2017 December

Wimbledon's craft serve

22 December, 2017

There has never been a more exciting opportunity for entrepreneurs to break into the burgeoning British beer scene as the nation’s love of craft brews shows no signs of abating. Drinkers are more experimental than ever and desperate to try quirky new beers that can demonstrate provenance and heritage. But two obvious challenges arise for newcomers to the market.

Cava’s reputation as a quality sparkler could soon overtake that of Prosecco after the launch of a new premium classification, according to the regulatory council president. 

St Peter’s has launched an organic alcohol-free beer to add to its popular zero-alcohol collection.

Bain's Whisky comes to UK

19 December, 2017

A South African whisky, which its producer claims is the only one to be double-matured in first-fill bourbon casks and made from 100% South African maize, is now available in the UK.

Islay distillery Bruichladdich has launched a Rare Cask Series and it has also revealed plans for a potential Islay Single Rye in the future. 

Crabbie’s is adding a Stout to its Crafty Ginger Collection.

Sparkling wine, magnums and increased interest in wines from Eastern Europe are just some of the industry’s predictions for the BWS category in 2018.

Independent charity Crimestoppers and the Wine and Spirit Trade Association have launched a Christmas campaign in Newcastle to warn the public about the danger to health of drinking fake alcohol.

Agreeing to disagree

18 December, 2017

Disagreeing about wine is a fact of wine-trade life, like drugs in sport or corruption in politics. Because taste is entirely subjective, debates about our personal preferences are as inevitable as they are interminable. Indeed, these long-winded, wine-fuelled arguments are precisely what make our jobs so much fun.

Wine's time to shine

18 December, 2017

At this time of year, the activity of an independent wine merchant has the quality of a time lapse in a David Attenborough documentary.

Underage drinking has fallen to record lows, according to new findings from NHS Digital.

Gin has recorded another bumper quarter as sales continue to soar, according to the Wine and Spirit trade Association’s latest market report.

Retailers need to make sure they are prepared for the record number of people who are expected to take part in Dry January 2018, according to industry experts.

Budweiser is the fastest-growing product of 2017 in UK supermarkets, ahead of Monster energy drinks and avocados.

DRN is gearing up to host its second annual Think Rum event in London and co-chairman Peter Holland believes there is huge untapped potential in the off-trade.

English wine is now considered so classy and fashionable that even the Queen has started producing it, but British-made wine is not exactly sexy.

The UK drinks trade has been urged to develop its expertise in sake to capitalise on this burgeoning category.  

Conviviality’s retail chain Bargain Booze has made a bid to buy 109 convenience stores from Palmer & Harvey, which went into administration last month.

Wines of Great Britain is the new name for the national body for English and Welsh wine while the organisation has also appointed a ceo.

Magners is gearing up to take on Strongbow with the launch of a rival Dark Fruit variant for the off-trade.

Lamb & Watt has added to its tonics and mixers line up with a new Ginger Ale variant.

A chilli honey pale ale has been chosen as the winning recipe for Innis & Gunn’s competition to create a limited edition barrel-aged beer.

Black Tower has launched a new limited edition bottle design for the winter period.

Johnnie Walker has teamed up with acclaimed street artist Tristan Eaton to create a new, limited edition Artist Series of gift packs.

Former Tesco wine buying manager James Davis MW has been appointed commercial director for Adnams’ beers, wines and spirits team.

Majestic Wine has made a series of predictions for drinks trends in 2018.

Former Coe Vintners managing director Matt Davies has joined Berry Bros & Rudd in the newly-created role of managing director for Field’s, Morris & Verdin and Berry Bros & Rudd Wholesale.

Former England cricket captain Sir Ian Botham is launching a range of wines in partnership with Broadland Wineries.

Chapel Down has completed £18.5 million fundraising by issuing new shares, and it hopes to raise around £1.4 million more with the help of existing shareholders.

Highland Park has released a new 17 year-old single malt called The Dark, which will be followed by the launch of The Light early next year.