Beer in brief

19 September, 2008

PLB has signed a deal to act as the off-trade agent for the Manchester brewer JW Lees. The move is the latest development in PLB's plans to expand its beer portfolio from own and exclusive-label into a more serious branded offering, begun with the acquisition of the agency for Palma Louca from Brazil earlier this year. PLB will be handling Lees' established Moonraker Strong Ale and John Willies Bitter, plus Brewers Dark, which has been upgraded from seasonal to permanent member of the Lees range.

Miller Brands UK is launching a new cinema and outdoor advertising campaign for Peroni in a bid to highlight its position as "an Italian icon". There will also be outdoor ads to support a range of beer-related products designed for the brand by upmarket Italian design house Alessi. The designer gear will generally be available only to the on-trade, but off-trade consumers will have a chance to win one of 7,000 pieces through an on-pack promotion.

Wychwood Brewery is launching its flagship Hobgoblin bottled ale in 33cl bottles. The move is designed to bring more drinkers into the category, especially women, and to help established ale consumers regulate their intake. The first supplies of the smaller bottle size will arrive on Tesco shelves by the end of the month.

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English wine: a happy harvest for Christmas

All across England and Wales, vineyards are being harvested. Down winding country lanes come armies of welly-wearing conscripts wielding secateurs and buckets, ready to reap the rewards of our vines. Happily they come, their cheeks ruddy with pride. Half an hour later they’re crawling over muddy clods with lacerated hands, drenched in claggy juice and cold sweat, as if ploughing through an endurance race.

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