2007 October

Beam Global Spirits & Wine has launched a double matured single malt whisky.

Scottish & Newcastle has started arbitration proceedings against Carlsberg, saying the Danish brewer’s attempt to take it over breached terms the pair had agreed in their joint venture Baltic Beverages Holdings, which owns Baltika.

The biggest independent retailer of English wines has been sold as a going concern.

Beringer Vineyards has launched an ad campaign in UK national newspapers, Sunday supplements and “foodie” magazines, designed to show the brand’s “ground-breaking and innovative attitude”.

Justerini & Brooks’ chairman Edward Demery will retire in December after 40 years with the company.

Scottish & Newcastle is looking for another brewer to buy Carlsberg’s stake in their Russian joint venture BBH in a bid to stay independent, reports have said.

Portman launches public push

30 October, 2007

The Portman Group is to launch a campaign urging the public to report complaints about irresponsible drinks marketing.

Wine suppliers WSI have warned retailers to be on the look-out for suspicious sources of Maxim’s Champagne.

Asda almost topped all price deals on beer on Wednesday after an error on its website meant it was offering bottles for just half a penny each.

Scottish & Newcastle has rejected a "highly conditional" take-over offer from Carlsberg and Heineken in which they offered 720 pence per share.

Enotria has been appointed exclusive agent for New Zealand wine range Trinity Hill in the UK. Enotria has been distributing Trinity Hill Wines in the on-trade for six years, previously through the Laurent-Perrier. Enotria will work closely with Laurent-Perrier and co-founders of Trinity Hill, Robyn and Robert Wilson during the handover process, and will begin as sole importer from 1st January 2007.

S&N warns Carlsberg over BBH

24 October, 2007

Scottish & Newcastle has warned Carlsberg, its joint venture partner in Baltic Beverages Holdings, that it believes it has broken the terms of the BBH shareholders agreement.

Californian winery Fetzer Vineyards has won an award from the United States Environmental Protection Agency for the steps it has taken to help reduce global warming. Fetzer was one of 10 winners in the “Organisation, Association or Team” category, and was honoured for banning the use of ozone-depleting methyl bromide in vineyard operations. It phased out the chemical in favour of more eco-friendly methods during the 1990s, and now focuses on a tightly-run pest management programme, improved field sanitation, resistant root stocks, cover crops and compost.

More than 70 wineries from Tuscany will be showing a selection of their wines at the Tuscany Tasting next month.

Tesco Drinks Awards winners

23 October, 2007

Tesco has unveiled the winners of its 2008 Drinks Awards, with wines and spirits joining beers in the competition for the first time.

Unit calculators are being handed out to people visiting Diageo’s Cardhu Distillery this week in support of Scotland’s first Alcohol Awareness Week.

InterBev Group has launched Thai beer brand Chang in the UK as part of a global roll-out.

Chile’s wine prowess continues to grow, with new figures suggesting the country has knocked South Africa out of the top five in sales via UK supermarkets.

Blossom Hill is adding a drier style rosé to its portfolio to take advantage of growing interest in the category.

Bargain Booze is Britain’s 30th-largest mid-market private company, according to the Sunday Times’ Top Track 250 league table.

Thresher Group is selling 45 off-licences as part of a review of its estate.

Whisky laws are overhauled

19 October, 2007

The UK government is to tighten definitions of Scotch whisky

Plymouth Gin's brand overhaul has been completed with the redesign of its Navy Strength variant.

Pernod Ricard has announced two TV link-ups for Tia Maria.

Courvoisier has teamed up with Schweppes to launch a neck collar promotion in the off-trade.

Tesco is extending its own-label spirits with three additions to the Finest range .

In brief

19 October, 2007

Councillors have given the green light to a £40 million distillery at Roseisle in Moray. Set between Elgin and Forres, it will be Scotland's first new mainland distillery in 30 years and could create 25 jobs. Diageo is building the development as part of a £100 million expansion of its operations in a bid to help meet anticipated long-term demand for whisky in growing international markets, the company said.

Scottish & Newcastle is trialling Foster's Super Chilled Keg - a 13.1-litre keg format for its top-selling lager brand.


19 October, 2007

Are you running any special offers for the Rugby World Cup final?

Here comes the grain

19 October, 2007

Learning about whisky is a journey of discovery, but with hundreds of big brands and niche malts to choose from, grain whiskies are often overlooked.