Beer in brief

19 September, 2008

PLB has signed a deal to act as the off-trade agent for the Manchester brewer JW Lees. The move is the latest development in PLB's plans to expand its beer portfolio from own and exclusive-label into a more serious branded offering, begun with the acquisition of the agency for Palma Louca from Brazil earlier this year. PLB will be handling Lees' established Moonraker Strong Ale and John Willies Bitter, plus Brewers Dark, which has been upgraded from seasonal to permanent member of the Lees range.

Miller Brands UK is launching a new cinema and outdoor advertising campaign for Peroni in a bid to highlight its position as "an Italian icon". There will also be outdoor ads to support a range of beer-related products designed for the brand by upmarket Italian design house Alessi. The designer gear will generally be available only to the on-trade, but off-trade consumers will have a chance to win one of 7,000 pieces through an on-pack promotion.

Wychwood Brewery is launching its flagship Hobgoblin bottled ale in 33cl bottles. The move is designed to bring more drinkers into the category, especially women, and to help established ale consumers regulate their intake. The first supplies of the smaller bottle size will arrive on Tesco shelves by the end of the month.

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Talking terroir

When Bordeaux was in fashion, it seemed almost logical that we should fetishise winemakers. Here were people responsible for brilliant acts of blending, across large estates and multiple grape varieties, including superstars such as cabernet sauvignon and merlot. These days, fashion has moved on and pinot noir is ascendant. As a result, the star of the winemaker has fallen and we find ourselves following a new star in the sky: terroir.

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