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Craft beer: six trends to watch out for in 2016

Craft beer is subject to a relentless pace of change, so here are six trends to stay on top of in the year ahead.

Canadian wine producers join the Bibendum PLB stable

Bibendum PLB has added two new agencies from Canada to its portfolio.

Connoisseur Estates adds premium New Zealand winery to its portfolio

Importer Connoisseur Estates has added New Zealand producer Tohu to its portfolio and will pour the wines at the upcoming SITT tastings in Manchester and London.

Think Gin: highlight of the gin buyer's calendar nearly upon us

On March 1 buyers from across the UK are invited to the second annual Think Gin event, hosted by Off Licence News and our sister titles Harpers Wine & Spirit and Drinks International.


New UK and Ireland MD for Les Grand Chais de France

French wine producer Les Grands Chais de France has promoted UK off-trade director Mark Kears to be the group’s new managing director for UK and Ireland.

Beam Suntory posts strong post-merger 2015 results

Reported sales at Beam Suntory grew 23% in 2015, the first year of full results after Suntory’s £9.3 billion acquisition of Beam in 2014.

Pernod Ricard benefits from range rationalisation and EDLP to grow sales

Success in the UK and Spanish markets drove a 1% H1 growth in Pernod Ricard’s European sales.

Jacob's Creek Sun Craft aiming to win over Millennial consumers

Pernod Ricard is targeting Millennials with a new five-strong range of entry-level wines called Jacob’s Creek Sun Craft.

Major off-trade promotion for Brancott Estate's 40th birthday

Pernod Ricard’s Brancott Estate brand is marking its 40th anniversary with a major on-pack promotional campaign in the UK’s off-trade.

Harpers offers independent retailers an all-expenses-paid trip to Rioja

Harpers is partnering with Wines from Rioja to offer independent retailers the chance of an all-expenses paid trip to some of the most respected and innovative bodegas in the beautiful Rioja region.       

Scottish Greens launch own craft beer ahead of May elections

The Scottish Green Party has launched it own brand of craft beer in the run up to May’s elections.

Enotria says the time is right for multiples to "re-engage" consumers

Supermarkets need to mimic the success of independents and the on-trade in exciting consumers with diversified ranges if they are to return to growth, supplier Enotria and Coe has warned.

Leading MPs back campaign for 2% cut in drinks duty

The government must cut the duty on wine and spirits by 2%, two influential MPs have said.

Prosecco prices set to rise due to lack of availability at entry point

The days of cheap Prosecco could be numbered as the base price has risen by around a quarter in the past year, a leading importer has warned.

Independent retailers delist Camden Town Brewery's beers after AB-Inbev takeover

Leading independent beer retailers have stopped listing beers from London’s Camden Town Brewery following the company’s takeover by Stella Artois and Beck’s brewer AB-Inbev.

Harrods hails golden era of wine gadgetry

We are entering a golden age for wine gadgetry that will pique the interest of new consumers and help maintain the category’s future prosperity, according to a leading buyer.

Cider industry needs cut in duty, MPs told

 The government must act to save Britain’s cider makers, MPs were told at a Parliamentary reception last night.

Asahi confirms £1.8 billion acquisition of Peroni and Grolsch from AB InBev

AB InBev has accepted a £1.8 billion bid from Japan’s Asahi brewing group for four beer brands including Peroni and Grolsch.

William Grant hires Miss Whisky to advise on premium portfolio

Family-owned distillers William Grant & Sons has appointed whisky writer Alwynne Gwilt as whisky specialist and brand ambassador for its Ancient Reserves portfolio.

ASA rules against Iceland Fat Bastard wine ad

The Advertising Standards Authority has ordered multiple retailer Iceland to withdraw an ad for the Fat Bastard wine brand.

Drink driving limit changes mulled over for England and Wales

The drink-driving limit in England and Wales could be lowered to match the tougher stance taken in Scotland, according to media reports.

Asahi closes in on Grolsch and Peroni

Japan’s Asahi Group Holdings is nearing a deal to buy European beer brands Grolsch and Peroni, as reported in Reuters today.

Brewer on course to hit crowdfunding target

The Friday Beer Company has raised £93.5k of the £150k it is seeking to fund its ambitious expansion project.

Fickle consumers pile on pain for UK multiples

UK consumers are losing their retail loyalty and are increasingly willing to shop at a wider range of stores if it means saving money, the latest retail figures from market analysts Nielsen suggest.

ACS condemns “shambolic” government response to Sunday Trading consultation

The government’s official response to its consultation exercise on Sunday Trading, published today, has been angrily dismissed by the Association of Convenience Stores.

Diageo sells last US winery to Foley Family Wines

Foley Family Wines has acquired the Chalone Estate Vineyard in Monterey County, California from Diageo for an undisclosed sum.

