that the ‘illegal’ bypass is causing significant harm to Guyana, financially.“With liberalisation on the horizon, the practice of equity and transparent conduct of all players is of paramount importance. It is essential that both the public and our leaders have the complete details about Digicel’s bypass operations, and that they understand the full consequences of the company’s actions, which are illegal and in direct violation of their licence,” the company said in a release to the media.It is based on the aforementioned occurrences; GTT has called for the audit but more importantly, over a period of time and more recently, it was assured that the matter was drawing the attention of the local regulatory authorities.In addition, by conducting this audit, GTT is of the belief that Guyanese will know the complete details of the alleged unauthorised cross-border link. It is also contending that since assuming office, the Government has pursued a number of audits to bring clarity to various aspects of our economy.Given the financial significance of an illegal bypass operation, it would certainly seem appropriate for a similar audit to take place with regards to the illegal bypass, the statement added.Meanwhile, GTT is also calling for Digicel Guyana to release documentation to show where it has made tax payments on the revenue generated by the ‘illegal’ bypass operations.This, it stated will determine whether or not the company has failed to pay some US$30 million to the Guyana Treasury for the past five years.Apart from the loss of taxes, valuable spectrum is being used by Digicel Guyana. “We all have a right to know whether this spectrum has, in fact, been stolen by Digicel,” the release stated.Only last Tuesday, the PUC held a hearing to determine whether GTT promotions are anti-competitive, as claimed by Digicel Guyana.As a result of that hearing, it has since been determined that an assessment of the services will be conducted.This is according to Chairman of the PUC, Justice Prem Persaud. The promotion in question is the “GET MORE PAY LESS” promotion. According to Persaud, it was Digicel’s contention that it could not compete with GTT because of the rates.