Industry news round-up: May 6, 2014

Pointing Dog Cheadle Hulme barOur weekly round-up of industry news, for April 28 to May 6, 2014

Pointing Dog expands to Sheffield
The Pointing Dog Group is investing £1.5 million in transforming an historic building in Sheffield into a new bar and restaurant. Known as the Polish Ex-Servicemen’s Club, it will be launched this month as The Pointing Dog Clubhouse, with a 200-capacity bar and a restaurant with 150 covers inside and a further 50 outside plus private dining rooms on the first floor. It follows sites in Cheadle Hulme (pictured) in south Manchester and Bakewell in Derbyshire.
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Opal Nera returns as sambuca
Opal Nera is being relaunched by Instil Drinks Co as a sambuca after producer Fratelli Francoli raised its ABV from 30% to 38%. After the ABV of Opal Nera was lowered in 2011, other producers highlighted EU regulations that stipulated that an authentic sambuca must have an ABV of 38% to 40%. Since then, Opal Nera has been called a sambuca-flavoured premium liqueur.
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SHS plans amaretto-flavoured cider
A new amaretto-flavoured cider is being added to the portfolio of SHS Drinks. Orwell’s, with ABV of 5.5%, combines a crisp apple background with a blend of amaretto notes and a hint of cherry. It will be available in 330ml brown glass bottles in the on-trade from June.
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Leeds bars unite for cocktail festival
Bars across Leeds are to come together for a week-long programme of events and promotions celebrating the city’s cocktail culture. After its success last year, Leeds Loves Cocktail runs from June 2 to 8, with 25 bars offering discounted cocktails, interactive demonstrations, seminars and tastings.
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Boutique Bar Show hits Manchester
Boutique Bar Show is coming to Manchester Town Hall on May 7, featuring new and interesting spirits, liqueurs and beers alongside a variety of “experiences”, competitions and talks on bartending and drinks.
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Bartenders put “pen to shaker”
A competition challenging bartenders to create cocktails inspired by books has returned for 2014, offering more prizes and expanding beyond the UK to Spain, Portugal, Germany, the Netherlands and the Czech Republic. Putting Pen to Shaker calls for drinks that use at least two products in the portfolio of The Poshmakers, which includes Ish Gin, AKA Vodka and Virgin Gorda rum.
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New gin marks Beefeater centre opening
A new gin from Beefeater has been unveiled to celebrate the distillery’s new visitor centre in London. Beefeater London Garden gin, at 40% ABV, combines flowering herb lemon verbena and aromatic thyme with the signature citrus notes of Beefeater. It will be available exclusively at Beefeater London: The Home of Gin visitor centre in Kennington after it opens on May 22.
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Caledonian Bartenders Cup winner named
Rob Wilkie from Glasgow’s Kelvingrove Café has been crowned the Caledonian Bartenders Cup Champion of 2014, held at LA Group’s Liquid Arts Academy in Glasgow. In second place was Alix Nardella from Moskito in Glasgow and third was Meg Murray from The Finnieston in Glasgow.
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Portsmouth bartender wins barista title
Andrei Slemco from Bar 38 in Gunwharf Quays, Portsmouth, was named barista of the year in a competition run by managed pub and bar operator TCG. He created One Night in Gunwharf which combined espresso with Cointreau, Kahlúa and Baileys liqueurs. The contest asked TCG’s bar staff to submit a recipe, costings and photography for a new creative coffee drink.
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Magners turns to augmented reality
A new on-trade campaign for Magners cider offers drinkers the chance to win prizes by using an “augmented reality” app. The Original Win on-pack promotion offers prizes such as Napster subscriptions, Ray-Ban sunglasses, Converse trainers and Casio watches. Entry involves the free Blippar “augmented reality” smartphone app that reveals hidden content when people use it to look at labels on Magners bottles or pint glass.
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Champagne house offers stylish accessory
Bars and restaurants are being offered a stylish accessory, a dégrafeur, for opening champagne bottles closed with a traditional cork clip. The limited-edition tool has been introduced by Champagne Henri Giraud for bottles of its special cuvées, Fût de Chêne and Argonne.
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Products win innovation awards
The winners of this year’s Hotelympia Innovation Awards were announced last week, selected by leading figures in the hospitality industry during the trade show at London Excel. They are the TenderOne cocktail-making system, the self-stabilising StableTable Flip Top table, frozen Love Fruit Tea pods, and the Multiplex BIC Blend-In-Cup machine from Manitowoc Foodservice.
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Brugal Rum pops up on London rooftop
An Ibiza-inspired cocktail bar, Emporio Eivissa, is to pop up on the rooftop of Rockwell House in Shoreditch from May 8 to 11, serving cocktails made with Brugal rum. It has been created by events specialists Hire the Barman.
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Jose Cuervo gets hot at chilli festival
Chilli-infused cocktails made with Jose Cuervo tequila feature at the Chilli Chilli Bang Bang food and drink festival in east London paying homage to the chilli pepper. Running on May 9 and 10, it has been organised by Thomasina Miers, co-founder of restaurant group Wahaca, with Tweat Up and Street Feast. Jose Cuervo brand ambassador Gabriela Moncada will mix cocktails including frozen Margaritas.
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Music venue adds mobile ordering app
Bars at the Royal Albert Hall in London are adopting mobile ordering platform Q App so that people can order and pay for food and drink using their phones. After a three-month trial in the North Circle Bar and in boxes, the service is being rolled out to the remaining 13 bars, operated by catering provider Rhubarb.
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New distributor for Jägermeister
A new company, Mast-Jägermeister UK, has been set up to market and distribute Jägermeister in the UK, run by an experienced team from the drinks industry. It is due to take over distribution on May 6 from drinks company Cellar Trends which has developed the brand over the past 10 years.
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UK winner off to Bols global competition
Elliot Ball of London bar Steam & Rye has won a place to represent the UK at the Bols Around the World global semi-finals in Amsterdam in May. The semi-finals will be followed the same week by the Grand Final, also in Amsterdam, on May 20, which will be broadcast live around the world on
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Weather hits on-trade beer sales
The late Easter and the extreme weather at the start of the year hit quarterly beer sales, according to the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA). The figures, released in the BBPA Quarterly Beer Barometer, show sales fell by 3.1% in the first quarter of 2014 compared to the same period in 2013. Beer sales in the on-trade fell by 4.2% although this was an improvement on the 5.4% fall in the same period in 2013.

