The UK’s wine industry will plant one million vines this year with popularity forcing the industry to launch a new competition in recognition.

WSTA chief executive officer Miles Beale believes the UK can use Brexit to boost spirit export numbers after 45 new distilleries emerged in 2016.

Jack Daniel’s, from Bacardi Brown-Forman Brands, has launched a cider for the UK on and off-trade markets.

Diageo CEO Ivan Menezes has said the UK “could move ahead of the EU in terms of getting a Free Trade Agreement” post Brexit.

Tuesday 1st March | The Hospital Club, London

Agenda

Time

Activity

9.30am Think Gin Opens
9.45am -11.00am Maximising Returns from Your Gin Portfolio - Debate
11.45am- 12.15pm The Gin Tasting Wheel - Masterclass
12.45pm - 1.30pm Awards Presentation
1.30pm - 2.15pm Lunch
2.30pm - 3.45pm What Do Bartenders Want from Gin - Debate
4.00pm - 4.30pm International Gins - Masterclass
4.30pm - 5.00pm Break
5.00pm - 5.45pm Tonic and Serve - Masterclass
6.00pm Think Gin Closes 

Winners of the 2016 Think Gin Awards

Best Gin Retailer (Multiple Sites)

Winner: Waitrose 

Sponsored by Edinburgh Gin

Best Gin Retailer (Independent)

Winner: Gerry’s Wines & Spirits

Sponsored by Adnams

Best Gin Bar (Multiple Sites) 

Winner: Hogarths

Sponsored by Warner Edwards

Best Gin Bar (Independent) 

Winner: Merchant House

Sponsored by Amathus Drinks

Best Gin Wholesaler

Winner: Enotria&Coe 

Sponsored by Marussia Beverages UK

Gin Communicator 

Winner: David T Smith

Sponsored by Fever-Tree

2016 Sponsors:

10 Degrees C

10 Degrees C specialises in brands of the highest quality and with real provenance. The portfolio includes Gins from the UK, and Belgium, as well as a unique and exciting Tonic Water, and Botanicals specifically designed for the serious Gin drinker.

www.10degreesc.com

Adnams

Adnams plc, a respected brewer, distiller and retailer, is an independent values-based family business committed to a sustainable future. It has been brewing from its base at Southwold on the Suffolk coast for over 100 years and produces a range of cask and bottled beers and award-winning spirits, which are available in pubs and supermarkets nationwide. The company has an estate of 50 pubs, 3 hotels and self-catering accommodation and a chain of 12 successful retail stores. For further information about Adnams visit: www.adnams.co.uk

About our Distillery: Innovative as ever, Adnams is the first brewer in England to add a distillery to its brewery. Established in 2010, the distillery has been uniquely designed to create a “Grain to Glass” spirit using locally grown malted barley, wheat and oats. The “distillery wash” which forms the base for our spirits, actually starts life as our 7% abv, un-hopped beer, produced using Adnams own 70-year old yeast strain. This is then distilled in small batches in our hand-made copper stills and rectifying columns to produce hand-crafted spirits with exceptional quality.

www.adnams.co.uk 

Amathus

Established in 1978, the Amathus Drinks Group is a privately owned, London based national drinks distributor, importer and specialist retailer. We are proud to be the drinks supplier of choice for many prestigious on-trade clients such as Michelin starred restaurants, 5 star hotels, country gastropubs, clubs and trendy city bars. We are also increasingly supplying more specialist retail outlets with our premium agency spirits and growing wine collection.


In addition to our online shop, we also have four retail stores located in the vibrant and trendy areas around London, offering you access to exclusive events, masterclasses, click and collect service and free local delivery to enjoy as part of your shopping experience.


With our product lines in excess of 3000, we are able to supply a wide range of well-known brands. However, our real point of differentiation from other drinks’ distributors are our exclusive agency brands which range from premium spirits such as Calle 23 tequila to Ron Barcelo Rum and boutique wine producers such as Idiom and Elk Cove. We continually expand our exciting and unique portfolio and services, to provide a complete drinks solution nationwide.

www.amathusdrinks.com

BCN

The distillery 'Aguavida Llops', located in the Priorat, is one of the few craft distilleries of Catalonia and stands for supporting innovation without fear to recover a lost tradition, being recognized for its expertise in the distillation of wine lees from the wines of ‘El Priorat’, and its selected native varieties Garnatxa and Carinyena.

'Aguavida Llops' presents a new style of gin with personality: BCN Prior Barcelona Dry GIN. Distilled in El Priorat, savoured in Barcelona. An evocation of the modernist spirit and a style that is only possible to live in Barcelona, the capital of G&T’s.

www.bcngin.com

Berlin Dry Gin

Since 2009, native born Berliner Vincent Honrodt has been carrying forth his family´s heritage in the spirits industry, dating back to the early 20th century. In the 1920’s, Honrodt‘s great-grandfather was the director of a sugar factory, where he enthusiastically began distilling fine spirits from local grains and sugar cane. His creations are still kept alive to this day and continue to carry on their excellence through the Berliner Brandstifter spirits.

Berliner Brandstifter is committed to the development and production of exceptionally fine distillates, which embody the spirit of Berlin. All ingredients for both - the Berliner Brandstifter Kornbrand and the Berlin Dry Gin - come either directly from Berlin or from surrounding areas. The spirits undergo a 7fold filtration and are bottled, labeled and numbered by hand.

www.berlinerbrandstifter.com 

Blackdown Artisan Spirits

Blackdown Distillery is an innovative award-wining producer of finely crafted spirits; creators of unique drinks striving for quality, refinement and provenance. Established in 2012, Blackdown Distillery is nestled in the foothills of Blackdown Hill, South Down National Park, West Sussex. 

A luxurious collection of distinctive spirits are handcrafted in small batches in the oldest distillery in Sussex, can only be described as poetic, set amid a sprawling ancient woodland near where Lord Alfred Tennyson once lived; writer of such epic works as Charge of the Light Brigade.

The surrounding 40 acres of ancient woodland bursting with Silver Birch trees are the inspiration for the first ever Sussex Dry Gin, Silver Birch Vermouth and Silver Birch Vodka. Also included within the portfolio are, Liqueurs, Meads, Botanical Wines and Regency Bitters.

