Scottish brewery Brewmeister has launched what it says is the world’s strongest beer – at 67.5% abv.

Italian DOC and DOCG wines can now be closed with screwcaps or synthetic corks after the country’s government caved in to pressure from the trade. 

Drinks trade charity The Benevolent is hosting a Christmas Ceilidh on November 28 and urged industry figures to sign up for an evening of Scottish-inspired dancing, food and drink.

Guinness is taking over all three ad breaks within The Jonathan Ross Show on October 26 in what marks a landmark deal for ITV.

Hi-Spirits said it has suspended activity on the social media pages of its Fireball brand to review its approach after breaching the Advertising Standards Authority code for the fifth time this year.

Origin Wine has appointed Phil Reedman MW to build up its new brand Camden Park in Australia.

Box Steam brewery is set to double its turnover after redesigning its bottles, ramping up its focus on the off-trade and increasing listings at Tesco.

A six-strong range of wines under the Co-operative’s premium own-label Truly Irresistible is to reach store shelves next week.

Suffolk brewer St Peter’s has launched a gluten-free gift pack targeting beer fans with coeliac disease this Christmas.

Jungfrau goes for gold

21 October, 2013

Global Brands has become the latest spirits company to launch a liqueur laced with gold.

Hi-Spirits has launched a cider with tequila and lime flavour called Manzana Loca – or “crazy apple” in Spanish.

Nearly half of 10 to 14-year-olds have seen their parents drunk, alcohol education charity Drinkaware has reported.

Burgundy specialist Domaine Direct has added two Loire growers to its portfolio – Domaine David in Muscadet and Domaine Tinel-Blondelet in Pouilly-Sur-Loire.

Asda ups its game in BWS

18 October, 2013

Asda’s BWS chief has set out her ambitions for the retailer’s drinks offer for the coming year, starting with the launch of a dedicated online wine site and a series of developments in spirits and beer.

A tough year for en primeur was the main contributor to an operating loss and falling turnover for royal wine merchant Berry Bros & Rudd.

Glasgow city centre is to become a drinks production hotbed with plans for a new distillery and a brewery.

Frances Brace, judge at the Sainsbury's Great British Beer Hunt final

Sainsbury’s has sold premium bottled ale to 95,000 extra female shoppers in the past year (Nectar Card data, year to September 30).

Morrisons wine sales up 3%

18 October, 2013

Morrisons said it is constantly growing market share of the wine category and sales are up 3% year on year.

Booths trials wine samplers

18 October, 2013

North west England supermarket chain Booths is using a four-week long wine promotion to test the viability of sampling machines.

Current rules governing the drinks industry’s use of social media may not be fit for purpose, according to a concerned supplier.

Cape Legends said it is giving its 20 wine brands a “big push” into the UK market as it sees a huge opportunity to trade consumers up to premium South African wine.

Consumers put grape variety ahead of promotions in deciding which wine to buy, according to a new report from Wine Intelligence.

Rioja rocks London

16 October, 2013

The new president of Wines of Rioja has pledged to invest in the UK market in a bid to build exports over the next decade.

Spanish buzz boosts sherry

16 October, 2013

The UK market is benefiting from its most diverse range of sherry ever, according to the Sherry Institute.

Smirnoff ads will be on TV screens every month except for January in 2014 as the brand ups its annual marketing spend to £7.5 million.

Diageo plans to revitalise the UK spirits market by recreating the food revolution led by celebrity chefs including Jamie Oliver.

WKD is wishing retailers a happy “Christ-Moose” with the launch of its Christmas POS kits and deals.

Berry Bros & Rudd is set to post a pre-tax loss of £7.3 million for the 2012-13 financial year as the 315-year-old wine merchant prepares to overhaul its business.

Merrydown has launched a 4% abv blackcurrant cider – the first in a planned range of “hedgerow”-flavoured ciders.

Diageo is relaunching Johnnie Walker into the UK market with a £7.2 million marketing campaign and it hopes the move will revive the UK whisky category.

Illicit wine sales could be as much as 11% of the market and may have lost HM Revenue & Customs as much as £700 million, a new report has revealed.

The company behind Buffalo Trace bourbon is struggling to keep up with demand as interest in the Kentucky spirit grows in the US and around the world.

Glittery new look for VK

11 October, 2013

Global Brands has revamped the whole VK RTD range, launching five new flavours and adding edible glitter to its Ice Storm flavour.

Britain’s biggest beer shop is set to expand its shop and add a cafe, bar and new offices after planners in Kings Lynn gave its ambitious proposals the green light.

A whisky range from Down Under is now available to buy for the first time ever in the UK.

One of the ads

Cockburn’s has launched a £1.5 million ad campaign designed to boost growth in the burgeoning port category.

Babycham turns 60

08 October, 2013

Babycham is celebrating its 60th anniversary with an on-pack promotion, limited edition packaging, a new website and a Facebook campaign.

A research firm has suggested minimum unit pricing on alcohol would be unpopular and ineffective after its survey revealed the public would prefer cigarettes and fatty food to be targeted by the NHS.

Accolade has revamped the website it launched two years ago to help retailers sell more wine after reporting that membership to the free site has grown “significantly”.

Treasury is investing in a multimillion pound ad campaign for Australian wine brand Lindeman’s.

William Grant & Sons aims to see single grain whisky stand alongside single malt and blended as a major Scotch category after launching The Girvan Patent Still Single Grain 25 Year Old.

Batemans B Bock beat hundreds of new beers brewed across the UK to win a listing at Sainsbury’s after it was named winner of the retailer’s Great British Beer Hunt 2013.

Chilean producer Viña Montes is launching a new wine and releasing special vintages of its icon wines Alpha M, Folly and Purple Angel to celebrate a quarter of a century of winemaking.

The man who is intent on bringing minimum unit pricing to one of England’s largest cities said he is not worried about defying central government’s decision to scrap the measure.

Magnums and iPads will drive sales in a brave new world for Champagne, according to Moët Hennessy.

A shop that is refusing to join the Reducing the Strength campaign in Ipswich said it is being unfairly blamed for antisocial behaviour and vowed to continue selling strong beer and cider.

Major retailers have already begun to run deep discounts on drinks brands as they jostle for position in the pre-Christmas market.

Maxxxium UK is launching a print ad campaign for Courvoisier that will bring a campaign called Here’s to Now to the pages of the Sunday Times, Short List and the London Evening Standard.

Box Steam brewery has released a dark porter called Evening Star in honour of the last steam train ever built in Britain.

The British Liver Trust’s chief executive has called on the health lobby and the drinks industry to work together to promote a healthier Britain.

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COMMENT

Richard Hemming MW: beware inverse snobbery

Few things can bring communal pleasure so intimately as wine. Apart from a hot tub, perhaps. Sport can trigger mass jubilation, film gives us shared empathy, but wine has a nigh-unique ability to bestow conviviality among us through a shared bottle – which makes it especially galling that we spend so much time divided over it.

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