Following its €95m purchase of Cooley Distillery, Beam will phase out the supply of third-party brands to concentrate on building its core Irish whiskeys: Kilbeggan, Tyrconnell, Connemara and Greenore.

Patrón Spirits International will introduce its XO Café variant to China following an agreement with the Shanghai-based Telford Wine & Spirits.

English brewer and distiller, Adnams, has added Morello Cherry Liqueur to its range.

Buffalo Trace Distillery has launched its last ‘experimental’ bourbons of the year with the release of rice and an oat-based expressions.

US: Mexico-based La Madrileña is to distribute Beam’s entire portfolio in Mexico. As part of the performance-based agreement, effective on January 1, 2012, La Madrileña will be the exclusive distributor of Beam’s brands, including Jim Beam bourbon, Sauza tequila, Courvoisier cognac and Cruzan rum.

Glasgow-based bottler and blender Douglas Laing & Co has attributed its 11% growth to the strong performance of Asian markets.

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

Brown-Forman Duty Free has made four senior-level appointments, effective immediately.

Buffalo Trace has launched two un-aged bourbons, White Dog Wheated Mash and White Dog Rye Mash.

Rémy Cointreau has announced “important” director-level changes to its Global Travel Retail (GTR) team, in the shape of the appointments of Matthew Hodges and Simon Roffe.

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

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.

Saxco, a US-based group of packaging companies affiliated to Saxco International, has appointed James Hartman as quality assurance manager.

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

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.

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.

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Joe Bates

Why craft brands are gaining traction

I’ve always maintained that the cards are stacked against craft spirits brands wanting to build a meaningful travel retail presence.

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