We pride ourselves on using only natural botanicals, focusing on quality and provenance. They are proud to use only British suppliers for all its ingredients and packaging, ensuring that these products are truly British.

With over 50 years combined experience, Blackdown also provides counstulatancy, brand devolpement works as a nursery for start up brands.

“Distilled from the heart and are handcrafted in small batches”

www.blackdowncellar.co.uk

bottlegreen

bottlegreen Mixer Collection Lets the Gin Sing!

From the heart of the Cotswolds, bottlegreen has been proudly making refreshing soft drinks for more than 26 years. Using crafted wine-making techniques, bottlegreen mixers have been developed with one pure objective: to let the gin ‘sing’.

Each of the four bottlegreen mixers is blended to enhance and enrich rather than overpower the qualities of high-end spirits. By working in harmony with the flavour of the gin, they allow the gin to be enjoyed as created by the master distiller, and offer gin & tonic drinkers the perfect accompaniment to their favourite premium gin.

bottlegreen’s resident wine-maker has developed three layers of flavour for each mixer that are specifically designed to work on different parts of the palate, whilst complementing the vast array of botanicals present in high quality gins.

All bottlegreen mixers have high carbonation levels which deliver a long lasting refreshing drink, and only natural ingredients are used - they contain no artificial colours, preservatives, flavours and sweeteners.

www.bottlegreendrinks.com

Brockmans Gin

Brockmans Gin – ‘like no other’

Brockmans Gin, the ‘gin like no other’, brims with berries and botanicals so is perfect for cocktails as well as a classic G&T or Martini and delicious served neat on the rocks. 

Brockmans is a 40% A.B.V. super-premium gin, distilled using quality botanicals. The over-riding flavour profile that make Brockmans so unique is derived from an intriguing and unique bond of flavours created from ingredients drawn from across Europe 

The top note of Bulgarian coriander has an aromatic, gingery orange flavour, which marries beautifully with the softer, more rounded harmonies of blueberries and blackberries and the bottom note created by Juniper berries from Tuscany. This inspired combination, together with the dry, bitter-sweet peel of Valencian oranges, elongates the deeper tones and serve to give Brockmans an intensely smooth, distinctive and elegant taste.

www.brockmansgin.com

Caorunn Gin (Balmenach Distillery)

Caorunn Gin is expertly handcrafted in small batches of 1,000 litres a time by Gin Master Simon Buley at Balmenach Distillery, a working malt whisky distillery in the Speyside region of the Scottish Highlands.
Harnessing Scotland’s unique natural resources, Caorunn is infused to perfection in our unique Copper Berry Chamber, using the highest quality triple-distilled pure grain spirit, crystal clear Scottish water, six traditional (Juniper, Orange and Lemon peel, Angelica root, Coriander, Cassia bark) and five, wild, handpicked botanicals from the surrounding hills (Rowan Berries, Coul Blush Apple, Heather, Dandelion, Bog Myrtle).

Caorunn is an aromatic taste adventure with a long dry finish, its delicate fruit, floral notes evoke the charm of the Scottish Highlands, and its cocktails engage the most discerning palate with nuanced, sophisticated notes.

Caorunn G&T is uniquely served with a freshly cut red apple to enhance its invigorating, dry and crisp taste. 41.8% ABV

www.caorunngin.com

Colombo

Colombo Gin is a definitive London Dry Gin with an unusual list of ingredients. The Juniper is distinctive in taste and aroma; surrounded by a beautiful medley of subtle spice notes that, together, create an unexpected harmony. Our Gin is handcrafted in small batches from copper pot stills to create a distinctively exceptional .distilled London Dry Gin.

www.colombogin.com

Dà Mhìle

Dà Mhìle, - famed for the first organic whisky of the modern world - have been making organic artisan spirits in their converted cow shed on the family farm in west Wales. Since 1992 the aim has been to create an ultra-premium product with minimal impact on the environment. 

www.damhile.co.uk

Edinburgh Gin

Distilled in the beating heart of Scotland’s magical capital and recalling a bygone era when Edinburgh was awash with distilling wizardry and classic cocktails like the Fizz and the Daisy were all the rage, Edinburgh Gin is a gin quite unlike any other.


Made the time-honoured way, but in a near legendary 200 year old copper pot still named Flora, alongside column still Caledonia, our master distiller expertly marries the finest Scotch grain spirit with fantastically fresh juniper, coriander, citrus peel and orris root.


And the wonderment that distinguishes our libation from any others? Inspired by both Scotland’s majestic capital and the breathtaking, unspoilt countryside beyond, we add soft Scottish botanicals, including milk thistle, native Scots pine and the heather that carpets our hillsides in purple. The Edinburgh Gin range also includes the Raspberry, Elderflower and Rhubarb & Ginger liqueurs, all packed full of the finest natural flavours and perfect in cocktails.

www.edinburghgindistillery.co.uk

Fentimans

Fentimans have been making natural botanical beverages for over 100 years. To make our drinks, we pair selected botanicals with the finest natural ingredients. Our drinks are then brewed with passion and care for seven days, using the time honoured botanical brewing process. The results are drinks that taste simply delicious.

www.fentimans.com

Fever-Tree

Since launching in 2005, Fever-Tree has pioneered a whole new category of premium mixers. Their multi-award winning range of tonics is endorsed around the world by bartenders, chefs and gastronomes alike. Proudly served in 7 of the World’s top ten restaurants, Fever-Tree was recently voted the No.1 Selling and No.1 Trending tonic water brand by The World’s 50 Best Bars Annual Report – commanding its category for the second year running.  Fever-Tree's   emphasis on taste and quality remains unparalled - they continue to innovate the category, using only the highest quality natural ingredients from small specialist producers to create tonics that complement the finest gins. After all, if 3/4 of your G&T is tonic, mix with the best. 

www.fever-tree.com

Gin Bolskan

From The Pyrennes´ foothills has born this small batch distilled gin which name is given by the Celtiberian origin of the city of Huesca. Bolskan is a triple distilled gin from eleven botanicals, the most distinctive being juniper, basil and peach, very traditional crops of our Region. The result is a fresh and elegant gin.

www.bolskangin.com

Locksley Distilling Co.

