Industry news round-up: December 9, 2013


picklebackOur weekly round-up of industry news, for December 2 to 9, 2013


TCG gets experimental with cocktail menu
A new cocktail menu at managed pub and bar group TCG features “experimental” ideas such as a Pickleback (pictured) – a shot of Irish whiskey with pickle juice. The list, introduced last week, combines Mojitos, Martinis and other classic cocktails such as a Cosmopolitan and a Zombie as well as alcoholic milkshakes, pitchers and beer cocktails. TCG has delivered full cocktail training to all bar staff at the 50 sites taking the new menu.
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London Cocktail Week team plan wine week
The team behind London Cocktail Week are to launch the first London Wine Week in bars, restaurants and shops to coincide with London Wine Fair. Running from June 2 to 8 next year, it will be modelled on London Cocktail Week, now in its fifth year, which is held every October and involves bars and brand-led pop-ups. Hoping to involve 150 restaurants and bars, London Wine Week will provide wristbands that give people access to special offers and wine experiences. It will tie in with London Wine Fair, the relaunched version of London International Wine Fair, which takes place at Olympia in London for the trade from June 2 to 4.
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Heineken to launch glow-in-the-dark bottle
A designer aluminium bottle that glows in the dark has been introduced in the UK for Heineken beer to drive sales in the late-night market. The Club bottle features bold, origami-like graphics in brilliant green and blue UV colours that glow in the dark. It was created with leading US artist Matt W Moore and was unveiled at Milan Design Week in April.
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New look for Novus party website
Bar operator Novus Leisure has relaunched its Late Night London website to give a further boost to event and party bookings at its venues in the capital. Designed as a lifestyle website, it offers magazine-style features from top bloggers alongside enhanced tools for consumers to research and book at the company’s 40 London bars and clubs, including a party-planning facility.
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Kornicis boosts board with operations role
Bar operator Kornicis has appointed Michelle Hall to the board in the new role of director of operations as it prepares for further expansion. She joined the company four years ago as area manager and has supported the development of the business and the opening of new sites.
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Brazilian fever prompts WKD variant
Ready-to-drink brand WKD is to add a new limited-edition product to its range to capitalise on interest in Brazil in 2014. The new lime-coloured flavour, called WKD Brazilian, is described simply as “exotic”, taking its inspiration from the South American country and its party atmosphere. Available from January in 275ml bottles, the new line will have the same 4% ABV as the other six variants in the WKD range.
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Italian bartender brings vermouths to UK
A range of vermouths using recipes created by a leading Italian bartender are being introduced into the UK. The three-strong Mancino range was developed by Giancarlo Mancino who came up with the recipes, made up of up to 40 botanicals, after four years of research and travel. They have been introduced through drinks company Love Drinks and are available from Coe Vintners.
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BrewDog expands with new bars in UK and overseas
Scottish brewer BrewDog has opened its largest craft beer bar to date in west London – and has pledged to open its first site in south London soon alongside global expansion of the bars to Tokyo, Berlin and São Paulo in Brazil. BrewDog in Shepherd’s Bush, west London, boasts 40 beers on draught and has been described by co-founder James Watt as a “mother****ing cathedral for craft beer”. It is the company’s 13th bar and follows the launch of its first overseas bar in Stockholm, Sweden, in the summer.
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Marblehead brings German liqueur to UK
Premium German herbal liqueur Borgmann1772 is being introduced to the UK by leading drinks company Marblehead Brand Development. Made to a secret recipe, it has been distilled, filtered and bottled in the laboratory of the apothecary to the Duke of Brunswick for over 120 years. Aimed at the bar trade in the UK, it has been introduced this month through an exclusive listing with London-based specialist retailer Gerry’s Wines and Spirits.
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Byron increases canned beers on menu
Burger restaurant group Byron has launched a new craft beer list, with more than half now coming in cans. The 11-strong selection features five new brews including Oskar Blues’ Dale’s Pale Ale and SKA Brewing’s special-edition Euphoria, both from Colorado. Both come in cans as does another new addition to the list: Brutal Brewing’s Pistonhead Kustom lager from Sweden.