Easter sales dip for British operators
Britain’s leading operators of pubs, bars and restaurants saw sales dip over the Easter weekend after 12 consecutive months of sales growth, according to the Coffer Peach Business Tracker. Collective like-for-like sales were down 3.8% on the corresponding four-day holiday last year. “Last Easter saw bumper trading after a terrible winter, and this year the holiday was later and also came during a generally more buoyant period for the eating and drinking-out market,” explained Peter Martin of CGA Peach, the consultancy that produces the Tracker with Coffer Group, Baker Tilly and UBS.

New distributor for Caribbean rhum
Hotsauce Drinks of Glasgow has taken over UK distribution of super-premium Caribbean rhum agricole Rhum St Barth after it was launched 18 months ago in the UK through Distillnation. The brand has also appointed Manchester-based Dave Marsland of Drinks Enthusiast as its agent for the north of England.

New company buys Greene King pubs
Hawthorn Leisure has been formed to acquire 275 tenanted and leased pubs across the UK from brewer Greene King. After the deal is completed in early June, the new owners plan to work with tenants to invest in sites and provide management support. The company, which is backed by Avenue Capital Group, May Capital and its management, plans to acquire more sites in the future.

Pub group takes on London Velvet
London Velvet, the crafted blend of porter ale and fine cider, has secured distribution with its first pub group, Amber Taverns. It will be sold in the company’s 28 pubs across the north-east and north-west, including York, Newcastle and Blackpool. It builds on existing stockists of London Velvet’s 500ml premium bottles and kegs in London and the south-east.

Hooper’s links with quirky British events
Global Brands is supporting its traditional-style alcoholic drinks range Hooper’s with sponsorship of quintessentially British events under the banner of “Great British Experiences”. With its branded LandRover and bar, it is sponsoring The Stilton Cheese Rolling Festival in Stilton near Peterborough, the Maldon Mud Race in Essex, the World Hen Racing Championship at the Barley Mow in Derbyshire and The Hooper’s World Bog Snorkelling Championships in Wales.

Nominees sought for Women 1st awards
The Shine Awards, which celebrate the achievements of women in the hospitality industry, are open for nominations. They are run by Women 1st, which aims to increase the number of women working in senior positions in the industry. Visit

Brewer celebrates with new beer
Ilkley Brewery in West Yorkshire has celebrated its fifth anniversary by unveiling its 1,000th brew: a Darjeeling and blackberry-infused brown ale called Mash Tonne. Lead brewer Christa Sandquist has made 6,000 pints of the beer which will be available at selected pubs including the Hack & Hop in the City of London – the brewery’s first partnership with the Pubs of Distinction group.

Heineken links with Commonwealth Games
Heineken has been appointed Official Beer & Cider Provider for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. It means the drinks company will provide beer and cider for sale at bars within official Games venues, and Heineken beer and Bulmers Cider will be available at bars in competition venues. Its Caledonian Brewery in Edinburgh will produce a limited-edition Commonwealth Games 2014 ale.

Launch campaign for Old Mout cider
Heineken UK is to invest £3 million in a launch campaign for Old Mout, the new bottled cider range from New Zealand. Launching this week, it includes out-of-home and print media, in-outlet visibility, sampling and digital marketing, under the banner of “Get the Kiwi taste for adventure”. It features three flavours, Passionfruit and Apple, Kiwi and Lime and Summer Berries.

Rebellion Rum finds new UK partner
Proof Drinks has secured the UK distribution and marketing rights for Rebellion Rum, the Caribbean rum owned by Toorank Distilleries. Bottled at 37.5% ABV, it comes in three expressions: Rebellion Spiced, Rebellion Blanco and Rebellion Black Rum.

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