Locksley Distilling Co. Ltd. are developers, distillers, and purveyors of fine artisan spirits. Yorkshire at heart with New York soul!

The vision for our first gin, Sir Robin of Locksley, was to create a multi-purpose sipping gin, not as dry as a London Dry, nor as sweet as an Old Tom. We wanted to produce a gin with a clean, rounded mouthfeel, something that could be enjoyed on its own, or as part of a great cocktail.

Named in honour of our local legend, Sir Robin of Locksley® Distilled Artisan Gin is gin has up front juniper with more delicate flavours of elderflower, pink grapefruit, and dandelion. It is a gratifyingly balanced yet unique gin. Whilst it may not be everyone’s cup of tea to drink straight gin, with our focus on versatility and sipability we feel that Sir Robin goes that extra yard, offering something truly #leGINdary.

www.locksleydistilling.com

Martin Miller's

Martin Miller’s Gin was developed by friends Martin Miller, David Bromige and Andreas Versteegh who sought a superb, high quality gin that was nowhere to be found in the market prior to 1999. Once launched, it became the pioneer of “new wave” and “super premium” gin, setting off the gin renaissance that rejuvenated the moribund spirit and catapulted it into the spotlight it enjoys today. Martin Miller’s Gin features a classic flavour profile with perfectly balanced notes of citrus and juniper and is the only gin blended using pure, live Icelandic Spring water. The brand has received more top prizes and awards than any other gin in the world1 and is the most expensive gin to produce -- offering consumers the greatest overall value of any premium gin. With a global presence in more than 55 countries across all continents, Martin Miller’s is the biggest independent gin brand in the world.

www.martinmillersgin.com

Marussia

‘Marussia Beverages is a producer and distributor of fine wines and spirits. Trading through its own distribution network in four countries including Russia. UK, France, Georgia, and through a network of well established distribution channels in more than 20 other countries worldwide.

Marussia Beverages UK Ltd is the number one importer of very special spirits in the UK and part of Marussia Beverages BV. Previously known as Eaux de Vie, Marussia Beverages UK Ltd now imports the largest range of premium spirits into the United Kingdom.’

www.marussiabeverages.co.uk

Mason's Gin

Setup by husband and wife team, Karl and Cathy Mason, with the aim of creating a gin that they would want and choose to drink.

The mission was simple. They wanted to do away with boring generic gins and instead come up with something that was truly exciting, worthy of their hard work and of their home turf in God's own country.
3 and a half years later Masons is growing faster than ever with the introduction on its 2nd birthday of Masons Yorkshire Vodka, Masons Yorkshire Gin – Lavender Edition, Masons Yorkshire Gin – Tea edition (using Yorkshire Tea).

www.masonsyorkshiregin.com

Maverick

“Maverick Drinks returns to Think Gin for the second year to showcase some of their favourite gins from their remarkable and award-winning range of craft spirits that have soared in popularity over the past year. Products like Professor Cornelius Ampleforth’s Bathtub Gin, St George Terroir Gin, FEW Barrel Gin, and more will all be available to try (and enjoy).

In addition, Maverick Drinks will be bringing their now-famous Drinks by the Dram Ginvent Calendar, as well as their newly-released 1897 Quinine Gin, the first gin to incorporate quinine that directly benefits Malaria No More UK in the fight to end the epidemic. Drinking well and doing some good at the same time!

Have a chat with us to understand how working with quality craft spirits can help excite your customers, inspire your team, and ultimately, increase your profitability.”

www.maverickdrinks.com

Pinkster Gin

Distilled in small batches, Pinkster is a premium gin that stands out from the pack We hand-steep fresh, locally grown raspberries in the core spirit at our Cambridge HQ. The gin is deliciously dry, with a hint of fruit and an exceptionally smooth finish. There’s raspberry on the nose as the juniper comes through and then a slight spice that develops
 and lingers. For a refreshingly different gin and tonic, serve with Fever-Tree, a raspberry and a sprig of well-spanked fresh mint. Best of all, we recycle the inebriated raspberries selling them as Boozy Berries. 

Our trade accounts repeatedly tell us that our distinctive colour and flavour profile create a talking point. Coupled with our eye-catching design, this gives us great stand out on the back bar or on shelf. 
Welcome to the natural gin with the mischievous grin.

Available from leading wholesalers.

www.pinkstergin.com

Speciality Brands

www.specialitybrands.com

Warner Edwards

W.E. are Warner Edwards – best friends and craft distillers. From our 200-year-old converted barn in the heart of Northamptonshire Curiosity, our magnificent copper pot still, works her magic. She takes home-grown elderflower and natural spring water from our farms in England and Wales and combines them with pure grain spirit and 10 other botanicals to produce our beautiful Harrington Dry Gin. We then use this as the base for our Harrington Sloe, Elderflower Infused and Victoria’s Rhubarb Gins.

www.warneredwards.com

on 17 December, 2015

So here we are again. At the back end of the year in the make or break season that will decide what sort of year our pubs, bars, clubs and restaurants are going to look back upon.

Les Vignobles Foncalieu’s AOC Corbieres Chateau Haut Gleon Blanc 2012 has launched, targeted at the on-trade in Germany, China and the UK.

Quintessential Brands unveiled Opihr Oriental Spiced Gin yesterday at UK on-trade show Imbibe Live.

Bibendum CEO Michael Saunders has warned the UK wine trade that business conditions will remain “tough” in 2013 and voiced his “violent objections” to minimum unit proposals.

There is increasing awareness and demand for low and lower-alcohol wines. Christian Davis checks on who’s doing what

Bartender Kim Daniel Bergersen of Norway prevailed from a field of 11 finalists at Pilsner Urquell’s International Master Bartender (IMB) competition.

Pusser’s Rum will target younger drinkers in the UK this winter with a new on-trade promotion.

on 27 September, 2012

You have to hand it to Wines of South Africa. They know how to organise an event. To say Cape 2012 is just another trade show, would be a great injustice and understatement.

The International Wine Challenge held is annual bash at the Hilton on London’s Park Lane last night at which all its trophy winners were announced.

