Pernod Ricard’s UK head and the new chair of the Wine and Spirits Trade Association Denis O’Flynn has called on the trade to back the campaign for a 2% duty cut and help create 20,000 jobs.

There is still time to register for OLN’s Think Gin event, where you can join retailers from the likes of Waitrose, Harrods and Hedonism to debate the spirits market’s hottest category.

Diageo has appointed an e-commerce expert from Ralph Lauren to oversee its online channels.

English sparkling wine producer Chapel Down has completed two long-term land leases to more than double the size of its estate.

Conviviality Retail has bought the entire GT News portfolio of 37 stores in a deal worth £6 million.

The UK's leading retailers were honoured at a glitzy award ceremony at London’s Dorchester Hotel tonight.

Contract bottler Encirc has appointed John Hawkins as general manager to oversee operations at its Cheshire plant.

Laithwaite’s Wine has expressed its sadness at the news that wine centre Vinopolis will close at the end of 2015 to make way for an upmarket shopping centre.

Soft drinks group AG Barr has snapped up cocktail mixer producer Funkin in a deal worth up to £21 million.

Carlsberg UK has gained listings at Tesco and Asda for a new alcohol-free San Miguel beer.

Wine suppliers have warned the UK faces “colossal” changes as Tesco announces plans to cut its range by a third.

Thatchers has launched two ciders targeted at younger drinkers.

The retail trade has overtaken the on-trade in beer volumes for the first time ever, and its strong performance has ended a decade of dwindling UK beer sales, according to new figures from the British Beer and Pub Association.

Diageo blamed volatile exchange rates, a “lack of overarching recovery in the US and Western Europe” and troubles in emerging markets after reporting lower-than-expected sales figures in its half-year results.

Brewdog to import US beers

29 January, 2015

Brewdog has set up an import and distribution arm and is launching with beers from US craft brewer Stone Brewing Co.

Magners has launched a variant flavoured with Irish whiskey.

The country’s best beer retailers were honoured at the inaugural Celebrate British Beer Awards held at the House of Commons last night.

Concha y Toro’s Argentinian brand Trivento has signed a two-year extension to continue its sponsorship of Premiership rugby.

Buckingham Shcenk has appointed Enotria’s David Tromans as its marketing and new product development manager.

David Beckham overcame many a fierce opponent during his illustrious playing days, and now he can add Alcohol Concern to his list of scalps.

Scotch whisky is more important to the UK economy than iron, steel, computing, textiles and shipbuilding, according to a new report.

Rival countries would kill for New Zealand’s affluent young consumer base, according to Mud House supplier Accolade.

Accolade boss Paul Schaafsma declared that “Australia is not broken” after announcing flagship brand Hardys grew 12.4% in volume over Christmas (Nielsen, 12 weeks to January 3).

Former Gonzalez Byass marketing supremo and OLN columnist Jeremy Rocket has become managing director at Marblehead.

John Hearn will leave Diageo’s wine arm Percy Fox to take over as off-trade commercial director at Enotria this week.

A Goldings hop from Worcestershire grower S J Adams & Son has beaten 123 rivals to be named the overall winner at the British Hop Awards for 2014.

The organisers of Prowein are ramping up their focus on attracting UK buyers after all the exhibitors begged for more Brits.

Diageo has signed UK distribution deals with Marblehead and Catalyst brands to help grow some its smaller brands.

Sharp: opportunities abound

Eight leading independent Scottish brewers have joined forces to support, promote and protect the industry through The Brewers’ Association of Scotland.

The tobacco industry claims criminal gangs will be rubbing their hands with glee at the news that the government has announced a pre-election vote on plain cigarette packs.

An OLN workshop aims to help retailers capitalise on the unprecedented growth in the gin category by helping them boost sales of tonic.

The London Wine Fair is targeting suppliers seeking UK representation with a new exhibitor area called Wines Unearthed.

The Competition and Markets Authority has admitted to MPs it failed to investigate councils it knew were breaking competition law and could be putting retailers at risk of significant fines and possible imprisonment.

Sparkling wine sales expected to grow 11.1%

The UK wine market will enjoy strong volume and value growth over the next three years, according to analysts at the International Wine and Spirit Research.

William Grant has prevailed over Alcohol Concern after the charity reported it to the advertising watchdog over an ad that stated: “Without Warninks advocaat it just wouldn’t be Christmas.”

Carlsberg has launched a campaign to find the UK’s greatest football fan and will install the recipient as a Talk Sport pundit at a Premiership match on the final day of the season.

Wine is becoming an increasingly important part of the Bargain Booze offering after the business overhauled its range, according to chief executive Diana Hunter.

Czech brewery Budweiser Budvar has seen sales grow 20% in the UK off-trade as the brewery celebrates a record year of production and exports.

Sir John: see me later

Copestick Murray has struck a distribution deal with Minervois producer Hegarty Chamans after owner Robin Copestick turned a Q&A session at the annual WSTA conference to his advantage.

Bargain Booze owner Conviviality Retail has announced that pre-tax profits grew 47% to £3.2 million during the six months to October 26, 2014.

The UK’s leading grocers, symbol groups and a host of convenience stores have signed up to a best practice guide hailed as “an unprecedented collaborations between retailers”.

Senior MPs have launched an inquiry into Reducing the Strength schemes in response to Off Licence News’ campaign and have called the Competition & Markets Authority to the House of Commons for a hearing next week.

IRI says shoppers were willing to treat themselves

Supermarkets enjoyed a strong Christmas trading period as they grew BWS sales by 1% to £2.3 billion (IRI, seven weeks to January 3, 2015).

Adnams Cellar & Kitchen chain has made its first profit a year before expected and plans to expand to 20 shops by 2020.

Retailers can put their faith in leading brands to help see Burgundy through a tough period of short harvests and dwindling UK sales, according to a top agency.

A specialist importer of central and eastern European wines has opened its first shop, in Brighton.

Britons are rediscovering a thirst for whisk(e)y and the category has arrested years of plummeting sales, according to the latest Nielsen data.

Labour: targeting "high-strength, low-cost products that are affordable to children"

The drinks industry has hit back after the Labour Party promised a prohibitive assault on alcohol as part of its manifesto as the general election looms.

Thatcher’s aims to build up distribution of its Old Rascal cider after giving it a design makeover and launching it in cans.

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Faith in fakes

One of the most fascinating stories in wine, fit to stand alongside the Judgement of Paris, is that of Rudy Kurniawan, a man who managed to fool friends, auction houses and experts into believing they were drinking some of the world’s most expensive wines.

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