2019 August

Walker & Wodehouse has revealed its Autumn Tasting in London will include a focus on South African wines, supported by the chance to meet producers and sample wines from the region while also enjoying food from a braai. 

Waitrose Wine Tasting at Home is introducing a whisky tasting experience.

Sam Linter, managing director of Bolney Wine Estate, has been appointed director of the Board of WineGB.

The Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) has reported its highest-ever annual candidate figures for the latest academic year, with UK candidate numbers up 5%. 

Hong Kong’s richest family has secured a deal to buy 220-year-old brewer Greene King for £2.7 billion.

You can’t go down the alcohol aisle in a supermarket without noticing the influx of new no and low-alcohol alternatives. I’ve even picked one up thinking it was the alcoholic version and I’m sure I’m not the only one. Most bars and restaurants have pages in their drinks menus dedicated to alcohol-free alternatives. With restaurants and bars popping up where the drinks offering is strictly alcohol-free, it seems there’s no slowing the no/low movement. 

Cognac exports to the UK decreased by 6.7% in volume and 4.1% in value during the 2018-19 financial year.

Aldi is launching its first national in-store spirits festival on Thursday and Didsbury Gin’s Tutti Frutti gin liqueur has secured a berth on shelves.

The former boss of Majestic Wine is to return to the retailer after a two-year absence, as the business takes shape under new ownership.

Bimber Distillery has announced the release its inaugural single malt whisky. 

Tobermory, the only whisky distillery on the Isle of Mull, has expanded its repertoire to produce a Tobermory Gin. 

Kingsland Drinks has announced it has made “high-level executive changes” in order to focus on the strategic direction of the business. 

Rockstar Spirits has secured a five-figure loan to expand the business, following the success of its Two Swallows rum range, which was recently selected by Coca-Cola as the official partner for its new Signature range of mixers. 

Remember Binge Britain? Only a few short years ago we were really worried about young people drinking too much, falling over and showing their pants. And now, suddenly, we’re worrying they’re not drinking enough. What are they up to?

Napa-based winemaker, Celia Welch, is set to export her own wines to the UK for the first time. 

Stourbridge-based brewery Sadler’s has launched its popular Peaky Blinder lager in 33cl cans in time for season five of the hit BBC show.

Borough Wines has been bought out of administration in a pre-pack sale worth £58,760 after widening losses caused it to collapse on May 31.

The founders of Craft Beer Rising are launching a new beer festival called BrewLDN in February 2020.

Frosty Jack’s Cider has revealed new branding to recruit new drinkers to the brand.

Adnams has reported half year losses to June 30 rose to £783,000 from £557,000 in the previous year, but beer volumes grew for the first six months of 2019. 

The Portman Group has welcomed a report highlighting a decline in underage drinking in the UK.

Family success story

13 August, 2019

Last summer Fells pulled off a significant coup by taking on distribution for the Hill Smith family’s Negociants portfolio. Until that point, the likes of Yalumba, Oxford Landing and Vasse Felix had been distributed by Negociants UK, which the Hill Smith family decided to close. Fells hired eight members of the Negociants UK team and sold a 10% stake in its business to the Hill Smith family to cement the relationship. 

Lanchester Wines has relaunched Dragon Tree Kombucha to tap into demand for healthy and low/no alcohol drinks. 

Ramborn Cider Company, a premium craft cider and perry producer from Luxembourg, is launching its range of drinks into the UK and other global markets.

Building up Chianti

12 August, 2019

Chianti needs a bit of a revamp in the UK and the market is crying out for a strong brand, one which offers a range of Tuscan wines at different price points.

Tonic and mixer producers have done a stellar job of keeping up with the evolution of the premium spirits market and, in particular, gin. The category now has a number of premium players and

It’s now easy to find soft drinks that command higher prices and boast more natural ingredients than many alcoholic beverages, and it seems consumers are crying out for even more choice.

The Spirited Union Distillery has launched what it claims is the world’s first botanical white rum.

A premium coffee liqueur from New Zealand is gearing up to secure listings in the UK.