Industry news round-up: April 2, 2013

Ed Gardner
Our weekly round-up of industry news for March 25 to April 2, 2013

New MD for leading bar operator
Lucy Knowles has quit as managing director of leading London operator Corney & Barrow Bars after more than 17 years with the business to pursue a career elsewhere in marketing. From May 1, her role will be taken over by Ed Gardner (pictured), group business development director for Corney & Barrow Group. He has been with Corney & Barrow since 2001 and was previously national sales manager at Bedford brewer and pub operator Charles Wells. Click here for more at

Profits steady at Scottish bar operator
Scottish bar operator Maclay Group has today (April 2) announced that operating profits and sales remained steady in the year to September 29. Sales were £10.4million while operating profits were flat at £700,000. The company said the results reflected “the tough market conditions affecting the pub sector in the face of the difficult economic climate”. The company added that it was confident for the year ahead, bolstered by strong Christmas trading results which saw a four per cent increase in like-for-like sales across the group. Click here for more at

Winning bartenders head for Cognac with G’Vine
Bartenders Hannah Lanfear and Jamie Jones will be heading to Cognac in June to represent the UK in the global final of the Gin Connoisseur Program (GCP) organised for French gin G’Vine. Hannah, who is bars manager at Boisdale in Canary Wharf in London, won the London preliminary heat last week, creating a cocktail, The Mary Jean, which mixes G’Vine Nouaison with Aperol and Coco Real coconut cream. Jamie, who is part of Manchester-based consultancy The Liquorists, won the northern preliminary heat in Manchester with his cocktail La Floraison D’Etre whic mixes the gin with olive oil, peppercorns and elderflower liqueur. Click here for more, including recipes, at

Pub group to launch its own gin and beer
South-west London pub group Renaissance Pubs is celebrating its 10th anniversary in May with the launch of its own beer, gin and wine. London Ten Ale is an amber ale, crafted from a blend of British barley and British hops, made at Sambrook’s Brewery in Battersea, south-west London. Ten London Gin is made in small pot stills at Thames Distillery in Clapham, south-west London, in the style of London dry gins, with 13 botanicals including lime flower and cinnamon. The wines are from the Piemonte region of Italy, with the red made from Barbera grapes and the white from Cortese grapes. Click here for more at

Mojo bars link up with gin for charity action
Northern bar group Mojo has teamed up with Langton’s Gin from Cumbria to raise funds for industry charity Hospitality Action which helps people who work or have worked in hospitality in the UK. The activity will begin with an industry event on April 10 at Mojo in Manchester, when top bar managers and owners and bartenders from across the north will learn about Hospitality Action alongside the launch of a new product, signature serve cocktails and a tasting of Langton’s Gin. The event will also see a call for bartenders to enter a new Langton’s Gin cocktail competition, with the final at Mojo in Liverpool on April 23.

Kahlúa pop-up opens in Manchester
A Mexican-inspired pop-up bar has opened in Manchester’s Northern Quarter, offering cocktails, masterclasses and other events to promote Kahlúa coffee liqueur. The concept for the Kahlúa Coffee House has been inspired by the architecture, imagery and vibrant colours of the home of the brand in Veracruz, Mexico. It is part of a new campaign to promote the heritage of the liqueur which is already performing well in the UK. It runs to April 27 in the site of Market Restaurant at 104 High Street and has been developed with Tom Sneesby and Jamie Jones of consultancy The Liquorists. Click here for more at

On-trade launch set for Somersby Cider
Carlsberg UK has introduced its Somersby Cider into the UK on-trade after launching it into the off-trade last year. Created with no artificial sweeteners or flavourings, it is promoted for serving over ice, with a balanced, crisp, fruity taste. Available on draught, the apple cider has an ABV of 4.5 per cent.

New London distillery launches gin
The London Distillery Company has announced the release of its first London-crafted gin, Dodd’s Gin. The new distillery in Battersea, south-west London, has named it after Ralph Dodd, an 18th-century entrepreneur and engineer who never realised his dream of making spirits in London. The small-batch gin, created by head distiller Andrew MacLeod Smith and founder Darren Rook, uses organic botanicals including juniper, angelica, fresh lime peel, bay laurel, cardamom, red raspberry leaf and London honey. Click here for more at

App supports promotion for Czech beer
Miller Brands is launching a marketing campaign for its Czech beer Kozel, which will include a promotion with Shortlist magazine. Running from April, it will direct consumers to download the Kozel “pint finder” app, allowing them to claim a free pint of Kozel in participating outlets. Through the app, 16,000 free pints will be offered to readers, supported by advertising through Shortlist online media, geo-targeted MMS and Facebook mobile advertising.

