William Grant and Sons has snapped up the Drambuie Liqueur Company after it admitted it has always secretly admired the firm’s eponymous brand.

An existing Bargain Booze franchisee has become the first to take on Wine Rack stores under a franchise agreement with Conviviality Retail.

Tesco is backing controversial schemes to ban the sale of high-strength beers and ciders, despite ongoing concerns over their legality.

The industry has paid tribute to Yvonne May’s passion and inspiration following news that the UK and European regional director for Wine Australia has died after a battle with leukaemia.

Whisky Shop founder Ian Bankier is among Scottish business leaders who have put their names to a letter opposing Scottish independence.

Retailers need to do more to embrace online shopping and recognise that the market is changing, Pernod Ricard UK managing director Denis O’Flynn has warned.

Virgin Wines is to launch a gift business that it hopes will corner the market for wine presents.

Off Licence News has teamed up with consultant and former Wine Australia boss Hazel Murphy to offer independents the chance to join a two-week trip Down Under.

Waitrose’s online wine site, Waitrose Cellar, has grown sales by nearly a quarter in its first three months since coming on stream.

Guinness launches porters

04 September, 2014

Guinness has launched two porters inspired by 18th and 19th-century recipes discovered in its historic brewers’ diaries.

Liberty Wines has signed a deal with Hess Family Wine Estates to take over distribution of Peter Lehmann Wines from the Barossa Valley and the Hess Collection Winery from the Napa Valley.

Sherry editions from Tomatin

04 September, 2014

The Tomatin Distillery Co has launched two sherry-finished whiskies.

World Beers launches Huber Bock

04 September, 2014

World Beer has launched a dark lager from the USA’s second-oldest brewery, Huber, based in Monroe, Wisconsin.

Ehrmanns is set to release new sherries from Williams & Humbert and Viniberia at the Great Sherry Tasting on September 15.

Castaway returns

03 September, 2014

Nineties favourite Castaway Spritz has returned to the UK thanks to International Wine Services.

Pernod Ricard UK’s brands have outperformed the market in the off-trade, the company has reported.

Sailor Jerry rum has teamed up with rock legend Iggy Pop to design a range of clothing.

London wine merchant Vagabond Wines has won Wines of Germany’s 31 Days of German Riesling retailer competition.

Bargain Booze owner Conviviality Retail has appointed Amanda Jones as its chief operating officer, with effect from December 1.

Berry Bros & Rudd has signed up a Swedish vodka made from virgin new potatoes.

Edinburgh-based Innis & Gunn is launching what it claims is the first modern-day beer matured in Scottish oak.

Marlboro launches RYO pack

01 September, 2014

Cigarette brand Marlboro has launched its first roll-your-own product.

Tesco is to use consumer comments from forthcoming wine tastings on labels for three wines.

SHS Drinks is running an outdoor ad campaign for Merrydown cider to boost autumn sales, the second instalment of what has been the brand’s first ad campaign in 15 years.

Better town centre management and societal intolerance of antisocial behaviour are the main reasons behind falls in alcohol-related crime, according to a poll by You Gov.

Wine Australia regional director for the UK & Europe Yvonne May has died after an illness of several months.

Casillero del Diablo’s Wine Legend Movie ad campaign is to return to UK TV screens this autumn.

JTI has cut prices on its Sterling Rolling Tobacco and given the brand a new look with new pack formats and rolling papers.

Heineken has unveiled a new-look edition of its 33cl Heineken bottles as part of its Open Your City campaign.

A new business is set to launch a limited edition craft beer financed by a crowd-funding initiative.

Jack Daniel’s is celebrating its eponymous founder’s birthday by giving consumers the chance to win prizes including gig tickets, a trip to the distillery in Lynchburg, Tennessee, or an exclusive party for them and their friends.

Ardbeg has released the third edition of its Supernova, described by the Islay distillery as its peatiest single malt.

Pernod Ricard has reported flat global sales in a year when it saw a dramatic collapse in China where revenue fell by 23%.

Colorado-based US brewer Left Hand is aiming to expand its presence on the UK market in a distribution partnership with James Clay.

South African wine producer Distell has added two wines under the name 56 Hundred to its Nederburg portfolio in the UK.

William Grant expects the first spirit from its new €35 million distillery at Tullamore in Ireland to come on stream from mid-September.

Tesco is running a warehouse clearance sale on its Wine By The Case website.

Low-alcohol and alcohol-free beer is becoming more socially acceptable and off-trade volumes have grown more than 8% in the past year, a study has revealed.

Meantime brewery and Chase distillery have teamed up to launch a beer that replaces essential hops with gin botanicals.

Diageo has been found in breach of marketing rules for using a counter-top promotional unit that could encourage irresponsible, impulse purchases.

Morrisons has topped its own-label Soave with an “environmentally friendly closure” that is said to use 64% less aluminium than a traditional screw cap.

Chilean winery Santa Carolina has teamed up with Ehrmanns to grow its UK distribution and take on the country’s biggest brands.

Exports of New Zealand wine grew 10% in value and volume in the past year as sales surged in northern Europe and the US following a record harvest.

The convenience channel is missing a trick on premium spirits and should use Christmas 2014 to catch up with the grocers, according to a leading supplier.

Six retailers have lost their licences and 10 more are under review after Newham council’s enforcement team blitzed the east London borough in a series of test purchasing stings.

A “treatment tax” for helping alcoholics should be added to alcohol sold in the off-trade, according to think tank Centre for Social Justice.

Britain’s most northerly distillery has launched its first gin.

Tobacco manufacturer JTI has sponsored a pilot test purchasing scheme to help retailers in the north west tackle under-age tobacco sales.

Alliance Wine has signed up Valencia-based artisanal producer Celler del Roure.

Czech brewer Budvar has hit back at a report claiming drinkers cannot taste the difference between Stella Artois, Heineken and its eponymous beer, writing it off as a prank from a notorious troublemaker.

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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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