Bacardi has named Team USA winners of the 42 Below Cocktail World Cup 2012, which took place at the vodka brand's home, New Zealand.

Pilsner Urquell has awarded Paul Seagraves from Tweedies Bar in Grasmere, Cumbria with the title of UK Master Bartender 2012.

The European Commission has postponed next year’s deadline to lift EU airport security restrictions on air passengers carrying liquids, aerosol and gels (LAGs) in their hand luggage.

Distell, South Africa’s leading wine and spirits producer, has reported a 15% growth in revenue for the year to June 2012 and a 9.9% increase in sales volumes across its portfolio of wines, spirits and RTDs in both domestic and international markets.

Jacob’s Creek, the leading Australian wine brand, is to sponsor the UK’s leading chat show.

Angostura is on the lookout for bartenders to take part in the national heats of its Global Cocktail Challenge 2013, a competition which culminates in the selection of its global brand ambassador.

Gin

14 August, 2012

Gin is trading on the complexities of its flavour profile to cash in on the cocktail boom. Patience Gould finds a booming super-premium sector

Accolade Wines, which is the fifth largest global wine company, is to split the existing role of European commercial general manager into two, covering mainland Europe and UK & Ireland, to focus better on these two strategically crucial markets.

Chilean wine

30 July, 2012

Despite a strong peso, consumers are prepared to pay the price for quality Chilean wine. Christian Davis reports

The Avalon Group has announced distributor Emporia Brands will roll out its Irish Whiskey brand The Wild Geese to the UK market.

UK consumers' openness to new forms of wine packaging could mean the traditional glass bottle’s stranglehold on the market is relaxed, says Wine Intelligence.

Accolade Wines has unveiled a new look for its Echo Falls Californian wine brand in key European markets, including the UK, Netherlands and Spain.

Treasury Wine Estates and Accolade Wines has announced that TWE will pack wine for Accolade in Australia with Accolade will pack wine for TWE in the UK.

UK and European drinks trade organisations have announced they are challenging the Scottish government’s minimum unit pricing (MUP) legislation.

David Cox, director – Europe for New Zealand Winegrowers has left the organisation to pursue other interests and projects.

Toorank Distilleries, owners of Sloane’s Dry Gin, has launched a trinity of rum styles under the brand name Rebellion to the UK, Holland, Poland, Spain, France and Turkey.  

South African wine estate Kleine Zalze has signalled its intention to target the independent retailing channel in the UK by moving its entire portfolio of wines to Hatch Mansfield.

Scotch infrastructure

12 July, 2012

Asian demand for whisky has boosted investment in Scotland, says Lucy Britner

Inver House Distillers, the Scotland-based spirits arm of International Beverage Holdings has reported a 28% increase in turnover for the year ending December 2011.

Despite challenging Portuguese economic conditions, Vinho Verde exports are on the increase and will become more competitive in the global market place, according to the Vinho Verde Commission (CVRVV).

Diageo, has launched Chinese white spirit brand, Shui Jing Fang, onto the UK domestic market.

CEO of Sogrape Vinhos, Francisco Ferreira, has ventured that the planting of further international varietals could help to attract more consumers to Portuguese wine.

Irish whiskey producer Cooley Distillery has appointed Maxxium UK to distribute brands, Kilbeggan, Connemara Peated Irish Single Malt, Tyrconnell Irish Single Malt and Greenore Irish Single Grain, in the UK.

The Macallan has unveiled a new range, the 1824 Series, which is being rolled out into the UK market this autumn.

Vergelegen, one of South Africa’s best wine producers, has unveiled a new wine, DNA.

Gallo Family Vineyards has partnered with Australian celebrity, Holly Valance, to publicise its newly launched Moscato wine in the UK.

Bacardi Martini BV has announced the appointment of Rich Andrews as managing director of the UK & Ireland Business Unit and a member of the European Leadership Team under regional president, Europe, Stefan Bomhard.

Wine journalist, Tim Atkin MW and d'Arenberg owner and winemaker Chester Osborn, were both named as recipients of the Wine Intelligence 10 for 10 Business Award.

The UK government’s Work and Pensions Secretary and former Conservative Party leader Iain Duncan Smith, is due to  announce today (May23) that “alcoholics rendered unable to work by their condition will face active intervention in their lives to make them clean and employable”.

Tetra Pak, the world leader in its eponymous packaging, has announced that wine can be packed in its cartons in the UK for the first time

UK: Charles Heidsieck champagne is to move to a "fine wine-orientated partner" in the UK. Distribution is to shift from First Drinks Brands to Liberty Wines from June 1, 2012 .

Bacardi Brown-Forman Brands has announced a £2m first-year investment for the launch of Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey in the UK.

Campari Group is set to place its UK distribution in the hands of Matthew Clark's new business arm, Catalyst Brands, following the cessation of the Italian group's contract with Cellar Trends.

Pernod Ricard UK has promoted Chris Ellis to the role of commercial director of wines, with effect from July 1, 2012. 

MyCocktails are frozen

20 April, 2012

The Manchester Drinks Company’s RTD line, MyCocktail, is set to be extended with the UK launch of frozen pre-mixed cocktail pouches.

InterLoire, the interprofessional body for Loire wines has announced that 18 wines from AOC Touraine and Vins de Pays du Val de Loire 2011 vintage have been selected as “Ambassador wines” for the Sauvignon Blanc de Loire project this year.

Pierre Ferrand Cognac's orange liqueur, Pierre Ferrand Dry Curaçao - created in collaboration with cocktail historian David Wondrich - has been rolled out to the US.

Belgian beer company Duvel Moortgat has announced the launch of a marketing campaign that will see the back labels of its Vedett beer bottles given over to its consumers’ artwork and blogs.

Events firm Brintex has voiced optimism ahead of this year’s London International Wine Fair (LIWF) and Distil despite the absences of Pernod Ricard, Percy Fox (Diageo’s UK wine division) and PLB.

The UK government has pledged to introduce a minimum alcohol price of 40p per unit and the ban of by-one-get-one-free deals in a bid to counter binge drinking.

UK: The Chancellor has added another 41p to a bottle of spirits and 11p to a bottle of wine in the latest Budget.

