Crown Cellars provides insights into selling spirits in the on-trade

Scandal Tea Punch Room

Crown Cellars is providing insight and opinions on the latest trends in spirits through a new customer magazine for bars and other on-trade operators.

The magazine has been created after several months of intensive research with bar owners, managers and bartenders throughout the UK to gain a deeper understanding of what inspires them and adds value when it comes to the spirits category.

The insights have enabled Crown Cellars to offer a more tailored approach to spirits, modelled on the success of offerings in other parts of Carlsberg UK’s business, such as the Crafted Handbook for beer and Tapster’s Cask Ale Guide.

The new magazine, which includes over 60 new products in Crown Cellars’ portfolio this year, features an overview of the current spirits market, leading with insight and opinions on the latest trends alongside interviews with pioneers of the bartending community, including brand ambassadors, and industry figures.

Those featured include Erik Lorincz and Declan Mcgurk from The American Bar at The Savoy in London, Patrón brand ambassador Karine Tillard, Nidal Ramini, head of brand advocacy at Brown-Forman brands for northern Europe, Chivas Regal and The Glenlivet whiskies’ UK brand ambassador Phil Huckle, Davide Segat of The Punch Room at the London Edition hotel (pictured) and Jake Burger of The Distillery in London’s Notting Hill as well as Crystal Head Vodka co-founder Dan Aykroyd.

Crown Cellars also reveals its category themes including “Category Reappraisal” where vodka, blended whisky and tequila are all identified as key spirits choices, with evolving reputations in consumers’ minds.

“Noise and News” refers to categories such as gin and US whiskey, both of which continue to capture consumer interest and expand consumer repertoires.

Rum is identified as the “Next Big Thing” as it continues to win fans on both sides of the bar with its diversity and versatility across cocktail and mixed drinks menus.

Katie Hewitt, spirits category manager at Crown Cellars, said: “We’re passionate about genuinely delivering what our customers want and we can only do this when we truly understand both our customers and the category.

“We have over 25 years’ experience in spirits and great relationships with our customers that allow us to dig deep and get the most out of our research and insight. This means that we can continually evolve our range, the support we offer and the way we communicate with our customers.”

Drinks writers Tom Sandham and Ben McFarland, also known as The Thinking Drinkers, worked with Crown Cellars to identify and deliver editorial content tailored to on-trade venues with a spirits focus.

Tom Sandham delivers the following tips:

Range: “It is no longer enough to stock a house or premium option for each spirit. Each category must be approached in a unique way to accomplish a good range to meet multiple touch points, including taste profiles and price points.”

Storytelling: “Bartenders like telling stories as much as consumers like hearing them. Talking about a brand’s heritage, the way it’s made, or even sharing an interesting fact or two makes all the difference and inspires consumer choices.”

Tasting: “It’s so important that the bar managers try every single product they’re ordering in. Before selecting brands from categories – even the ones that aren’t as fashionable as gin – a tasting is essential as consumers are looking for quality. Remember that every spirit has its purpose.”

Flavour: “It’s a fundamental consideration that is sometimes not given as much thought as it should. Consumers want to know how it tastes. We’ve included flavour maps for the key categories in the guide to help bartenders describe the taste without sounding like they’re reeling off rehearsed tasting notes.”

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