Industry news round-up: February 10, 2014

gordons elderflowerOur weekly round-up of industry news, for February 3 to 10, 2014

Gordon’s Gin adds elderflower flavour
Diageo GB has announced that it is extending its flavoured Gordon’s Gin range with a new elderflower variant. Gordon’s Elderflower will be supported with a seven-figure marketing spend, targeting both the on- and off-trade, including TV advertising from the end of March. It follows last year’s launch of Gordon’s Crisp Cucumber. Gordon’s Elderflower is a distilled gin with natural elderflower and flavourings, bottled at 37.5% ABV.
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Expansion begins for Darwin & Wallace
Bar group Darwin & Wallace has acquired its second site as part of plans to create a portfolio of casual bar dining destinations around London. It has taken over The Frog in Clapham in south London from operator Livelyhood Venues and plans to refurbish and relaunch it under a new name in March. It follows Darwin & Wallace’s first bar-restaurant, No 11 Pimlico Road, which opened nearly a year ago. Livelyhood, which operates pubs and bars in south London, announced it planned to acquire more leasehold and freehold sites.
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Italian vermouth introduced to UK bars
Drinks company Emporia Brands has introduced a range of hand-crafted Italian vermouths from Riserva Carlo Alberto into the UK. Comprising a Bianco, Rosso and Extra Dry, the three vermouths are produced in Turin in the Piedmont region to original recipes made for the King of Savoy, Carlo Alberto, in the 19th century. They are already being used in cocktails at Skylon on London’s South Bank and at other top cocktail bars including The Lucky Liquor Co and The Bon Vivant in Edinburgh.
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Cocktail competition offers St Lucia prize trip
Bartenders can win the prize of a trip to the Caribbean island of St Lucia through a cocktail competition run by Chairman’s Reserve at the Northern Restaurant & Bar show (NRB). They are asked to come up with an original cocktail using the St Lucian rum by a deadline of February 28 for a chance to compete at the event in Manchester on March 19.
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Major revamp for Nottingham bar
Marston’s has reopened its Pitcher & Piano bar in Nottingham after a £450,000 refurbishment. The revamp by hospitality design specialist Concorde BGW has altered the layout while remaining sympathetic with the Grade II-listed building, a former 19th-century chapel. The new design has a toned-down and stripped-back industrial feel throughout. The bar also has a new-look food and drinks offering, including classic and sharing cocktails.
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New funding for Revolution expansion
Inventive Leisure is on course for expanding its Revolucion De Cuba and Revolution bars after refinancing its bank facilities. It announced today that it was now looking to further extend its estate by securing new sites for both concepts in London and regional cities.
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Brewer unveils new branding and beers
Lincolnshire family brewer Batemans is celebrating its 140th anniversary by launching new branding that is more contemporary but highlights its heritage and expertise, including a new strapline “Craft brewers since 1874”. It has also extended the maturation and secondary fermentation time for its beers. New craft beers include the flavour-infused Bohemian Brews range, including Mocha Amaretto and Hazelnut Brownie, and Biscuit Barrel Beers, which feature the flavours of classic biscuits.
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Loungers supports Frobishers product launch
Premium juice brand Frobishers has teamed up with the 43-strong Lounge and Cosy Club bar group for the roll-out of its new cherry juice. Loungers is the first bar operator to stock the new Cherry Juice alongside Frobishers Tomato, Pineapple, Mango and Bumbleberry Juice and all three Frobishers Smoothies. The new listing marks the start of a three-year deal.
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Bar group creates Facebook app for bookings
London bar group Drake & Morgan has launched an app on Facebook that allows people to use the social media site to book tables in real time and share reservations with friends. Head of marketing Lisa Yearwood said: “The next stage is to reward customers with personalised offers and more via the app, and to give them further insight into the growing Drake & Morgan family.”
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Top bars named in Guildford Best Bar None
Radisson Blu Edwardian hotel’s MKB was named best late bar at this year’s Best Bar None Awards for Guildford. G Live was named best bar and The Britannia in Millmead won the award for best pub and also the overall Best Bar None award.
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The only way is Irish for WKD
SHS Drinks is offering licensees promotional kits for its ready-to-drink brand WKD to tie in with St Patrick’s Day. It includes a “Free Genuine Irish Shamrock Head (Made in China)” for giving away with any two purchases from the WKD range. Kits also feature a range of themed cocktail recipes. Separately, WKD is new broadcast sponsor of TV’s The Only Way Is Essex in a three-series deal that gives the brand 60 seconds of on-screen accreditation for each primetime episode. In addition to programme idents, WKD will feature in trailers and on online and mobile platforms such as catch-up service ITV Player. The three 2014 series air in spring, summer and autumn.
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London brewer brings back lager
