2019 September

Plumpton College is set to launch the UK’s first nationwide Vicitulture apprenticeship.

Douglas Laing has released the 2019 edition of its festive Big Peat brand.

Kopparberg’s Balans “aqua spritz” could be the pioneer for a new drinks category that enjoys a similar level of success to fruit cider, according to head of marketing Rob Salvesen.

Franklin & Sons has unveiled new spirit and mixer partnerships by pairing two of its variants with a gin and a rum brand to add to its pre-mixed drinks collection.  

Gravity Drinks is launching a range of premium tequilas into the UK, with the initial trio of drinks each packaged in bottles inspired by Mexico’s renowned Lucha Libra.

The RTD category has long been associated with sugary, candy-flavoured, neon-coloured alcoholic drinks, but today this couldn’t be further from the case.

In the digital era, it’s perhaps fitting that our opinions have become binary. Online, we tend to only see viewpoints we already agree with, and this feedback loop of positive reinforcement makes us increasingly polarised. Consequently, the middle ground has been abandoned and accommodating your opponent’s view has become something for only the very brave or the very stupid. I’ll let you decide which is the case as I consider the case against cutting tax on wine.

Global Brands is bringing back its movie campaign for Hooch, promising it will be “bigger and better than ever before”.

Imagine drinking La Tâche every night. That’s what I was doing as a colleague scrolled through someone’s gratuitous Instagram feed which was pornographically insistent on showing bottle after bottle of DRC, Le Pin, Gaja, Vega Sicilia, Opus One, Ornellaia and their astronomically priced peers.

Popular ale brand Hobgoblin has been given a stripped back new look as part of the biggest overhaul in its 31-year history.

London’s first rum blending house in more than 100 years is set to open next month.

The Wine and Spirit Trade Association has criticised Government plans to introduce red tape which is expected to generate over 600,000 additional forms, costing UK wine businesses £70 million.

The latest Nielsen stats make sobering reading for the BWS trade as they show year-on-year value sales decreased by 2.8% this summer. 

Pernod Ricard reported a 10% rise in UK spirits sales for the past year as launches such as Beefeater Pink and Beefeater Blood Orange proved successful. 

Administrators have closed almost half the EFB Retail estate and raised £11.4 million through asset sales since they were appointed in February.

The Cotes du Rhone appellation is launching a European wine festival in October as part of a wider global campaign. 

31Dover has launched a new premium spirits subscription service designed to “lead its members on a voyage of discovery and flavour”.

Four Roses Distillery has revealed a series of limited-quantity special bottlings following the culmination of its four-year, £44.4 million expansion project, which has now doubled its production capacity.

Love Drinks has secured the distribution rights for White Heron Drinks, which produces British Cassis.

Tennent’s Lager, the official beer of Scottish Rugby, is offering fans the chance to win a money-can’t-buy experience to see the national team play pitch side with its latest on-pack promotion.

The trend for coffee in alcoholic beverages looks set to continue and a number of producers are hoping to tap in with their latest innovations.

Rebel Distillers has created a vodka made from smoked bone marrow with a new partnership linking the brand to the blockbuster video game Doom.

Bolney Wine Estate has officially opened its new winery, allowing the third-generation family business to increase its production of premium still and sparkling wines by 170% within the next three years.

Spirit Cartel is introducing Bobby’s Schiedam Dry Gin and Schiedam Jenever to the UK.

British vermouth, amaro and fernet brand, Asterley Bros, has launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise £100,000.

The Lakes Distillery has unveiled the first in a series of single malt whisky releases.

The winning wines from the 2019 Wines from Spain Awards will be available for the trade to taste at an event in London next month.

Luxury retailers Harrods and Selfridges have both ramped up their tequila ranges with new ultra-premium variants.

Freixenet makes its TV debut this month as sponsors of the new series of Don’t Tell The Bride on E4.