2008 December

Sinclair Breweries has successfully defended its Skull Splitter ale brand against a case before to the Portman Group independent complaints panel that the brand’s name and imagery could encourage violence.

Magners Irish Cider has turned up the festive cheer with its new outdoor advertising campaign in the run up to Christmas.

The Scottish Grocers’ Federation says a ban on displays of tobacco products will only serve to “demonise and mystify” them for young people.

Tesco stores in Scotland have joined forces with the police to place 15,000 neck-collars on bottles of wines and spirits, warning about the dangers of buying alcohol for minors, and of drink-driving.

Coors extends Carling Cup deal

18 December, 2008

Coors has agreed a new deal with the Football League which will see the Carling Cup retain its name until 2012.

Emporia adds St Lucian rum

18 December, 2008

Emporia Brands has launched Chairman’s Reserve St Lucian rum in the UK and is planning to back the brand with advertising on the London underground and in style magazines throughout 2009.

Bulmers bottling line to close

18 December, 2008

Scottish & Newcastle UK has confirmed it is to close the Bulmers bottling line in Hereford and cut the volume produced at its Tadcaster plant, resulting in the loss of 75 jobs.

Bruichladdich has produced what it claims is the world’s most heavily peated malt whisky.

Ara adds Pathway to UK range

18 December, 2008

Marlborough wine producer Winegrowers of Ara is to add a third range to its UK portfolio.

TV campaign for Cobra Bite

18 December, 2008

Cobra is to advertise its Bite range of flavoured lagers on digital music TV channels from today.

Blue Moon, the Belgian-style wheat beer which Coors has been trialling in the on-trade, is making its off-trade debut with Sainsbury’s.

Cash-strapped shoppers are cutting beer and wine from their Christmas lists as they prepare for a recession-hit festive season.

Jancis stars in WSET films

17 December, 2008

Jancis Robinson MW is presenting a series of three-minute films on the WSET website, helping newcomers to wine get to grips with 12 major regions.

Former Oddbins sales director Andy Gadsby has joined Berkmann Wine Cellars as senior national account manager in the off-trade team.

Many drinkers don't know what the government's recommendations for healthy drinking are, an NHS survey has revealed.

Belvedere ad banned

17 December, 2008

An ad for Belvedere vodka has been banned because it shows a woman with her arm around the neck of a man whose bow tie and top shirt buttons are undone.

New pear cider on the block

16 December, 2008

CWF has launched a pear cider which it says beat other products in consumer taste tests.

Constellation has announced it will axe 50 jobs in the UK in response to the duty hike in the pre-Budget report – and warned that more could be lost unless there is a rapid change in the government's alcohol policy.

Counterfeit vodka which could cause blindness in those who drink it has been discovered on sale in South Wales.

Minimum price plan shelved

16 December, 2008

The government has shelved plans to introduce minimum pricing in supermarkets, Home Secretary Jacqui Smith has said.

New design for Grand Siècle

16 December, 2008

Champagne house Laurent-Perrier has unveiled a new label design and gift box for its Grand Siècle cuvée.

Cobra ‘may split in two’

15 December, 2008

Speculation is mounting that Cobra’s Indian and UK interests will be separated as the brewer sets about finding a buyer for its business.

Moët Hennessy has bought Montaudon Champagne for an undisclosed sum.

Second store for WoodWinters

15 December, 2008

Wine and whisky merchant WoodWinters is opening its second shop this week. The new Edinburgh branch will be joined by new stores in Glasgow and Perth in the New Year, according to a report in the Scotsman.

Southern hemisphere wine producers are to be given extra time to comply with new EU rules on allergen labelling.

Zak is Beer Writer of the Year

15 December, 2008

OLN columnist Zak Avery has scooped a top award for writing about beer.

Natural cola Pepsi Raw is taking to the streets with a sampling campaign to drive awareness and trial. Throughout December, brand ambassadors will visit London offices to distribute free chilled bottles, before heading out across the UK in the New Year.

Imperial Tobacco is hoping to attract cash-strapped shoppers with new price-marked packs for Golden Virginia.

Britvic-owned brand J20 is teaming up with comedian Jimmy Carr for an on-pack Christmas giveaway.

Coca-Cola has added a new bottled water to its portfolio following its acquisition of Northumberland-based natural mineral water source Abbey Well last month.