Cairns: duty to keep high street alive

The Co-operative Group is today implementing the most dramatic range change to its beers, wines and spirits shelves that its 4,000-plus stores have seen in years.

Lidl has bolstered its wine shelves with 57 SKUs including English and Hungarian ranges as part of an in-store promotion called Wine Cellar.

Retailers have been urged to take a look at Portugal’s Tejo region at the upcoming Wines of Portugal tasting in London.

The Argentina Wine Awards celebrated its tenth anniverary last week at a major event attended by over 300 winery owners, winemakers, provincial authorities, managers of the wine industry, jurors and journalists.

Two surveys, conducted by polling organisation YouGov on behalf of the Wine & Spirits Trade Association and the British Beer & Pubs Association, have revealed huge support among voters for a cut on alcohol duty on chancellor George Osborne’s forthcoming Budget.

Bedford brewer Charles Wells has used Galaxy, Simcoe, and Goldings hops to make a new beer called Charlie Wells Triple Hopped IPA.

Global drinks giant Diageo has agreed to pay £53 million to Indian entrepreneur Vijay Mallya in return for Mallya’s resignation as chairman of United Spirits.

A report from the Institute of Alcohol Studies which claims that the sponsorship of sports by alcoholic drinks is “putting our children and athletes at risk” has been rebutted by the Portman Group.

AB-Inbev grows UK sales

25 February, 2016

AB-InBev grew UK volume sales in the “mid-single digits” in 2015 on the back of strong performances from Stella Artois and Budweiser.

Carlsberg is supporting Sky sports presenter Jeff Stelling in an epic charity walk, dubbed the Men United March, to raise money for Prostate Cancer UK.

Instil Drinks Co will be unveiling its new cider range at Craft Beer Rising which starts on Friday. 

Surrey-based distillery Silent Pool has created a nine-litre bottle of its signature Silent Pool Gin, which is believed to be the largest and most expensive bottle of gin ever.

Majestic Wine is giving away bottles of Veuve Cliquot to leaplings – people born on February 29 – in a promotion to mark the leap year.

Drinkaware, the responsible drinking charity, is to partner with English Rugby for England’s two home fixtures at Twickenham during the 2016 RBS Six Nations tournament.

Sandbach: it's all happening in Oxford

The Oxford Wine Co will target growth in wholesale and the on-trade after shutting its store in Cirencester and ruling out expanding its retail arm in future.

Some of the finest retailers in the land have been nominated for the prestigious Think Gin Awards, which will be presented at an event in London on March 1. 

Danish brewer Carlsberg has promoted Julian Momen to chief executive of its UK business.

Buyers at the SITT tasting in Manchester will be serenaded by an opera singer and fed with Italian food as The Bottle Drinks Company launches Bellini Canella.

Craft beer is subject to a relentless pace of change, so here are six trends to stay on top of in the year ahead.

Bibendum PLB has added two new agencies from Canada to its portfolio.

Importer Connoisseur Estates has added New Zealand producer Tohu to its portfolio and will pour the wines at the upcoming SITT tastings in Manchester and London.

On March 1 buyers from across the UK are invited to the second annual Think Gin event, hosted by Off Licence News and our sister titles Harpers Wine & Spirit and Drinks International.


French wine producer Les Grands Chais de France has promoted UK off-trade director Mark Kears to be the group’s new managing director for UK and Ireland.

Reported sales at Beam Suntory grew 23% in 2015, the first year of full results after Suntory’s £9.3 billion acquisition of Beam in 2014.

Success in the UK and Spanish markets drove a 1% H1 growth in Pernod Ricard’s European sales.

Pernod Ricard is targeting Millennials with a new five-strong range of entry-level wines called Jacob’s Creek Sun Craft.

Pernod Ricard’s Brancott Estate brand is marking its 40th anniversary with a major on-pack promotional campaign in the UK’s off-trade.

Harpers is partnering with Wines from Rioja to offer independent retailers the chance of an all-expenses paid trip to some of the most respected and innovative bodegas in the beautiful Rioja region.       

The Scottish Green Party has launched it own brand of craft beer in the run up to May’s elections.

Supermarkets need to mimic the success of independents and the on-trade in exciting consumers with diversified ranges if they are to return to growth, supplier Enotria and Coe has warned.

The government must cut the duty on wine and spirits by 2%, two influential MPs have said.

The days of cheap Prosecco could be numbered as the base price has risen by around a quarter in the past year, a leading importer has warned.

Leading independent beer retailers have stopped listing beers from London’s Camden Town Brewery following the company’s takeover by Stella Artois and Beck’s brewer AB-Inbev.

We are entering a golden age for wine gadgetry that will pique the interest of new consumers and help maintain the category’s future prosperity, according to a leading buyer.

 The government must act to save Britain’s cider makers, MPs were told at a Parliamentary reception last night.

AB InBev has accepted a £1.8 billion bid from Japan’s Asahi brewing group for four beer brands including Peroni and Grolsch.

Family-owned distillers William Grant & Sons has appointed whisky writer Alwynne Gwilt as whisky specialist and brand ambassador for its Ancient Reserves portfolio.

The Advertising Standards Authority has ordered multiple retailer Iceland to withdraw an ad for the Fat Bastard wine brand.

The drink-driving limit in England and Wales could be lowered to match the tougher stance taken in Scotland, according to media reports.

Japan’s Asahi Group Holdings is nearing a deal to buy European beer brands Grolsch and Peroni, as reported in Reuters today.

The Friday Beer Company has raised £93.5k of the £150k it is seeking to fund its ambitious expansion project.

UK consumers are losing their retail loyalty and are increasingly willing to shop at a wider range of stores if it means saving money, the latest retail figures from market analysts Nielsen suggest.

The government’s official response to its consultation exercise on Sunday Trading, published today, has been angrily dismissed by the Association of Convenience Stores.

Foley Family Wines has acquired the Chalone Estate Vineyard in Monterey County, California from Diageo for an undisclosed sum.

Sales of Rioja wines set a new record last year with a total of 388 million bottles sold, aided by the region’s strategy to boost its focus on both white and aged wines.

Sales of Franciacorta premium Italian sparkling wine were up 7.1% domestically and 7.5% in export across 2015, the region’s winemakers’ governing body, Franciacorta Consorzio, has announced.

Armit Wines has added winery Castello di Buttrio to its Italian portfolio, as part of a strategic category review designed to boost its range of quality white wines and indigenous northern Italian varieties.

A rosé from Champagne Lanson’s portfolio has been hailed as the UK’s best-selling Rose Champagne, just in time for Valentine’s Day.

The Sussex-based Nyetimber winery has acquired a neighbouring 44-ha site in West Chiltington to help fulfil its expansion plans.

Diageo is to launch a limited-edition run of Johnnie Walker Blue Label to celebrate the start of the Chinese New Year.

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COMMENT

Rosé tinted glasses

I was asked recently what I thought the biggest change had been in wine fashion in the past five years. My answer was unequivocal: sales of pink wines. From being a niche that expanded and contracted with the sunshine, rosé has subtly but steadily become a stalwart of many merchants’ ranges, with Provence firmly at the top and asked for by name.

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