The Wine and Spirit Trade Association, the lead body for the UK wine and spirits sectors, has announced the appointment of Miles Beale as its new chief executive.

As the third consecutive "great" Beaujolais vintage readies for market and glasses, the talk in the region has turned to another newcomer, the newly formed appellation of Coteaux Bourguignon.

Champagne regains fizz

16 March, 2012

The Champagne Bureau has reported increased shipments in 2011. Total shipments worldwide rose from 319.5 million bottles in 2010 to 323 million in 2011.

Pernod Ricard UK has unveiled an initiative titled ‘Building Premium Wine Brands’, to bring growth back to the UK light wine sector.

UK: Children as young as 10 are more familiar with some leading alcohol brands and adverts than those for popular foods and snacks, according to a new report by Alcohol Concern.

Mount Gay Rum Distilleries and UK distributor First Drinks have appointed Miguel Smith as European brand ambassador for Mount Gay Rum.

Danny DeVito’s Limoncello is about to be rolled out to international markets, following its US launch in 2011.

Wine merchant Laithwaites Wine has concluded the purchase of Chateau du Bois, a vineyard near the village of Castillon in Bordeaux, France.

Travel Retail operator World of Patria International has reached agreement with Chase Distillery to offer its range of spirits and liqueurs.

Australian Wine

24 February, 2012

Consumers in Australia’s top two export markets are abandoning its wines for cheaper alternatives leaving producers wondering if Asia will grow big enough to compensate for US and UK declines. By Graham Holter

Pernod Ricard UK is hoping the release of Absolut London in time for the Olympics and the Queen’s diamond jubilee will lift sales of the brand by 10%.

How many units in your drink? Is the theme of a new campaign that has been launched at consumers in the UK.

Global business consultancy McKinney Rogers has appointed a former Bacardi USA president to its board.

Luxardo has added to its range of flavoured sambucas with the launch of Pear and Cola variants to the UK market.

First Drinks will be the new UK distributor of CEDC brands Zubrówka Bison Grass Vodka and Green Mark - the world's fourth largest vodka.

UK spirits and liqueur agency, Mangrove, will no longer distribute Chase Distillery products. 

Pernod Ricard’s super premium gin, Beefeater 24, is now available in 50 markets worldwide.

Australian Vintage has recruited the senior buyer of one of the UK’s major multiple retailers.

Pernod Ricard UK has announced the following senior appointments within its executive committee and senior management group with immediate effect.

French wine is the ideal

18 January, 2012

French wine is the favourite of regular wine drinkers in the UK and China and the second preference in Germany, says Wine Intelligence.

Chivas Brothers is introducing a new look for its Plymouth gin brand, re-positioning it above Beefeater 24, as a “super premium-plus”.

on 18 January, 2012

Last night I went to Boisdale, that well known London haunt for whisky, cigar and red meat lovers, for the launch of The Balvenie Craftsman's Reserve No1, The Cooper...

Pernod Ricard UK has announced the launch of a Beefeater ‘Forever London’ limited-edition pack, aimed at celebrating the brand’s heritage.

French syrup maker Monin will celebrate its 100th anniversary this year by embarking on a UK cocktail tour.

Sparkling sparkles in US

09 January, 2012

US consumption of imported sparkling wine will reach new heights in 2012 due to the increased penetration of prosecco and cava, says Wine Intelligence. 

Pernod Ricard has announced a marketing partnership between Jacob’s Creek and former tennis player Andre Agassi.

Budvar has reported record export results for 2011.

UK: Grupo Codorníu has made four appointments. Carolyn d’Aguilar and Susannah Bearne move internally to roles in the marketing department while Jake Crimmin and Tom Barton join the UK sales team.

Rémy launches new VSOP

04 January, 2012

Rémy Martin is to introduce a new expression of its VSOP cognac for the European market. VSOP Mature Cask Finish is to replace VSOP in Europe, while the rest of the world will continue to receive the original VSOP cognac.

Bacardi has announced the finalists of the UK heat of its global  Legacy Cocktail Competition.

Direct Wines, the world's largest independent wine merchant with a turnover of £350 million, has announced major changes to its buying and merchandising teams.

US consumer goods company Rok Stars has stuck a deal with Castle Trade Services to launch its recently acquired Oval vodka in the UK.

Dom Pérignon has announced the global launch of its 2003 vintage, the champagne house’s first since last year's 2002 release. 

London Pride brewer Fuller’s has announced half-year growth of 6% after registering a turnover of £128m.

Hardys and Banrock Station brand owner Accolade Wines is to receive a £150 million financing facility from GE Capital.

UK: Diageo GB is re-positioning its Bell’s blended scotch whisky brand via a £1.35m TV ad campaign.

Acceptance of screw-cap closures on wine bottles sold in the UK has risen to 85% of the regular wine-drinking population, according to a report on wine stoppers from Wine Intelligence.

New US consumer goods company Rok Stars, headed by Patron Spirits co-founder John Paul DeJoria, has acquired Austrian vodka brand Oval.

The UK's Crabbie’s Alcoholic Ginger Beer has touched down in Australia in the first stage of a planned global roll out.

International wine producer Sogrape has acquired 100% of UK wine agency Stevens Garnier. The company previously owned 38% of Stevens Garnier and financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.

A minimum unit price for alcohol set out in today’s (November 1) Scottish government Bill is unlikely to reduce alcohol misuse, will threaten the £3.4 billion whisky industry and will punish moderate drinkers, according to the trade. 

Malta: The Maltese Bartenders’ Guild (MBG) has appointed a new president. Wine and spirits retailer Joseph Farrugia took the post in October.

Lindeman’s has added a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc to its international Winemaker’s Discovery range. It's a UK launch, initially, but is expected to roll out across Europe. 

Carlsberg UK chief executive Isaac Sheps is leaving to take over leadership of the brewer’s Russian business, Baltika, and its eastern European operations.

Glasgow-based whisky brand Auchentoshan completed the UK leg of The Auchentoshan Switch, a cocktail competition that offers two bartenders transatlantic internships.

The board of Alcohol Concern, the anti-alcohol lobby group in the UK, has announced a restructuring of its senior management following the loss of core funding with the role of the CEO becoming part time for a year alongside the recruitment of a full time director of fundraising and campaigning.

