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The world’s leading whisk(e)y associations are heading to Kentucky for a crisis meeting over the impact of an escalating trade war with the US.

Rum: the stuff of legend

20 July, 2018

Legend has it that Admiral Horatio Nelson’s body was put in a rum cask to preserve it for transportation back to England following his death at the Battle of Trafalgar. He had just defied the odds to secure a decisive victory, constantly thwarting Napoleon and defeating a combined French and Spanish fleet, and he was due to receive a glorious open-casket funeral. But the navy officials who received his body discovered the sailors had drilled a hole in the cask and sucked it dry, leaving Nelson semi-pickled and unfit for an open casket.

Drinks trade charity The Benevolent has appointed three new trustees to help expand its reach and support more vulnerable members of the industry.

Eric Idle once declared that American beer was like making love in a canoe – “fucking close to water”.

Magners has signed a four-year deal to become the headline sponsor of the Cheltenham Festival and it will lend its name to the meeting’s biggest race.

Invivo is on course to raise £3.5 million in an IPO that will allow it to significantly increase its investment in the fast-growing Graham Norton wine brand. The celebrity presenter is the chief winemaker for the range, which has grown UK sales by 230% in the past year (Nielsen, 12 months to March 2018).

‪Waitrose is helping shoppers stay cool and classy during the heatwave with a new range of Provence rosé ice lollies.

Brewdog has breached the Portman Group’s marketing code after launching a Pink IPA billed as a “beer for girls”.

The inaugural Bordeaux Wine Month is in full swing as more than 40 retailers across the UK are hosting tastings, running promotional activities and celebrating the region.

The second annual People’s Choice Wine Awards aim to discover the wines that consumers across the UK love best and the reasons why.

Leading cider expert Gabe Cook has shared his passion for the drink in a new book that details the history of cider and perry.

Jancis Robinson MW has declared that all wines should be treated with equal respect and that just one wine glass will therefore suffice.

Fruit cider fans can be kind to their waistlines this summer after Kopparberg launched a Cranberry Light variant that contains just 85 calories.

Premium Prosecco producer Bisol has overhauled its portfolio by launching new wines and changing its packaging.

Asda is ramping up its partnership with Drinkaware after a successful day spent educating shoppers on how to enjoy a healthy relationship with alcohol.

Gaining the youth vote

15 June, 2018

The over-45 age group now accounts for more than three-quarters of BWS sales in the UK as younger adults increasingly turn their backs on alcohol. Kantar stats for the year to March show that 76.5% of volume sales go to the 45-plus demographic, with just 23.5% bought by younger adults. In the past year volume sales among 18 to 44-year-olds declined by 7.5%, while volume sales among the older generations grew 2.9%. 

Majestic Wine delivered a bullish assessment of its chances of thriving in a challenging UK market after reporting 2.3% revenue growth for the year to April 2018.

Retro designs that evoke nostalgia by celebrating the sweets, clothes and cartoons of yesteryear have seen several drinks fall foul of alcohol marketing rules, according to the Portman Group.

Concha y Toro has laid out ambitious plans to increase the number of households buying its three key brands by 1 million within three years.

The global wine shortage has provided the trade with an opportunity to end an unsustainable culture of working with miniscule margins, according to leading suppliers.

Bargain Booze has emerged from a tumultuous situation relatively unscathed and stock levels have returned to normal levels following Bestway’s takeover.

Oddbins is championing German Sauvignon Blanc, Spanish Viognier, Hungarian reds and other quirky wines as it aims to broaden the nation’s vinous horizons.

Waitrose has reported that Beavertown’s craft beers are flying off its shelves after it became the first supermarket to list the London brewer.

Nicolas Feuillatte has launched new packaging for the UK market as it bids to boost off-trade sales and make inroads into the on-trade. 

More than 12 million sun-loving Brits jetted off to Spain in the past year and Barcelona was the most popular destination. It is easy to see why this enchanting seaside city is such a hit, as it is teeming with architectural treasures, the world’s greatest chefs and beautiful Mediterranean beaches.

Connoisseur Estates is buoyant about the future of the UK independent trade after sensing a serious willingness to find quality among buyers at the London Wine Fair.

Accolade Wines is investing £1 million in a new marketing campaign for Hardys in a bid to consolidate its market leading position in the UK off-trade.

The beer category suffered falling sales across the board in the first quarter of 2018, according to new stats from the British Beer & Pub Association.

More than half of Prosecco sales in the UK are generated by men, according to new research from the Consorzio Tutela Prosecco DOC.

Prince Harry’s marriage to Meghan Markle put the sparkle in bubbly sales as they increased 36.6% year-on-year for the week of the wedding.