The trend that has seen Brits choosing to drink beer at home rather than go to the pub has continued as off-trade beer sales grew 0.3% in volume in the year to September 2016.

Champagne Taittinger has announced a new partnership with the British Independent Film Awards.

Innis & Gunn has launched an equity crowdfunding campaign, which aims to raise £1m in equity; in addition it has revealed a new beer made from Scottish rainwater.

Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite) wines is gearing up for an enhanced presence in the UK following the appointment of a dedicated sales director.

Conviviality has reported sales up by 211% compared to the same period last year, as a result of its big acquisitions across the last 12 months.

Specialist wine importer Hallgarten Druitt & Novum has boosted its Italian portfolio with the addition of two new producers.

Marstons has overhauled its beer range with a striking new look in a bid to attract a new generation of drinkers.

Metaxa has relaunched its Metaxa 12 Stars expression in the UK, supported by the appointment of a new brand ambassador.

Dom Perignon has teamed up with German artist Michael Riedel to celebrate the power of transformation for its Blanc 2006 and Rose 2004.

Chile has leapfrogged Spain and South Africa to become the UK’s fifth largest wine supplier, while New Zealand and Argentina continue to enjoy surging sales.

Majestic has launched a named and next day delivery service for its full wine range across the UK.

WKD has launched two lower-calorie RTDs under the sub-brand name NKD.

The Torres family is introducing its first sparkling wine produced in Catalonia using the ‘traditional method’.

Global Brands is opening a new 110,000 square foot warehouse and distribution depot to help meet growing demand for its products.

Conviviality Retail has announced the formation of a new supply agreement with UK wholesaler Palmer & Harvey McLane (P&H).

The Co-operative has declared that the UK is “stuck in a wine rut” after surveying a thousand shoppers and finding that 52% have been drinking the same stuff for more than a decade.

AB-InBev has reported that it grew UK volume sales “in the low single digits” as it released global Q3 figures showing revenue grew 2.8%.

Aldi and Lidl are the big winners when it comes to attracting millennial shoppers, according to new research from Nielsen.

Thornbridge Brewery is in the process of recreating the winning beer of the Great British Home Brew Challenge 2016, which will then appear in Waitrose stores next month.

Black Sheep Brewery has refreshed the identity of its Riggwelter ale, ahead of its 25th anniversary year in 2017.

Global Brands is to open a new warehouse and distribution depot in order to support increasing demand across its core brands.
The independent drinks business, which was founded by chairman Steve Perez in 1997, has a range of drinks in its portfolio including the RTD brand VK, Hooch, Jungfrau, Amigos and Franklin & Sons premium soft drinks. In total it has more than 250 SKUs across four categories: RTDs, spirits, beers and soft drinks. 
The investment to expand its operations at the new, larger site aims to give the company better accessibility to major roads and transport links, and therefore improved logistics and efficiency. Global Brands has also increased its workforce, creating 25 jobs in the Derbyshire area.
Steve Perez, Chairman of Global Brands said: “As Global Brands continues to expand, we are thrilled to be bringing the company distribution centre back to its roots in Derbyshire. The added floor space allows us to be flexible and meet the increased demand from our customers now, and in the future”.

The Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET) has opened its first international office in response to a high demand for wine and spirits education globally.

Gin fans now have another online specialist retailer to consider when seeking out new artisan and craft gins.

SWA chief stands down

26 October, 2016

The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA)’s chief executive David Frost is leaving to take up a new FCO role, reporting to Boris Johnson.

Hi-Spirits is expanding its UK gin portfolio with the addition of the New Zealand brand Scapegrace Gin.

The Epicurean, which is described as ‘London’s first dedicated artisan drinks event’, will take place at the Truman Brewery in London this week.

Argentina is ready to show UK wine drinkers that it has much more to offer than just Malbec, according to the UK representative for the country’s wines.

Within hours of the announcement that Dave Roberts was to head a new industry-backed initiative to counter the claims of the anti-alcohol lobby, he had already stirred controversy. Not because of anything he’d done or said, but because he shares a rather common name with the chief executive of Alcohol Research UK.

Roberson Wine has formed a partnership with popular wine app Vivino.

Spirit Cartel has launched two unique aged rums from Puerto Rico.

Majestic Wine is extending its successful Definition own brand range into spirits for the first time.

Carlsberg UK is adding gluten-free Czech lager Celia to its premium beer portfolio.

The National Association of Cidermakers has a new chair and deputy chair after Martin Thatcher’s reign came to an end.

A new specialist gin members club has launched this month with the aim of offering exclusive and affordable gin, delivered monthly.

Chivas Regal is introducing its first blended malt whisky, crafted from five of Speyside’s signature single Malts.

Online retailer Rude Wines has launched a “cheeky duo” of own-label wines from France in a bid to inspire more consumers to choose quality wine.

Britain’s best beer retailers were honoured for their achievements in championing our country’s thriving brewing industry at an awards ceremony at the House of Commons yesterday.

Thatchers has ventured into spirits for the first time by introducing its first apple gin.

Amigos Tequila Beer is gearing up to celebrate the traditional Mexican Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos) holiday, with a raft of activity to include a series of parties.

Maison Bruno Paillard has launched its 2006 Blanc de Blancs Champagne, described by its founder as ‘voluptous’, onto the UK market.

Corky’s Schnapps has revealed a new visual identity with a metallic new look that aims to “bring the glitter to life”.

Vivino, which claims to be the world’s most downloaded wine app, has launched a new wine shopping experience aimed at changing the way the wine industry interacts and sells to its customers.

Waitrose is adding a raft of wines from Sicily in a bid to further develop its “significant” market share in Italian wines.

Fullers, Smith & Turner has announced it has been appointed as the distributor of Cerbezas Alhambras products in the UK’s off and on-trades.

Eighty-five per cent of BWS retailers expect trading this Christmas to be at least as good as last year, if not better.

The Co-operative Group’s revamped membership scheme is helping to drive sales of its own-label products, with the wine category benefitting the most.

Adnams has opened a pop-up shop in the centre of Chelmsford in Essex as it continues to expand its retail empire across East Anglia.

Berry Bros & Rudd has added a raft of new and “different from the mainstream” wines in preparation for Christmas.

Hungarian wine could enjoy a revival in the UK after one leading supplier decided to champion the category through a range of branded and own-label wines.

Beaujolais wine exports to the UK rose by more than 20% in value terms this year compared to 2015, according to the latest figures.

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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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