Industry news round-up: May 27, 2014

Elliot Ball

Our weekly round-up of industry news, for May 19 to 27, 2014

UK bars named finalists in global awards
Britain’s bars and bartenders have been named finalists in the global Spirited Awards held as part of the Tales of the Cocktail festival in New Orleans. Nominees include Bramble and The Bon Vivant (pictured) in Edinburgh and London bars Big Easy Covent Garden, London Cocktail Club, Red Bar at Bam-Bou, The Gilbert Scott, Hawksmoor Spitalfields, Hix Soho, Oblix, Blind Pig, NOLA Bar, White Lyan, Nightjar, Artesian, Beaufort Bar, Connaught Bar, The Punch Room at The London Edition, and Scarfe’s Bar.
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Bacardi campaign champions Cuba Libre
A new campaign is to be launched in the on-trade for Bacardi rum focusing on the classic Cuba Libre serve. It will include sampling in bars, exclusive drinkware, a promotional game, bartender incentives and point-of-sale materials to market the serve traditionally made with Bacardi Gold rum, Coca-Cola and lime. It follows the release of Bacardi Gold in the UK with the ABV increased from 37.5% to 40%.
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Launch for “ultra-smooth” premium gin
Super-premium D1 London Gin, made with botanicals including nettle, has been launched by DJ Limbrey Distilling Co, promising to be “ultra-smooth” and appeal to vodka drinkers. It uses a very narrow cut of triple-distilled spirit and is made through a single-batch copper pot distillation. The bottle has been designed with contemporary artist Jacky Tsai, featuring his Floral Skull which was used as a motif by fashion designer Alexander McQueen.
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Nominees sought for late-night awards
Nominations are being sought for the ALMR Late Night Awards recognising the best late-night bars and clubs. Categories include food offer, drinks offer, entertainment, marketing and promotions, hospitality, and service and team development. Organised by the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR), the awards will be announced at its Dusk ‘til Dawn ceremony on September 14 at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole, sponsored by Monster energy drink.
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Top bars feature in cognac campaign
Leading bars around the UK feature in the latest stage of Courvoisier’s Here’s to Now campaign, prompting people to discover new ways of enjoying cognac. Distributor Maxxium UK is running a series of consecutive weekly advertorials in leading city lifestyle publications in June and July, aiming to reach nearly one million people.
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Luminar boosts earnings by 50%
Club operator The Luminar Group has boosted earnings by 50% as it continues with investments in its 53-strong estate. Earnings (EBITDA) for the year to February 22 reached £9.7million on the back of pre-tax profits of £3.4million – more than double the £1.3million of the previous year.
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Moldovan vodka launched in UK
A smooth super-premium honey-infused vodka from the Republic of Moldova, called Firestarter, has been launched in the UK by independent distributor Molvino Fine Wines and Spirits. It is made with winter wheat from eastern Europe and triple-distilled and filtered five times through platinum. During final distillation, it is infused with honey to give extra body and richness.
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Cambridge bartender wins Luxardo heat
Hal McRitchie-Pratt of La Raza in Cambridge has won the first heat of a new cocktail competition from liqueur specialist Luxardo. Using ingredients from a mystery box, he beat 11 other competitors to impress judges with his Cherry Beatdown. It was the first heat in the Luxardo Campione challenge, part of the brand’s new Social Shake campaign – an online platform for professional bartenders.
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Bols Around the World names winner
US bartender Kate Gerwin has been announced as 2014 champion of the international Bols Around the World cocktail competition. She was one of eight in the final in Amsterdam, alongside UK winner Elliot Ball of London bar Steam & Rye. She and Elliot were part of a group of 17 who won places in the semi-finals that took place in Amsterdam before the grand final.
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New app gives bars Publicity
A new free app for people to discover nearby bars, pubs and clubs has been launched for iPhones by Publicity Mobile. Called Publicity, it allows users to search for venues, read reviews and see real-time updates and photos from people who are already there. There are 3,000 pubs, bars and clubs listed in London.
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Web focus lifts TCG bookings
Managed pub and bar group TCG has seen a sharp uplift in online bookings after a three-month project which improved internet search rankings and the effectiveness of its social media. Visits to TCG’s website,, grew by more than 1,500% in the first three months of 2014.
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Laphroaig unveils new single malt
A new single malt has been introduced by Laphroaig, including spirit matured in new American oak casks – rarely used for scotch whisky. It uses Laphroaig Quarter Cask, PX Cask, Triple Wood in European Oak casks and 10 Year Old, resulting in Laphroaig’s trademark “peat reek” matched by an extra layer of complexity and depth.
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Mount Gay celebrates with new rum
Mount Gay Black Barrel rum has been released in the UK by Mount Gay to celebrate its 311-year history. It has been blended with more double-distilled spirit than the brand’s existing rums and has undergone an extra finish in charred ex-bourbon oak barrels.
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Traditional new look for Hooper’s
Global Brands has launched a new heritage-inspired design for its Hooper’s range of traditional-style alcoholic flavoured drinks. The new bottles aim to evoke old-style brewing traditions, with embossed hoops at the top and bottom, inspired by the hoops used on barrels, from which the Hooper surname is derived.
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BII partners CPL for qualifications
CPL Training Group has entered into a strategic partnership with the BII to deliver all BIIAB qualifications across the UK for the next five years. Worth over a £1million over the next five years the partnership will deliver existing qualifications and also develop new qualifications for the licensed retail sector, for both face-to-face and e-learning.

