2014 April

Diageo has launched a range of Smirnoff sorbets and frozen pouches and is giving away 1,000 freezers to convenience stores to encourage trial.

Brewdog has responded with typical insouciance after breaching the Portman Group’s alcohol marketing rules for its Dead Pony Club pale ale.

The Scotch Whisky Association’s legal battle with the Scottish government over minimum unit pricing has been referred to the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg.

Steve Barton, former director of wine supplier Brand Phoenix, is targeting the off-trade with a new brand of coconut water.

Robinsons has launched 33cl bottles of Iron Maiden’s Trooper ale as the Cheshire brewery seeks to build on the success of the bestselling beer in its history.

Jack Marland has taken over as lager buying manager at Tesco as part of a reshuffle of the beer and cider team at Britain’s largest retailer.

The drinks industry is on course to honour its pledge to strip a billion units of alcohol from the market by 2015, according to new government figures.

Bargain Booze owner Conviviality Retail has confirmed it is in talks to buy several Rhythm & Booze off-licences from rival Bibby Retail Services.

FE Barber has consolidated its Kingsland Wine & Spirits and Legacy Wines agencies under the name Kingsland in a bid to simplify the brand.

Enotria has appointed former Constellation and Accolade Wines boss Troy Christensen as its chief executive.

Kopparberg has landed a listing with Marks & Spencer to become the only Swedish cider on its shelves. 

Wild Turkey is heading to cities across the country as the bourbon appears in its first outdoor advertising campaign.

Arran Brewery has earmarked £80,000 to triple its production output with a further £80,000 being invested to help it reach new international markets.

Rosé wine sales dropped 4% by volume, with value sales creeping up less than 1%, in the year to March 1 – behind both white and red wine, Nielsen has reported.

Retailers will miss out on a huge growth opportunity if they continue to leave blended Scotch whisky in the shadow of single malt, according to a leading supplier.

Off Licence News has teamed up with Wines of Brazil to offer retailers the chance to win a trip to the South American nation.

Waitrose is trialling a deli and wine offer to encourage shoppers to spend longer in its new-look BWS areas and explore the range.

Aldi boosts wine range

17 April, 2014

Aldi has upped the ante in the wine aisles with a range of entry-level products launched in time for the Easter rush.

There’s been a lot of soul searching about the purpose of Bordeaux en primeur recently. Twitter has been bedevilled with chin-stroking platitudes from merchants and bitchy one-upmanship between wine writers. Debate has raged and disagreement is rife – though miraculously, the world has somehow managed to keep turning.

Yet again consumer complaints have led to a beer brand being required to change its ads because the industry-funded Advertising Standards Authority has judged them to be misleading. The latest TV ads for Kronenbourg challenge the consumer to “find a better tasting French beer” – yet it is brewed in Manchester.

A pinker shade of pale

17 April, 2014

Rosé is coming of age. After its mad surge in popularity in the mid to late noughties, sales of pink wine have levelled off and consumers are turning to paler-coloured, drier styles that go well with food.

Cocktail catwalk

17 April, 2014

April air is full of promise. Balmy evening barbecues and picnics in the sunshine are just around the corner. Long, refreshing drinks will be the order of the day and the best way to gauge what might slake consumer thirst this season is to talk to the trendsetters.

Upping the ante on sherry

17 April, 2014

At first sight, the latest export data from Jerez’s Consejo Regulador make for some pretty grim reading. Total imports of sherry in the UK fell more than 1 million litres, from just over 12 million litres in 2012 to just over 11 million litres in 2013. This is typical of the downward trend that has dominated the UK sherry market over the course of the past decade.

Warm welcome

17 April, 2014

Winter is barely behind us and the sun already seems to be shining on cider sales. They grew 9% by value in the off- trade to reach nearly £1 billion in the year to March 1, according to Nielsen, and cider is outperforming most other drinks categories.

Cider's high five

17 April, 2014

Cider is set for a super summer, but it is no longer as simple as pouring apple cider over ice. Keep on top of the trends with OLN's guide to the five key elements to make this year the summer of cider. 

Ruth Yates founded Corks Out in Chester in 2003 and has grown the business to a chain of five shops – in Alderley Edge, Stockton Heath, Timperley and Heswall – as well as an e-commerce website.

Sipsmith has responded to increasing demand for its boutique gin by moving to a larger home on a residential street in Chiswick, west London.

Councils are using statistics on 999 callouts, hospital admissions and crime to ban retailers from selling alcohol in “binge-drinking hotspots”.

Brewdog is to open the first in its Bottledog chain of specialist beer shops next week.

Costcutter owner Bibby Line Group could be ready to jettison its loss-making Rhythm & Booze off- licence chain to focus on its core convenience business.