Jack Daniel's has crowned the UK champion of its Tennessee-based Birthday Cocktail Competition 2011.

UK Rumfest has announced the winners of the Golden Rum Barrel Awards 2011, with Foursquare Distillery of Barbados taking home two of the top prizes.

The head of the consortium that protects Prosecco sparkling Italian wine from Conegliano Valdobbiadene is to address delegates at the International Sparkling Wine Symposium (ISWS), which takes place at Denbies wine estate in the UK on November 1-2.

Pernod Ricard has announced a number of staff changes.

Budweiser has revamped its cans in the UK, with a red 'bowtie' sitting behind the Budweiser logo on the new-look version.

Malibu is releasing a limited edition coconut rum with coconut flakes floating inside to look like snowflakes.

Deep discounting on wine by UK retailers may be having less impact on consumer behaviour, according to a new report

UK: Hi-Spirits is set to launch the Buffalo Trace Distillery 2011 Antique Collection this month.

Craft Japanese whisky launched

30 September, 2011

The first whisky from Japanese craft distillery Chichibu has been launched. Chichibu The First is three years old, 61.8% abv and limited to 7,400 bottles. The whisky is not chill-filtered.

New Zealand’s Ara Wines has launched One Estate, a sparkling wine made from 100% Sauvignon Blanc, in the UK.

UK: AB InBev and Budějovický Budvar can continue to use the Budweiser name simultaneously.

Stella Artois is gearing up for its World Draught Masters final in Buenos Aires, having anointed a champion from its UK heat.

Burn Stewart Distillers, producer of brands Bunnahabhain and Scottish Leader, has announced net profits of £3.7 for the financial year ending December 31 2010.

The Tax Free World Association’s World Exhibition in the famous French resort of Cannes opened today (Monday September 5). Christian Davis reports from Cannes. 

Drambuie has reported operating profits of £2.81m – up 2% on last year.

UK: Somerset Cider Brandy has been granted geographical protection.

Diageo has announced the launch of Baileys Biscotti to the UK.

The UK government has urged the drinks industry to back its Responsibility Deal aimed at countering binge drinking and alcoholism.

Belvedere has launched a new vodka in partnership with (RED) to raise proceeds for charity.

Champagne Jacquesson has announced the launch of two single-vineyard champagnes from 2002 to global markets.

Eleven new masters of wine

06 September, 2011

The Institute of Masters of Wine has announced 11 new masters of wine.

Japanese whisky brand, Nikka, has named the second finalist of its international cocktail competition, The Nikka Perfect Serve.

Netherlands-based distillery, Group Toorank, has launched Sloane’s Gin to the UK market.

Rémy Cointreau Global Travel Retail (GTR) has appointed Lynsey Eades as key account manager for Europe

Pernod Ricard has appointed bartender and 'tequila expert' Matthias Lataille as UK ambassador for Olmeca Altos.

Accolade Wines has launched a low alcohol wine under the Stowells brand. Stowells Light is 5.5% abv and a 125ml glass contains one unit of alcohol and 56 calories.

StarBev has announced ‘significant investments’ in its Staropramen brand, as it eyes international expansion.

UK spirits and liqueur agency, Mangrove, has announced plans for expansion into the Middle East and south Asia.

Liqueurs de France has rolled out the launch of its Enigma absinthe range to the UK, in a bid to change consumer perceptions of the spirit.

UK: Glenfiddich has launched the 2011 Glenfiddich Malt Mastermind competition. The aim of the game is to find the “trade’s most passionate malt enthusiasts”.

Africa: Diageo’s Guinness Nigeria has committed £225million (NGN 55 billion) to expand its brewing operations. The company has said this will create 200 permanent jobs for Nigerians.

Premiumisation is driving UK spirits volume and value growth in the on and off-trade, according to findings by First Drinks.

Bacardi Brown Forman Brands has launched a new vodka under the Eristoff brand.

Owners of traditional products such as champagne and cognac need to show some humility in their dealings with new emerging markets, according to the president and CEO of Groupe Renaud Cointreau.

Monin has launched Sweet and Sour, a cocktail syrup for the on-trade.

The Glenmorangie Company has released a £2,500 whisky matured in Chateau d’Yquem sauternes casks.

Pernod Ricard brand Olmeca has announced a partnership with tequila ambassador and Mexican restaurant-bar owner Tomas Estes.

Diageo has launched a £15m global campaign for its Tanqueray gin brand.

Czech lager brand Pilsner Urquell poured an estimated 90,000 litres of beer during the 2011 Open Championship in Kent, UK.

UK: Pernod Ricard has launched a range of pre-mixed serves for its coconut rum brand Malibu.

Campari's Italian aperitif brand Aperol is going from strength to strength according to its owners.

Absolut draws a Blank

14 July, 2011

Absolut vodka has launched a global creative campaign called Absolut Blank. The campaign involves 'blank' bottles that have been turned into pieces of art by 18 different artists.

Scotch whisky Auchentoshan is looking for entries to The Auchentoshan Switch, a cocktail competition that offers bartenders transatlantic internships.

The UK heat of the Gin Mare cocktail Competition took place this week at the Imbibe show in London.

The Vinho Verde Wine Commission (CVRVV), in Portugal, has invested €5m on a three-year global promotion.

Ian Macleod Distillers has purchased the Tamdhu distillery in Speyside, from the Edrington Group.

Costellation Wines Australia and Europe has officially become Accolade Wines - as of June 27. Accolade brands include Hardy’s and Echo Falls.

Budweiser has signed a three-year agreement with The Football Association to become the ‘lead partner’ of The FA Cup.

UK cider producer Aspall is to restructure its business and invest £4m following “40% volume growth” last year.

Australian winery Brown Brothers has appointed Rachel Herrig as brand manager to “drive the brand’s development in the UK and Ireland”.

Belgiun beer Duvel Green has been renamed Duvel Single Fermentation, in a bid to ease consumer understanding.

Chivas Brothers has launched a new special edition Beefeater gin. Developed by master distiller Desmond Payne, Beefeater London Market Gin will be available for a limited period from June 2011 in key global markets, including Spain, UK, Turkey and Bulgaria.