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Trends inspire new Revolution food menu
Inventive Leisure is introducing a new food menu across its Revolution bars picking up on trends such as “small plates”, American cuisine and “edgy Eastern” flavours. Based on customer research and feedback, the company aims to capitalise on the current consumer trend for casual dining and build on continued year-on-year double-digit growth in food sales. It is supported by new executive chef Mark Rush who has joined the business from Bramwell Pub Company.
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Second Big Easy planned for London
The team behind the long-established Big Easy Bar-B-Q & Crabshack in Chelsea are opening a second restaurant in London’s West End. The new Big Easy restaurant and bar will open in Maiden Lane in Covent Garden in February next year, covering 10,000 square feet over three floors. It will serve American-style fresh-smoked barbecue and seafood while a ground-floor bar with a nine-metre counter will stock over 500 bottles of spirits and liqueurs. The bar team is headed by Lee Potter Cavanagh who was group bars manager for Hix restaurants in London.
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UK launch for premium Spanish lager
Spanish premium lager producer Estrella Galicia has launched three of its beers into the UK through UK distributor PLB. It is led by the flagship Estrella Galicia, a pale golden lager with ABV of 4.7%, available both in draught and bottled formats. PLB is also introducing 1906 Reserva Especial, available in 33cl bottles and with ABV of 6.5%, which is brewed for two weeks longer, and Alcohol Free 0.0%.
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Brothers launches tequila-flavoured cider
Brothers Drinks, best known for its range of ciders, has launched a new cider flavoured with tequila, lemon and agave nectar. Perro Loco – Spanish for “mad dog” – comes in a 330ml bottle, with an ABV of 5.5%, recommended for serving with a slice of lime in the neck.
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Coca-Cola rewards designated drivers
Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE) is to bring back its Designated Driver campaign in bars and pubs for the sixth year running this Christmas, rewarding motorists who choose not to drink alcohol. Running from December 9 to 31, it features a “buy one, get one free” offer on either Coke, Diet Coke and Coke Zero in licensed outlets nationwide. It also sees CCE work with its customers to encourage them to adopt a socially responsible stance at Christmas.
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Revolution brings cocktails to life
Booths are being installed in Revolution bars to allow customers to dress up and be photographed as one of their favourite cocktails. Inventive Leisure has created a series of slow-motion videos to be shown in the bars and online that bring to life its signature cocktails, released to tie in with the launch of its latest menu. The first four cocktails featured in the campaign are a Dark ‘n’ Stormy, a Honeybee Sour, a Strawberry Collins and a Moscow Mule.
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Bartender develops gin bar tours
Award-winning bartender Leon Dalloway is taking consumers on “gin voyages” as part of his new events company Shake Rattle and Stir. He puts together Gin Journey tours that take people round leading cocktail bars in London as well as City of London Distillery off Fleet Street so they can learn all about the spirit. It also runs gin masterclasses and is developing the London Gin Experience, a broader tour due to launch in spring 2014.
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Bars line up for London’s Drink Feast
Bars such as NOLA in Shoreditch and London Cocktail Club will be popping up at a new event in east London celebrating the “world of liquid creativity”. Drink Feast will take place at Hoxton Docks, a venue next to the Regent’s Canal, from December 12 to 14, promising an “immersive drinking experience showcasing the best liquid creations from across the globe all under one roof”.
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Top comedian to host ALMR lunch
The Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers has announced that top comedian Dara O Briain will host its 19th annual Christmas Lunch. He will take to the stage in front of 1,100 of the leading executives in the industry on December 19 at Old Billingsgate in London. Tickets to the event have completely sold out.

Industry backs rate relief extension
The Chancellor’s decision in his Autumn Statement to extend Small Business Rate Relief to April 2015 will benefit thousands of pubs and bars, according to the British Beer & Pub Association. The move will avoid a £27million bill for the licensed trade, with 38,000 pubs getting a £1,000 reduction in their rates bill as they have a rateable valuation of less than £50,000.

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