Renato ‘Tato’ Giovannoni has won the Altos Bartenders’ Bartender Award 2020 after building up an iconic reputation among his peers.

Ed Gerard has left his role of head of wines and spirits at upmarket retailer Harrods to join Mocktail Beverages as global business development director.

US pre-mixed cocktail company Zing Zang has launched a new line of spirits-based ready-to-drink (RTD) canned cocktails.

Leading Spanish brandy producer Osborne has launched a limited-edition called Carlos 130 to mark the bestselling brand’s 130th anniversary.

Marussia Beverages has bolstered its spirits portfolio by taking on two Japanese whiskies from Hatozaki.

The extended closure of Scottish hospitality venues will have “devastating consequences” on the industry according to the Scottish Hospitality Group.

The registration of new spirits brands in the US has rocketed in the US in 2020 compared to the previous year.

Guinness has become the latest major beer brand to launch an alcohol-free variant in a bid to capitalise upon growing consumer demand for the category.

Resilient off-trade sales in the USA and Europe helped Pernod Ricard rally during the first quarter of fiscal 2021.

Bacardi has unveiled plans to put the world’s first 100% degradable spirits bottles on shelves and back bars by 2023.

Remy Cointreau has reported a 16.4% decrease in sales for the first half of its fiscal year after the pandemic ravaged its on-trade business.

Former Pernod Ricard executives Laurent Lacassagne and Patrick Venning have launched a botanical rum after setting up a micro-distillery in London’s Brixton Market.

Spanish drinks producer Zamora Company has reported that turnover increased 6.3% to €208 million in 2019.

Don Papa has celebrated the close ties between the Philippines and the United States by launching a rum aged for four years in American rye casks.  

Irish spirits maker The Boatyard Distillery has appointed Declan McGurk as commercial director to grow its international presence.

Leading bourbon producer Jim Beam has given the beleaguered travel retail sector a vote of confidence by launching an exclusive expression into the channel.

The Balvenie has released the seventh limited-edition bottling of its renowned and highly collectible Tun 1509 series.

Galaxy Bar in Dubai has been named this year’s Campari One to Watch by the World’s 50 Best Bars.

The winners of the International Spirits Challenge 2020 Awards will be announced via a live presentation on various social media channels at 8pm GMT on October 28.

Several spirits brands will be featured at the first ever virtual expo hosted by the Caribbean Export Development Agency on November 17-18.

Irish Distillers has unveiled the final whiskey created by outgoing master distiller Brian Nation during his final days in the role.

Legendary Adelaide Hills winemaker Taras Ochota has died after a long battle with illness.

The beer, wine and spirits category remained the star performer in the UK retail sector as it enjoyed 17% growth in the four weeks to October 3.

Nautilus Estate winemaker Clive Jones has been elected chair of the board at New Zealand Winegrowers.

Maybe Sammy in Sydney has been named the Michter’s Art of Hospitality Award as part of The World’s 50 Best Bars 2020.

Eighteen trade associations have joined forces to call for an immediate elimination of the retaliatory tariffs that the US and EU have imposed upon spirits, wine and beer.

Jack Daniel’s has announced that Chris Fletcher will take over from the outgoing Jeff Arnett as master distiller of the Tennessee whiskey brand.

The Scottish Licensed Trade Association has described the First Minister’s measures announced on October 7 as “devastating” for the industry with the fallout being hundreds of business closures and thousands of job losses.

Winemakers Joao Pires and Matt Gant have collaborated on a range that exhibits levels of freshness, acidity and elegance rarely seen in the Douro.

Compass Box has marked its 20th anniversary by releasing a limited-edition expression that pays tribute to the whisky that originally launched the brand.

Venezuelan producer Diplomatico is targeting rum connoisseurs with a new high-end expression called Selección de Familia.

Mocktails Brands has appointed Craftwork as its UK distributor in a bid to ramp up sales of its premixed alcohol-free cocktails among British consumers.

Welsh whisky producer Penderyn is ending its distribution arrangement with Halewood and setting up its own in-house supply business.

Cask Liquid Marketing has expanded its portfolio with Tayēr RTD bottled cocktails by Monica Berg and Alex Kratena.

Japanese gin brand 135°EAST is targeting export growth after joining the Marussia Beverages portfolio.

Some of the world’s leading drinks brands are celebrating after securing trophies and gold medals at the 2020 Travel Retail Awards.

Diageo stock enjoyed its best session since March after chief executive Ivan Menezes issued a positive trading update ahead of the firm’s annual meeting.

England cricket legend Darren Gough has officially launched his eagerly anticipated Care for Wild wine range in partnership with Freixenet Copestick.

Germany’s first rye whiskey distillery has teamed up with export agency Proof Strength in a bid to boost its presence in various markets around the world.

London Cocktail Week founders Siobhan Payne and Hannah Sharman-Cox have emphasised the importance of the festival this year given the imposed hospitality curfews from the UK government.

The Whisky Exchange has stopped selling Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible  as the backlash against his “sexist” reviews continues to gather pace.

The Scottish Hospitality Group has dammed the scheduled introduction of a 10pm curfew for bars and restaurants in Scotland from Friday 25 September.

UK bar owners have lashed back at the introduction of a 10pm curfew by the British government on 22 September.

The Glenturret has unveiled a new core range as it plans to launch in the UK, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland and New Zealand next month.

Alcohol free beer and cider specialist Drynks Unlimited has secured an additional £1 million investment in order to ramp up production.

Ballantine’s has honoured its founder by launching a seven-year-old blend finished in bourbon barrels.

Heineken has entered the hard seltzer category with the launch of Pure Piraña in Mexico and New Zealand.

Trade show heavyweights Comexposium and Vinexpo have now officially joined forces to create a new company called Vinexposium.

Templeton Rye has released a limited-edition Caribbean Rum Cask Finish expression into the domestic and export markets.

Red Storm and Ocean Storm have been withdrawn from the market after The Gin Guild threatened legal action against the producer for incorrectly labelling them as “gin”.

Comment

Nick Strangeway

NOTHING'S NORMAL

Happy customers across the UK enjoyed their first pints and non-homemade cocktails at the start of July as its hospitality sector reopened after months of lockdown. But normal service has hardly resumed.

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