Dry January hammered wine sales in the UK and plunged the sector into sharp decline, with sales falling 2.9% in value and 3.6% in volume (IRI, 12 weeks to January 30).

Dundee is in line to have its first brewery for 50 years after planning permission was granted to a new start-up.

Interesting grape varietals are driving growth in the wine channel as shoppers move on from Picpoul de Pinet to the likes of Godello and Pecorino, according to a leading supplier.

The British gin industry had a record-breaking year last year with sales nearing £1bn, driven by the opening of 49 new distilleries, which has helped boost consumer interest. 

The Government has been defeated in its bid to relax Sunday trading laws in England and Wales after its attempt to let larger shops trade for more than six hours was voted down.

Carlsberg UK has revealed limited edition packaging for its Carlsberg and Carlsberg Export beers, to mark its position as a sponsor for the Uefa European Championships for the eighth consecutive occasion.

Accolade Wines has announced that Mud House Wines is now an official sponsor of the 2017 British and Irish Lions tour of New Zealand.

Boutinot has added the family-owned Californian vineyard and winery Cline Cellars to its portfolio.

The government faces a new battle in its plans to extend Sunday trading hours following the news that the SNP intends to vote against the proposals.

Tesco has announced the appointment of Tracey Clements as managing director for convenience and chief executive of One Stop, according to media reports.

Champagne de Castelnau has announced it will release its Blanc de Blancs Vintage 2003 this month, offering fans a rare opportunity to experience premium quality Vintage Champagne from a controversial year.

Permission has been granted for an off-licence to open on the ground floor of a city centre bar in Wakefield despite objections from the police.

Pernod Ricard UK is introducing a bespoke on-pack offer across its Jameson Original blend.

A new gin-based drink has its sites on being the drink of the summer.

French winery Domaines Paul Mas is returning to the London Wine Fair this May with a new range of sulphur-free wines. 

Cairns: duty to keep high street alive

The Co-operative Group is today implementing the most dramatic range change to its beers, wines and spirits shelves that its 4,000-plus stores have seen in years.

Lidl has bolstered its wine shelves with 57 SKUs including English and Hungarian ranges as part of an in-store promotion called Wine Cellar.

Retailers have been urged to take a look at Portugal’s Tejo region at the upcoming Wines of Portugal tasting in London.

The Argentina Wine Awards celebrated its tenth anniverary last week at a major event attended by over 300 winery owners, winemakers, provincial authorities, managers of the wine industry, jurors and journalists.

Two surveys, conducted by polling organisation YouGov on behalf of the Wine & Spirits Trade Association and the British Beer & Pubs Association, have revealed huge support among voters for a cut on alcohol duty on chancellor George Osborne’s forthcoming Budget.

Bedford brewer Charles Wells has used Galaxy, Simcoe, and Goldings hops to make a new beer called Charlie Wells Triple Hopped IPA.

Global drinks giant Diageo has agreed to pay £53 million to Indian entrepreneur Vijay Mallya in return for Mallya’s resignation as chairman of United Spirits.

A report from the Institute of Alcohol Studies which claims that the sponsorship of sports by alcoholic drinks is “putting our children and athletes at risk” has been rebutted by the Portman Group.

AB-Inbev grows UK sales

25 February, 2016

AB-InBev grew UK volume sales in the “mid-single digits” in 2015 on the back of strong performances from Stella Artois and Budweiser.

Carlsberg is supporting Sky sports presenter Jeff Stelling in an epic charity walk, dubbed the Men United March, to raise money for Prostate Cancer UK.

Instil Drinks Co will be unveiling its new cider range at Craft Beer Rising which starts on Friday. 

Surrey-based distillery Silent Pool has created a nine-litre bottle of its signature Silent Pool Gin, which is believed to be the largest and most expensive bottle of gin ever.

Majestic Wine is giving away bottles of Veuve Cliquot to leaplings – people born on February 29 – in a promotion to mark the leap year.

Drinkaware, the responsible drinking charity, is to partner with English Rugby for England’s two home fixtures at Twickenham during the 2016 RBS Six Nations tournament.

Sandbach: it's all happening in Oxford

The Oxford Wine Co will target growth in wholesale and the on-trade after shutting its store in Cirencester and ruling out expanding its retail arm in future.

Some of the finest retailers in the land have been nominated for the prestigious Think Gin Awards, which will be presented at an event in London on March 1. 

Danish brewer Carlsberg has promoted Julian Momen to chief executive of its UK business.

Buyers at the SITT tasting in Manchester will be serenaded by an opera singer and fed with Italian food as The Bottle Drinks Company launches Bellini Canella.

Craft beer is subject to a relentless pace of change, so here are six trends to stay on top of in the year ahead.

Bibendum PLB has added two new agencies from Canada to its portfolio.

Importer Connoisseur Estates has added New Zealand producer Tohu to its portfolio and will pour the wines at the upcoming SITT tastings in Manchester and London.

On March 1 buyers from across the UK are invited to the second annual Think Gin event, hosted by Off Licence News and our sister titles Harpers Wine & Spirit and Drinks International.


French wine producer Les Grands Chais de France has promoted UK off-trade director Mark Kears to be the group’s new managing director for UK and Ireland.

Reported sales at Beam Suntory grew 23% in 2015, the first year of full results after Suntory’s £9.3 billion acquisition of Beam in 2014.

Success in the UK and Spanish markets drove a 1% H1 growth in Pernod Ricard’s European sales.

Pernod Ricard is targeting Millennials with a new five-strong range of entry-level wines called Jacob’s Creek Sun Craft.

Pernod Ricard’s Brancott Estate brand is marking its 40th anniversary with a major on-pack promotional campaign in the UK’s off-trade.

Harpers is partnering with Wines from Rioja to offer independent retailers the chance of an all-expenses paid trip to some of the most respected and innovative bodegas in the beautiful Rioja region.       

The Scottish Green Party has launched it own brand of craft beer in the run up to May’s elections.

Supermarkets need to mimic the success of independents and the on-trade in exciting consumers with diversified ranges if they are to return to growth, supplier Enotria and Coe has warned.

The government must cut the duty on wine and spirits by 2%, two influential MPs have said.

The days of cheap Prosecco could be numbered as the base price has risen by around a quarter in the past year, a leading importer has warned.

Leading independent beer retailers have stopped listing beers from London’s Camden Town Brewery following the company’s takeover by Stella Artois and Beck’s brewer AB-Inbev.

We are entering a golden age for wine gadgetry that will pique the interest of new consumers and help maintain the category’s future prosperity, according to a leading buyer.

 The government must act to save Britain’s cider makers, MPs were told at a Parliamentary reception last night.

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COMMENT

Richard Hemming MW asks: what’s the next step for indies?

In the not-too-distant future, when all humans are born with inbuilt VR headsets and Trump is Supreme Commander of the Known Universe, how will students of wine look back on the present era of retail in the UK? And, in such a dystopian world, why would anyone care?

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