Meantime Brewing Company in Greenwich, London, is re-launching the first beer it ever produced, the Union Lager. First produced in April 2000, the Union will be the brewer’s first limited-edition seasonal brew of 2014 and is inspired by a classic Viennese lager with a full malt flavour.
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German Riesling-infused gin launched in UK
A new gin is being introduced into the UK bar trade that is infused with Riesling grapes from Germany. Ferdinand’s Saar Dry Gin is produced in small batches using grapes from the Zilliken family’s Saarburger Rausch vineyard.
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Norse goddess inspires Highland Park whisky
The Norse goddess Freya has inspired the whisky makers at Highland Park to create 15-year-old Highland Park Freya. The single malt, with ABV of 51.2% ABV, is the third whisky in the Valhalla Collection, which takes inspiration from the Norse gods and follows releases Thor and Loki.
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Apple juice maker launches orange juice
Maynard House Orchards, the Suffolk apple juice producer, has teamed up with one of the best citrus fruit growers in Valencia to launch a new orange and clementine juice. It will be available in 200ml bottles, distributed to the UK on-trade for drinking neat or for use in cocktails and other mixed drinks. It will be launched at the Hotelympia show in London’s Excel centre, which runs from April 28 to May 1.
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TCG recognises top staff in annual awards
Peter Collett, general manager of Portsmouth cocktail bar Bar 38, has won the Outstanding Achievement Award in the annual awards run by pub and bar operator TCG to recognise its top-performing employees. TCG also announced General Manager of the Year awards across its three divisions including Dominic Borg of Mosaic in Exeter and Shawn Bewick of Henry’s Café Bar in Piccadilly, London.
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Movies inspire Grey Goose cocktails
Films nominated for the Oscars, Golden Globes and Baftas have inspired mixologist Joe McCanta to create a range of awards-themed cocktails using Grey Goose vodka. Joe, who is Grey Goose ambassador, based his recipes on films such as Captain Phillips, All Is Lost, Her, Gravity, Inside Llewyn Davis and American Hustle.
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Prosecco sales bubble up at Matthew Clark
Leading on-trade wholesaler Matthew Clark has reported that prosecco sales increased by 53% between October and December year on year. It means the prosecco category accounted for 73% of Matthew Clark’s total sparkling wine sales, excluding champagne, over the festive period. The sparkling category also saw double-digit growth throughout 2013.
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New branding for Yorkshire brewer
Wharfe Bank Brewery in the Yorkshire Dales has unveiled a modern new brand identity that reflects its riverside location on the banks of the River Wharfe. It includes new-shaped pump clips, contemporary labelling of its new range of premium bottled beers and craft keg beers, new vehicle livery branding, and web and social media development.
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Bleak winter prompts bar’s hot cocktails
The team at London bar Bourne & Hollingsworth have responded to the bleak winter months by introducing a range of hot cocktails. Highlights include the Pimmsberry, made with gin and Pimm’s infused with blueberry and raspberry tea, plus ginger, cardamom and cranberry juice.
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Bombay Sapphire winner creates Virgin cocktail
A limited-edition cocktail, The Red Carpet, has been created by last year’s winner of the Bombay Sapphire World’s Most Imaginative Bartender competition for Virgin Atlantic. Matteo Vanzi’s drink will be available for 12 months at the airline’s Clubhouses in airports around the world.
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Rethink ordered over World Cup opening times
The Prime Minister has ordered a rethink over a government decision not to allow pubs and bars to trade late for FIFA World Cup matches this summer. David Cameron acted after the Home Office turned down an application by the British Beer and Pub Association for a national extension of hours for late-night broadcasts on two occasions.
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Whiskey distillery tour for Hollywood star
Hollywood star Mila Kunis has been learning about the history and production of Jim Beam bourbon after becoming official global partner and spokesperson for the brand. Beam Inc has released a video showing her receiving an in-depth tour of the distillery in Kentucky from master distiller Fred Noe.
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Valentine’s Day ideas for cocktail lovers
Mixologists provide ideas for Valentine’s Day cocktails, such as the Bene-Dulgent Milk Punch created by Amit Sood of Shaker Consultancy. Click below for details of drinks at Shaka Zulu in London and Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen in Cornwall as well as ideas from brands such as Tequila Rose, Midori and Beluga Noble vodka – plus a macabre Valentine’s Day concept from The Kraken Black Spiced Rum.
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Bacardi Legacy names ultimate winner
Tom Walker of the American Bar at The Savoy in London was named ultimate winner at the UK and Ireland final of the Bacardi Legacy competition. It followed a year of marketing his cocktail, Maid in Cuba, after he was named one of three “most promising” bartenders at the competition in February last year. His activities included creating a website at He will represent the UK and Ireland at the global final in Moscow in May.

