Industry news round-up: September 4, 2014

Dirty Martini Monument CGI

Our regular round-up of industry news, for September 1 to 4, 2014

New site for expanding Dirty Martini
CG Restaurants & Bars has acquired a site in the City of London for its expanding group of Dirty Martini bars. It has taken over the premises of Clause near Monument from Swizzlestick Bars and expects to relaunch it as Dirty Martini in October after a refurbishment and rebranding costing about £1million (pictured).
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Finalists for Bacardi Legacy named
The line-up of bartenders has been announced for the UK final of this year’s Bacardi Legacy competition after regional heats across the country. The eight will compete in the national final on September 25 at a location still to be revealed. The three “most promising” bartenders will be selected to spend the next six months promoting their serve until the overall UK winner is announced in March.
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Funkin gets in Halloween spirit
Cocktail specialist Funkin is supporting bars, pubs and clubs this Halloween with 1,200 bar kits and a pumpkin-carving competition for bar staff. Available from October, the serving kits, decoration kits and giveaway kits will help outlets to transform themselves into a perfect Halloween hangout.
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New venue for Sports Bar & Grill
The fifth site for Sports Bar & Grill is to open in London this month with the official launch of the concept in the heart of the West End. The new two-storey venue in Rupert Street, near Chinatown and Piccadilly Circus, will offer a variety of international live sports on 20 large Sony plasma screens alongside food and drink.
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BrewDog launches craft lager
Scottish brewer BrewDog is challenging mass-marketed lagers with its latest beer that aims to “take the lager style back to its roots”. Called This. Is. Lager., it is a 4.7% ABV pilsner designed to obliterate the “insidious culture around lager drinking”. Introduced in bottles, the new beer is brewed with 100% malt and 10 times the hops of most mainstream lagers.
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Expansion for BYOC bars
After their success in Brighton and London’s Covent Garden, a third BYOC bar is being launched in north London, again calling on people to bring their own spirits to be made into cocktails. Owner Aleksey Nikulin has created the latest BYOC (Bring Your Own Cocktail) in a basement in Camden High Street which opens later this month.
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New UK distributor for Averna
Drinks company J Wray & Nephew has taken over UK distribution of premium Italian bitter Averna to capitalise on the growing interest in bitters. It plans to increase sales of the brand “to the size and scale it deserves in the UK market”, building on the work done by Instil Drinks Co in the UK over the past 18 months.
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Birmingham restaurateurs to open bar
The team behind Birmingham restaurants Opus and Café Opus at Ikon are to open a bar in the city centre’s Colmore Business District. Close to Birmingham Snow Hill station, Bar Opus is drawing inspiration from the “buzzing, spontaneous” bars and cafés that the owners have enjoyed on trips to Barcelona and Copenhagen.
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Return for popular 90s spritz drink
Popular 1990s drink Castaway Spritz, the sparkling wine blended with natural fruit flavours, is being brought back by International Wine Services (IWS). On the back of growing consumer demand for fruit-flavoured and lower-ABV wine drinks, IWS has announced it is relaunching the brand in a 75cl format at 8% ABV.
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Going out up north costs less than down south
Northerners can expect to pay around 10% less on a night-out with friends than southerners, according to research from leading UK payments processor Worldpay. On average, those living in the south expect to pay £3.54 for a pint of beer while northerners expect it to set them back just £3.19.
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Belu and Cobra partner on charity bottle
A new bottle has been created for ethical water brand Belu in a new partnership with a charity set up by the team behind Cobra Beer to help people in south Asia. Working with the Cobra Foundation, Belu will donate profits from the sale of the co-branded 750ml glass water bottle to fund clean water projects in the region through international charity WaterAid.
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TripAdvisor names London’s favourite nightspot
Salvatore’s Bar at London’s Playboy Club has been named London’s favourite nightspot out of 1,176 venues in the capital on ratings website TripAdvisor. Bartender Salvatore Calabrese, who launched the bar with Playboy in 2011, said: “This is a fantastic achievement for the bar and my wonderful, dedicated team.”
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New beer champions Scottish ingredients
As the vote over Scottish independence looms, Edinburgh-based Innis & Gunn has created an autumnal ale that champions ingredients native to Scotland. Rare Oak Pale Ale, at 5.8% ABV, has been matured over Scottish oak from the Borders and then infused with sweet gale grown and harvested in the West Highlands and dried by the Secret Herb Garden in Edinburgh.
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Food and Travel names best bar
Inception Group’s cocktail bar Mr Fogg’s in Mayfair, London, has been named best bar in the 2014 Food and Travel Reader Awards which took place this week at The Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park in London. Other finalists were 69 Colebrooke Row, the Artesian, The Blind Pig, Charlotte’s Bistro and SushiSamba. The award for best restaurant was shared by Pollen Street Social and Lima, both in London.

