Industry news round-up: September 11, 2014


Kate Nicholls David McHattie

Our regular round-up of industry news, for September 8 to 11, 2014

ALMR announces new CEO
The Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) has announced today that David McHattie (pictured) is stepping down as chief executive and will be replaced by Kate Nicholls (pictured). David, who will take up a position on the ALMR’s advisory council, is moving to the north of England to develop his pub operation. He will be replaced by Kate who has been working with the ALMR for 17 years and is currently strategic affairs director.
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Stonegate to open third new Missoula
Stonegate Pub Company is to launch the third in its new generation of Missoula bars with the conversion of The Living Room in Nottingham. Due to open September 19, the site in the Lace Market will offer craft ales, whiskeys, wines and steaks in an interior inspired by the US state of Montana. Stonegate is investing £310,000 in the new Missoula – Montana Bar & Grill after unveiling an updated look for the concept in Milton Keynes and York (pictured).
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Buffalo Trace whiskeys head for UK
The UK’s limited allocation of the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection 2014 is due to be released in the UK in mid-October. Available through distributor Hi-Spirits, the five-strong collection of bourbon and rye whiskeys from the Buffalo Trace Distillery in Kentucky are a George T Stagg, William Larue Weller, Thomas H Handy Sazerac Rye, Eagle Rare 17 Year Old and Sazerac Rye 18 Year Old.
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Sheffield bartender wins UK final
Russ Ward, who works at TGI Friday’s in Sheffield, has won the UK grand final of the company’s 2014 UK Bartender Championship. He saw off competition from over 300 other bartenders to win the UK grand final for the third year in a row. Russ will represent the UK against other TGI Friday’s bartenders from around the world at the World Bartender Championships in the US early next year.
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Warner Edwards adds rhubarb gin
A gin infused with rhubarb has been launched by Warner Edwards Distillery in Northamptonshire on the back of the success of its Harrington Dry Gin. Victoria’s Rhubarb Gin is made with an infusion of a rhubarb that was originally grown in Queen Victoria’s garden and is now available in only limited amounts.
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Contest names London’s best cocktail maker
Sergej Platonov from The Club at The Ivy has won a competition to find the best Cocktail Maker of the Year in London’s West End. Over 20 of the capital’s leading bartenders took part in the contest at Genting Casinos’ The Colony Club in Mayfair which was sponsored by craft gin and vodka brand Sipsmith.
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Fair Spirits seeks Halloween cocktail ideas
Fair Spirits is calling on top bartenders to come up with ideas for using its Fair Quinoa Vodka and Fair Belize Rum in cocktails to tie in with Halloween. As well as helping to promote the cocktails via social media, the company will reward the two biggest-selling accounts with a night-time helicopter trip around London. Those set to take part include London bars and restaurants Galvin at Windows, Andaz, Sofitel St James, Hush, China Tang and Plateau.
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New bar in revamp of D&D restaurant
D&D London is to unveil a new look for its pan-Indian restaurant Carom in Soho this month alongside a new cocktail menu at its bar, the Atrium Lounge. With a cool and relaxed industrial-inspired design developed by AM Creative, there will be luxurious features and atmospheric lighting across the 250-cover restaurant.
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WKD gets bars in Halloween spirit
Halloween-themed fun is to be generated in bars and pubs by ready-to-drink brand WKD this October. It is offering moulded cauldrons, which have authentic-looking feet to keep them stable and a pouring lip to aid sharing, for serving mixed drinks using the brand. Under the banner of “Witch Cocktail Cauldron?”, point-of-sale materials will promote different cocktails.
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New cider helps fight for honey bee
Drinks company Blue Fruits is launching a cider to extend its Planetbee brand which raises funds to help save the honey bee. With supplier Morgenrot, it is introducing Planetbee Cider made from organic English cider apples, created by Herefordshire-based cider-maker Tom Oliver. It comes in 33cl bottles with ABV of 6%. A percentage of sales will be donated to the Friends of the Honey Bee campaign.
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Krombacher brings Hell pilsner to UK

Krombacher, brewer of Germany’s number-one premium beer, is launching Krombacher Hell into the UK on-trade. The Bavarian-style lager, at 5% ABV, is full-bodied with a subtle touch of hops, making it less bitter and bringing a distinct maltiness and sweetness. It is available to the UK on-trade in a 30-litre keg.
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TCG links with Big Bang Theory release
Fans of The Big Bang Theory will be offered discounts on food and drink at venues operated by TCG in a promotional link-up to promote the show’s latest DVD. A voucher, giving a £5 discount on food and drink on a spend of £10 or more, will be inserted in 500,000 DVD and Blu-ray copies of series seven of The Big Bang Theory.
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Mayfair bar relocates for art fair
London bar Mr Fogg’s, part of Inception Group, will be transported to nearby Berkeley Square, London, as part of the LAPADA Art & Antiques Fair from September 24 to 28. The pop-up will offer cocktails and champagne in a re-creation of the Mayfair bar’s Victorian interior which is full of art and antiques.
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Harveys to launch premium cream sherry
Maxxium UK is introducing Signature by Harveys, a premium cream sherry that is a complex blend of sherries aged for an average of 12 years. It combines the character and structure of olorosos, the elegant and pungent aroma of finos and amontillados and the sweetness of Pedro Ximénez. Initially launching in the off-trade, it comes in 50cl bottles with ABV of 19%.
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New website for Miller Brands
Miller Brands has unveiled a new online identity via a refreshed company website to showcase its portfolio of premium international brands across the UK and Ireland. The new site at www.millerbrands.co.uk boasts a breadth of information on the business as well as core information on brands such as Peroni Nastro Azzuro, Pilsner Urquell, Kozel and Tyskie. It also features a human resources portal designed for new employees joining the rapidly growing business.


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