The Snow Grouse and The Naked Grouse have launched to the UK, as part of The Famous Grouse’s range of blended scotch whiskies.

The Isle of Jura Distillery has opened a £100,000 visitor centre.

Stella Artois’ seven-month quest to find its “draught master” has begun with the launch of the Quality Draught Masters Programme.

Lanson International has launched a website to educate trade and consumers about champagne, called L‟Académie de Lanson.

Drinks International has announced the category winners of the 18th annual Cocktail Challenge.

The International Wine and Spirits Institute (IWSI), based in Bordeaux, is to open an eight-week spirits training programme in London next year.

Bacardi has crowned the winner of the first Superior Rum Global Legacy Cocktail Competition, in Barcelona.

The absinthe ban in France has been lifted, according to absinthe brand La Fée.

Two of London’s bartenders drew swords in San Francisco in the final of the No. 209 Gin Duel.

Jim Beam has launched its Red Stag bourbon-based drink in the UK market and in travel retail outlets across Europe.

Ian Macleod Distillers has appointed Danielle Murphy as business development manager at its Scotland-based sales team.

Stock Spirits recorded double-digit organic revenue growth and profit growth in 2010.

Prowein organiser Messe Düsseldorf has announced record attendance figures for the show held this week, 27-29 March 2011.

South African winery Linton Park has announced the launch of The Rhino of Linton Park range.

DQ makes UK comeback

30 March, 2011

Swedish vodka brand DQ has re-launched to the UK, following the restructuring of parent company Nordic Spirit.

The owners of the Mediterranean gin brand, Gin Mare, have launched a bartender competition that culminates in a grand final on the island of Ibiza in September with a winner’s purse of £6,000.

Cork producer Amorim recorded double-digit volume growth in 2010.

Havana Club grew by 15% in 2010, following strong performances in Cuba, Germany, France and the UK.

AB InBev’s buoyant Asia-Pacific and Latin America markets have offset negative growth in North America and Europe, to spur overall revenue growth.

UK gin distiller G&J Greenall has celebrated its 250th birthday by redesigning its Original London Dry Gin.

Clink! Wines, distributors to the UK and mainland Europe, has appointed Mariola Martinez as operations manager.

Stock posts impressive growth

25 February, 2011

The Stock Spirits Group has announced double digit organic volume growth with total sales volumes of 162.4 million litres in 2010.

UK spirits group Ian Macleod Distillers has recorded a 41% profit, buoyed by the growth of Glengoyne single malt whisky.

UK: Trade bodies Wine and Spirits Trade Association (WSTA) and the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) have denied that UK alcohol consumption is rising.

Scotch whisky Royal Salute has announced its sponsorship of the Sentebale’s Polo Cup in Dubai.

UK importer PLB has been appointed by Rioja winery Bodegas Navajas, with effect from March this year.

AB InBev launches Stella cider

02 February, 2011

UK: AB InBev has launched a cider under the Stella Artois name. Stella Artois Cidre will be available from easter 2011 in 568ml bottles and 440ml cans and the company suggests serving the product over ice.

Constellation Wines Australia and Europe has been renamed Accolade Wines following the completed acquisition of an 80% share in the company by Australian equity group Champ.

In its fourth edition, the International Cognac Summit (ICS) 2011, attempted to answer the question: can you quantify pleasure when tasting cognac?

UK: The deputy prime minister Nick Clegg MP raised a glass to scotch whisky exports – up 12% in the first ten months of 2010.

Join us for a live web chat with Jacob’s Creek chief winemaker Bernard Hickin on Wednesday January 19 at 1pm (GMT).

Diageo appoints senior execs

14 January, 2011

Diageo Gobal Travel Middle East (GTME) has announced three ‘key strategic leadership’ appointments to its senior executive management team.

Czech beer Budvar bucked a 12% decline in Czech beer exports in 2010 to record growth of 4%.

Foster’s has launched an online tribute to England’s cricket victory, the first time for 24 years that England has won an Ashes Test Series in Australia.

Brand Phoenix has been appointed distributors for Angove Family Winemakers in the UK off-trade.

Brown-Forman, the major US drinks company, has announced a strategic review with a view to offloading its Californina-based wine assets.

Constellation Brands, hitherto, the world's leading wine company, has announced that it has sold its Australian and UK business, (Constellation Wines Australia and Europe, CWAE), to CHAMP, an Australian private equity group.

UK charities Alcohol Concern and the Children’s Society have called for “mandatory social work training” on the issues surrounding parental alcohol misuse.

Funkin decides on Fusion range

10 December, 2010

UK-based mixer brand Funkin has announced the launch of a new range of purées called Funkin Fusion.

Limited edition Beefeater Winter gin has made its European travel retail debut in the main World Duty Free store in London Heathrow Terminal 3.

First Cape Wines has announced it will sponsor the British and Irish Lions rugby tour of Australia in 2013.

UK charity Drinkaware has said that tougher action is needed to counter UK binge drinking.

Central European Distribution Corporation (CEDC) is to purchase the global rights for Kauffman vodka.

Amaretto brand Disaronno has hosted the final of its first Mixing Star cocktail competition in London.

Jack Daniel’s celebrated the 160th birthday of its founder this month, with the fourth edition of its UK cocktail competition.

Panama grants scotch whisky GI

25 November, 2010

Scotch whisky has been granted geographical indication of origin (GI) in Panama.

Hennessy goes for Gold

19 November, 2010

UK: Hennessy will mark 54 years of continuous partnership - British racing’s longest commercial sponsorship - at this year’s Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury Racecourse on November 27.

UK beer brewer Adnams has opened a small-scale distillery, producing vodka, gin and whisky.

The trade has welcomed the Scottish Parliament’s decision to reject minimum pricing. This was the final time in which MSPs could vote to decisively keep minimum pricing out of the Alcohol Bill. The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) has consistently argued that minimum pricing would be illegal and ineffective in addressing misuse, whilst significantly damaging one of Scotland’s key industries.

China - an important market for scotch whisky – has announced that it will recognise and protect ‘scotch whisky’ as a Geographical Indication (GI).

Scotch whisky exports are up 17% compared with last year, with nine of the category’s top ten markets in growth.

