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Ian Harris appointed MBE

02 January, 2018

WSET chief executive Ian Harris was appointed an MBE in the New Year’s Honours List 2018 in recognition of his services to the drinks industry.

Wimbledon's craft serve

22 December, 2017

There has never been a more exciting opportunity for entrepreneurs to break into the burgeoning British beer scene as the nation’s love of craft brews shows no signs of abating. Drinkers are more experimental than ever and desperate to try quirky new beers that can demonstrate provenance and heritage. But two obvious challenges arise for newcomers to the market.

Cava’s reputation as a quality sparkler could soon overtake that of Prosecco after the launch of a new premium classification, according to the regulatory council president. 

Budweiser is the fastest-growing product of 2017 in UK supermarkets, ahead of Monster energy drinks and avocados.

DRN is gearing up to host its second annual Think Rum event in London and co-chairman Peter Holland believes there is huge untapped potential in the off-trade.

English wine is now considered so classy and fashionable that even the Queen has started producing it, but British-made wine is not exactly sexy.

The UK drinks trade has been urged to develop its expertise in sake to capitalise on this burgeoning category.  

Former Tesco wine buying manager James Davis MW has been appointed commercial director for Adnams’ beers, wines and spirits team.

Former England cricket captain Sir Ian Botham is launching a range of wines in partnership with Broadland Wineries.

Copestick Murray has purchased French wine specialist Free Run Wines and is now busy integrating the team into its growing business.

The trend for multinational brewers investing in their small, craft counterparts continues apace as Heineken has taken a minority stake in Brixton Brewery.

Palmer & Harvey is on the brink of falling into administration, leaving thousands of jobs in jeopardy as Christmas approaches.

Retailers are expected to continue cutting their ranges in 2018 in a bid to save money and make life easier for their customers, according to market research firm IRI.

Jack Daniel’s has launched a rye into the UK market in a bid to capitalise on Brits’ growing love of imported whiskies.

Borough Wines & Beers has unveiled plans to champion “mindful drinking” after giving listings to two ranges botanical sodas and developing a 0% abv gin.

Yesterday’s Budget gave cause for celebration among 99.73% of the UK drinks industry as Chancellor Philip Hammond froze duty on beer, wine and spirits.

Majestic Wine has grown first-half adjusted profit before tax to £6.8 million on the back of strong sales in its Naked Wines division.

Fifty Conservative MPs have signed a letter calling on Philip Hammond to cut beer duty and scrap inflationary increases in this month’s autumn Budget announcement.

The UK Supreme Court has given the Scotland the green light to introduce a minimum unit price of 50p following a five-year battle.

In the mid-2000s the Hunter Valley was home to some of Australia’s most successful volume brands, from Tyrrell’s Long Flat to Mount Pleasant’s Elizabeth. The region’s winemakers were raking in orders from around the world and enjoying huge growth as a result, but they were not particularly happy. 

The government has declared it has no plans to grant local licensing authorities the power to ban “super-strength” alcohol across stores in their areas.

Copestick Murray has unveiled plans to turn Slurp into the UK’s leading premium online drinks retailer after buying a 40% stake in the business. 

Waitrose has no intention of turning its back on classic wine regions that have been ravaged by spring frosts, hail and other issues that have driven up prices.

Spar is aiming to simplify the wine category for its shoppers with two new own-label ranges. 

Copestick Murray’s I Heart brand has gained a listing in Asda as it continues to surge up the chart of the UK’s most popular wine labels.

Sainsbury’s has reported a 26% growth in sales of Taste the Difference wines thanks to a strong performance from New World regions.

A limited edition Big Peat 25 Years Old comprising some of Islay’s most sought-after malts will go into specialist whisky retailers this December.

Gin: Natural selection

09 November, 2017

After witnessing the advent of baobab gin, hop gin, cocoa gin, gin with ants in it, nettle gin and seaweed gin, you could be forgiven for thinking the flavour conveyor belt had run out of options. You would be wrong.

Sleeping with the enemy

09 November, 2017

Over in Ireland a 300-strong group of independent off-licence owners has aligned itself with the health lobby in a bid to prevent supermarkets wiping them out.

Brintex has no plans to shift the London Wine Fair to another month to avoid a clash with Vinexpo in 2019.