Energy drinks giant Red Bull has decided to end a dispute it started with Norfolk microbrewer Redwell.

The Advertising Standards Authority said it may clamp down on alcohol suppliers’ and retailers’ use of social media after admitting that age-gating children so they cannot access adult content is failing.

Tobacco manufacturers are fighting EU plans which would ban menthol and slimline cigarettes, all packs of 10 and limit sales of rolling tobacco to 40g pouches.

The man who led Costcutter’s takeover of the Rhythm & Booze off-licence chain is predicting more consolidation in the convenience retailing sector.

Pernod Ricard is rolling out new bottle designs for its range of Absolut flavoured vodkas.

Red Bull has written to Norwich-based brewer Redwell, requesting it immediately withdraws its trademark application, claiming the names are too similar and would confuse customers.

A cocktail zone, beer and wine chillers and iPads with information on malt whisky are among the features in three new-look stores unveiled by Tesco.

Tesco has revamped its Wine by the Case mobile site after discovering that a quarter of its online wine sales now comes from shoppers using their mobile phones.

Baileys Chocolate Luxe

Diageo has released a Belgian chocolate liqueur under its Baileys brand in what it bills as the world’s first fusion of Irish whiskey and real chocolate.

Brains is launching a chocolate and bacon porter

Welsh brewery Brains is launching a bacon and chocolate porter called Aporkalypse at the Great British Beer Festival next week.

Bargain Booze

Bargain Booze owner Conviviality Retail has raided rival Musgrave to appoint a new chief financial officer.

Molson Coors

Molson Coors brewery workers have agreed not to go on strike after signing a last-ditch deal that ends a long-running dispute over pay and conditions.

Wales could pursue its own plans to introduce minimum unit pricing after being left disappointed by the UK Government’s decision to scrap plans to implement the measure.

Martin ThatcherMartin Thatcher: record sales

Thatcher’s cider has reported that July was the best month for sales it has enjoyed since the firm was founded in 1904.

Distell has launched a neck collar promotion on its prestige collection Nederburg Winemaster’s Reserve, offering shoppers the chance to win a meal at a top London restaurant.

Brand Phoenix co-founder Steve Barton is leaving the UK business and relocating to the USA to push the company’s First Cape brand into that market.

The largest local authority in the UK has become the latest organisation to leave the Responsibility Deal in protest over the scrapping of minimum unit pricing.

Costcutter Supermarkets Group has signed a £35 million refinancing deal with Barclays to boost its ambitious growth plans.

The Benevolent has appointed three senior drinks industry figures as new trustees.

Australian Vintage has become the latest supplier to launch a low alcohol wine range into the UK market.

Greenall’s Gin has timed its new sponsorship of Lancashire Country Cricket Club perfectly as the biggest match in cricket heads to the team’s Old Trafford home on Thursday.

Tesco has secured an exclusive listing of three new wines from celebrity chef Jamie Oliver’s restaurant group.

The glorious sunshine that has bathed Britain this month has led to a surge in cider and lager sales, according to various leading suppliers.

Wine merchant Roberson is taking over an old gin distillery in Earls Court and turning it into a boutique winery that will start making wine in September.

Eleven European wine and spirits producing countries have lodged a bid to block Scotland’s plans for minimum unit pricing on alcohol by branding them illegal, unfair and ineffective.

The UK trade will be able to sample the 2011 vintage of Bordeaux wines to gain Cru Bourgeois status at a tasting in London on September 19.

Brewdog has responded with typical defiance after receiving a rap on the knuckles from the Advertising Standards Authority over material on its website deemed to cause “serious offence”.

A new celebratory digital ad that Carling released within minutes of the announcement of the royal birth has already been viewed more than 400,000 times as royal baby mania continues to grip the UK.

How to make a Purple Lady pomegranate-flavoured summer cocktail: 

Brewdog has been sanctioned by the advertising watchdog for referring to itself as a “post punk apocalyptic mother fu*ker of a craft brewery” on its website.

Independent retailers and convenience store owners are missing a “huge” opportunity to sell more sparkling wine, according to a leading supplier.

Copestick Murray has appointed Jo Ahearne MW as consultant winemaker for its I Heart wine brand.

The calibre of supermarket wine buyers has come under renewed fire from suppliers complaining poor expertise could be costing sales.

Multiples continue to grow BWS sales at the expense of smaller retailers, according to the First Drinks Market Report 2013.

The industry needs to overhaul its approach to low-alcohol wine to up its appeal among younger consumers and give the category a more positive image, according to leading suppliers. 

An overhaul of the way drinks companies use social media is expected within two weeks as the Advertising Standards Authority prepares to tighten its laws.

Drinkaware is teaming up with retailers in Glasgow to use POS to urge shoppers to switch their usual drink to a lower strength version.

World Wine Agencies sold

19 July, 2013

New World specialist World Wine Agencies has been bought by Hayward Brothers in a deal to give the European-focused importer a broader portfolio.

Budvar brewery is launching a 3.8% abv beer to join its flagship brand in the UK. Pardal is brewed at the same facility as Budvar but has a lower price point and will debut at Morrisons in the autumn.

Rum sales soar

19 July, 2013

Rum could soon overtake gin to become the UK’s third most popular spirit if retailers tap into its potential, according to a leading supplier.

Bibendum has launched a standalone spirits agency business and is on the lookout for new brands to add to its portfolio.

The owner of Bargain Booze is seeking to rapidly accelerate the chain’s national roll out after it launched a bid to raise up to £65 million by floating the company on the stock exchange. 

The government is expected to formally announce today that it has abandoned plans for minimum unit pricing and a ban on multibuys for alcohol in England and Wales.

Jerobaums of £18,000 Cristal Champagne, first growths and vertical selections of Chateau Margaux and Petrus and a whisky collection worth almost £1 million are on sale at Harrod’s new wine and spirits department.

Labour’s European spokesperson for health has called for alcoholic drinks to feature calorie labels.  

Diageo is targeting young adults with a campaign designed to remind them that binge drinking can lead to “shame and embarrassment”. 

Oddbins is offering holidaymakers the chance to earn thousands of pounds by recommending their favourite wines from their travels under a new scheme called The Listing.

Brintex has reported that 32 out of 35 exhibitors at this year’s London Wine Fair have now rebooked for the 2014 show.

Global Brands has brought Hooch Orange and Hooch Blackcurrant back to the market after a 10-year absence.

The Duchess of Cornwall believes the English sparkling wine category needs to be rebranded with a new name to help it compete with the likes of Champagne.

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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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