2015 January

Thatchers has launched two ciders targeted at younger drinkers.

The retail trade has overtaken the on-trade in beer volumes for the first time ever, and its strong performance has ended a decade of dwindling UK beer sales, according to new figures from the British Beer and Pub Association.

Magners has launched a variant flavoured with Irish whiskey.

Diageo blamed volatile exchange rates, a “lack of overarching recovery in the US and Western Europe” and troubles in emerging markets after reporting lower-than-expected sales figures in its half-year results.

Brewdog to import US beers

29 January, 2015

Brewdog has set up an import and distribution arm and is launching with beers from US craft brewer Stone Brewing Co.

David Beckham overcame many a fierce opponent during his illustrious playing days, and now he can add Alcohol Concern to his list of scalps.

The country’s best beer retailers were honoured at the inaugural Celebrate British Beer Awards held at the House of Commons last night.

Concha y Toro’s Argentinian brand Trivento has signed a two-year extension to continue its sponsorship of Premiership rugby.

Buckingham Shcenk has appointed Enotria’s David Tromans as its marketing and new product development manager.

Scotch whisky is more important to the UK economy than iron, steel, computing, textiles and shipbuilding, according to a new report.

John Hearn will leave Diageo’s wine arm Percy Fox to take over as off-trade commercial director at Enotria this week.

Rival countries would kill for New Zealand’s affluent young consumer base, according to Mud House supplier Accolade.

Accolade boss Paul Schaafsma declared that “Australia is not broken” after announcing flagship brand Hardys grew 12.4% in volume over Christmas (Nielsen, 12 weeks to January 3).

Former Gonzalez Byass marketing supremo and OLN columnist Jeremy Rocket has become managing director at Marblehead.

A Goldings hop from Worcestershire grower S J Adams & Son has beaten 123 rivals to be named the overall winner at the British Hop Awards for 2014.

The organisers of Prowein are ramping up their focus on attracting UK buyers after all the exhibitors begged for more Brits.

Diageo has signed UK distribution deals with Marblehead and Catalyst brands to help grow some its smaller brands.

An OLN workshop aims to help retailers capitalise on the unprecedented growth in the gin category by helping them boost sales of tonic.

Eight leading independent Scottish brewers have joined forces to support, promote and protect the industry through The Brewers’ Association of Scotland.

The tobacco industry claims criminal gangs will be rubbing their hands with glee at the news that the government has announced a pre-election vote on plain cigarette packs.

The London Wine Fair is targeting suppliers seeking UK representation with a new exhibitor area called Wines Unearthed.

The UK wine market will enjoy strong volume and value growth over the next three years, according to analysts at the International Wine and Spirit Research.

The Competition and Markets Authority has admitted to MPs it failed to investigate councils it knew were breaking competition law and could be putting retailers at risk of significant fines and possible imprisonment.

William Grant has prevailed over Alcohol Concern after the charity reported it to the advertising watchdog over an ad that stated: “Without Warninks advocaat it just wouldn’t be Christmas.”

Czech brewery Budweiser Budvar has seen sales grow 20% in the UK off-trade as the brewery celebrates a record year of production and exports.

Bargain Booze owner Conviviality Retail has announced that pre-tax profits grew 47% to £3.2 million during the six months to October 26, 2014.

Copestick Murray has struck a distribution deal with Minervois producer Hegarty Chamans after owner Robin Copestick turned a Q&A session at the annual WSTA conference to his advantage.

The big match: beer and food

19 January, 2015

Rule one of beer and food matching: there are no rules. While wine has an established set of classic grape, style or region matches for popular dishes, the required reading on beer and food is still relatively thin on the ground.

Organic wine is starting to look like one of those things everyone talks about but no one is actually buying into.

Austrian wine has come a long way – 30 years ago antifreeze was found in some of the country’s bulk wines and the scandal demolished the industry.