Official whisky for Commonwealth Games
The Famous Grouse has announced its sponsorship of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, becoming the event’s Official Whisky. Organisers of the games, which run from July 23 to August 3, will work with brand owner Edrington on collaborative opportunities to showcase the whisky.

App promotes responsible drinking
Pernod Ricard has launched a free mobile application to educate consumers about responsible drinking. Available in 37 languages on iPhone and Android, it allows people to calculate the number of units of alcohol they consume in real time, taking into account the type of drinks, such as wine or spirits, as well as gender and weight. It enables them to track their consumption over a period of up to four weeks. Visit

RTD cider targets independents
Manzana Loca, the blend of cider with tequila and lime flavour, is targeting growth in independent pubs and bars. Licensees can claim a free Manzana Loca point-of-sale kit when they order three cases through Greene King’s free trade network, including a bar runner, bunting, mirror stickers, A3 posters and flags. The brand has also been listed by wholesaler Matthew Clark.

Summer activity for Jägermeister
Jägermeister is partnering events this summer to reach its core market of men aged 24 to 35. Activities include sponsorship of endurance race Tough Mudder’s “apres-mud” party events, including a Jäger bar equipped with a photo booth. It will also be at major music festivals such as Global Gathering which will feature an underground party experience called the Jägermeister bunker. It will also have a presence at other festivals such as SlamDunk, Download, Kendall Calling, Bloodstock and Sonisphere.

Cubana announces second site
A second site is planned for Cubana, the bar-restaurant in Waterloo, London, owned by businessman and former Tory Treasury minister Phillip Oppenheim. The new bar-restaurant will open in Smithfield, London, later this year and incorporate a coffee roaster run in conjunction with Cuban coffee brand Alma de Cuba. Cubana claims responsibility for introducing Mojitos to the UK in the 1990s.

Scottish brewer builds rugby ties
Caledonian Brewery has agreed a new four-year deal which will see the National League in Scotland renamed the Deuchars IPA National League. It features a mix of financial support and support in kind across all levels of rugby league in Scotland, running to the next World Cup in Australia and New Zealand in 2017. It follows Deuchars IPA’s sponsorship of the Scotland International Rugby League team during the 2013 World Cup.

New F&B director for London hotel
The London Marriott Hotel County Hall has appointed Francesco Galletti as director of food and beverage, including responsibility for Gillray’s Steakhouse & Bar. He joins from the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel where he has been food and beverage manager for three years. He previously worked at London’s Langham hotel, private club Morton’s and The Fifth Floor Restaurant at Harvey Nichols in Knightsbridge.

New website champions great pubs
A new website,, has been launched by the British Beer & Pub Association with pubs minister Brandon Lewis MP. Developed in conjunction with pub app Inapub, it is designed to help visitors to Britain to find a good-quality pub close to the area or attraction they are visiting. It is linked to the Great campaign that promotes Britain abroad as a great place in which to invest, study and visit, led by the Number 10 team, Visit Britain and UKTI.

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