Budweiser is the fastest-growing product of 2017 in UK supermarkets, ahead of Monster energy drinks and avocados.

DRN is gearing up to host its second annual Think Rum event in London and co-chairman Peter Holland believes there is huge untapped potential in the off-trade.

English wine is now considered so classy and fashionable that even the Queen has started producing it, but British-made wine is not exactly sexy.

The UK drinks trade has been urged to develop its expertise in sake to capitalise on this burgeoning category.  

Former Tesco wine buying manager James Davis MW has been appointed commercial director for Adnams’ beers, wines and spirits team.

Former England cricket captain Sir Ian Botham is launching a range of wines in partnership with Broadland Wineries.

Copestick Murray has purchased French wine specialist Free Run Wines and is now busy integrating the team into its growing business.

The trend for multinational brewers investing in their small, craft counterparts continues apace as Heineken has taken a minority stake in Brixton Brewery.

Palmer & Harvey is on the brink of falling into administration, leaving thousands of jobs in jeopardy as Christmas approaches.

Retailers are expected to continue cutting their ranges in 2018 in a bid to save money and make life easier for their customers, according to market research firm IRI.

Jack Daniel’s has launched a rye into the UK market in a bid to capitalise on Brits’ growing love of imported whiskies.

Borough Wines & Beers has unveiled plans to champion “mindful drinking” after giving listings to two ranges botanical sodas and developing a 0% abv gin.

Yesterday’s Budget gave cause for celebration among 99.73% of the UK drinks industry as Chancellor Philip Hammond froze duty on beer, wine and spirits.

Majestic Wine has grown first-half adjusted profit before tax to £6.8 million on the back of strong sales in its Naked Wines division.

Fifty Conservative MPs have signed a letter calling on Philip Hammond to cut beer duty and scrap inflationary increases in this month’s autumn Budget announcement.

The UK Supreme Court has given the Scotland the green light to introduce a minimum unit price of 50p following a five-year battle.

In the mid-2000s the Hunter Valley was home to some of Australia’s most successful volume brands, from Tyrrell’s Long Flat to Mount Pleasant’s Elizabeth. The region’s winemakers were raking in orders from around the world and enjoying huge growth as a result, but they were not particularly happy. 

The government has declared it has no plans to grant local licensing authorities the power to ban “super-strength” alcohol across stores in their areas.

Copestick Murray has unveiled plans to turn Slurp into the UK’s leading premium online drinks retailer after buying a 40% stake in the business. 

Waitrose has no intention of turning its back on classic wine regions that have been ravaged by spring frosts, hail and other issues that have driven up prices.

Spar is aiming to simplify the wine category for its shoppers with two new own-label ranges. 

Copestick Murray’s I Heart brand has gained a listing in Asda as it continues to surge up the chart of the UK’s most popular wine labels.

Sainsbury’s has reported a 26% growth in sales of Taste the Difference wines thanks to a strong performance from New World regions.

A limited edition Big Peat 25 Years Old comprising some of Islay’s most sought-after malts will go into specialist whisky retailers this December.

Gin: Natural selection

09 November, 2017

After witnessing the advent of baobab gin, hop gin, cocoa gin, gin with ants in it, nettle gin and seaweed gin, you could be forgiven for thinking the flavour conveyor belt had run out of options. You would be wrong.

Sleeping with the enemy

09 November, 2017

Over in Ireland a 300-strong group of independent off-licence owners has aligned itself with the health lobby in a bid to prevent supermarkets wiping them out.

Brintex has no plans to shift the London Wine Fair to another month to avoid a clash with Vinexpo in 2019.

An off-trade clampdown on underage sales appears to be working as the number of 11 to 15-year-olds that reported purchasing alcohol from retailers fell to an all-time low.

Britain’s leading beer retailers were honoured for their achievements in promoting our country’s thriving brewing industry at an awards ceremony at the House of Commons this week.

I Heart supplier Copestick Murray has purchased a 40% share in Slurp, which has an online retail site and two bricks and mortar stores.

“What’s the difference between an English wine merchant and a terrorist?” says Australian Vintage’s award-winning winemaker, Peter Hall. “You can negotiate with a terrorist.” 

Wineries in Mendocino, Napa and Sonoma are battling to finish harvest and fermentations as wildfire rages across the region, according to the Wine Institute of California.

Treasury Wine Estates has extended its 19 Crimes range with its first single varietal wine to hit British shores, a Cabernet Sauvignon retailing at £8.99.

Tesco appoints new head of BWS

19 September, 2017

Robert Cooke has taken over as BWS director at Tesco following a long and varied career in the retail industry.

Aldi has shrugged off market pressures like exchange rates and duty hikes to post surging wine sales figures this summer.

The fall and rise of Sumoll

14 September, 2017

In the heart of cava country a once-loved grape variety that nearly went the way of the dodo is enjoying a remarkable renaissance. Sumoll, known locally as the Pinot Noir of the Mediterranean due to its thin skin and diva-like antics on the

Focused approach

14 September, 2017

A focus on local ales, craft beer and mini-kegs has seen Morrisons’ beer category outperform the market and post 4.5% year-on- year sales growth. DRN travelled to Yorkshire to meet the buyers, John Morris and James French, and get the lowdown on the success the retailer has enjoyed after a sweeping range review.

Warm weather at the beginning of the summer propelled annual cider sales past the £1 billion barrier for the first time since 2014.

A new campaign group set up to give drinkers a voice in the national media has enjoyed plenty of success on its first weekend up and running.

The biggest wine tasting in the history of Bristol is just days away and there is still time for members of the trade to register.

Walker (centre) is joined on stage by trophy winners

Californian brewery Firestone Walker triumphed at the International Beer Challenge 2017 awards as its Union Jack IPA scooped the coveted Supreme Champion gong.

Hannah Tovey has just taken over from Ross Carter as event director for the London Wine Fair following a long and varied career in the industry.

Sparkling wine brand Gigglewater has launched 20cl cans of Vino Bianco Frizzante across Waitrose’s retail estate and online store.

The UK distributor for Rothschild wines has bolstered its sales force with the appointment of two account managers.

Notorious 19th century revolutionary James Wilson has been immortalised in a bottle of wine as Treasury Wine Estates has based its new 19 Crimes expression on his exploits.

Waitrose has given a listing to a sparkling apple cider made in the traditional Champagne method by a producer in Hampshire.

Jack Daniel’s is teaming up with a range of UK retailers to launch initiatives designed to showcase its versatility.

Six hundred Californian wines will be poured for the trade at the Dream Big California Wine Fair in London on September 27.

Reigning European champions Saracens are now sponsored by South African cider brand Savanna Dry.

Carlsberg is celebrating its 170th birthday this weekend by launching a range of celebrations across its hometown of Copenhagen.

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The shops that stand out from the madding crowd

The judges met last week to sort out the winners in the independent categories of our 2018 Drinks Retailing Awards. The results are top secret until the awards dinner on February 6 but it’s giving nothing away to report that the overall standard of those that will be revealed in the shortlist of finalists in the January issue of DRN is higher than it’s ever been.

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