2017 February

Conviviality has added the Graham Norton and Invivo range of wines to its portfolio.

Kingsland Drinks is adding to its fusion wine portfolio with a new pouch format, which will go into 1,600 Co-op stores from this month.

Stewart Brewing has launched Stewart’s Lager, to appeal to drinkers looking for a lighter beer.

The region of Soave in Italy will be given a boost in the UK via a new trade and consumer campaign.

Southern belles

27 February, 2017

The Languedoc-Roussillon region produces 16 million hl per year, making it bigger than Australia, Argentina, China and Africa in terms of output.

The Wild Beer Co is looking to raise £1.5m via crowdfunding to develop a new brewery space.

Bud Light, which producer AB InBev says is America’s favourite beer, officially lands in the UK this weekend.

Independent wine merchants can taste wines from small producers encapsulating what modern Portugal does best when they visit SITT next week.

Heineken is launching two beers under the Maltsmiths Brewing brand to tap into the growing trend for canned craft beers.

Independent wine merchants can bolster their spring and summer ranges by choosing from an eclectic array of interesting and nuanced wines at the upcoming SITT events.

The case for cutting spirits duty was taken into the heart of Westminster today when the Scotch Whisky Association met Jane Ellison MP, financial secretary to the Treasury.

Scotch whisky has enjoyed a reversal of fortunes in the UK market and demand is now soaring among British drinkers, Government figures have revealed.

Independent wine merchants looking for new wines offering a point of difference can feast their tastebuds on Croatian orange wine, Slovenian sparkling wine and many more undiscovered gems at SITT.

Tiny Rebel Brewing Co has launched its three most popular beers in cans for the first time.

Gruppo Campari will launch a limited edition version of its Appleton Estate rum next month to celebrate the master blender’s 20th year of working with the brand.

The Abbotts & Delaunay Collection of premium AOC wines from the Languedoc has been extended to include two new ranges of eight varietal wines.

Harveys is launching a new beer this week and it will be available in cans, a format that has proved to be successful for the brewer over the last few months.

Sandford Orchards Cider has unveiled a new brand identity, which will be rolled out across its full cider range this year.

Black Sheep Brewery has launched a bottled version of its rugby-themed beer.

The Oxford Wine Company is opening a new retail outlet in the centre of Oxford.

It’s easy to think that some of the UK’s most successful family-run drinks producers found fame slowly as consumers discovered the brands, and perhaps as each generation built on the foundations of the last.

Portugal: Off the beaten track

21 February, 2017

Wine-producing countries that fall outside of the top 10 might be out of the limelight but they can be ideal for independent wine merchants seeking value-for-money wines that are unlikely to be found in supermarkets. Portugal, which sits at number 11 in the UK off-trade, is a perfect example.

With the rise and rise of gin it’s no surprise a new wave of tonics is battling its way on to the shelves. Over the past year we’ve seen a number of premium brands entering the mixers sector, particularly in tonic water – a category which grew 12% last year compared with 2015, to £98 million (IRI). This compares with 5.2% for other mixers.

Vignobles Andre Lurton has revealed a new partnership with two companies in the UK’s wine trade: Daniel Lambert Wines and Theatre of Wine.

Buckingham Schenk has revealed plans to introduce two new Spanish brands into the UK; the wines will highlight the strengths of DO Valencia and Utiel-Requena.

The old adage that two heads are better than one seems to have been taken as an article of faith by many modern brewers. Collaborative beers have become one of the trends of the day in a sector where, mostly young
and hip, beer drinkers crave something
new every time they go into a shop or bar.

Paolozzi Lager, from the independent, family-owned Edinburgh Beer Factory, is making its debut in London to coincide with the Whitechapel Gallery’s exhibition, ‘Eduardo Paolozzi’.

Hallgarten Druitt said it grew turnover by £1.8 million in the past year but profit fell £1 million due to the sterling’s plummeting value.

Asda has blended Prosecco with Pinot Grigio in order to cut costs, following warnings this week that the price of Prosecco could see significant price hikes.

Virgin Wines capped a strong 2016 by enjoying its best ever Christmas trading period and partly attributes its success to winning over younger adults.