Industry news round-up: July 3, 2014


Our regular round-up of industry news, for June 30 to July 3, 2014

New investor for Brighton-based operator
Private equity firm Risk Capital Partners has invested in InnBrighton, which operates 45 bars and pubs in Brighton and London, to support further expansion. It has been renamed The Laine Pub Company, reflecting its broader geographic reach and the increasing importance of the craft beers from its three Laine’s microbreweries. It has 39 bars and pubs in Brighton and Hove but has expanded into London where it is to open its seventh site in the autumn.
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Courvoisier seeks UK’s spontaneous bartenders
UK bartenders are to be challenged to demonstrate their “spontaneous talent” in a competition for Courvoisier cognac. Distributor Maxxium UK is to run two initiatives this summer, one for bar teams and one for individuals, to test bartenders’ creative flair. It is part of the brand’s Here’s to Now marketing campaign, which inspires consumers to embrace life in the moment.
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Pusser’s adds spiced rum in range revamp
The portfolio of historic rum Pusser’s is undergoing a revamp alongside new-look packaging across the range. The original Pusser’s Old Blue at 54.5% ABV will be rebranded Pusser’s Gunpowder Proof while a new Pusser’s New Blue will be launched with ABV of 40%. It is also launching Pusser’s Spiced, which has a kick of fresh ginger.
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New product and formats for Amigos beer
Global Brands is shaking up the spirit-flavoured beer category with three new innovations for its tequila-flavoured lager Amigos. It is to release Amigos Black, with added notes of acai berries to complement the tequila and limes, in 330ml bottles with ABV of 5.1%. It is also introducing the original Amigos on draught and in a new 330ml can for the on-trade.
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Leading distiller creates new artisan gin
A new London dry gin has been created in Leicestershire with ambitions to become “the UK’s number-one artisan gin brand”. Burleighs London Dry Gin has been launched by 45 West Distillers which is headed by the gin’s master distiller Jamie Baxter plus Phil Burley, Graham Veitch and Tim Prime. It uses locally grown botanicals such as silver birch, dandelion, burdock, elderberry and iris.
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Prohibition-inspired rums launched in UK
An award-winning range of rums, inspired by Prohibition-era bootlegger Bill McCoy, has been introduced to the UK. All three expressions of The Real McCoy rum – a three-year-old, five-year-old and 12-year-old – have been launched through UK drinks company Distillnation.
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UK launch for premium golden Caribbean rum
Premium golden rum The Duppy Share, made with a blend of oak-aged rums from Jamaica and Barbados, has been launched in the UK. It has been developed by The Westbourne Drinks Co, a new business founded in London by George Frost and Jessica Swinfen.
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Italian-style bar to open in Edinburgh development
A new destination bar is to open in Edinburgh’s Quartermile development as part of modern new Italian-style restaurant Enzo. Due to open later this month, it is being created by Scottish independent company P1 Edinburgh.
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Pop-up bar brings good cheer to Southbank
A bar that uses bespoke spirits and makes cocktails with mineral water instead of shaking with ice has been set up as part of London’s Southbank Centre’s Festival of Love. The Department of Good Cheer, a London-based collective of bartenders, is running the bar until August 31. It is in the Southbank Centre’s Festival Village – renamed Heartbreak Hotel and styled as a 1970s motel.
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London bartenders win places in UKBG final
Sebastian Kasyna from Coq d’Argent in the City of London came top in the London heat of the UKBG National Cocktail Competition. Along with nine other London bartenders, he will now compete against winners of other heats in the UK final in October. The other nine are Tiago Mira, Maxime Creusot, Michal Buben, Fillipo Sion, Laszlo Nyiri, Flavio Prospero, Mattia Conti, Alessandro Pizzoli and Federico Pavan.
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UK bartenders given chance for American bar swap
Bartenders in the UK have a chance to swap jobs and work in a bar in North America in the third Auchentoshan Switch. The competition challenges them to create a new cocktail with Auchentoshan Three Wood whisky, with the European winner spending two weeks working in a bar in North America which is still to be decided. The competition in the US and Canada will select a bartender to work at leading London bar Mr Fogg’s.
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Brighton operator adds phone ordering app
Bar and pub operator Laine Pub Company is introducing a system at its sites that will allow its customers to order and pay for drinks using their mobile phones. The group, which has 37 outlets in Brighton and Hove, has partnered mobile ordering app Orderella.
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Strongbow ad goes back to cider’s roots
Cider brand Strongbow celebrates its Herefordshire roots and “bittersweet nature” in a new TV ad which pays homage to the farmers who grow the one billion British cider apples that go into making the product. It is the first time Strongbow has communicated its cider making and quality credentials in its ads. It will air nationally from July 4.

Love Drinks adds super-premium vodka
Love Drinks has added super-premium vodka U’Luvka to its portfolio of premium and hand-crafted spirits, liqueurs and beers. Available in the UK since 2005, it is the first time that the brand has worked with a sales agency, aiming to create advocacy within the bartending community as well as growing distribution and brand awareness in the on- and off-trade.

Cocktail bar pops up for summer festival
The Luggage Room bar at London Marriott Hotel Grosvenor Square is running a pop-up punch bar in Grosvenor Square from today (July 3) until July 19. It is part of Summer in the Square, featuring open-air activities such as foodie pop-ups, music, comedy and other events from midday to 11pm. The bar is supported by Appleton V/X rum, Perrier-Jouët champagne and Pernod Ricard UK, Pierre Ferrand cognac and Berry Bros & Rudd.

New Hertfordshire bar beats expectations
Snug Bars has reported that the latest site in Hitchin, Hertfordshire, has achieved more than double its expected sales after opening on May 16. The Snug, which has 60 covers, served 2,000 covers in its first week and mixed 1,500 cocktails.

Żubrówka brings Polish forest to Peckham
An enchanted Polish forest is to be re-created on a rooftop of the Bussey Building in Peckham, south-east London, for bison-grass vodka brand Żubrówka. It is a partnership with Rooftop Film Club and will host a series of films such as Dirty Dancing, Top Gun, Grease, Run Lola Run and Amelie throughout the summer.

Investment for Manchester Slug and Lettuce
Stonegate Pub Company is to re-open the Slug and Lettuce in Didsbury in south Manchester on July 5 after a £250,000 investment. Opening from 10am, it will include the introduction of Costa Coffee, free wifi, a new food menu, world beers, and a new wine and cocktail list. General manager Alex Prevost, said: “This is going to be the classiest bar in Didsbury and the place to be seen.”

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