Report supports calls for duty freeze
Calls are growing for a freeze in beer duty in this year’s Budget to support the licensed trade after a new report revealed that 900,000 jobs depended on British beer and pubs. Almost half (44%) are younger workers aged 16 to 24, according to the research by economic experts Oxford Economics for the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA). With the industry adding £22billion to the economy, the figures showed it was all the more vital that the Chancellor freezes beer duty, the BBPA said.

New seasonal ale from Dorset brewer
Hall & Woodhouse’s Badger brewery in Dorset is launching a new seasonal cask ale throughout its pub and bar estate during February and March. Holy Moley, with an ABV of 4.7%, is a smooth ale with a rich, pronounced hop character and moreish biscuit base, brewed from a combination of ale, amber and crystal rye malt.

Management changes at leading pubco
Pub company Admiral Taverns has announced that Jonathan Paveley is stepping down as executive chairman after four years. Non-executive director John Sands, who formerly headed pub company Pubmaster, has become non-executive chairman while Kevin George, who has been managing director since 2010, has taken on the role of chief executive.

New MD for Caledonian brewery
The Caledonian Brewing Company has announced that Andy Maddock will take over as managing director in March after the departure of Stephen Crawley at the end of December last year. Andy is currently trade marketing controller for Heineken’s UK business and has held a number of senior commercial roles at both Heineken and the former Scottish & Newcastle.

Taxi campaign launched for No 3 gin
Berry Bros & Rudd Spirits is launching an advertising campaign for No 3 London Dry Gin in London taxis. For the next four weeks, it will feature in a 60-second video on making a Martini, starring Alessandro Palazzi of Dukes Hotel in London’s St James’s. It will run from 2pm to 10pm every day in London taxis operating in Fitzrovia, Mayfair, St. James’s, the City, Shoreditch, Chelsea, South Kensington, Canary Wharf, Putney, Hammersmith, Knightsbridge, Park Lane and Fulham.

Keith Lemon joins Hooch ad campaign
Global Brands has brought on board comedy character Keith Lemon, created by comedian Leigh Francis, for its latest advertising campaign for ready-to-drink brand Hooch. It will include TV slots, outdoor advertising, social media link-ups, on-pack promotions, on-trade activity and exclusive celebrity appearances.

New activities planned to promote rioja
Wines from Rioja has announced an extensive UK marketing campaign for 2014 to continue building the premium positioning of the Spanish wine region. It will include a return of consumer event, Rioja Tapas Fantasticas, to Tower Bridge in London, showcasing Spanish food and drink, and a trade tasting in the autumn. New initiatives will include a multi-platform campaign targeted at the on-trade, aimed at educating sommeliers and key staff in hospitality on the quality and diversity of rioja wines.

Seasonal ale leaps back into bars
Bath Ales is bringing back its popular seasonal brew, Golden Hare, which will be available on draught in pubs and bars from now until April, or while stocks last. Brewed using floor-malted Maris Otter barley and Goldings hops, the lightly flavoured ale is ideal for spring, with ABV of 4.4% ABV. It will be available across the south-west, including Bath Ales’ Graze Bars in Bristol, Cirencester and Bath and its new bar in Bristol’s Colston Hall. It will also be available for the first time in Everards’ pubs in the Leicester area.

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