2014 June

Booths is celebrating its month-long beer and cider festival with the launch of nine new beers and two ciders.

Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey is celebrating its second birthday with a high-profile marketing campaign and a burst of investment in the off-trade.

Tobacco manufacturer JTI has removed its gantry from a Leicester convenience store after its owners were prosecuted for selling illegal tobacco.

Copestick Murray has taken on three new workers to carry on its expansion as I Heart brand manager Rachel Archer announced she would be leaving the agency to join Off-Piste Wines.

few months ago I was tasting with an excellent cava producer – and no, that’s not an oxymoron.

What can go wrong?’ asked the headline in The Sun just before the first England match – as the newspaper sent free copies of its appallingly jingoistic This Is Our England special edition to 22 million homes. What could go wrong? Well, we could lose our first two matches, that’s what.

Lawsuits come in thick and fast when you’re among the world’s top 25 alcoholic drinks suppliers and have a higher turnover than many small countries.

Sales of organic products are on the up — they grew 2.8% in the year to March 2014, reversing several years of decline, according to UK certifying body the Soil Association. But it’s a different story for wine.

In a few short years, electronic cigarettes have emerged as one of the most dynamic — and controversial — markets in the country.

In an off-trade market of almost static volumes, and value sales creeping up with tax and inflation, one category is still storming ahead — fruit cider.

The sun is shining, the weather’s hot, and fruit cider sales are on the up and up. But long-range forecasts suggest that July could be wetter than average — so how can retailers guard against a drop-off in sales and keep fruit cider moving through to autumn and beyond?

Retailers have called on authorities to overhaul proxy purchasing laws and start a public awareness campaign to teach adults that buying alcohol for children can cost storeowners their livelihoods.

Borough Wines started out as a tiny stall in London’s  trendy Borough Market, set up by owner Muriel Chatel to sell wines from her family’s Bergerac estate. 

Bordeaux has grown wine exports to the UK by 750,000 cases in the past four years, making it one of the most recession-proof categories around. Latest off-trade figures show sales grew 14.2% in volume and 18.6% in value in the past year (IRI, 52 weeks to March 1).

Ale sales on the rise

27 June, 2014

The off-trade is gaining a stranglehold on the UK’s total beer market and has returned it to growth for the first time in years, according to a new report.

Like the local football team, Burnley brewer Moorhouse’s wants to be in the Premier League. But while the Lancashire town’s footballers defied all the odds to achieve their goal last season, brewery boss David Grant admits: “We’re not quite there yet.”

Premium bottled ale is performing ahead of expectations after growing £90 million in the past year – and it stands to become a £1 billion category by 2020, according to a leading brewer.

Fuller’s London Pride is going into space. 

Isle of Arran Distillers has grown sales by 25% to more than £4.5 million in its best year yet.

Beer has been given many affectionate nicknames over the years – liquid courage, daddy’s medicine, proof that god loves us and wants us to be happy, and countless others. But “yeast excrement” was a new one on me. That is how Alex Barlow, training director at the Beer academy, described the tipple to 10 MPs at a masterclass he hosted at the red lion opposite the houses of Parliament this week.

Ten MPs filed into the cavernous Cellar Bar at the Red Lion pub in London’s Whitehall to take a Beer Academy masterclass and learn about beer’s role in the UK economy.

The Scotch whisky industry should temper its investment in extra production capacity to avoid the extremes of surpluses and shortages that have historically hampered it, according to a leading European bank.

Former Codorníu UK managing director Nick Mantella has joined United Wineries as business development director.

Market leading single malt Glenfiddich has launched a £2 million advertising campaign focusing on the brand’s 126 years under Grant family ownership.

Shoppers spent an extra £27.7 million on beer and cider during the first week of the World Cup (IRI, week to June 14).

Estrella Galicia has launched a summer promotion for its 0.0% abv Spanish lager

With more medals awarded than ever before, the 2014 International Cider Challenge was the best yet. An elite judging panel of producers, drinks writers, buyers and cider technicians tasted 150 ciders blind to unearth the very best in the business.

Leading suppliers are investing heavily to target independent retailers after identifying the channel as a key element in the drinks industry’s fortunes.

British wines can fill the demand for cheap, entry- level products and stop hard-up consumers abandoning the category, according to Broadland Wineries.

Tesco wine team grows

19 June, 2014

Tony Miles has joined Tesco’s wine technical team and will be responsible for France, Spain, Portugal, North & South America and New Zealand.