Oxford battled to victory over bitter rivals Cambridge in the Boat Race yesterday and the winners celebrated by spraying jeroboams of Chapel Down all over each other.

Barcelona artisan brewery Cerveses La Pirata has joined UK importer Morgenrot’s stable of Spanish craft beers following its launch at the recent Craft Beer Rising.

Jack Daniel’s has introduced its first cocktail to its premix range, offering its off-trade customers the opportunity to enjoy a serve which is already established and popular in the on-trade.

Copper Rivet has started production of Kent’s first single malt whisky, which will eventually join its recently launched gin and vodka.

English wine looks set to be one of the most visited categories at this year’s London Wine Fair, according to visitor registration research conducted by the fair’s organisers.

Merrydown Cider has revealed plans to introduce a lighter, lower strength, lower-calorie Crisp Apple Cider, alongside the re-launch of its bestselling variant.

The Cointreau family has been joined by a new “remarkable edition”.

A new trade fair aimed at helping retail buyers source the best wines to sell at discount prices will make its debut in the autumn.

Tesco has been named the brand most associated with Brexit in the wake of a feud with Heineken that saw the supermarket delist 22 of its SKUs.

With Article 50 set to be triggered this week, The Wine & Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) has called for a "close working relationship with both government and our European neighbours", as the UK starts to negotiate its exit from the EU.

Les Dauphins is adding its first sparkling wine to its line-up of wines from the Rhône region of France.

Berry Bros & Rudd has announced the international release of Penny Blue VSOP Rum. The release represents the first VSOP bottling from the Medine Distillery in Mauritius as part of the Indian Rum Company joint venture between Berry Bros and the Medine Distillery.

Kopparberg has extended its range with the launch of a canned Raspberry Light variant, which has already gained listings at Tesco and Asda.

Singha Beer is now available in cans, with the launch timed to coordinate with Thai New Year festivities.

Black Sheep Brewery has extended its craft beer line up into cans for the first time.

Brexit red tape could bring customs to a standstill, according to The Wine & Spirit Trade Association (WSTA), and the trade body has warned that “delays and gridlocks” at UK ports will encourage the resurgence of alcohol smugglers.

The first episode of wine podcast A Glass With featured pop superstar Pink, and producer Richard Hemming MW has revealed they became friends after she followed him on Twitter.

Tesco plans to introduce a selection of premium Old-World wines under its Finest brand.

Adnams has stated 2016 was a record brewing year for the company, with volumes passing the 100,000 barrels mark for the first time in its history.

Winemaking duo Chris and Andrea Mullineux are releasing a new flagship portfolio of fine wines inspired by the culture, terroir, history and tastes of the Cape.

The producers of Wild Knight English Vodka have announced they will be expanding the range to include caramel vodka, with other drinks to follow shortly.

Carling Cider is adding to its range with a new Black Fruits flavour.

Vivino, the global online wine marketplace, has launched a new feature which it says is specifically designed to help the wine trade.

Elephant Gin is set to get an “elephant strength’ variant, which is said to be more powerful, intense and full-bodied than the original

Barefoot Wine & Bubbly has revealed its latest campaign, which aims to champion diversity and inclusivity.

Tesco to list Heineken 0.0

Tesco plans to halve the number of Heineken products it stocks but denies this move is a direct response to the brewer’s planned price hikes in the wake of Brexit.

Lidl has appointed spirits expert Tristan Stephenson to work with its BWS buying team and consult on the retailer’s spirits range.

Champagne sales dropped in both value and volume terms in the UK last year, driven by the fall in the value of the pound, a reduction in discounting by supermarkets and a “growing appetite” for premium-priced options, according to the Champagne Bureau (CIVC).

Colonsay Beverages, which already has a range of beers in its portfolio, has now branched into gin production with the launch of a gin infused with unusual botanicals from the local area.

Meantime Brewing has claimed a market first by launching the first beer to be based on a brewmaster’s DNA.

The makers of Tiger Gin are getting ready to raise the profile of the brand this year by focusing on trade shows and food festivals around the country.

Dark Star Brewery is gearing up to open its first bottle shop and tasting room, which will be in the West Sussex town of Crawley.

Millennial-friendly and South African wines, ethical brands and sparklers are among North South Wines’ predictions to be 2017’s big winners.

London independent wine merchant Lea & Sandeman is on a mission to win over younger drinkers and expand its retail empire as it seeks to drive awareness of its brand.

The Vineyards of Hampshire group now represents eight winemakers across the county after Raimes English Sparkling joined.

Aldi has revealed its latest wine projects – the environmentally friendly Green Collection and a range called French Discoveries.

One third of Britons have reduced their alcohol intake over the past year, according to the latest research from Mintel.

Calvet, the French wine brand owned by Les Grand Chais de France, has collaborated with leading Camembert brand, Le Rustique, to launch an on-pack promotion.

Barefoot Wine & Bubbly has revealed its latest campaign, which aims to champion diversity and inclusivity.

Berry Bros & Rudd has announced that DBG Italia, the Italian agency business founded by David Berry Green, is to become an independently owned company.

The Simpsons of Domaine Saint Rose are introducing a sweet wine to the market for the first time.

OLN’s resident MW Richard Hemming is teaming up with wine personality and all round jolly good fellow Olly Smith for a new podcast.

Sainsbury’s has completed its biggest wine range review in years after seeking to answer shoppers’ desires for more unusual styles, make the fixture easier to navigate and simplify pricing. 

Prosecco sales are forecast to grow 17.3% to 8.3 million cases by 2020 and Brits’ insatiable thirst for the Italian sparkler will prop up an otherwise declining category.

Fine wine specialist Friarwood is putting the focus firmly on retail and e-commerce as it celebrates its 50th birthday this year.

Peter Bowen started the business in 1967, when he began importing top Bordeaux direct from the châteaux and supplying the UK on-trade.

The along-awaited Alcohol Wholesaler Registration Scheme comes into effect on April 1.

Gallo Family Vineyards is adding to its Spritz portfolio with a Wild Strawberry flavour.

Heineken is launching a 0% abv lager under its eponymous brand in response to the growing consumer trend for moderation.

Treasury Wine Estates has appointed Tom King as managing director for Europe after Dan Townsend sadly passed away.

La Burgondie, a new 30-strong French wine brand, is heading to the UK’s off-trade this spring, distributed by Conviviality.

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The shops that stand out from the madding crowd

The judges met last week to sort out the winners in the independent categories of our 2018 Drinks Retailing Awards. The results are top secret until the awards dinner on February 6 but it’s giving nothing away to report that the overall standard of those that will be revealed in the shortlist of finalists in the January issue of DRN is higher than it’s ever been.

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