Analysis
Didsbury gin: Dragon's Den success

An appearance on top TV show Dragon’s Den saw the owners of Didsbury gin gain a £75,000 investment. Martin Green catches up with the duo to see what the future holds

Bottle-conditioned beer sales: Beasts from the yeast

Bottle-conditioning gives beers bigger flavours and complex characters. A week of promotions aims to put them back on the map, reports Nigel Huddleston

Opinion
Oddbins got caught in No Man’s Land

Even as the ice caps melt, the world is becoming an increasingly polarised place. Nuance and rationale get bested by bombast and dogma; every disagreement seems irreconcilable. The middle ground has become No Man’s Land. Such polarisation was all too evident in recent discussions about Oddbins going into administration. While the response was almost universally sympathetic within the wine trade, the debate on social media became rapidly antithetical when Brexit was mooted as a determining factor.

Thinking Drinkers: balancing act

January proved another success for committed abstainers. Granted, it’s the grimmest month to endure without the occasional glass of whisky, but the brave few suffered for our sins, seeing it tee-totally through to February while simultaneously inflicting a short, sharp kidney punch to the industry. Well done them.

The art of tastings

All of us who engage with the wine tasting circuit will be familiar with its general format – comfortable, predictable and generally pretty successful. Whether it’s held in a private members’ club on Pall Mall, a basement in Shoreditch or a private room in a restaurant, the basic form of the trade tasting is timeless: wines normally ordered by producer, a spacious room, good light, tasting booklets (with free pencils), spittoons and endless plates of Carr’s Table Water Biscuits.

Nielsen insight: how minimum unit pricing has affected Scottish shoppers

When the notion of MUP was first introduced in Scotland, I remember thinking “this is big” and I wondered how the industry would react. I also wondered how I would react if the same were to be implemented in England. Would it make a difference to how or what alcohol I buy? Would I even notice the price rises? 

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