Maxxium UK has given a packaging revamp to Naked Grouse, the small batch blend from the Edrington-owned Famous Grouse family.

Bargain Booze and Wine Rack owner Conviviality Retail has reported a pre-tax profits increase of 31.5% for the financial year ending April 27.

New shop for Tanners

11 July, 2014

Tanners has opened a new shop in Shrewsbury’s Wyle Cop shopping centre.

First Drinks has been renamed William Grant & Sons UK in a bid to reflect “the rich heritage of William Grant as one of the world’s finest distillers”.

Chilean wine brand Casillero del Diablo is doing a Cliff Richard and going on a summer holiday around the UK in a double-decker bus.

Fifteen thousand shoppers are expected to attend Tesco’s annual wine fairs this autumn after the retailer moved the London leg to a larger venue at Earls Court to cope with increased demand.

The Lakes Distillery has created what it believes is the first blend of whiskies from around the British Isles and launched it nationally through luxury department store Harvey Nichols.

A former Heineken director has set up his own drinks company and launched a beer blended with fruit and botanicals.

Glenmorangie has released a 34-year-old whisky called Pride 1978 that it describes as its “most exclusive” launch ever.

Robert Humphreys was crowned Beer Drinker of the Year at the All Party Parliamentary Beer Group’s annual awards dinner last night.

Political scientist Dame Joan Stringer has been appointed chair of the Scotch Whisky Action Fund, a group set up by the industry to tackle alcohol abuse.

The government praised the drinks industry after it voluntarily made six pledges to help the authorities tackle alcohol abuse and promote responsible drinking.

Jewell: opening the conversation around wine

Tesco will send its wine experts out to host tastings in shoppers’ homes and community centres over the next six months in a bid to make wine less daunting.

Scottish beer lovers can sample around 200 local and international brews when Glasgow’s Drygate brewery hosts the Craft Beer Rising festival in September.

Pernod Ricard’s wine development director Adrian Atkinson has left the business after eight years in the role. 

Beer and cider sales grew 12% as the football World Cup kicked off – but failed to revive struggling supermarkets, which saw overall sales decline in the four weeks to June 21, according to Nielsen.

Magners owner C&C Group has released a blueberry variant of its American-style cider, Hornsby’s.

A team of wine trade professionals is set to run the Médoc marathon in memory of Michael Cox, the former head of Wines of Chile UK who died of cancer earlier this year.

Tesco’s Laura Jewell MW has teamed up with Helen McGinn, author of best-selling book the Knackered Mother’s Wine Club, to host a live online wine tasting.

Roberson revamps website

03 July, 2014

London independent wine merchant Roberson Wine has launched a new website designed to make online shopping easier and more reactive for its customers.

Waitrose is upping the ante in imported whiskey in response to a surge of interest from its shoppers.

Aston Manor Cider is to build a new warehousing and distribution hub three miles from its production site in Birmingham.

Orkney distillery Highland Park has added a new expression to its core range.

Luxury Polish vodka U’Luvka has signed a UK distribution deal with the spirits agency company Love Drinks.

Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey is celebrating its second birthday with a high-profile marketing campaign and a burst of investment in the off-trade.

Tobacco manufacturer JTI has removed its gantry from a Leicester convenience store after its owners were prosecuted for selling illegal tobacco.

Copestick Murray has taken on three new workers to carry on its expansion as I Heart brand manager Rachel Archer announced she would be leaving the agency to join Off-Piste Wines.

Booths is celebrating its month-long beer and cider festival with the launch of nine new beers and two ciders.

Retailers have called on authorities to overhaul proxy purchasing laws and start a public awareness campaign to teach adults that buying alcohol for children can cost storeowners their livelihoods.

Fuller’s London Pride is going into space. 

Isle of Arran Distillers has grown sales by 25% to more than £4.5 million in its best year yet.

Ten MPs filed into the cavernous Cellar Bar at the Red Lion pub in London’s Whitehall to take a Beer Academy masterclass and learn about beer’s role in the UK economy.

Premium bottled ale is performing ahead of expectations after growing £90 million in the past year – and it stands to become a £1 billion category by 2020, according to a leading brewer.

The Scotch whisky industry should temper its investment in extra production capacity to avoid the extremes of surpluses and shortages that have historically hampered it, according to a leading European bank.

Market leading single malt Glenfiddich has launched a £2 million advertising campaign focusing on the brand’s 126 years under Grant family ownership.

Former Codorníu UK managing director Nick Mantella has joined United Wineries as business development director.

Shoppers spent an extra £27.7 million on beer and cider during the first week of the World Cup (IRI, week to June 14).

Estrella Galicia has launched a summer promotion for its 0.0% abv Spanish lager

With more medals awarded than ever before, the 2014 International Cider Challenge was the best yet. An elite judging panel of producers, drinks writers, buyers and cider technicians tasted 150 ciders blind to unearth the very best in the business.

SHS Drinks is relaunching its mixed 10x27.5cl multipacks of WKD with the new name Mix It Up.

Camden Town Brewery and Cambridge Gin are among the producers of Selfridges products being celebrated by the retailer this summer.

Blackthorn Cider is being given a new look and launching a dark fruit variant, Black ‘n’ Black.

Four breweries in the north west have produced limited-edition brews for northern supermarket Booths.

Majestic Wine posted a fractional rise in profits over the past year as surging fine wine sales helped it grow its market share to a record 4.2%.

Tesco wine team grows

19 June, 2014

Tony Miles has joined Tesco’s wine technical team and will be responsible for France, Spain, Portugal, North & South America and New Zealand.

Leading suppliers are investing heavily to target independent retailers after identifying the channel as a key element in the drinks industry’s fortunes.

British wines can fill the demand for cheap, entry- level products and stop hard-up consumers abandoning the category, according to Broadland Wineries.

Kopparberg Swedish cider is bringing “Scandinavian cool” to the UK with a £4 million blast of activity including creating an urban forest in London.

Football fan Gerard Basset MW takes a break from watching the World Cup to help award-winning chef Sophie Wright create food and wine matches for people that have no appetite for loud pubs showing the beautiful game in two new videos.

Strong sales growth has seen alcoholic drinks emerge as the best performing FMCG category of the past year – and the trend looks set to continue as retailers prepare for the World Cup and a summer heatwave.

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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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