Iconic London wine merchant Roberson Wine is shutting its doors after deciding to forgo bricks and mortar retailing in favour of better performing channels.

A fish and chip shop wanting to expand its business to sell alcohol has successfully overturned a decision banning it from stocking drinks over a certain strength. 

Spitfire is giving its drinkers the chance win a flight in a Spitfire aeroplane in an on-pack push.

Bohemian Hopsody

02 July, 2015

Don’t stop them now – rock legends Queen have released a pilsner to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Bohemian Rhapsody.

Molson Coors UK has bought Swedish cider Rekorderlig UK from Manchester-based Chilli Marketing Brands.

WOSA targets indies

02 July, 2015

Wines of South Africa is targeting independent merchants with a new event this October.

Molson Coors is launching a £500,000 media campaign for Carling Zest to boost sales as the UK summer finally kicks in. 

Accolade Wine’s South African Fish Hoek brand has become the supplier’s first fully certified Fairtrade range.

The Benevolent is looking for volunteers from across the drinks trade to be its ambassadors and help spread the word about the drinks industry charity.

Stella Artois is flying high for this year’s Wimbledon tennis championships with a campaign focused around the club’s Harris hawk, Rufus.

Berry Bros & Rudd has opened a new cellar to host more private wine events at its historic London shop.

A strong off-trade performance has dragged the UK alcohol market back into volume growth for the first time in five years, according to a report from the Wine & Spirit Trade Association.

Maxxium UK has released The Famous Grouse in four-pack cases of 35cl and 20cl bottles to help convenience stores who are increasingly selling spirits in smaller bottles.

Price-marked pre-mix

25 June, 2015

Global Brands has released a pre-mixed cocktail price-marked at £1 for 25cl.

Dutch family-owned brewery Bavaria has launched its flagship 5% abv lager with a consumer ad campaign in men’s magazines.

Discounters have opened more new shops in the past five years than supermarkets and convenience stores in what research company LDC is calling a “car crash” for the multiples.

Carlsberg has launched a range of beer-based male grooming products developed by its team of Danish scientists in time for Father’s Day. 

Retailers can win £1,000 worth of flight vouchers from Trail Finders by getting creative with POS to showcase Lindeman’s wines.

Oddbins has relaunched its competition to find the UK’s finest amateur wine taster and expects thousands to take part this weekend.

A multi-million-pound centre for English wine and spirits is being planned in Sussex.

Calais Wine Superstore has opened a new tasting room offering booze cruisers the chance to sample 150 different wines.

Burgundy producer Boisset is aiming to prove that the region can innovate by sourcing grapes from new areas and taking Macon in a fresh direction.

Scottish brewer Innis & Gunn has raised £2.5 million towards building its own brewery, bottling line and barrel store through its mini-bond scheme.

Waitrose has seized the Supreme Champion crown at the International Cider Challenge 2015 after judges decided its English vintage perry was the star drink this year.

Bargain Booze is fighting back against the rise of the discounters with an ad campaign straplined Aldi Shmaldi.

Profits dropped by 22.5% in the year to March 30 at Majestic Wine after it purchased Naked Wines and replaced chief executive Steve Lewis with Naked founder Rowan Gormley.

Beer campaigner Robert Humphreys has been awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for services to alcohol policy.

Crimes committed under the influence of alcohol have spiked across Portsmouth after it introduced a Reducing the Strength scheme in October 2013, OLN can reveal.

Tesco has doubled its range of golden ales in what it called the “biggest stir in the beer industry since the arrival of lager in the mid-1960s”.

Britain leaving the European Union would be bad news for the wine trade, with exchange rate issues likely to erode already tight margins, suppliers have warned.

More indies visited LWF

15 June, 2015

Visitor numbers at this year’s London Wine Fair rose 4% on 2014, according to the organiser Brintex.

Wine suppliers are bidding to cash in on the success of Gallo’s big, off-dry Californian red wine Apothic Red.

Fruit-flavoured, wine-based drinks will soon flood the UK market and bulk shipping firms can help retailers and suppliers capitalise on the trend, according to a leading wine consultant.

Czech pilsner Staropramen is moving its UK distribution from Carlsberg to Molson Coors. The brewer, which also supplies Grolsch and Cobra, will have exclusive rights to the brand in the UK from December 28. 

Martinique rum Saint James is celebrating its 250th anniversary this year with a special commemorative bottle and a marketing campaign.

Port house Sandeman is aiming to turn around the category’s flagging fortunes with the release of only the second single quinta vintage port in its 225-year history.

Ricard: putting the focus on consumers

Pernod Ricard aims to increase underlying sales and operating profit growth to 5% in the medium-term by focusing on innovation, ramping up its digital strategy and trading shoppers up to premium spirits and wines.

Molson Coors has appointed Martin Coyle as marketing director for its UK and Ireland business.

Westons is targeting retailers with a range of POS as it launches a £2.5 million campaign for Stowford Press cider this week.

South Africa can shrug off falling volume sales by pushing into premium tiers after one of its best ever vintages, according to a leading supplier.

Villa Maria’s Alastair Maling MW is leaving the winery after more than 12 years spent heading up the winemaking side of the business.

Eighteen per cent of suppliers have lost listings as supermarkets scale back their wine ranges, and another 23% say their margins and prices are coming under increasing pressure, OLN's exclusive Wine Report poll of UK agencies and distributors has revealed.

In a year of turmoil for many supermarket buying teams, 71% of suppliers polled for OLN's Wine Report say there is too much churn for them to establish long-term, effective relationships – up from 53% last year and 46% the year before.

Traditional wine agencies will have to change their models, funding or target markets to survive in the current climate, say 38% of suppliers polled for OLN's Wine Report.

Innovation, economic recovery and education have beaten lower duty to become the top tips from suppliers looking at what could bring the UK wine market back into growth.

Supermarkets are not honouring their pledge to move away from deep discounting, according to nearly 60% of suppliers polled in OLN's Wine Report.

Suppliers’ estimation of supermarket own-labels is slipping, OLN's exclusive Wine Report poll of UK agents and distributors has revealed.

Independents remain the sector with the biggest potential for wine suppliers – but they are no longer seen as the unmitigated success story they were a few years ago, according to OLN's exclusive Wine Report poll.

Uco Valley producer Bodegas Salentein is targeting the UK independent trade after celebrating the 40th harvest of its legendary chief winemaker.

Liverpool fan Kevin Clarke said he wasn’t too upset after his team suffered a 6-1 drubbing in the match he commentated on as a prize for winning Carlsberg’s People’s Pundit campaign.

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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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