The skeletal face of Eddie the Head, the mascot of heavy metal band Iron Maiden, will appear on billboards across the south-east to promote the band’s ale.

California wine brand Echo Falls has teamed up with fashion blog What I Wore Today (WIWT) in the run-up to Clothes Show Live, which starts tomorrow at Birmingham’s NEC.

Specialist spirits retailer The Whisky Exchange has named Glenfarclas 15 Year Old as its Whisky of the Year.

Brintex is teaming up with the organisers of London Cocktail Week to launch London Wine Week, which will run in conjunction to the London Wine Fair.

Liberty snaps up Trinity Hill

04 December, 2013

Hawkes Bay winery Trinity Hill will move from Enotria to Liberty Wines on January 1.

Thatchers back on TV screens

04 December, 2013

Thatchers is launching an ad campaign in the West Country in a bid to boost sales in the build-up to Christmas.

Surrey brewer Hogs Back has launched a 4.5% abv unpasteurised craft lager called Hogstar that will be listed at Majestic, Wine Rack, Budgens, Co-op and Booker.

Greene King is offering shoppers the chance to win a day of indulgence worth £5,000 with an on-pack promotion on Abbot Ale.

Edrington is investing £100 million a new distillery for The Macallan in Speyside, Scotland.

Jägermeister is ramping up its campaign to move away from the Jägerbomb with a multimillion outdoor ad campaign.

Diageo will release four new expressions of Scotch brand Mortlach over the next year in a bid to make it a major player in the single malt category.

FWD award winners announced

29 November, 2013

Russian Standard Vodka beat Stella Artois and Carlsberg’s Somersby Cider to be crowned Drinks Brand of the Year at last night’s Federation of Wholesale Distributors Gold Medal Awards.

Oddbins is launching an own-label premium bottled ale after reporting that sales of craft beer grew 179% over the past year.

New look for Addlestones

28 November, 2013

The Shepton Mallet Cider Mill has given cloudy cider Addlestones a new look.

Film company Paramount has launched a Ron Burgundy-branded Scotch whisky to celebrate the launch of Anchorman 2 in December.

A new 66cl bottle for Catalan lager Estrella Damm is hitting shelves this month as distributor Wells & Young’s seeks to capitalise on the growth in larger formats.

Origin takes on Spanish winery

28 November, 2013

Origin’s mission to become a one-stop shop for old world wine has gathered pace with the addition of Spanish estate Alvisa to its growing portfolio of exclusive labels.

Twitter claims it has improved its age-gating system in a bid to help a wider range of drinks suppliers stop underage users receiving alerts about alcohol.

New Zealand wants to be the world’s leading producer of high quality low-calorie and lower-alcohol wines.

The group of brewers behind the Let There Be Beer TV ad campaign have been cleared of breaking advertising laws after complaints from four viewers.

Pear brandy crafted by a group of Carthusian monks at the foothills of the Gorjanci Mountains in Slovenia is available in the UK for the first time.

Bombardier is sponsoring Talk Sport’s coverage of the England cricket team’s Ashes campaign in Australia.

Crackdown on duty fraud urged

26 November, 2013

Trade bodies in Scotland will unite to urge the authorities to crack down on duty fraud at a Parliamentary Reception in January.

Tia Maria has teamed up with Funkin to give consumers an easy way to make its signature Tia Maria Espresso Martini serve.

SAB Miller is to hand out 10,000 scholarships to train workers in off-licences and pubs about responsible retailing.

Scotland’s Arran brewery has launched a crowd-funding initiative to raise £4 million.

Oddbins is launching a dramatic bid to return to UK high streets as its owners unveil plans to rebuild it as a 300-strong national chain.

The Christmas price wars have fired up with Asda slashing its Pierre Darcys Champagne from £24.25 to £10 and Sainsbury’s selling branded Champagne at just £12.49.

Spirited Wines has been forced to close 14 stores in the past 18 months, blaming rising rents and increased competition.

Virgin Wines chief executive Jay Wright has laid out ambitious plans to grow turnover after leading a £15.9 million management buyout.

Pernod Ricard has put a trio of brands and a raft of new products at the centre of its growth strategy. UK managing director Denis O’Flynn told OLN it would launch two spirits and a pair of wines within the next year after identifying gaps in the market.

The Co-operative Group believes it can fill the void left by the disappearance of off-licence chains from the high street because it already has a shop in every postcode.

WKD launches Christmas ad

22 November, 2013

WKD has launched a Christmas campaign on digital and social media channels and video-sharing sites. 

Heineken has launched a new racing-themed ad campaign for John Smith’s Extra Smooth.

PLB launches Spanish lager

21 November, 2013

PLB has released Spanish lager Estrella Galicia.

The Wychwood Brewery team will visit eight cities across the UK in a purpose-built sample truck in the New Year in a bid to bring Hobgoblin to the masses.

South African producer Vergelegen will transfer its agency from PLB to John E Fells on January 2.

Liberty Wines has announced an operating profit of £2 million for the 2012-13 financial year – up 0.15% on the previous year.

A 40-second TV ad showing a cancerous tumour growing in a glass of beer has started playing on screens across the north-east of England.

Iron Maiden’s Trooper ale has picked up a second supermarket listing, with Sainsbury’s joining Morrisons in stocking the 4.7% abv beer created by lead singer Bruce Dickinson.

Burgundian wine brand Blason de Bourgogne has launched new packaging across its wine range.

The Consumers’ Association’s Which? magazine has launched a campaign against what it calls “dodgy discounts and misleading multibuys” in supermarkets.

Soaring Prosecco sales and new store openings drove a 4.2% rise in pre-tax profits to £9.5 million at Majestic Wine in the six months to the end of September.

Magners given makeover

15 November, 2013

Magners has been given a new look across its Original, Pear and Berry variants in a bid to create greater shelf standout.

Importer PLB has added Argentinian winery Finca Las Moras to its portfolio. 

Greenall’s Original London gin has surged past the 100,000 9-litre case mark for the first time in the UK off-trade after growing volume sales by a third in the past year.

Gérard Basset MW will take over from Jancis Robinson MW as the Wine and Spirits Education Trust’s honorary president in January.

US west coast states California, Oregon and Washington will team up for a joint generic tasting in 2014, creating the most comprehensive tasting of the region’s wines ever available to the UK trade.

Halewood International has relaunched rum brand Lamb’s Spieced with a new liquid that comes in a redesigned hexagonal bottle.

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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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