2019 September

Asterley Bros has secured its £100,000 Crowdcube fundraising target and it is now extending this to £150,000 following an “overwhelming response” to the campaign.

Off-Piste Wines has become the exclusive representative for Italian producer Piccini in the UK multiple off-trade.

Elixir Distillers claims to be turning navy rum on its head with the launch of its latest product.

Drygate Brewing Co claims it has launched “Europe’s first reforestation beer”, and it has pledged to plant 10,000 trees with the proceeds.

Atom Brands is introducing The Character of Islay Whisky Company, with the aim of “reaching a wider pool of whisky drinkers” with continuous liquid, rather than small batch and single cask expressions. 

Fentimans is launching its biggest marketing push to date to encourage more consumers to trade up to its premium products. 

Plumpton College is set to launch the UK’s first nationwide Vicitulture apprenticeship.

Accolade Wines is expanding its South African wine portfolio by adding a Pinotage to its Kumala brand.

Whisky: Christmas in a glass

18 September, 2019

We’re on the path to Christmas now so it’s a good time for retailers to revisit their whisky ranges. There has been a lot of noise about Irish whiskey and also some global options, including bourbon from the US. But will the popularity of these overshadow Scotch this festive season?

Retailers are gearing up for the crucial Christmas trading period after enduring a tough year blighted by poor weather, Brexit fears and plummeting consumer confidence. Like-for-like sales are down across most BWS categories in 2019 and Christmas represents the last bastion of hope for retailers aiming to record a strong profit.

Douglas Laing has released the 2019 edition of its festive Big Peat brand.

Popular ale brand Hobgoblin has been given a stripped back new look as part of the biggest overhaul in its 31-year history.

London’s first rum blending house in more than 100 years is set to open next month.

Kopparberg’s Balans “aqua spritz” could be the pioneer for a new drinks category that enjoys a similar level of success to fruit cider, according to head of marketing Rob Salvesen.

Franklin & Sons has unveiled new spirit and mixer partnerships by pairing two of its variants with a gin and a rum brand to add to its pre-mixed drinks collection.  

Gravity Drinks is launching a range of premium tequilas into the UK, with the initial trio of drinks each packaged in bottles inspired by Mexico’s renowned Lucha Libra.

The RTD category has long been associated with sugary, candy-flavoured, neon-coloured alcoholic drinks, but today this couldn’t be further from the case.

In the digital era, it’s perhaps fitting that our opinions have become binary. Online, we tend to only see viewpoints we already agree with, and this feedback loop of positive reinforcement makes us increasingly polarised. Consequently, the middle ground has been abandoned and accommodating your opponent’s view has become something for only the very brave or the very stupid. I’ll let you decide which is the case as I consider the case against cutting tax on wine.

Imagine drinking La Tâche every night. That’s what I was doing as a colleague scrolled through someone’s gratuitous Instagram feed which was pornographically insistent on showing bottle after bottle of DRC, Le Pin, Gaja, Vega Sicilia, Opus One, Ornellaia and their astronomically priced peers.

Global Brands is bringing back its movie campaign for Hooch, promising it will be “bigger and better than ever before”.

Administrators have closed almost half the EFB Retail estate and raised £11.4 million through asset sales since they were appointed in February.

31Dover has launched a new premium spirits subscription service designed to “lead its members on a voyage of discovery and flavour”.

The Wine and Spirit Trade Association has criticised Government plans to introduce red tape which is expected to generate over 600,000 additional forms, costing UK wine businesses £70 million.

The Cotes du Rhone appellation is launching a European wine festival in October as part of a wider global campaign. 

Pernod Ricard reported a 10% rise in UK spirits sales for the past year as launches such as Beefeater Pink and Beefeater Blood Orange proved successful. 

The latest Nielsen stats make sobering reading for the BWS trade as they show year-on-year value sales decreased by 2.8% this summer. 

Four Roses Distillery has revealed a series of limited-quantity special bottlings following the culmination of its four-year, £44.4 million expansion project, which has now doubled its production capacity.

Love Drinks has secured the distribution rights for White Heron Drinks, which produces British Cassis.

The trend for coffee in alcoholic beverages looks set to continue and a number of producers are hoping to tap in with their latest innovations.