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Leigh Norwood opened Favourite Beers in 2010 and at the time it was the only specialist beer and cider venue in Gloucestershire. In this latest feature in this series of interviews with beer shops across the UK, Norwood talks to DRN about how the business is operating and adapting during the pandemic:

James Hickson has two We Brought Beer shops in the London area, one in Balham and the other in Tooting market. In the latest in this series of interviews with bottle shops across the UK, Hickson talks to DRN about how the business is coping during the pandemic:

Independent beer shops across the country have found ways to adapt their businesses in order to still operate during the lockdown period, while keeping staff and customers safe. 

Off-trade beer sales are soaring but the closure of the on-trade from March 23 this year has had a massive impact on craft beer sales and breweries.

The UK has now been living with lockdown measures for more than four weeks and over this time off-trade wine sales – and online drinks deliveries – have surged massively, while the focus on finding “earth-friendly” solutions looks set to play a much greater role in our future. 

Mandy Stevens is an experienced wine educator and she uses this skill in her role as a part-time wine training manager at Enotria & Coe and also for her own business Sipologist Social, which operates wine tasting workshops around London.   

One of the most remarkable recent success stories in wine, the rise of rosé has been one of the biggest shake-ups of the still wine category for generations. From 2010 to 2015, Nielsen reported exceptional year-on-year growth, driven largely by brands such as

Spiced rum producers have been studying the gin category closely for inspiration, and this now looks to be paying off.

Today’s rum category already seems vast. Couple that with ever-changing consumer trends and assembling a decent rum selection can seem like navigating a labyrinth in a blindfold.

We’ve just had the wettest February since records began, but perhaps of more immediate importance for the drinks trade, it was preceded by the driest Dry January in UK history.

Three in five UK drinks retailers fear their businesses will be materially impacted by consumers staying indoors due to coronavirus fears.

Our December 2019 Alcoholic Drinks Market Report has shown a mixed bag of performance for many of the biggest alcohol retailers.

Berry Bros & Rudd is globally renowned for being Britain's oldest wine and spirit merchants, trading from the same premises since 1698. Yet it also prides itself on being at the forefront of technical innovation.

Austria is ticking a lot of boxes for wine drinkers, finds Sonya Hook

Wine in cans is starting to take off in the UK as consumers buy into more portable formats, by Sonya Hook

Dawn Davies MW of The Whisky Exchange and Jen Baernreuther of Speciality Drinks predict the leading trends of 2020:

Borough Wines owner Muriel Chatel was busy wholesaling French wine to the on-trade when Britain was plunged into an economic crisis in 2008. She had been running a stall in London’s Borough Market for six years by that point, but the wholesale arm of the business provided a crucial revenue stream. Suddenly lots of restaurants stopped paying their bills and she needed to change tack, so Chatel decided to embark on an expansion drive. 

DRN caught up with Mike Robinson, founder and managing director of tonic brand Jeffrey’s, to find out more about the opportunities in the tonic category.

The Brits and the Americans can’t even agree on the differences between the words chips, French fries and potato crisps, so it’s not surprising that food and drink producers tend to proceed with extra caution when introducing a consumer trend from one nation to the other.

Drinks retailers that have noticed sliding sales of beers, wines and spirits might be inclined to lament the chasteness of those pesky millennial and generation Z consumers. “Why aren’t they binge-drinking like their forebears?” they may ask. “And what, pray tell, is a protein ball?”

Retailers are gearing up for the crucial Christmas trading period after enduring a tough year blighted by poor weather, Brexit fears and plummeting consumer confidence. Like-for-like sales are down across most BWS categories in 2019 and Christmas represents the last bastion of hope for retailers aiming to record a strong profit.

Whisky: Christmas in a glass

18 September, 2019

We’re on the path to Christmas now so it’s a good time for retailers to revisit their whisky ranges. There has been a lot of noise about Irish whiskey and also some global options, including bourbon from the US. But will the popularity of these overshadow Scotch this festive season?

Family success story

13 August, 2019

Last summer Fells pulled off a significant coup by taking on distribution for the Hill Smith family’s Negociants portfolio. Until that point, the likes of Yalumba, Oxford Landing and Vasse Felix had been distributed by Negociants UK, which the Hill Smith family decided to close. Fells hired eight members of the Negociants UK team and sold a 10% stake in its business to the Hill Smith family to cement the relationship. 

Building up Chianti

12 August, 2019

Chianti needs a bit of a revamp in the UK and the market is crying out for a strong brand, one which offers a range of Tuscan wines at different price points.

Tonic and mixer producers have done a stellar job of keeping up with the evolution of the premium spirits market and, in particular, gin. The category now has a number of premium players and

It’s now easy to find soft drinks that command higher prices and boast more natural ingredients than many alcoholic beverages, and it seems consumers are crying out for even more choice.

As glass bottles gradually fall out of favour with brewers, one specialist drinks retailer in north London has taken this format shift to heart. House of Cans, a tiny beer bar and off-licence, is pushing a can-only concept that it hopes will set it apart from more traditional craft beer bottle shops.