The Prime Minster has suspended liability for business rates for shops affected by the riots in English towns and cities this week.

HM Revenue & Customs says it will be flexible on tax payments for businesses facing short-term financial difficulty because of this week’s riots.

Sainsbury’s says it has seen a 5.5% rise in sales of bag-in-box wine since moving its entire range to a 2.25-litre format.

The British Retail Consortium has called on the government to suspend business rates and National Insurance for businesses affected by this week’s riots in urban England.

AB Inbev saw its UK beer volumes drop 16% in the second quarter of 2011. The fall reflects a spike in sales in the comparable period last year caused by the football World Cup, of which the company’s Budweiser brand was a main sponsor.

The British Retail Consortium is to ask the Home Secretary Theresa May for immediate support to help shopkeepers protect their properties in the wake of the disturbances in London and other cities.

Retailers affected by rioting in London and other major cities in recent days are being urged to act quickly to make insurance claims.

The British Retail Consortium says action is needed to prevent “spending paralysis” after a modest rise in retail sales in July.

A range of ready-made foams for adding a twist to cocktails has been developed by Bols.

Shops have been urged to put the safety of staff first and pull up the shutters up if any doubt, after rioting and looting spread from London to other major cities across the UK.

Canned pre-mixes of Grant’s Scotch whisky with cola and with ginger are being introduced by First Drinks.

Halewood International has launched a rum-based, ginger-flavoured RTD aimed at young male adults.

De Vere sells Greenalls gin

08 August, 2011

The De Vere hospitality group has sold its Greenalls gin business to a private equity-backed management team.

The wine writers’ collective known as The Wine Gang is to add a second Christmas Wine Fair for consumers.

Mount Gay rum is to carry out sampling and other promotional activity during next week's Cowes Week regatta.

Italian spirits manufacturer Campari has brought the privately-owned cachaça brand Sagatiba for €18 million.

German wheat beer brewer Schneider is launching a limited edition bottle-fermented beer in the UK.

TV ad plan for Lambrini

04 August, 2011

Halewood International is to advertise Lambrini on national TV from August 28 to September 18.

Gonzalez Byass UK is to add the Australian winery Wirra Wirra to is agency portfolio from September 1.

Suffolk cider firm Aspall is launching a top-of-the range, 8.2% abv product called Imperial.

Martell Cognac is giving consumers the chance to win a house in the region in an on-pack promotion.

Lancashire brewer Daniel Thwaites has announced plans to sell its current site to Sainsbury’s and build a state-of-the art brewery at another location.

The absence of a major football tournament from this summer’s calendar has put a big dent in off-trade beer sales.

New test for fake whisky

26 July, 2011

A method for distinguishing between authentic and counterfeit Scotch whisky brand has been devised by scientists at the University of Strathclyde. 

Former Neighbours actress Holly Valance is to be the star of a TV and print ad campaign for Heineken UK’s new Foster’s Gold lager.

Barwell & Jones is to handle UK distribution of Chile’s Viña Morandé wine brand from July 25.

A pre-mixed caipirinha cocktail is making an assault on the UK market.

Distribution of the Czech lager Staropramen is to be taken on by Carlsberg UK.

The number of consumers searching for retail products on internet search engines increased by 27% in the second quarter of 2011.

Five people have been killed in an explosion and fire on a Lincolnshire industrial estate in an incident which it’s been reported may have been caused by an illegal vodka distillery.

Absolut vodka is to launch a global campaign consisting of collaborations with 18 rising stars in the visual arts world.

Absolut vodka is to launch a global campaign consisting of collaborations with 18 rising stars in the visual arts world.

Trading Standards officers in the London Borough of Hillingdon have seized large amounts of counterfeit alcohol from local businesses in a four-day operation.

Council officials in Barnsley, South Yorkshire, have issued a warning about bottles of counterfeit Smirnoff vodka.

Pernod Ricard UK and motoring organisation the AA are launching the second phase of their joint anti-drink driving consumer marketing campaign.

The British Retail Consortium says retail sales rallied in June but were still “not great”.

Maxxium UK is adding a white rum to its Brugal portfolio.

The managing director of Miller Brands UK, Nick Miller, is leaving the global giant to take up the role of CEO at London craft brewery Meantime.

On the same day that Diageo announced a new boss for its GB business, rival Pernod Ricard UK has appointed a new managing director for its UK business.

Diageo has appointed Andrew Cowan as its country director for GB.

A former Sainsbury’s wine buyer has set up a new consultancy business to help overseas wineries establish themselves in the UK market.

Tesco revamps wine aisle

06 July, 2011

Tesco is revamping the look of its wine aisles after carrying out its largest ever piece of wine consumer research.

Heineken UK has been rapped by marketing watchdog the Portman Group after a song called Too Drunk to F*** appeared in a playlist in a Kronenbourg 1664 promotion on the Spotify music streaming service.

Consumers are being urged to buy at least one item from an independent store today to celebrate diversity in the high street.

Bacardi has launched its Bacardi Originals range of ready-to-serve cocktails in the off-trade.

A new multi-agency group has been set up in Glasgow to tackle anti-social behaviour caused by excessive drinking.

Ian Macleod buys Tamdhu

29 June, 2011

Ian Macleod Distillers has bought the Speyside distillery Tamdhu from the Edrington Group.

Maker’s Mark bourbon will be offering consumers the chance to win a £5,000 “style allowance” in its first UK on-pack offer from August.

Morgenrot is launching a 97cl sharing bottle for its Quilmes Argentine lager.

Sainsbury’s has named the regional finalists in its Great British Beer Hunt competition.

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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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