Industry news round-up: January 13, 2014

Missoula Milton KeynesOur weekly round-up of industry news, for January 6 to 13, 2014

New boss for Missoula and Slug and Lettuce
Stonegate Pub Company has appointed Clare Staples to head up its Slug and Lettuce, Missoula and Living Room bars. She has been with restaurant operator Gondola Group for the past 17 years, most recently as head of operations for the south for ASK restaurants. Stonegate is currently investing in expanding its Slug and Lettuce and Missoula bars, part of its 625-strong estate of pubs and bars which also includes Scream, Yates and Varsity. A new-generation concept for Missoula was unveiled at the end of last year in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire (pictured). Read more

New whisky aged in wine casks
Glenmorangie has released a new whisky that has been matured in casks formerly used for red wine and sweet fortified wine from France. Glenmorangie Companta will be its fifth annual Private Edition release, developed by head of distilling and whisky creation Dr Bill Lumsden. It has been matured in Grand Cru casks from Clos de Tart, a vineyard in Burgundy, as well as casks of a sweet fortified wine from Côtes du Rhône. Its name is Scots Gaelic for friendship. Bottled at 46% ABV, it is non-chill-filtered. Read more

Cocktail brand partners mobile ordering app
Drinks brands and bar operators are supporting roll-out of Q App, which allows people to order and pay for drinks using their mobile phones. It is partnering cocktail mix and puree brand Funkin which will use the mobile platform to promote drinks ideas to consumers when they use the app in a bar, club or pub. Q App allows people to browse a venue’s menu, order drinks and pay for them, all using their smartphone, avoiding the need to queue, ask for the bill or pay with cash or a card. Read more

Expansion planned for online bar guide
Online bar and club guide DesignMyNight is to continue expanding this year, extending coverage to Brighton in February and adding new services for the trade. Offering free listings pages to pubs, bars and clubs, it began with London and Manchester and expanded last year to Birmingham and Glasgow. With over 1.5million views per month, the site provides operators with admin tools to keep pages up to date, supported by different yearly marketing packages. Venues can also become booking partners, supported by an in-house bookings team which manages enquiries and targeted messages. Tickets for events can also be sold through the website, from club nights to pop-ups. Read more

Manchester United announces Aperol deal
Football fans at Old Trafford can enjoy an Aperol Spritz during matches as part of a new partnership for Aperol as official global spirits partner for Manchester United. Branding for the Italian aperitif will be prominent on the Old Trafford digital advertising boards during Premier League, FA Cup and Capital One Cup home matches, in match-day programmes, in the Manchester United monthly magazine, on MUTV and on the club’s official website. The serve of an Aperol Spritz, where the aperitif is mixed with prosecco and soda, will be sold in Old Trafford hospitality areas. The deal runs to the end of the 2016/2017 season. Read more

UK arrival for Slovenian liqueurs and eaux-de-vie
A range of liqueurs and eaux-de-vie from Slovenia have been launched in the UK for using in cocktails. Available from Speciality Drinks, they come from the small Krucefix distillery in Krize, made from hand-picked plants and fruit that are fermented before distillation. The nine eaux-de-vie, all at 40% ABV, are mountain pine, wild mint, dandelion, bitter spruce, spruce, larch, thyme, cherry and pear. The 11 liqueurs, all 20% ABV, are wild mint, juniper, blueberry, larch, spruce, mountain pine, lemon, raspberry, strawberry, cinnamon and honey. Read more

Revolution investment on course for £10m
Inventive Leisure has completed £7million of investment in its Revolution bars in six months, ending the year with four refurbishments costing a total of £840,000. It is part of an ongoing Evolution programme to inject a more high-end feel to the concept, with more projects planned for 2014 to take total spend up to £10million. Chief executive Mark McQuater said: “We’ve already started to reap the benefits with profits lifted at the evolved sites by around 30% and feedback from customers far surpassing all expectations.” The latest refurbishments were at Parsonage Gardens in Manchester, Hanley in Stoke-on-Trent, Reading and Milton Keynes. Read more

January price freeze for brewer’s pubs
Pub operator and brewer Brakspear, based in Oxfordshire, is holding prices on all its ales supplied to its 129 pubs, sparing its tenants and lessees the hikes of up to 6p per pint imposed by some national brewers in the January round of price increases. Brakspear chief executive Tom Davies said: “January is always a flat month for our industry, but at least our pubs will be starting the year with a price advantage on Brakspear beers.”

New look for Absolut website
Pernod Ricard has revamped the website for Absolut vodka to fill it with more content to ensure fans are presented with leading trends and activities in real time. The new mobile-friendly site at focuses on cocktail culture and creative ideas. Localised versions of the site will be released in the UK and across all of the Absolut markets, providing a mix of globally relevant content and country-specific content.

Product launches planned for food and drink show
Food and drink producers are lining up for the trade-only exhibition Food & Drink Expo 2014 at the NEC Birmingham from March 24 to 26. Incorporating the Farm Shop & Deli Show, it provides buyers in retail, foodservice and hospitality with the latest trends and product launches. The Brainfood Factory seminar theatre will feature masterclasses, interviews, panel debates and product demonstrations as well as market trends, research and issues affecting visitors’ businesses. Visit

Brewers release beers for Six Nations
Leicester-based brewer Everards is to supply a new limited-edition beer, Tighthead, throughout the RBS Six Nations Tournament. The 3.9% ABV rosewood best bitter will be available in selected Everards pubs in time for the first match on February 2. It uses a blend of Challenger, Saaz and Cascade hops, providing fruit and delicate roasted caramel flavours and a spicy, chocolate aroma and sweet finish. Wiltshire brewer Wadworth is releasing its patriotic ale St George & the Dragon early this year to tie in with the tournament. Normally introduced into its pubs for St George’s Day in April, it will be available from the start of the tournament until April. It is a refreshing biscuity beer with a crisp and tangy palate and hints of orange and blackcurrant.

New depot for 3663 wholesaler partner
Leading wholesale food distributor 3663 has opened a new purpose-built depot for its Swithenbank Fresh & Fine Foods specialist business to support growing customer demand in south-east England. Dating back over 120 years, Swithenbank sits under the 3663 umbrella offering a wide range of fresh and chilled meat, fresh produce, chilled foods and fine foods. The new modernised depot and chilled storage and distribution facility is at Hoddesdon in Hertfordshire.

BII appoints new director to board
The BII, industry’s training body, has appointed Caroline Nodder, former editor-in-chief of The Publican, to its executive board to head up its membership and communication divisions. She will oversee all public and government relations, events, membership services, business development and media. She was previously communications manager for the BII.

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