Waitrose has reported a 177% annual increase in English wine sales and now claims to account for three bottles in every five sold in the UK.

Sagar: journey to become the destination drinks company

Kingsland has snapped up wine and spirits supplier Bottle Green as it continues on its journey to becoming a one-stop shop for the retail trade.

The Responsibility Deal is teetering on a knife-edge and the drinks industry faces a series of tough battles after the general election, according to the Wine and Spirit Trade Association.

Brookfield Drinks has won a listing at Asda stores across Scotland for its 4% abv Kestrel pilsner after the retailer reported strong sales of its 5% abv lager.

Scottish brewer Innis & Gunn aims to get drinkers’ rocks off with a bottle-conditioned beer called Hot Rocks that takes inspiration from ale brewed in the Stone Age.

Eric Hereema at his Nyetimber estate

Dynastic whisky-producing family the Grant-Gordons head the wealth league in Scotland with a £2.15 billion fortune, according to the new Sunday Times Rich List.

There is still time to buy tickets for the rooftop garden party hosted by drinks trade charity The Benevolent after the London Wine Fair on May 20. 

Stella Artois has signed a deal to become the official beer and cider at Ascot racecourse for the next three years.

Page: criticising drinkers for not choosing real ale is counterproductive

Members of the Campaign for Real Ale have decided to stop criticising drinkers for choosing different types of beer and have instead pledged to get behind the entire category.

Nineteen premium Italian producers will pour their finest wines for the trade at the Boot Up Your Portfolio tasting at London’s Chandos House on May 5.

Sainsbury’s BWS head Andy Phelps is understood to be leaving the retailer after 11 years.

Thatchers has introduced its Old Rascal cider in 44cl cans for the first time in a bid to capitalise on the UK’s growing love of cans.

Fonseca is celebrating its bicentenary with the release today of a Guimarens Vintage Port from the 2013 harvest.

English wine producer Chapel Down reported a 21% sales increase to £6.1 million in 2014 and it also brought in a record harvest to ensure the upward curve will continue.

Manchester craft brewer Seven Bro7hers is planning to expand its production capacity after winning a listing at Tesco.

Brewdog is aiming to raise £25 million to extend its brewery in the latest round of its “equity for punks” crowdfunding initiative.

Bottling firm Lanchester Group is opening its first off-licence in a former Morgan sports car dealership in County Durham.

Plumpton College has launched the UK’s first honours degree in wine business for students interested in a career in the wine trade.

England’s record-breaking bowler James Anderson has launched his own beer in partnership with Marson’s and won a listing at Morrisons.

Heineken has launched a new Pomegranate & Strawberry variant for its New Zealand fruit cider brand Old Mout.

Hi-Spirits has added Langley’s No.8 gin to its portfolio.

A hundred new breweries joined the Society of Independent Brewers in 2014, taking membership numbers past the 800 mark.

Pimm’s No. 6 vodka cup will be back on shelves next month after a successful consumer campaign to reinstate the popular variant.

The Wine & Spirit Education Trust has won The Queen’s Award for Enterprise in International Trade 2015 in honour of its success in reaching international markets.

UK drinkers are swapping bottled beer and cider for cans after embracing the aluminium revolution driven by suppliers.

Strong performances from Prosecco, vodka, premium lager and craft ale led off-trade value sales to grow 2% to £14.5 billion in 2014, according to IRI.

Aldi has been the biggest winner in the premium bottled ale market in the past year after stealing shoppers from the big four grocers and rival Lidl.

Cider needs to innovate and enforce a premium price point to stop it from going down the route of mainstream lager, according to a leading supplier.

Carlsberg has increased its UK marketing budget by 500% to £12 million as it seeks to win over new drinkers.

A Prosecco has overtaken Freixenet, Martini and Codorníu to become the biggest non-Champagne sparkling wine in the UK off- trade, market analyst company IRI has reported.

Morrisons’ drinks buying teams have been told their positions could be at risk after the retailer announced it is to cut 720 head office jobs.

Independent retailer the Oxford Wine Company is set to open a second café in the city this summer.

Tesco has confirmed James Davis MW has been appointed as category buying manager for wine.

James Davis MW is expected to head Tesco's wine operations

Tesco is on the brink of announcing swathes of changes to its wine buying team, including a series of redundancies and the appointment of a new MW to bolster the department.

Harpers Wine and Spirit and www.harpers.co.uk have joined Off Licence News at Agile Media.

Majestic has announced it will acquire Naked Wines for £70 million and has appointed the company’s founder Rowan Gormley as the combined group’s new chief executive.

Cumbrian brewery Hardknott has doubled its production capacity to meet the rapidly growing demand for its bottled beers after winning a nationwide listing with Morrisons.

Comedian Bob Mortimer has taken over as the face of Charles Wells’ flagship beer Bombardier after the sad death of Rick Mayall.

Twickenham independent Real Ale is celebrating its 10th anniversary by launching an own-label beer and plans to create a broad own-label range in future.

Birmingham independent Loki is aiming to open a new shop in the West Midlands in the coming weeks and a third store in early 2016.

A report from the Society of Independent Brewers shows bottled beer taking an increasing share of its members’ sales.

A group of 15 winemakers from across the Rhône poured some of the region’s finest wines for buyers as it hosted its first UK tasting in 15 years.

The Champagne Bureau has admitted it needs to start educating consumers on why Champagne is more expensive than rival sparkling wines and will start by releasing a series of educational online videos.

Kopparberg has launched the world’s first frozen cider to capitalise on growth in the bugeoning frozen pouch category.

Retailers could be entitled to compensation from councils that illegally enforce bans on certain products following a landmark case where loss of earnings put a store on the brink of closure.

BWS sales in the convenience channel will match those in out-of-town supermarkets by 2020, according to analysts at IRI. 

Westons is spending £6 million on advertising this year as it aims to build on growth that has seen retail sales rise 16% to £4.8 billion (IRI, year to January 2015). 

Beam has chosen the UK market to exclusively debut its new Jim Beam Apple after hailing it a perfect breeding ground for innovation.

Casillero del Diablo Cabernet Sauvignon has grown sales by 60% to become the UK’s bestselling Cabernet Sauvignon SKU (IRI, year to February 2015).

Scotch exports drop 7%

01 April, 2015

The Scotch Whisky Association blamed weak economic conditions and political volatility after Scotch exports dropped 7% in value in 2014.

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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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