Industry news round-up: March 11, 2013

Buddy's Bourbon Flavored BeerOur weekly round-up of industry news for the week to March 11, 2013

Global adds bourbon-flavoured beer
Investment in the spirit-flavoured beer category in the UK continues to grow with the launch of Buddy’s Bourbon Flavored Beer by Global Brands. Also containing hints of real honey, the beer balances the honey and sugar with the bourbon flavour and soft tones of oak. At 5.1 per cent ABV, Buddy’s is set to appeal to men aged 18 to 24. Marketing refers to the fictional Prohibition-era character of JW Buddy who developed the beer recipe at Buddy’s Brewhouse in Michigan. On-trade support will include Buddy’s Brewhouse Barrels, JW Buddy-style hats, hessian sacks and even coat hooks. Click here for more at

Hi-Spirits boosts Scottish on-trade activity
Leading UK drinks company Hi-Spirits is stepping up activities in Scotland after recruiting a leading bartender to its team. Chris Deacon will work with Scottish on-trade operators to build sales of Hi-Spirits’ brands, which include Buffalo Trace bourbon, Ron Abuelo rum, Broker’s Gin and Fireball cinnamon liqueur. He was previously bar manager at Tigerlily in Edinburgh and also managed bars in Australia and New Zealand and worked at Edinburgh bars Tempus and The Voodoo Rooms. He will work with bar operators to develop new listings, cocktails and signature serves.

Industry supports National Apprenticeship Week
Events will be held throughout this week to raise the profile of apprenticeships in the hospitality sector. The Hospitality Guild has joined with partners including People 1st, PACE, the Academy of Culinary Arts and the Institute of Hospitality to run activities for National Apprenticeship Week which runs from today to Friday. They include interactive workshops, seminars, employer surgeries, and online initiatives. Details at The BII is celebrating National Apprenticeship Week with the launch of a new partnership with leading apprenticeship provider Lifetime Training. The apprenticeship offers in-depth education on skills specific to the pub trade including beer and cellar quality and licensed retail operations.

Top 50 bar operators in north named
Bar operators have been recognised as being among the top 50 people in the north’s hospitality industry. The NRB Top 50, announced at the Northern Restaurant & Bar show in Manchester last week, includes Tim Bacon and Jeremy Roberts of Living Ventures, Marie Carter and Beau Myers of Beautiful Drinks, Roy Ellis and Neil Macleod of Inventive Leisure, Mal Evans of Mojo Bars, Cleo Farman of the Odd Bar group, Ged Feltham of Leelex, Jobe Ferguson and Ross Mackenzie of Black Dog Ballroom, Si Ord of Sandinista, Joel Wilkinson of Trof and Martin Wolstencroft of Arc Inspirations. Click here for more at

Fluid Group changes prepare for growth
Leading northern bar operator Fluid Group is preparing for further expansion after the retirement of one of its founder shareholders, David King. Director Oliver Vaulkhard has taken over ownership of the group after buying out his fellow director who co-founded the company with him in 2001. It operates bars in Newcastle and Morpeth and Central Bean Coffee Houses and also comprises hospitality design specialist Fluid Design Solutions. The deal was overseen by Newcastle law firm Sintons and supported by the Newcastle branch of Allied Irish Bank (GB). Click here for more at

New look for Baileys bottle
A striking new bottle has been unveiled by Diageo for the UK’s number-one cream liqueur, Baileys. It has been made taller and more slimline to give it a more stylish and elegant profile. It is supported by a £1million marketing campaign. Chris Lock, Baileys Western European category marketing director at Diageo, said: “We are confident that this, coupled with the same great tasting liquid, will not only have more impact on shelf, but also affirm Baileys’ position as a modern drink for the modern woman.”

