2018 October

Spanish distiller Santamanía has appointed Boutique Bar Brands to handle its UK sales and marketing.

Pernod Ricard’s Chivas Scotch brand has launched a kit to give whisky lovers the chance to try the art of blending at home.

Edrington Beam Suntory has appointed former Diageo Reserve Brands supremo Nick Temperley as its new general manager for London.

Global beer brands dominate alcohol’s sponsorship of sports according to a new report.

Chef Marcus Wareing and Champagne Gosset have joined forces to create a new Champagne. 

Online drinks retailer 31 Dover has launched a wine subscription service called Clara Wine.

The Portman Group has upheld a complaint against Glasgow-based Drygate Brewing’s Disco Fork Lift Truck mango pale ale on the grounds that its can could have “particular appeal” to under-18s.

Hardys and Echo Falls wine supplier Accolade Wines has appointed Lydia Freeman as marketing manager.

Beer, cider and spirits all enjoyed a duty freeze as the Chancellor delivered his autumn budget statement, but wine was hit by an RPI increase.

Philip Hammond has announced a cut in business rates for many small retailers in this afternoon's autumn Budget.

Romanian wine producer Cramele Recas has launched a premium range called Solevari.

Fuller’s has launched the 2018 edition of its bottled Vintage Ale.

In a wry response to soaring whisky prices in world auction markets, Scotland’s Craigellachie distillery has launched what it is billing as “the world’s most uncollectable whisky”.

Kingsland Drinks has added a 1.5-litre Malbec pouch to its Shorn On Tour wine range.

Vins du Médoc is hosting two trade masterclasses to educate retailers about the world-famous region next month.

Drinkaware has become the research partner of walking football in Scotland, building on a similar deal it already has in place with Derby County in England.

Ireland’s Bushmills Irish whiskey brand is hosting series of events to showcase traditional crafts in London and other cities later this year and into 2019.

Shares in AB Inbev dropped by 11% after it announced it will cut its dividend in half in a bid to bring down its debt.

Drinks brand owner and distributor Proof Drinks has appointed Jeremy Hill, founder and former chairman of Sazerac-owned Hi-Spirits, as managing director.

London brewer Five Points has launched the first permanent addition to its beer range in two years.

Bancroft Wines has bolstered its portfolio with 167-year-old Barossa Valley producer Seppeltsfield and it will relaunch the wines into the UK market this month.

Popular gin brand Brockmans has continued its upward march by securing a listing at 274 Co-op stores across the UK.

Champagne Castelnau is adding an Extra Brut to its range to meet increased demand for the ultra-dry style among British consumers.

Maison Sichel is rolling out its Sichel Independents Initiative for 2018 and for the first time it will run across retail, on-premise and online.

Michelle Brampton is taking over as the new managing director for Treasury Wine Estates’ UK and European business from November 1.

Robinsons has revealed a fresh new look and name for its 122-year old Unicorn beer and it has also added three new premium bottled beers to its portfolio.

Whisk(e)y accounts for 21% of all UK spirits sales and it dominates the off-trade channel, but there is still a massive opportunity to grow the category further. It vastly under-trades among female consumers and younger adults, and retailers can reap the rewards if they compose exciting ranges that appeal to a broader demographic. For that reason we decided to launch Think Whisky, building on the success of our popular Think Gin and Think Rum events, in order to help them share best practice.

This April the dam levels in the Western Cape slumped to a low of just 18% and South Africans were bracing themselves for Day Zero.

Leading investors gathered at the Mayfair Hotel last week to listen to Cam Battley, chief corporate officer at Canadian firm Aurora Cannabis, wax lyrical about the marijuana industry’s vast potential. Make no mistake, this is going to become a large, global industry, bigger than global brewing,” he said. And I’ll tell you why. Beer has no legitimate medical applications, no matter what we tell ourselves on a Friday evening.”

In my last column, I asked whether wine has enough cultural and historical value to survive the increasingly prevalent anti-alcohol sentiment in Britain, which is precisely the kind of #bantz that explains why I always end up standing by myself at parties.