Rioja wine sales set new record

Sales of Rioja wines set a new record last year with a total of 388 million bottles sold, aided by the region’s strategy to boost its focus on both white and aged wines.

Premium Italian sparkling Franciacorta posts solid growth

Sales of Franciacorta premium Italian sparkling wine were up 7.1% domestically and 7.5% in export across 2015, the region’s winemakers’ governing body, Franciacorta Consorzio, has announced.

Armit Wines bolsters Italian portfolio

Armit Wines has added winery Castello di Buttrio to its Italian portfolio, as part of a strategic category review designed to boost its range of quality white wines and indigenous northern Italian varieties.

Champagne Lanson eyeing up Valentine's Day sales spike

A rosé from Champagne Lanson’s portfolio has been hailed as the UK’s best-selling Rose Champagne, just in time for Valentine’s Day.

Nyetimber expands with 44-hectare acquisition

The Sussex-based Nyetimber winery has acquired a neighbouring 44-ha site in West Chiltington to help fulfil its expansion plans.

Johnnie Walker Blue Label marks Chinese New Year with limited edition luxury gift design

Diageo is to launch a limited-edition run of Johnnie Walker Blue Label to celebrate the start of the Chinese New Year.

Sharp's partners with London Beer Week for second year

Sharps Cornish brewery is to be the headline partner for the second annual London Beer Week, which runs from February 22 to 28.

Casillero del Diablo renews Sky Movies deal on back of bumper sales

Casillero del Diablo has renewed its partnership with Sky Movies after a record year of sales in 2015.

SWA takes case for duty cut direct to Treasury

The Scotch Whisky Association made its case for a further 2% cut in spirits duty directly to the Treasury this week.

Think of cancer when you drink, says government’s chief medical officer

The UK government’s chief medical officer, Dame Sally Davies, has urged women to contemplate the risk of developing breast cancer every time they consider having glass of wine.

Drinks Retailing Awards 2016 winners revealed

Aldi, Waitrose and We Brought Beer were among the big winners at the Drinks Retailing Awards, which were presented at London’s Dorchester Hotel on Tuesday.

ACS condemns government attempt to force through "unpopular, unnecessary and damaging" Sunday Trading deregulation

The Association of Convenience Stores has condemned the government’s tactics on its controversial deregulation of the country’s Sunday trading laws.

i heart Prosecco becomes largest Prosecco brand in impulse sector

Copestick Murray’s i heart Prosecco posted 85% growth across 2015 to become the largest Prosecco brand in the impulse sector, according to data from Nielsen.

ACS calls on Chancellor to support UK's small high street retailers

The Association of Convenience Stores has called on the chancellor, George Osborne, to do more support local retailers.

Conviviality Retail on course to meet ambitious expansion target as profits grow on the back of soaring Prosecco and ale sales

Conviviality Retail is on course to meet its expansion target of opening 50 new Bargain Booze and Wine Rack store in 2015-16 financial year.

Brand extension for hugely successful no-alcohol Beck's Blue

AB InBev is following through on its commitment to ensuring 20% of its global beer are low-to-no alcohol by 2020 with the release of Beck’s Blue Lemon in the UK.

There's A Beer For That secures major new investment

There’s A Beer For That, the brewing industry campaign to revive the popularity of beer in Britain, has secured a further £5 million in funding.

Reducing the Strength: licensing expert brands council disgraceful for forcing scheme on store

A former licensing sergeant has branded Wirral council “disgraceful” and accused it of flouting licensing laws in its bid to roll out a Reducing the Strength scheme in the area.

Free Run Wines launches cricket-themed AOP Bergerac wines

Free Run Wines has created a new brand of AOP Bergerac wines called Le Village Anglais and will present them at the upcoming France Under One Roof tasting.

Provence rosé Imperials set to take the UK by storm

An Englishman who found fame with a viral video instructing people how to open a bottle of wine with a shoe is hoping to make his six-litre Imperials of Provence rosé the drink of choice at parties and BBQs this summer.

Kopparberg fruit lager: “more refreshing than lager, not as sweet as fruit cider”

Kopparberg hopes to win over drinkers that find lager too bitter and fruit cider too sweet with its new lemon and limed flavoured fruit lager.

Diageo half-year results ahead of expectations

Organic sales at global drinks giant Diageo were up 1.8% for the second half of last year, the company has revealed.

Pernod Ricard unveils first new expression for Longmorn Speyside single malt

Pernod Ricard UK has unveiled the first in a series of new expressions for its Speyside Longmorn whisky.

SWA calls for further excise cuts for spirits as sales boost Treasury coffers

Last year’s 2% cut on excise duty helped the Treasury increase its take from the tax on UK spirits sales by 4% to £96 million, new figures reveal.