Foster's appoints CFO

04 November, 2010

Foster's Group has appointed Anthony Reeves to the role of chief financial officer (CFO), on a fixed term contract, effective from Monday 8 November 2010.

US spirits company Proximo has entered into a UK distribution agreement with Marblehead Brand Development.

Diageo brand Smirnoff has announced ‘country pairings’ for its global nightlife exchange project.

G H Mumm has released its 2002 vintage champagne to the UK and Italy.

Pernod Ricard has agreed a six-month sponsorship deal with UK TV channel Dave for its Australian wine brand Jacob’s Creek.

Winemaker and Prosecco brand Follador is launching to the UK market with a portfolio of sparkling and still wines.

Glen Garioch, the 200-year old Aberdeenshire-based distillery, has re-launched its range of single malt whiskies.

Cognac brand Courvoisier has undertaken a global repackaging of its VS label, starting with the UK and US markets.

Sri Lankan spirit Ceylon Arrack has appointed Mangrove as its exclusive UK importer.

Diageo chief executive Paul Walsh has been selected by the UK prime minister David Cameron to advise on business and economic issues.

Licor 43 targets UK growth

30 September, 2010

Spanish liqueur brand Licor 43 is targeting UK growth, after up-scaling its marketing operations with the appointment of a brand ambassador.

The British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) met with the UK Home Office to air concerns over government proposals to change the Licensing Act.

Global drinks giant Diageo has opened the doors of its new £40 million distillery in Speyside, Scotland.

The introduction of a minimum price for alcohol in Britain could see retailers and manufacturers reap £700m in extra revenue.

Champagne Jacquart is to appoint Enotria as its exclusive UK distribution agent from October.

UK company First Drinks has appointed Una McCullough as marketing director.

Chivas Brothers has launched a winter version of its Beefeater gin brand.

Champagne Mumm goes gastro

10 September, 2010

UK: Champagne GH Mumm has launched a campaign to reinforce its links with food. The Pernod Ricard brand is to partner selected restaurants as part of a UK-wide marketing campaign to celebrate its traditional links with gastronomy.

Scottish Labour’s Alcohol Commission has rejected the Scottish National Party’s (SNP) proposal for minimum pricing.

Diageo has announced the appointment of Lord Mervyn Davies of Abersoch to its board, effective September 1 2010. He is to be appointed as a non-executive director and his responsibilities will include membership of the audit, the nomination and the remuneration committees.

UK: Constellation Europe’s Banrock Station brand is to launch special edition wines to help preserve the British bee population.

New Zealand/UK: NZ based ready to serve cocktail company VnC is to launch in the UK. The company has signed a distribution deal with Whyte & Mackay to launch into the UK market.

UK: Russian Standard Vodka has launched an on-pack music promotion. Consumers will have the chance to win free tickets to music gigs as part of the Russian Standard Vodka Originals brand campaign.

Mount Gay rum has launched a new 'rare cask selection', called 1703.

Diageo has redesigned its Smirnoff 21 packaging. The new bottles have launched in the UK and will roll out across the world from August.

UK: Alcohol awareness charity Drinkaware has found that more than half (53%) of parents who plan to provide their 16 and 17 year olds with alcohol for a week long summer holiday with friends will give them five or more bottles of spirits or wine.

Pernod Ricard UK has launched a bartender networking and knowledge sharing website.

Pernod Ricard has decided to dump the Montana brand name and re-name New Zealand’s flagship Sauvignon Blanc, Brancott Estate.

The 2010 New Zealand grape harvest totalled 266,000 tonnes, 19,000 tonnes smaller than the 2009 crop and in line with the pre-harvest forecast.

UK: Alcohol awareness charity Drinkaware has appointed three new trustees to its board.

The Isle of Arran distillery is to double production to meet rising demand. Production in 2008 was 150,000LPA (litres of pure alcohol) and 130,000 in 2009. During 2010, the distillery aims to double the 2009 total.

UK: Alcohol awareness charity Drinkaware has launched a programme to help fans stay safe and drink responsibly throughout the World Cup this summer, whether they’re travelling to South Africa or watching from the UK.

The Edrington Group has appointed a new area director for global travel retail.

A 56% increase in exports confirmed Scotch whisky’s growing popularity in Brazil in 2009, according to new figures published by the UK-based Scotch Whisky Association (SWA).

Carlsberg, the official beer of the England football team, has launched its new TV advert in the build-up to this year’s World Cup.

Australian wine brand Wolf Blass is to launch a sparkling rosé wine at the London International Wine Fair.

The Spirit of Speyside whisky festival starts this week.

UK: Stolichnaya vodka has linked up with the Red Bull Air Race World Championship 2010, by supporting defending British champion Paul Bonhomme.

Alcohol awareness charity the Drinkaware Trust has issued a response to the Eurobarometer survey on alcohol.

The Tomatin distillery, Inverness-shire, has released three new whiskies - two single cask and one limited edition bottling.

Global exports of scotch whisky reached record levels in 2009 despite the economic downturn in some major markets, according to annual figures published by the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA).

UK: Bacardi has launched a new advertising campaign, called ‘Island’. The campaign is part of a £20million marketing spend.

Campari revamps Cinzano

31 March, 2010

Gruppo Campari has redesigned its Cinzano range of three aperitif/cocktail wines . The aim of the redesign is to ‘revitalise brand image and create a more contemporary and approachable positioning’.

Russian Standard is to launch its luxury Russian Standard Gold into the UK market.

UK wine retailer Naked Wines has launched a new service that allows UK wine drinkers to buy wines for less than they cost at the cellar door.

Scotland: The Glenglassaugh distillery has appointed a new customer account manager. Ronnie Routledge will take the post from April 6.

France: Fitou cooperative Mont Tauch is to place the ‘Winegrowers for Sustainable Development’ logo on every bottle of its wine sold in the UK.

UK: Brewer Molson Coors has become the first to be a founding signatory of WRAP’s Courtauld Commitment 2.

Coors launches cold cans

04 March, 2010

UK: Coors has launched a cold-activated can for its Coors Light brand.

First Cape wine is launching lower-alcohol (5.5% abv) extension of its First Cape brand.

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