Beer in brief

21 March, 2008

l Westons Cider

is reducing the strength of its Stowford Press Low Alcohol cider from 1% abv to just 0.5%. Like the rest of the Stowford Press range, it is matured in old vats before being blended.

Cobra Beer has appointment Tony Cleeve to oversee its sales in the grocery and convenience channels. Following in the foot steps of Cobra's recently-appointed managing director, Adrian McKeon, Cleeve joins from Beam Global Spirits & Wine. He will be replacing Michael Hutchins, who is moving to drinks firm Monster Energy UK. Cobra has set out ambitious plans for growth, aiming to boost year-on-year growth from 30% to 60% in the next two years.

l Shepherd Neame's

Early Bird Spring Hop Ale is making its annual seasonal appearance. The ale was first brewed in the mid -90s and has been a regular on Shep's seasonal roster. The light -golden beer has an abv of 4.3%

and takes its name from the Early Bird variety of East Kent Goldings hops, grown a few miles from the brewery in Faversham, Kent. The 50 cl bottles of Early Bird Spring Hop Ale retail for around £1.69 each.

l Thatchers Cider

has appointed Paul Savage to the position of general sales manager. Savage takes on responsibility for the national account and field sales teams across both the on and off trades. Before joining the Somerset-based cidermaker, he previously held senior sales management roles at Anheuser-Busch Europe.

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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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Is blended Scotch overshadowed by single malt in retailers?

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