A festive ale has been produced especially for Grimsby Town Football Club.

Sailor Jerry has announced it will be supporting Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes, ahead of their upcoming UK tour.

The London Wine Fair will be introducing an Innovation Zone at its 2018 show, designed to champion innovation in the drinks sector.

Domaine Sainte Rose has completed a challenge set by Naked Wines to produce a Sparkling Shiraz.

The Cognac category has revealed a new brand identity for the Cognac appellation to better illustrate the spirit of Cognac and the region.

The UK Supreme Court has given the Scotland the green light to introduce a minimum unit price of 50p following a five-year battle.

UK wine businesses have joined forces to call for a freeze in wine duty at the Budget next week.

Family-owned Austrian winery Höpler is launching a new, online wine subscription club for UK fans.

WiseHead Productions has launched a portfolio of zero proof drinks in order to “define a new category of non-alcoholic, sophisticated drinks for adults to enjoy during the moments they choose not to drink alcohol”.

Black Sheep Brewery is gearing up for the off-trade launch of its first-ever lager.

Sarah Watson and Ruari Perry

Whyte & Mackay Blended Whisky has announced its headline sponsorship of the 2018 Glasgow International Comedy Festival.

Kopparberg has introduced a new variant, which will be exclusively available in Asda stores until August 2018.

The Co-op has secured the £143m takeover of Nisa, with slightly more than the 75% of votes required to succeed.

The Dingle Distillery in Ireland has begun an investment drive with the aim of scaling up its production capacity to meet demand. 

The Natural Drinks Co has launched a campaign on Crowdcube for one month with the aim of raising an investment figure of £750,000 in exchange for a 5.08% equity stake. To date the campaign has hit almost 10% of its target with more than £70,000 secured in the first 24 hours.

The Three Wine Men will host consumer activity

Fentimans has launched its first range of mixer cans, as part of its ongoing mission to extend its botanically brewed beverage range.

Cobra Beer is setting off on a worldwide road trip to demonstrate how the beer is “the perfect partner for all food”.

Kokoro Gin has launched a 20cl bottle of its Japanese-inspired gin in time for the festive season.

A Norwegian spirits producer is introducing its gin to the UK market this month.

Nisa members are set to vote today on the Co-operative’s proposed buyout of the convenience chain.

Whyte & Mackay has launched a new promotion offering its licensed trade customers the chance to win a van loaded with £500 worth of prizes. The promotion coincides with the launch of two new price-marked packs.

Four new appointments have been made by head of London Wine Fair, Hannah Tovey, to help her deliver the 2018 show.

The government has declared it has no plans to grant local licensing authorities the power to ban “super-strength” alcohol across stores in their areas.

Jacob’s Creek has revealed revamped packaging for its full Classics range in the UK.

Copestick Murray has unveiled plans to turn Slurp into the UK’s leading premium online drinks retailer after buying a 40% stake in the business. 

Waitrose has no intention of turning its back on classic wine regions that have been ravaged by spring frosts, hail and other issues that have driven up prices.

Spar is aiming to simplify the wine category for its shoppers with two new own-label ranges. 

Cider expert Gabe Cook – aka The Ciderologist – has been appointed chairman of the International Cider Challenge.

Shiraz has overtaken Merlot as the number one varietal red wine in the off-trade.

Copestick Murray’s I Heart brand has gained a listing in Asda as it continues to surge up the chart of the UK’s most popular wine labels.

Sainsbury’s has reported a 26% growth in sales of Taste the Difference wines thanks to a strong performance from New World regions.

A limited edition Big Peat 25 Years Old comprising some of Islay’s most sought-after malts will go into specialist whisky retailers this December.

Independent beer, hot sauce and vinyl retailer, Hop Burns & Black, is celebrating its third birthday by creating a limited edition anniversary series via a raft of collaboration projects.

Pickering’s Gin has released its 2016 vintage of Sloe Gin and for the first time it is introducing this variant in a 70cl format.

Ginfusion has launched a product designed to tap into the growth of craft gins and drinks-related gifts.

Guinness is launching two limited-edition can designs to celebrate John Gilroy, the artist behind some of the brand’s most iconic advertisements.

Freedom Brewery has launched a new UK campaign called My 25th Hour, which will comprise digital, print and social media activity.

Gordon & MacPhail has launched a new online platform, which aims to enhance its customers’ digital experience as well as helping the brand to become a respected source of single malt whisky information.

Brintex has no plans to shift the London Wine Fair to another month to avoid a clash with Vinexpo in 2019.

An ultra-premium saké producer, which makes only one batch a year, is ready to enter the UK market.

Fever-Tree has reported that the strong growth recorded during the first six months of 2017 has continued during the second half.

Les Grands Chais de France has appointed Nick Butler to take up the newly created role of UK and Ireland Wine Director.

Conviviality has reported revenue for the 26 weeks to 29 October 2017 was 9.2% ahead of last year to £836m, with particularly strong growth from its retail arm. 

An off-trade clampdown on underage sales appears to be working as the number of 11 to 15-year-olds that reported purchasing alcohol from retailers fell to an all-time low.

Morgenrot has introduced its Maltese beer Cisk in 33cl cans.

Vina Ventisquero is launching three new wines, two of which are made from Chilean ‘heritage grapes’.

A watermelon-infused beer nudged ahead of the competition to take the top spot at the 2017 Great British Homebrew Challenge.

A drinks expert has launched a new UK drinks agency to meet the growing demand for premium and craft alcohol brands.

Kronenbourg 1664 is featuring in a new campaign encouraging consumers to ‘Give the Gift Supreme’ this Christmas.

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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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