Woodforde’s, the award-winning Norfolk-based brewery, has been purchased by a private consortium of investors.

Budweiser has launched twist-off bottle caps to ensure the beer is better placed for outdoor events. 

Jeroboams, is launching plans to strengthen its positioning as a London wine merchant in order to take advantage of the current trend for shopping ‘local’.

Aldi has been the big winner in the wine category over Christmas and the start of 2016, having emerged as the only major retailer in growth (Kantar, 12 weeks to February 28, 2016).

Fears over a Brexit have sent exchange rates plummeting and caused consternation in a UK trade that is now paying considerably more for wines from Europe and South America.

Miles Beale with Scotch Whisky Association boss David Frost

The Wine & Spirit Trade Association is positive the wheels are in motion for a better outcome for wine in the 2017 Budget, following this year’s “disappointing” news of an inflationary duty rise.

Boutinot will display a wide range of Spanish wines at this year’s Wines from Spain event, including those with revamped labels, as well as a collection of Cavas and fortified wines.

Wine drinkers are seeking out more sophisticated rosé and Provence is perfectly placed to capitalise, according to a leading independent.

Drinks trade charity The Benevolent has appointed four new trustees: Diana Hunter of Conviviality, Guy Lawrence of Mast-Jägermeister UK, Rita Greenwood of William Grant & Sons UK and Simon Difford of Difford’s Guide. 

The UK’s wine industry is showing its support for “real wine” by backing the Real Wine Month through April and embracing the event on Twitter.

This year’s London Wine Fair will have the largest and most diverse content to date, according to the organisers.

C&C Group has offloaded some of the Shepton Mallet cider mill to Brothers Drinks, which will use it to expand production of Brothers cider.

Stowford Press Cider has signed a two-year deal to become the Official Cider of Birmingham’s Barclaycard Arena.

Pinkster Gin is offering an opportunity to invest in the brand via crowdfunding platform Growthdeck.

Litmus Wines has created a new subsidiary company, Litmus Wine Agencies, to separate the growing wine sales side of the business from contract winemaking and wine production consultancy.

Chapel Down Group has closed its equity crowdfunding campaign for its beer and cider business, Curious Drinks, having exceeded its targets.

BrewDog is close to officially launching its spirits project, named the Lone Wolf Distillery.

Greencroft Bottling has invested £3m to increase its capacity by 25%, meaning the company can now fill up to 90,000 bottles and boxes of wine per hour.

Bacardi Brown-Forman Brands (BBFB) has announced it has taken over distribution of Old Forester Kentucky Bourbon.

Lidl is ramping up its Wine Cellar promotion by offering shoppers a fresh selection of wines every two months from June.

Heineken has launched a new campaign aimed at attracting top talent into its business.

Nisa Retail, the wholesaler and convenience retail expert, has launched a new wine festival event to help drive sales while also encouraging cross-category purchasing in members’ stores.

Morgenrot has strengthened its Spanish offering with the addition of Txakoli Agerre, a slightly sparkling, dry white wine made in the province of Gipuzkoa in the Basque country.

To celebrate Mouton Cadet as the Official Wine of the 2016 Ryder Cup, Baron Philippe de Rothschild SA has partnered with wine lover and legendary golf course architect Robert Trent Jones Jr, to design this year’s Ryder Cup limited edition.

Vagabond Wines is hosting a Sherry Tap Takeover throughout April to help spread the trade’s love of the Andalucian drink to consumers.

Boutinot has signed Provence producer Château Gairoird to its portfolio, replacing Château Moutête, which was sold to Domaine Ott in 2014.

Heineken has unveiled packaging extension for two of its brands: Desperados and Old Mout.

Heineken is trialling a Belgian cider brand in Sainsbury’s stores with a view to growing the super-premium cider segment.

Premium Spanish wine and organic food producer, The Haciendas Company, has a new wine range developed specifically for UK consumers.

Carling is launching a new ‘Bank Holiday in The Bag’ promotion, offering fans the chance to win a free holiday with three mates over the May Day bank holiday weekend.

Adnams, the Suffolk brewer, distiller and retailer, has announced another strong year, particularly in spirits sales. The company reported sales of £65.7m and a 7.3% rise in operating profit to £4.1m for the year to 31 December 2015.

Foster’s, is to be the Official Lager of England Cricket, having signed a two-year deal with the England and Wales Cricket Board. The partnership sees Foster’s return to sports sponsorship for the first time in a decade.

Aston Manor has announced it plans to increase its investment in its flagship brand, Kingstone Press, following positive growth for the brand and increased distribution across all channels.

Tesco is selling a bottle of Champagne for less than £7.50 per bottle over the Easter period.

McGuigan Wines has launched a new Family Release range exclusively into Waitrose.

Britvic Soft Drinks is bringing out a new variant for its multivitamin fruit drink Purdey’s, to tap into increasing demand for vitality options.

Molson Coors has announced a new partnership with football managing simulation game Football Manager for its award-winning loyalty programme iPint.

Free Run Wines is adding a new variant to its wine-based drink, Mr Peel’s Manavista. The brand, with its new variant, will be on display at the London Wine Fair.

Laphroaig has announced the launch of Laphroaig Lore, described by the producer as “the richest of the rich”.

Sake is set to exhibit at the London Wine Fair in May for the first time.

International drinks group, Quintessential Brands, has acquired the Dublin Whiskey Company as part of an 10 million Euro investment.

Crabbie’s has launched an on-pack promotion to engage with consumers in the run up to the 2016 Crabbie’s Grand National event.

Champagne Gosset is launching a new cuvee, which has been resting in house cellars for more than 15 years.

Majestic Wine has announced that its Naked Wines arm has hit a key milestone of £100m in sales in the past year.

Soft drinks increased sales by 2.2% to £3.1bn in the convenience channel in 2015, according to the 2016 Britvic Soft Drinks Review (Nielsen, 52 w/e 09 Jan 2016). This was ahead of the total soft drinks market, which contracted by 0.6%.

Gonzales Byass has acquires a winery in Rías Baixas called Pazos de Lusco.

Speciality beer importer World Beers is extending its range of Birradamare craft beers in the UK.

French Wines with Style has launched a new wine style application that aims to match the style of French wine that best suits your personality.

Independent wine supplier United Wineries has announced a UK & Ireland agency deal with distributor, North South Wines.

Leading drinks producers have voiced their disappointment about the UK's new 'sugar tax' introduced in last week's budget, and are thought to be considering a legal challenge.

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Breaking up with Burgundy

Making my way through the recent tranche of Burgundy tastings for the much-hyped 2015 vintage, I found myself experiencing a moment of guilt.


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