Scandinavian-style spruce beer created by Yorkshire brewer
Ilkley Brewery in West Yorkshire has developed a Scandinavian-inspired spruce beer in collaboration with writer and beer sommelier Jane Peyton. Called The Norseman, the ruby-coloured ale has been made using locally foraged pine needles from spruce trees, along with Douglas fir needles and buds from Ilkley Moor. The beer has a soft bitterness, with pine and herbs on the nose, and is made using entirely English hops, with an ABV of five per cent. It is the latest in Ilkley Brewery’s Origins range which features beers that celebrate traditional methods and innovative brewing techniques from around the world.

Trader Vics Aged Mai TaiAged Mai Tai celebrates bar’s 50th birthday
Trader Vic’s at the London Hilton on Park Lane is marking the bar’s 50th anniversary with the creation of the Aged Mai Tai, a tribute to the cocktail’s original creator, Victor J Bergeron, who first made it at Trader Vic’s in California in 1944. The Aged Mai Tai uses oak barrel-aged Appleton Estate V/X five-year-old rum combined with Trader Vic’s 60-year old signature Mai Tai syrup, garnished with wood-fired oven-roasted pineapple, fresh lemon juice and lime. It is available now, priced £13.50.

Prohibition inspires Brighton bartenders in competition
Bartenders in Brighton created new cocktails celebrating the age of Prohibition in a competition run for Buffalo Trace Bourbon. At the event at Above Audio bar in the city, first place went to Jim Turner of Brighton Rocks. He will compete at the grand final later this year, which will see winning bartenders from regional heats around the UK battle it out for a trip to the distillery in Kentucky. Second was Scott Hasselton of Above Audio and third was Alan Coulter of La Maison Du Vin. Click here for more, including recipes, at

Edrington prepares for Cutty Sark relaunch
Whisky group Edrington is preparing for the UK relaunch of Cutty Sark blended Scotch after acquiring the brand three years ago. It has redesigned the packaging and range and has new plans to increase distribution alongside a “ground-breaking” PR event planned for London in the autumn. Edrington has committed to investing £20million on the brand in the next five years, covering both new and existing markets globally, which is forecast to push sales up by nearly 40 per cent across the world over the five-year period. With the tagline of “Spirit of Adventure”, it has also formed a partnership with Loch Lomond Seaplanes which will carry the whisky’s branding.

ETM set to open new bar in Canary Wharf
Bar and restaurant operator ETM Group has agreed terms on the site for a new modern European restaurant and cocktail bar at the heart of London’s Canary Wharf. The venue will be called One Canada Square and open in September 2013 in the ground-floor lobby of the skyscraper of the same name. David Collins Studio is designing the chic, modern 30-cover bar and 100-cover restaurant with mezzanine floor.

JD Roots returns with top bands
Bacardi Brown-Forman Brands has announced the return of JD Roots, a series of one-off gigs around the UK in partnership with Jack Daniel’s whiskey. Highlighting the importance of small venues and local music scenes across the UK, it starts in Newcastle on May 2 with Maximo Park at The Cluny and on May 15 with Miles Kane at The Zanzibar in Liverpool. It will be supported with marketing activity including trade point-of-sale kits to help drive sales and footfall.

New release from Islay whisky maker
Islay single malt Bowmore has launched Tempest 4, a complex non-chill-filtered whisky aged for a decade in first-fill bourbon casks. Less than 2,000 cases have been released worldwide, with a recommended retail price of £49.99 in the UK, with an ABV of 55.1 per cent. Master blender Rachel Barrie describes it as “effervescent waves of citrus and ocean spice, tempered by warm ripples of smooth vanilla and wispy smoke”.

