Twenty-eight women have been chosen for the next phase of Bacardi’s global search to find the next Martini Star, the face of the Italian vermouth brand.

Distributor Marblehead Brand Development is looking to satisfy demand for craft spirits in the UK with the launch of the Polish bison grass vodka, Davna Bizon.

Suffolk brewer Adnams has launched two lower-alcohol bottled beers to target daytime drinkers this summer.

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.

Sarah Miles (pictured) has been appointed managing director of Diageo Wines Europe (DWE), which includes Justerini & Brooks and Percy Fox & Co.

Heineken has reached an agreement with the board of Fraser and Neave to acquire F&N's interests in Tiger brewer Asia Pacific Breweries for $50 a share.

Gruppo Campari has announced sales growth of 5% for H1 of 2012, with strong performances in North America and Asia Pacific offsetting difficulties in Germany, Italy and South America.

Beam has reported half-year net sales increases of 8% on a comparable basis, thanks in part to the succes of product innovation. 

US: Beam has elected Gretchen W. Price to its board of directors.

Heineken USA has announced the appointment of Colin Westcott-Pitt as vice president of marketing, effective immediately.

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.

An NHS report into smoking and drinking among young people has revealed that the number or 11-15 year olds that have tried alcohol has reduced from 61% in 2001 to 45% in 2011.

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.

Wemyss Malts has released Darnley’s View Spiced Gin to Europe and selected Asian markets, with the US to follow.

Rémy Cointreau is to purchase Islay distillery Bruichladdich for £58m.

The International Beer Challenge has named a lager made by an English winemaker among the world’s best beers.

Heineken has made a move to purchase Tiger Beer brewer Asia Pacific Breweries. 

Courvoisier has crowned bartenders from 8 Bar in Falmouth winners of its Courvoisier Cocktails on a Grand Scale competition.

The New York Vinexpo show will not take place this year, due to lack of exhibitors.

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

Constellation Brands has completed the acquisition of the Mark West wine brand from Purple Wine Company for approximately US$160 million.

Michael Cox has been installed as the 518th Master of the Worshipful Company of Vintners for the forthcoming year.

The organiser of South Africa’s famous Nederburg Auction, has announced that US economics professor and ‘wine economist’, Mike Veseth, will make a keynote speech on Saturday September 29 at Nederburg in Paarl.

Facundo L. Bacardi, chairman of the board of directors at Bacardi Limited has announced the appointment of two directors to the 16-member board.

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

First Drinks has outlined the continued importance of premium drinks brands in driving growth in the UK market.

Pernod Ricard has signed an agreement with Arcus-Gruppen for the sale of the Danish aquavit brands Aalborg and Brøndums, the German brand Malteserkreuz Aquavit and the Danish bitter brand Gammel Dansk.

Bacardi has announced the appointment of Ron Anderson as senior vice president and chief commercial officer.

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.

Adnams, the Suffolk brewer, has announced the launch of a limited edition beer to commemorate the London 2012 Olympics.

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.

The Sherry Institute of Spain has appointed Beltrán Domecq as its new president.

South Korea scotch whisky producer, Hiscot Ltd has merged fully with Korean brewing company,Hite-Jinro Group Co Ltd.

Drinks International will celebrate its 40th birthday with the great and the good of the UK drinks industry on Thursday in London.

Rémy Cointreau has entered talks to buy Islay distillery Bruichladdich.

Chinese wine consumers prefer traditional wine labels but are open to some contemporary designs, according to Wine Intelligence.

Three in five (62%) Brits use alcohol to relax and unwind in the evenings according to new research from alcohol education charity Drinkaware. 

Bacardi has announced the appointment of Gianpaolo (Paolo) Perego as regional president of Latin America.

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).

The Guala Closures Group has announced that it has begun the process for the acquisition of the Metal Closures division of South Africa’s MCG Industries.

CEDC has appointed Richard Huck to the role of regional director, Europe, Middle East & Africa.

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

Ivan Menezes has been appointed to the Diageo board as an executive director with effect from July 2.

Floris van Woerkom, chief control & accounting officer at Heineken has decided to leave the company by the end of the year.

Laithwaite’s Wine has appointed Emma Roberts to the newly created role of group fine wine director.

Budweiser and Stella brewer A-B InBev is to acquire the remaining stake in Corona Extra brewer Grupo Modelo for US$20.1 billion ( MXN 278.6 billion).

EU spirits producers have welcomed the signing of the EU-Colombia/Peru Free Trade Agreement – expected to take place in Brussels at 5pm local time today (June 26).

Anheuser-Busch InBev has released a statement which confirms talk regarding a possible combination between AB InBev and Grupo Modelo have taken place.

Diageo has announced the appointment of Ho KwonPing to its board as a non-executive director, effective October 1. His responsibilities will include membership of the audit, the nomination and the remuneration committees.

Asian interest in the rum category is a question of when not if, according to the Havana Club CEO Jerome Cottin-Bizonne.

Comment

Hamish Smith

The end of craft?

If you want to know where the spirits industry is headed, you could do worse than look at beer.

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