The Portman Group has defended itself following criticism that it is restricting the creative freedom of craft beer producers after a number of high-profile rulings.
Big Drop Brewing is launching a crowdfunding campaign with the aim of making its alcohol-free craft beers more accessible in the UK, as well as planning to expand globally.
Drygate Brewing Co has launched a citrus alcohol-free beer created to “boost battered immune systems across the UK”.
Belgian beer brand Duvel has launched the fourth in a series of barrel-aged beers.
Morgenrot has extended its selection of low alcohol beers from the Netherlands with the launch of a new “fresh and fruity” sour beer called Fruit Machine.
Fourpure Brewing Company’s product Juicebox IPA has been upheld in one of the first complaints under the Portman Group’s new Code of Practice, following concerns that the citrus-themed packaging and brand name could appeal to children.
Complaints against Heineken’s Birra Moretti Gran Antichi and Leffe Brune Abbey have not been upheld by the Portman Group’s Independent Complaints Panel.
Chapel Down Group has announced that its managing director, beers and cider, Gareth Bath, has resigned to pursue other interests.
St Peter’s Brewery has introduced an “improved recipe” for its Without brand of zero alcohol beer, in order to appeal to a wider range of no and low-alcohol drinkers.
The advertising watchdog has rapped Brewdog on the knuckles over an outdoor poster ad featuring the slogan “SOBER AS A MOTHERFU” next to a picture of Punk AF.
Scottish brewer Innis & Gunn has announced that its new brewery will be located at Heriot-Watt University’s research park in the west of Edinburgh.
Lowlander Beer has brought out a new Winter IPA brewed with recycled Christmas tree spruce needles as part of its zero-waste ‘From Tree to Tipple’ campaign.
Tiny Rebel’s Cwtch has faced the Portman Group for the second time in two years, resulting in the producer being asked to make further amends to the can’s design to prevent it from appealing to under-18s.
Another craft beer has had to face examination by the Portman Group, after a member of the public complained that the artwork could appeal to under 18s. The complaint, which has been upheld, was about a 33cl can of Thrill Seeker by Oakham Ales and it is the latest in of a number of complaints against craft beers for the same reason.
East Anglian brewer Woodforde’s has created a special beer to commemorate Norwich striker Teemu Pukki’s efforts in helping Finland qualify for Euro 2020.
Heineken has maintained its ties with football by extending its Champions League sponsorship and signing on as the official beer of Euro 2020.
Big Drop Brewing Co has teamed up with four of the UK’s leading craft breweries to produce a limited edition range of 0.5% abv collaboration brews.
Majestic has teamed up with Curious Brewing to produce a beer aimed at Sauvignon Blanc drinkers.
Waitrose sold ten weeks’ worth of beer in just four days in its Oxford Botley Road store via its “Unpacked” scheme, where beer (and wine) was made available for consumers to buy using refillable containers.
ABInbev has reported its UK business has had a “strong third quarter”, driven by the continued popularity of Corona and Budweiser, however its overall global business delivered weaker than expected sales over the period. As a result the company lowered its profit growth forecasts for the year, sending shares tumbling 10%.
Brewgooder has joined forces with craft brewer Fourpure to launch two new beers that will fund clean water projects.
Carlsberg has announced it has made big steps with its plans to create the world’s first ‘paper’ beer bottle, made from sustainably-sourced wood fibres that are both 100% bio-based and fully recyclable.
Nisa has announced it is helping retailers transition into colder weather with a Hail the Ale event to help drive footfall and sales.
Tennent’s has announced enhanced investment of £14.23 million in sustainability, as part of its strategy to boost its contribution to the fight against climate change. The investment is enabling the company to introduce green technology and strategic partnerships.
As part of this the producer aims to be free from single-use plastic in its packaging by 2021, eliminating 150 tonnes of plastic from the environment each year. From next Spring the brand’s larger canned product formats will use cardboard packaging as an alternative to hi-cone rings and shrink wrap. Smaller packs will follow later in the year.
Tennent’s has also become the first brewer to join companies such as John Lewis, Tesco, Unilever and Coca-Cola in becoming a member of The UK Plastics Pact, described as “a trailblazing, collaborative initiative that brings businesses together with governments and NGOs to tackle the problem and move us towards a system which keeps plastic in the economy and out of the environment”.
Meanwhile a newly-built water treatment plant, known as anaerobic digestion, is now operational at Tennent’s Wellpark home. This allows for the on-site treatment of wastewater generated as a by-product of brewing. Alongside this, plans are underway to ensure that all of the brewery’s energy will come from renewable sources by 2025, twenty years ahead of the Scottish Government’s targets.
Tennent’s is made from 100% Scottish barley and the beer’s by-products are then entirely recycled for use as animal feed or organic compost, helping Wellpark to send zero waste to landfill, which it has done since 2014.
The producer has also linked with the 2015 Climate Group to engage people throughout Scotland in the issue of climate change. The not-for-profit organisation, which equips young people with climate change knowledge and leadership skills, will work with Tennent’s to run a series of workshops in pubs throughout the country. Inviting the public to come and join ‘A Pint and a Plan’ sessions, the collaborative gatherings are designed to turn talk into advocacy and action. A full programme of these events will be released in December.
Martin Doogan, group engineering manager at C&C, Tennent’s parent company, said this activity represents a sizeable and enduring investment in the future.
He said: “As Scotland’s oldest surviving business, and one of its best-loved, we take our responsibility to do the right thing very seriously.
"Sustainability is a core part of our brand and today marks a significant step-change in our plans. We’ve leveraged our scale and influence, our passion for innovation and our network of contacts to ensure that we act decisively against climate change, without delay.
“It’s a leap in the right direction – but we’re not complacent and we’re not finished. We will continue to seek out ways to minimise our environmental impact across our entire business, from our transport fleet, to international deliveries. Our commitment is to lasting environmental change; in our company, in our industry and beyond.”
Michael Mackenzie, trustee of the of 2050 Climate Group, said: “We are thrilled to be working with Tennent’s on our ‘A Pint and a Plan’ workshops. These are a novel way to grab people’s attention and to encourage them to take tangible action on climate change. We can’t wait to get started.”
The business has also released an advertising campaign highlighting the importance of sustainability. Ads, which will appear on digital and out-of-home across Central Scotland, will have the strapline: ‘Because Life is Bigger than Beer’. As part of this a new brand film has also been released on social media.
The Portman Group’s Independent Complaints Panel has not upheld a complaint about two craft beers produced by UK brewers.
Black Sheep Brewery has extended out of beer and created its first-ever gin, with plans to produce a full collection of sprits in the future.
Budweiser Brewing Group UK&I is the latest producer to announce plans to eliminate plastic rings from all of its products.
Beer Hawk has launched a chilled supply chain proposition to offer craft brewers a new route to market.
Drygate Brewing Co claims it has launched “Europe’s first reforestation beer”, and it has pledged to plant 10,000 trees with the proceeds.
Popular ale brand Hobgoblin has been given a stripped back new look as part of the biggest overhaul in its 31-year history.
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