The team behind the Let There Be Beer campaign has hired a former Accolade, Diageo and LVMH marketing boss to spearhead the initiative.

A small-batch rum inspired by a Filipino revolutionary has hit the UK off-trade after Glasgow-based supplier Marblehead signed a distribution deal with Bleeding Heart Rum Company.

Tesco expands wine team

17 February, 2014

Tesco has bolstered its wine team by plucking Charlotte Lemoine from the shop floor at Majestic and turning her into an assistant product developer.

Berry Bros & Rudd is giving wine lovers the chance to make their own Bordeaux wines after signing up start-up company Viniv.

Consumers can win a trip for two to Brazil in a new on-pack promotion launched by the nation’s generic body.

New boss at Imperial Tobacco

17 February, 2014

Melvin Ruigrok has taken over as general manager at Imperial Tobacco’s UK arm.

The industry’s ability to contribute more to the country’s economic recovery is being severely hampered by the government’s policy on alcohol tax, an exclusive OLN survey has shown.

Accolade has reported double-digit growth in market-leading Australian brand Hardys and said the return to prominence of Chardonnay from Down Under will spur even greater progress.

The French Wines with Style campaign has put digital marketing at the heart of its 2014 campaign in a bid to show off the best Gallic wines to increasingly web-savvy consumers.

Tesco is launching an exclusive range of beers after giving the five regional brew-masters at Marston’s free reign to create experimental brews for the retailer.

Brands that have not had much exposure to discounting can help retailers push up the average price of a bottle of wine and shake off reliance on promotions, according to a leading supplier.

Diageo hopes that the new elderflower variant of Gordon’s gin will eventually account for more than a tenth of the brand’s sales.

Budvar’s new UK sales director plans to grow the business by pushing 33cl cans, price-marked packs, the super-premium Budvar Premier Select and an alcohol-free beer.

Drinks trade charity The Benevolent has teamed up with the organisers of the London Wine Fair to put on a party at Kensington Roof Gardens on the final day of the fair.

California on the upswing

13 February, 2014

Californian wine is “on the upswing” in the UK market, according to one of the golden state’s most celebrated producers.

Advertising watchdogs have banned ads for Kronenbourg featuring ex-footballer Eric Cantona because they falsely implied the beer was made in France.

International Brands has launched a new range of nine varietal wines under the Broadleaf banner.

McWilliam’s has announced that distribution rights for the core McWilliam’s brand have been transferred from PLB to Kingsland Wine & Spirits.

WKD to ramp up price-marking

11 February, 2014

WKD is making price-marked 70cl bottles of Blue, Iron Brew and Green available in cash and carries from the end of February.

A former buyer for Venus, Bibendum and the Antique Wine Company has set up a wine school targeting people who feel intimidated by the subject.

Diageo is introducing an elderflower version of its Gordon’s gin. The launch follows that of Gordon’s Crisp Cucumber a year ago.

Halewood International is offering a £1 million first prize in an on-pack competition on Crabbie’s in the run up to the Grand National, which is sponsored by the alcoholic ginger beer brand.

Lincolnshire family brewer Batemans has rebranded with a contemporary new look and a range of unusual new craft beers to celebrate its 140th anniversary.

Two British craft breweries have teamed up to produce a pair of European beers.

Highland Park launches Freya

07 February, 2014

Orkney distillery Highland Park has released the third whisky in its Valhalla Collection, inspired by the Norse gods.

Wine Society names new buyer

07 February, 2014

Amathus buyer Sarah Knowles has joined the Wine Society.

Taxi ads for No 3 gin

06 February, 2014

Berry Bros & Rudd has launched an ad campaign for its No 3 London Gin in London taxis.

London wine merchant expands

06 February, 2014

London wine merchant Bottle Apostle has announced it will open its third store in Clapham next month.

CAMRA has taken a swipe at major retailers for converting hundreds of pubs into local stores as the race to dominate the lucrative convenience channel hots up.

OLN editor Rosie Davenport wowed guests at the Drinks Retailing Awards last night by taking to the stage in a dress made out of cork.

Industry legend Cliff Roberson was the toast of the Drinks Retailing Awards last night, as he scooped the Independent Wine Merchant of the Year gong and followed it up with the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Independent French winegrowers have identified the UK as a market where consumers are moving towards premium, terroir-driven wines and they aim to capitalise on the trend.

Global Brands has hired comedian Keith Lemon to front an ad campaign for lemon-flavoured RTD Hooch.

Halewood has launched a limited-edition Valentine's bottle of Lambrini Original that will sell in Tesco and Morrisons this month.

The Wine Society’s buyers will select wines that benefit from ageing and send them out to subscribers under a scheme called the Vintage Cellar Plan. 

Richard Jones and Matt Douglas

SH Jones continues expansion

03 February, 2014

SH Jones Wines has added to its growing empire by snapping up the wholesale and retail arm of Stevens Garnier.

Pernod Ricard has hailed the UK as a ripe breeding ground for innovation after launching two global exclusives in the market.

Mateus is moving away from its distinctive flask-shaped bottle with the launch of a new dual varietal wine range.

Cambridge Wine Merchants owner Hal Wilson lauded the quality of recent Australian vintages after attending Wine Australia’s annual tasting.

Thatchers lands Down Under

31 January, 2014

Somerset cider brand Thatchers has landed Down Under after signing a contract with Australian brewery Coopers to distribute Thatchers Gold to the on- and off-trades.

Diageo Great Britain’s reserve brand portfolio grew 24% in the six months, driving a 1% rise in overall sales at the British arm of the world’s largest spirits supplier.

Grey is the new pink

31 January, 2014

Grey is the new pink, according to Vranken Pommery.

Drinks producers have committed to promoting responsible drinking at sponsored events in the widest ever partnership between producers, retailers, rights holders and representatives of sport, music and venues.

Rhône producer Cellier des Dauphins has added a premium “cru” level, rrp £9.99, to its Les Dauphins brand.

Hampshire’s Upham Brewery is celebrating a year of record-breaking sales by recreating seasonal ale First Drop – the beer it brewed to mark the opening of its new state-of-the-art brewery a year ago.

Arrogant Frog producer Les Domaines Paul Mas is set to launch a new range called Striking French.

Wines of Portugal is offering travel bursaries to help 20 independent retailers get to the annual tasting on March 5.

Diageo escaped a rap on the knuckles from the advertising watchdog after viewers complained about Baileys ads featuring a woman kicking a man in the face.

Marblehead has signed a deal with Diageo to distribute Brazil’s leading cachaça brand Ypióca in the UK and Ireland.

Sainsbury’s chief executive Justin King is to step down after a decade in charge.

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