Industry news round-up: December 16, 2013


nightclub queueOur weekly round-up of industry news, for December 9 to 16, 2013


Visits to nightclubs continue to fall
Britons are going out to nightclubs less often while visits to bars, pubs and restaurants remain steady, according to a survey of 2,000 UK consumers by leading advisory and restructuring group Zolfo Cooper. In the sixth edition of the study, which examines consumer spending habits in the leisure sector, respondents indicated they were visiting nightclubs on average 1.7 times per month – down from 2.5 times in 2012 – equating to 20 visits per year. Among the key age group of people aged 18 to 34, visits fell from 2.7 times per month to 1.7 times, the first time that the number of visits has dipped below two per month for this category.
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Bulleit launches rye and higher-ABV bourbon
Diageo is launching a higher-ABV version of Bulleit Bourbon alongside Bulleit’s rye whiskey in the UK on the back of increased demand for premium US whiskey. Previously available in the UK at 40% ABV, Bulleit Bourbon is being introduced at 45%, making it consistent with the brand’s original US proof. Bulleit Rye, which was launched in the US in 2011, is being introduced into the UK for the first time, also bottled at 45% ABV. Made with 95% rye instead of the industry standard of 51%, it has a dry and spicy finish, suitable for classic cocktails such as a Manhattan and Sazerac.
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Edinburgh bar installs solera-ageing for Negronis
The Bon Vivant in Edinburgh has teamed up with Campari to launch the world’s first system for producing a solera-aged Negroni. A series of oak barrels, engraved with the Italian brand’s name, has been installed at the bar, linked by pipes to create a continuous method to oak-age the classic cocktail. The liquid is held in the top oak barrels before filtering down to the brass tap which emits the aged and naturally blended Negroni.
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C&C plans UK launch for Italian craft cider
C&C Group has unveiled a new Italian craft cider, Montano, that is to be launched exclusively into the UK on-trade in January. The new addition to C&C’s Shepton Mallet Cider Mill portfolio will roll out to a number of exclusive and premium bars across the UK in 2014. It will be available in a 660ml bottle for sharing and a single-serve 300ml bottle. C&C has developed premium in-outlet support materials including Italian-inspired glassware and will be rolling out a programme of staff training, education and consumer sampling.
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Stella Artois to double size of Connoisseurs Programme
AB InBev UK has announced plans to double the number of outlets participating in its Stella Artois Connoisseurs Programme after reporting a successful first year. More than 1,000 on-trade outlets and over 5,000 staff have benefited from the programme which helps bartenders to enhance their skills and be trained in the art of delivering a perfectly poured chalice of Stella Artois. Since the programme’s launch in February this year, Stella Artois sales have increased by about 10% in participating outlets.
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Warner Edwards celebrates with new sloe gin
Warner Edwards Distillery near Northampton celebrated its first anniversary with the launch of its new Harrington Sloe Gin. The limited-edition sloe gin has been made with sloe berries that were picked by people across Northamptonshire in the Warner Edwards Great British Sloe Swap. They were rewarded with an invite to the launch and first-anniversary party. The distillery in Harrington, Northamptonshire, was set up a year ago by Tom Warner and Sion Edwards to launch Harrington Dry Gin.
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Substantial premium paid for London bar site
Establishment HM, which operates late-night venues Yager Bar and Gilt Bar in the City of London, has taken on the site of a former pub in Farringdon that has a licence to 3am. They bought the closed-down premises of The Plum Tree for a substantial premium through leisure property specialist Davis Coffer Lyons, acting on behalf of Baragain. Charlotte Wild of Davis Coffer Lyons said: “We have said for some time that the London market has been extremely buoyant and this deal highlights how strong it really is.”
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Slovenian monks launch pear brandy in UK
A four-times-distilled Williams pear brandy made by monks in Slovenia has been introduced to the UK through specialist drinks company Lovenia. The clear, crisp spirit, which comes with a fully grown pear inside each bottle, is produced in the Charterhouse Monastery in Pleterje at the foot of the Gorjanci mountains. It is available to the UK trade through Just Miniatures, with a limited stock of only 4,000 bottles for the UK each year.
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Whisky Exchange names spirit of the year
The Botanist Gin, produced at the Bruichladdich distillery on Islay, has been named spirit of the year by leading retailer The Whisky Exchange. It has also named Glenfarclas 15 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky as its whisky of the year after a blind tasting.
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Winners named in Tabasco Bloody Mary challenge
London bartenders Marco Piroli of Lab and George Collyer from The Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town in Spitalfields will be heading to the Tales of the Cocktail festival in New Orleans next July after winning the UK final of the 2013 Tabasco British Bloody Mary Challenge. Held at Hawksmoor in Spitalfields, London, it challenged 13 finalists to create a classic Bloody Mary and an “alternative” twist.
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Crabbie’s promotes all flavours on TV for Christmas
Drinks manufacturer Halewood International has launched a major new advertising campaign for its Crabbie’s brand in the run-up to Christmas. Under the banner of “Have a Wonderful Crabbie’s Time”, it has been created to help drive sales of all flavours in both the on- and off-trade and is supplemented by consumer and trade print media. It is featured across TV channels including ITV, ITV2, Channel 4, Five, E4 and Sky One, which appeal to the core Crabbie’s audience of people aged 25 to 44.

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