In Brief

Beer contest website goes live

The website for the International Beer Challenge - the competition to find the 50 best beers in the world - is now live at The competition is run in association with OLN and beer suppliers can go online and enter their brews in this year's contest. Beers are judged across 12 classes by a team headed by beer writer Jeff Evans, and the winning brews in each class and an overall supreme champion will be awarded their prizes in October. The deadline for entries is May 31.

Trust seeks new boss

The Drinkaware Trust has launched a recruitment drive to find its first permanent chief executive. The appointment will replace interim chief executive Kevin Byrne, who has been on secondment from the government since November 2006 and who has helped appoint the charity's chair and trustees. Potential applicants should visit or call 0870 224 1449 quoting reference DAT-7-1/G before April 13.

Community call

Londis is one of the first independent retailers to sign up to National Independents' Week. The group has enlisted its lorry drivers to distribute ideas leaflets to shopkeepers in the run-up to the campaign, which starts on June 4. Ross Halliday, MBL acting marketing director, said: "NIW provides the perfect backdrop to reinforce the message that their store is the hub of the community."

Wine course announced

The Cava & Penedès Wine Institute is inviting applications for its 24th wine course, to be held from Sept 24 -28 in Valafranca del Penedès near Barcelona, Spain. Twelve selected candidates from the UK will have all their costs, including airfares from London and accommodation, covered by the institute. The course is open to all members of the UK wine trade who have the WSET Advanced Certificate level or equivalent education.

Cava changes

The Consejo Regulador for DO cava has changed its regulations to allow Pinot Noir grapes to be used in the production of white cavas. Until February, Pinot Noir was only permitted in cava rosado. The regulatory body has also increased the minimum ageing period of a reserva cava from nine to 15 months.

Innovation focus for Summit

The Association of Convenience Stores is holding its annual conference - Summit 07 - on May 1. The event at the Birmingham Hilton Metropole will centre around the theme of innovation. ACS chief executive James Lowman said: "I am so confident about this year's summit that any independent retailer who attends the event and feels they haven't received full value from the day can receive their money back." Summit tickets, which include the conference, gala dinner and one night's accommodation, cost £399 plus VAT or £299 plus VAT for independent members.