2019 August

The former boss of Majestic Wine is to return to the retailer after a two-year absence, as the business takes shape under new ownership.

You can’t go down the alcohol aisle in a supermarket without noticing the influx of new no and low-alcohol alternatives. I’ve even picked one up thinking it was the alcoholic version and I’m sure I’m not the only one. Most bars and restaurants have pages in their drinks menus dedicated to alcohol-free alternatives. With restaurants and bars popping up where the drinks offering is strictly alcohol-free, it seems there’s no slowing the no/low movement. 

Cognac exports to the UK decreased by 6.7% in volume and 4.1% in value during the 2018-19 financial year.

Aldi is launching its first national in-store spirits festival on Thursday and Didsbury Gin’s Tutti Frutti gin liqueur has secured a berth on shelves.

Remember Binge Britain? Only a few short years ago we were really worried about young people drinking too much, falling over and showing their pants. And now, suddenly, we’re worrying they’re not drinking enough. What are they up to?

Rockstar Spirits has secured a five-figure loan to expand the business, following the success of its Two Swallows rum range, which was recently selected by Coca-Cola as the official partner for its new Signature range of mixers. 

Kingsland Drinks has announced it has made “high-level executive changes” in order to focus on the strategic direction of the business. 

Bimber Distillery has announced the release its inaugural single malt whisky. 

Tobermory, the only whisky distillery on the Isle of Mull, has expanded its repertoire to produce a Tobermory Gin. 

Napa-based winemaker, Celia Welch, is set to export her own wines to the UK for the first time. 

Stourbridge-based brewery Sadler’s has launched its popular Peaky Blinder lager in 33cl cans in time for season five of the hit BBC show.

Borough Wines has been bought out of administration in a pre-pack sale worth £58,760 after widening losses caused it to collapse on May 31.

The founders of Craft Beer Rising are launching a new beer festival called BrewLDN in February 2020.

Frosty Jack’s Cider has revealed new branding to recruit new drinkers to the brand.

Adnams has reported half year losses to June 30 rose to £783,000 from £557,000 in the previous year, but beer volumes grew for the first six months of 2019. 

Family success story

13 August, 2019

Last summer Fells pulled off a significant coup by taking on distribution for the Hill Smith family’s Negociants portfolio. Until that point, the likes of Yalumba, Oxford Landing and Vasse Felix had been distributed by Negociants UK, which the Hill Smith family decided to close. Fells hired eight members of the Negociants UK team and sold a 10% stake in its business to the Hill Smith family to cement the relationship. 

The Portman Group has welcomed a report highlighting a decline in underage drinking in the UK.

Lanchester Wines has relaunched Dragon Tree Kombucha to tap into demand for healthy and low/no alcohol drinks. 

Fishers Gin has announced it will make production savings when it opens its new distillery, and it will pass this saving onto consumers.

Building up Chianti

12 August, 2019

Chianti needs a bit of a revamp in the UK and the market is crying out for a strong brand, one which offers a range of Tuscan wines at different price points.

Tonic and mixer producers have done a stellar job of keeping up with the evolution of the premium spirits market and, in particular, gin. The category now has a number of premium players and

It’s now easy to find soft drinks that command higher prices and boast more natural ingredients than many alcoholic beverages, and it seems consumers are crying out for even more choice.

The Spirited Union Distillery has launched what it claims is the world’s first botanical white rum.

A premium coffee liqueur from New Zealand is gearing up to secure listings in the UK.

Ramborn Cider Company, a premium craft cider and perry producer from Luxembourg, is launching its range of drinks into the UK and other global markets.

Several major UK wine suppliers have banded together to launch a campaign aiming to secure a tax break for the nation’s favourite tipple.

WKD has launched two RTD cocktails in cans.

Spar UK has launched an incentive-driven wine club for its retailers with the aim of raising the quality credentials of its Spar wine range.

Rebel Dsitillers has released an aperitif with a third less sugar than brands such as Aperol.

Last year, Heathrow airport handled 220,000 passengers every day. With that kind of footfall, it’s little wonder Terminal Five is reputedly the most expensive retail space in the world. Flying has become increasingly routine, and with it comes the airport experience: cities in miniature, hosting a daily population larger than Portsmouth, all of whom are killing time before boarding their plane. These microcosms of society provide a valuable insight into how we interact with wine.