Case for beer tax freeze made for Budget
The case for a freeze in the tax on beer has been made in a new report from the British Beer & Pub Association in time for the March Budget. It explains how ending the Government’s controversial and unpopular beer duty “escalator” would save thousands of jobs without any overall loss of revenue to the Treasury. If the Government goes ahead with plans to raise the tax on beer by five per cent in the Budget, it will mean beer tax has risen by 50 per cent over the past five years.

Thatchers adds new fruit cider
A new Mixed Fruit cider has been added to the Thatchers Somerset Fruit Ciders range. It is made with a blend of natural blackcurrant, raspberry, strawberry and blackberry with an ABV of four per cent. It joins Thatchers Somerset Rosé and Thatchers Somerset Pear, all available in 500ml bottles. The launch is supported by a consumer and trade media campaign, radio and outdoor advertising in the south-west, social media and PR along with sampling at regional food shows and events.

WKD prepares for bank holiday promotions
Consumers are being urged to make the most of the extra days off for bank holidays this spring and summer in an on-trade campaign for ready-to-drink WKD. Promotional items include flashing LED wristbands with purchases as well as witty promotional point-of-sale materials. Four new cocktail recipes include the WKD Long Weekender made with WKD Red, Disaronno and lemonade over ice and the WKD Cheeky Day Off, combining WKD Blue with port and lemonade over ice.

Meantime introduces tank beer with Young’s
Greenwich craft brewer Meantime Brewing is to introduce unpasteurised “tank beer” to the UK through pub and bar group Young’s. Meantime’s Brewery Fresh London Lager will be dispensed directly from specially engineered tanks installed in the outlets, delivered from the maturation tanks at the brewery. Without being pasteurised, filtered or pressurised, the beer is well-rounded and smoother with enhanced aromas and flavours. The first three locations are in London at The Plough in Battersea, The Grove in Balham and The Windmill on the Common in Clapham.

Vestal Vodka plans floating bar
A floating bar will take to one of London’s historic canals this summer to offer cocktails made with Vestal Vodka. The Vestal Voyages will set sail from a secret location near King’s Cross to Islington on a 90-minute trip. It will cost £25 per person, with space for up 10 people per trip, including two cocktails.

Partnership produces coffee porter beer
Coffee company Taylors of Harrogate has created a coffee porter beer with North Yorkshire’s Rooster’s Brewing Co. Brewed using four malts and English hops, Londinium is available in cask and 500ml bottles and has an ABV of 5.5 per cent. It is supplied by Beer Paradise.

Benugo to re-open historic house as club
The historic House of St Barnabas in Soho in London is to be launched as a new members’ club through a partnership with bar and restaurant operator Benugo. Set to open in the autumn, it will provide an intimate dining room with a supper club feel, a selection of bars and lounge spaces and a secluded courtyard garden. It will be run as a not-for-profit members’ club providing work opportunities for the homeless. The venue was previously a pop-up members’ club operated by luxury lifestyle brand Quintessentially from 2009 to 2011. Click here for more at

Bad weather knocks Shepherd Neame profits
Kent brewer and pub company Shepherd Neame has blamed bad weather and “a challenging market” for a slight dip in profits for the half year to December 31. Operating profit was flat at £6.7million but pre-tax profits dropped from £4.8million to £4.5million. However, strong Christmas sales helped to push up revenue by 2.6 per cent to £69.2million. Managed house like-for-like sales were up 2.9 per cent, with like-for-like drink sales up 2.4 per cent and food up 3.5 per cent.

New sales teams at Inverarity Morton
Drinks merchant Inverarity Morton is increasing its national sales resource. In Scotland, the team is now Jane Campbell as area sales manager for the central belt with Claire McLachlan covering, Edinburgh and outlying areas and Jan McSkimming in Glasgow. Sommelier Jamie Grey, who has worked at management level in the bar and restaurant trade, has been recruited as a business development manager to drive growth in Bristol and Bath, working with West Country area manager Donald Hodgart.