Theatre awards inspire bartenders to create cocktails
Bartenders at the May Fair Bar at the May Fair Hotel in central London have created a collection of theatrical cocktails to celebrate their hotel being an official partner with this year’s Olivier Awards. The cocktails are inspired by the musicals Top Hat, The Bodyguard and A Chorus Line. Click here for more, including recipes, at

Profits and sales growth at Adnams
Drinks producer and pub operator Adnams has reported growth in profits and sales for the year to the end of December. Pre-exceptional operating profit grew by 3.5 per cent to £3.4million on sales up 4.3 per cent to £56.9million. Adnams beer volumes were up 3.8 per cent, while the distillery has reported continued growth over its first two years. Chairman Jonathan Adnams said: “2012 was a difficult year for the economy, but we came through it well and achieved both beer volume and good profit growth.”

Arran 16 Year OldWhisky distiller unveils 16-year-old single malt
Isle of Arran Distillers is set to release its oldest malt to date this month, a 16-year-old single malt. With just 9,000 bottles released worldwide, it is the first in a trilogy of special malt whiskies planned for the countdown to the Arran 18 Year Old malt, scheduled for spring 2015. Describing the 16-year-old, master distiller James MacTaggart said: “The spirit is non-chill-filtered and contains no artificial colours so it retains a full range of aromas and flavours – it smells of honey and ginger and has a smooth taste with waves of sweetness and spice.”

Deadlines extended for Women 1st awards
Women 1st, which supports women seeking senior leadership roles in hospitality, has announced it has extended the deadline for its 2013 Shine Awards to April 8. The organisation has already received a high volume of entries for the awards, which are now in their eighth year. Nominations can be made at The nomination deadline has also been extended to April 8 for recommending women for entry into Women 1st’s Top 100 Club – a network of the most influential women in hospitality, passenger transport, travel and tourism. Nominations can be made at

Tiki bars introduce exotic cocktail masterclasses
Tiki bar and club brand Lola Lo is launching “exotic” cocktail-making masterclasses at its venues around the UK in partnership with premium rum brand Havana Club as part of a sales-driving initiative. Customers are welcomed with champagne and flower garlands and an introduction to the tiki way of living and drinking. Bartenders will demonstrate three cocktails before giving customers the chance to try their hand at shaking their own drinks behind the bar. It will be supported with online marketing including a video which can be seen on YouTube by clicking here.

Semi-finalists announced in sommelier awards
The names of the sommeliers through to the semi-finals of this year’s Moët UK Sommelier of the Year 2013 have been announced by the Academy of Food & Wine Service (AFWS). They are: Romain Bourger of The Vineyard at Stockcross, Newbury, Berkshire; Tobias Brauweiler of The Ritz in London; Remi Fischer of Gleneagles, Perthshire; Michael Jenni of Launceston Place, London; Kathrine Larson of The Orrery, London; Tanguy Martin of Hotel TerraVina, Hampshire; Stefan Neumann of The Fat Duck, Berkshire; Marcin Oziebly of Sam’s Chop House, Manchester; Mark Perlaki of Hotel du Vin, Harrogate; and Stuart Skea of 21212 Restaurant, Edinburgh. The semi-finals are at London’s Mandarin Oriental on May 28.

J2O links up with national radio station
Global Radio’s Heart has launched a new partnership with Britvic’s soft drink J2O, featuring sponsorship of the radio station’s weekend programmes. The five-month deal will cover Heart’s network shows from 6am to 1pm on Saturday and from 6am to 12pm on Sunday, including Club Classics with Mark Wright, Saturday Breakfast with JK & Lucy, Sunday Breakfast with Jenni Falconer, and Toby Anstis’s Saturday morning show. J2O also becomes the first partner of Heart TV.

Record sales of Mojitos reported by bar operator
Novus Leisure has announced record sales for Mojitos across its Late Night London portfolio of venues. The cocktail made up 45 per cent of cocktail sales in the company’s 52 London venues over the February and March period – triple the amount sold over four weeks in January and February. It followed a specific focus on the cocktail, led by head mixologist Jack Williams, including a dedicated Mojito menu at Jewel Piccadilly, Babble Mayfair and Jewel St Paul’s. Click here for more at

Community pub campaign under way from CAMRA
CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale, has launched a month-long celebration of British community pubs throughout April. Community Pubs Month encourages pubs to organise and promote a variety of events that will appeal to the public. CAMRA has produced and distributed over 6,000 promotional packs across Britain to help pubs market their activities.

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