2019 June

One of the winners of this year’s Drinks Retailing Awards has been exploiting the benefits of the extra profile and publicity opportunities.

The Wine & Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) has appointed Michael Saunders, the chief executive of Bibendum PLB, as its new chairman of the board.

The Isle of Skye Brewing Company has acquired Black Wolf Brewery and its beer brands from VC2 Brands.

The Buyers Guide to Cider 2019 focuses on the opportunities and challenges facing the cider category, with details of exciting NPD and it also discusses the role that the apple, pear, fruit, craft and heritage cider categories can play in the off-trade. There is news, analysis, features and partner profile pieces, along with insight from leading cider writers and commentators.

Amber Beverage Group has bought the UK-based drinks distributor Cellar Trends.

Majestic Wine has lowered the price of its entire spirit range and removed the two-tier pricing on the category.

Winchester Distillery has raised close to £500,000 to fund expansion plans.

Ross Carter, who was head of the London Wine Fair between 2013 and 2017, has been appointed chief executive of The Benevolent.

William Grant & Sons has announced the sixth recipient of the Ian Murray Spirited Solutions Scholarship.

European Food Brokers is reportedly seeking to take Oddbins back from the hands of the administrators it appointed four months ago.

Greenall’s has introduced two new RTD gin & tonics to tap into growth in the pre-mixed canned drink sector, and well as the growing popularity of flavoured gin.

Vermouth brand El Bandarra is introducing “Barcelona’s latest obsession” into the UK.

The 2018 winner of the Independent Beer Retailer of the Year category in the Drinks Retailing Awards is celebrating a move to bigger and better premises.

Diageo GB has appointed a new sales director for the UK’s off-trade sector.

Asda has added to its Argentinian range of wines with a new Malbec Syrah 2018, priced at £10 a bottle.

The Co-op has introduced a collection of wines containing less than 0.5% abv each.

Heineken UK has pledged to add new calorie and nutrition labels across all of its cider packaging, while it is also reducing the sugar content of its cider brands by 30%.

Eden Mill has unveiled plans for a major £3.1 million redevelopment of its brewery.

Shrinkage costs UK retailers almost £11 billion a year and alcoholic drinks are the greatest contributor to that figure, according to new research.

Kopke and Casa Burmester – both part of the Sogevinus Fine Wines portfolio - have declared 2017 a vintage year.

Wales has been forced to delay plans to introduce a minimum unit price of 50p on alcohol until at least 2020 after a challenge from Portugal.

Australian spirits producer Manly Spirits is launching BlackFin Coffee Liqueur into the UK, to tap into growth at the premium end of this market.

There is a delicious moment in The Devil Wears Prada when Meryl Streep’s Miranda Priestly dresses down frumpy Andrea for sniggering about the difficulty of choosing between two belts that look similar.

In my household, it is a story of two halves. I, like many others, have enjoyed the variety the gin boom has offered lately, while my partner is a rum enthusiast, collecting, displaying and consuming different offerings from around the world.

J K Rowling was rejected 12 times before her debut novel was published. Today, the Harry Potter franchise has grossed more than $25 billion, and 12 people have presumably never stopped kicking themselves.

The Wine & Spirits Trade Association is working on a definition for flavoured gin, which “reflects the quality of the products that are already out there”, while also whittling out products that shouldn’t have the word “gin” on the label.

Flavoured gin and gin liqueurs have brought in “a new and unique shopper base”; a group which otherwise would not have bought into regular gin, according to Kantar data.

The rush to produce Instagram- friendly pink, colour-changing and fruit gins has been well- documented, but amid all the excitement, a kick-back against outlandish innovation has been slowly gathering pace among those who see proper gin as the route to long-term sustainability for the category.

Scotch whisky can now officially be matured in a wider variety of casks - including those previously used to age tequila, mezcal, calvados, cachaca, shochu and baijiu – following a change in the law governing the industry.

Global Brands has extended further into canned cocktails with new “Instagrammable” and bag-in-box sharing options.