British alcoholic consumption falls
UK alcohol consumption fell again in 2013, to the lowest level this century, according to the latest annual edition of the British Beer & Pub Association’s Statistical Handbook 2014. Last year, alcohol consumption per capita was down 1.7% on 2012 which meant consumption was down 18.1% since 2004. The Handbook highlights the many small local breweries opening, with 1,442 breweries now in the UK, up 190 on 2012 and 188% more than in 2000.

Bartenders invited to tequila master class
A tequila master class is being run for bartenders by leading brand Jose Cuervo at the pop-up Cuervo’s Cantina at Skylounge at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel London by the Tower of London. It takes place on September 9 between 1pm and 3pm. Led by brand ambassador Gabriela Moncada, it will cover the history of tequila and feature a tequila tasting and demonstrations on making tequila cocktails such as a Margarita. To attend, contact

Enterprise launches sports app for pubs
Enterprise is giving its licensees the opportunity to boost their sporting events by teaming up with MatchPint, the app that connects more than 250,000 sports fans with pubs each month. The app is being made available to the core estate with an exclusive 30% discount on the annual subscription fee between now and September 30. People use the app and its website to find which pubs are showing which sports fixtures nearby.

Consultancy adds bar design specialist
Manchester-based property consultancy Millson Associates has appointed architectural interior designer Laura Seddon to its team, expanding its proposition as a leading leisure and hospitality interiors specialist. She brings with her extensive experience across the leisure sector where she has been responsible for the design of pub, restaurant and hotels for clients including Marston’s, Hydes Brewery, MacDonald Hotels and Holiday Inn.

Brewing and cider awards open for entries
Entries are now open for the International Brewing Awards and International Cider Awards 2015.
Around 1,000 beers and ciders are expected to enter the competition, with judging taking place in February next year in Burton-on-Trent. For more details and to enter, visit

Bar to open at new Peruvian restaurant
A small cocktail bar will open as part of Peruvian restaurant Pachamama which is set to be launched in mid-October in Marylebone, London. Like the restaurant led by head chef Tom Catley, the bar’s drinks will be Peruvian classics combined with British ingredients, including cocktails, piscos infused with seasonal berries and herbs, South American wines and British sparkling wines.

Seasonal ale returns for Everards
Everards is bringing back its seasonal beer Equinox for September. At 4.2% ABV, it was first brewed in 1996 and has remained a consistent favourite among customers. Brewed with Goldings hops and Maris Otter barley, the golden ale has a delicate balance of sweetness and bitterness with a fruit aroma and a lingering taste of mature autumn fruits from the addition of dry hops.

Brewer launches appeal for fresh hops
Adnams has launched a Suffolk-wide appeal for donations of wild and garden hops and sightings of them growing to help create its new Wild Hop beer, due to be launched this autumn. The recipe for the new amber ale requires hops that are freshly picked and that have skipped the drying process. Adnams is looking for hops picked early in September before they start turning from green to brown. Contact or tweet to @Adnams.

Premium vodka finds new distributor
Berry Bros & Rudd Spirits has added Karlsson’s Gold Vodka to its portfolio as part of a long-term deal between the company’s US-based distributor, Anchor Distilling Company, and the vodka’s owners. It covers the UK and the rest of the world outside the US. Distilled u¬sing virgin new potatoes from Cape Bjäre in Sweden, it is handcrafted, single-distilled and unfiltered to preserve the flavour and character.

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