Diageo to set sail to launch luxury whisky
A new triple malt whisky, John Walker & Sons Odyssey, is to be launched by Diageo in the UK and the rest of Europe in May. Packaged in a luxury decanter, it is inspired by the brand’s nautical heritage taking the whisky by ship around the world. A 1920s-style yacht will dock at European cities to support the launch, with events in London in July and Edinburgh in August.

LIWF announces Hildon as water partner
Hildon Natural Mineral Water from Test Valley in Hampshire has been selected as the official water supplier for this year’s London International Wine Fair. The deal will see the company sponsor the South Hall wi-fi point and supply both visitors and exhibitors with its still and gently sparkling water. An exclusive decorated bottle will be provided for Club Elite, the Press Centre and the Union des Grands Crus Tasting.

Pop-up 80s-themed bar for tennis tournament
The Inception Group is creating a pop-up bar at the Aegon Championships tennis tournament at The Queen’s Club in Kensington, London, inspired by its 1980s-themed Chelsea club Maggie’s. Maggie’s Enclosure will be a retro player’s lounge complete with Astroturf, oversized wooden tennis rackets and ball-shaped bean bags. The club’s bar team will serve signature drinks such as the Maggie’s Mugs, Fishbowls, and Watering Cans while dressed in homage to 1980s tennis stars such as John McEnroe. It will run throughout the championships from June 10 to 16.

Trade gets ready for Sheffield beer event
Sheffield is preparing for an influx of licensees, brewers, beer lovers and suppliers this week for the first-ever BeerX, a celebration of British beer organised by the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA). Running from March 13 to 16, SIBA is expecting between 600 to 700 beers to be served in keg, cask and bottles. It also features a conference and the announcement of winners in SIBA’s National Beer Competition. Details at

Bar operator chooses cancer charity
Managed pub and bar operator TCG has selected Cancer Research UK as its nominated charity for the next 12 months, setting a fundraising target of £70,000. It will include co-ordinated fundraising activity across the business such as “bucket shakes” on bank holidays and other busy dates, an Easter Egg Hunt and Beach Parties, while each of TCG’s 75 sites will organise local events including barbecues, band nights and family fun days to support the charity.

Call for entries from bars for business awards
Bar and club operators are being encouraged to enter the fifth Nectar Business Small Business Awards which were launched last week. The awards, which are free to enter, celebrate the achievements of successful small businesses and business people across the UK. They are judged by a panel including football businesswoman Karren Brady and David Hughes, marketing director of foodservice supplier Brakes. With a deadline of April 30, categories include small business, innovation, start-up, entrepreneur, and contribution to the community. Details at

Bank supports whisky distillery expansion
Whisky distillery Kilchoman Distillery on Islay is expanding operations thanks to a loan of £450,000 from Clydesdale Bank. It is building a new bonded warehouse on land at Conisby, near Bruichladdich, to store between 8,000 and 9,000 casks.

Wines of Argentina runs immersive tasting event
An immersive event is being organised in London to introduce people to up to 150 of the finest wines from 28 of Argentina’s top wineries. “Cambalache: One Night in Argentina” takes place at MC Motors in Dalston on April 18. Visitors can learn about the art of matching wine with music, enjoy Buenos Aires street food from Borough Market’s Argentine specialists Porteña and Dulce de Leche ice cream from specialists The Ice Cream Union Porteña and learn to dance the Nuevo Tango. Details at

Euro zone holds back Gruppo Campari
Drinks company Gruppo Campari expects 2013 to be another challenging year after reporting a slip of 1.6 per cent in global net profits for the year to December 31. Profits were 156.7 million euros, mainly hit by one-off costs due to the acquisition of Jamaican rum maker Lascelles DeMercado last year. The group said it would continue to be hit by weak markets in the euro zone, but growth in other regions such as the US and Russia will help compensate for Europe. Its brands include Skyy vodka, Wild Turkey bourbon, Aperol, Cynar and Campari.

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