Industry news round-up: November 11, 2013

blythswood square barOur weekly round-up of industry news, for November 4 to 11, 2013

Winners in Scottish Bartenders Network awards
Kelvingrove Café in Glasgow has been named best cocktail bar in the Scottish Bartenders Network Awards. Best hotel bar was Glasgow’s Blythswood Square (pictured) which also won the award for best bar manager for Scott Ingram and bartender of the year for Aidan Bowie. Best new bar was The Tippling House in Aberdeen. Two Edinburgh bars shared the award for best cocktail list, Sygn and The Lucky Liquor Co, and The Hanging Bat’s Joe Dick won the beer champion award. Young bartender of the year was Rosie Paterson of The Voodoo Rooms in Edinburgh and the “Legend Award” went to Iain McPherson of new Edinburgh bar Panda & Sons.
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New liquid and bottle for spiced rum
Lamb’s Spiced rum has been relaunched with a new hexagon-shaped bottle and a new liquid that reduces the ABV from 37% to 30%. The new recipe, with 100% Caribbean rum, is smooth and designed to be versatile for cocktails. It followed extensive consumer research by manufacturer Halewood International. New cocktail recipes are being promoted for it, including a Spiced Daiquiri.
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New mezcal launched by bar entrepreneur
Bar entrepreneur Melanie Symonds has sourced a craft mezcal, made from 100% agave in Oaxaca, Mexico, and launched it in the UK as QuiQuiRiQui. There are two different styles of the mezcal which is being introduced this month with distributor Cask Liquid Marketing. They are the smooth and smoky QuiQuiRiQui Matatlan, at 45% ABV, and the more floral and fruity QuiQuiRiQui San Juan Del Rio, at 48% ABV. Melanie ran pop-up mezcalaria QuiQuiRiQui in east London.
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New roll-out programme for The Cuban
Roger Payne has embarked on a new roll-out programme for his restaurant and bar concept The Cuban with the launch of a new site in Bristol. He has opened The Cuban on Bristol’s Harbourside, specialising in Cuban cuisine and cocktails, stocking more than 150 different rums. Roger opened The Cuban in Camden in 2004 and plans to develop the brand in more cities around the UK in 2014 and 2015.
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‘Music makeover’ prize offered by PRS
Bars and pubs have a chance of winning £10,000 to upgrade their venue for live music in a competition run by performing rights body PRS for Music. Entry opened today for its annual Music Makeover competition which for 2013 sees a doubling of the value of the top prize. The winner will receive £10,000 to kit out their venue with equipment from retailer GAK. There are also 10 runner-up prizes of £200 GAK vouchers. Entry is at, with a deadline of December 31.
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Monin creates London training studio
A new training space for the UK bar trade has been created by syrup specialist Monin in Hoxton Square, east London. The Monin Studio London is designed for meetings, events and training for bartenders and baristas. As well as showcasing the Monin range, it is stocked with a wide range of premium spirits from partners including Stolichnaya vodka, Pernod Ricard UK and Speciality Brands plus cocktail garnishes from Bennett Opie.
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Liquorists create Manchester pop-up with Belvedere
A new pop-up bar, The Kowloon Correspondents Club, has been created by leading consultancy The Liquorists in association with Belvedere Vodka in the former Kitchen Restaurant site at Barton Arcade, Deansgate. Recreating a 1930s club in Kowloon in Hong Kong, the bar features cocktails created by The Liquorists alongside signature serves including Belvedere Martinis and infusions.
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Adnams reveals details of first whiskies
Adnams is releasing its first-ever whiskies on December 5, produced at its Copper House distillery in Suffolk. The first is Single Malt No 1, matured exclusively in new French oak barrels, and the second is Triple Grain No 2, made from East Anglian barley, wheat and oats and matured in new American oak barrels. The bottles have a vibrant colourful design to differentiate them from other whiskies.
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Rekorderlig promotes cocktails for Winter Cider
Swedish cider brand Rekorderlig is promoting the mixability of its range by promoting winter cider cocktails to bars and pubs. The recipes, which are backed by Rekorderlig’s first £2million advertising campaign for its Winter Cider flavour, were created by Joel Persson, the brand’s official global mixologist. Recipes include a twist on an eggnog and a Mojito.
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New British flavour added for Hooper’s
The Hooper’s range of traditional-style alcoholic drinks has been extended with the addition of Strawberry & Elderflower. Global Brands has added it alongside Dandelion & Burdock, Cloudy Lemonade and Ginger Brew, offering a sweeter premium ready-to-drink (RTD) alternative for “discerning” drinkers aged 25 to 45. With ABV of 4%, the sparkling Hooper’s Strawberry & Elderflower comes in 500ml bottles.
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New app cuts queuing at the bar
Roll-out is under way for new technology that allows customers in bars, pubs, restaurants and clubs to order and pay for drinks and food with their smartphone. After a trial in Nottingham, it has been adopted by pub operator Fuller’s which has introduced it at The Parcel Yard at Kings Cross station. The app can be used to order food and drink without queuing at the bar and then pay the bill, transferring funds quickly from the customer to the operator.
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Rugby bar opened by Guinness at Twickenham
Guinness has launched a new bar at Twickenham Stadium that will operate on England match days for at least the next four years. The Guinness Surge Bar in the West Car Park opened on Saturday (November 9) with former England captain Lewis Moody taking over as “landlord”.
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BrewDog raises crowdfunding target
Brewer and bar operator BrewDog has increased the limit for the amount of money it is raising through its latest crowdfunding scheme to support expansion of the business, including its bars. After originally setting out to raise £4million in six months, it is now looking to raise a further £250,000 from selling more shares through its Equity for Punks scheme.
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New cider created to match Indian food
Cider maker Allen Hogan, who created Hogan’s Cider, has teamed up with entrepreneur Suresh Patel to launch a cider to complement Indian food. Pukhraj Cider is fermented from 100% fresh pressed English cider apples, with a balance of apple freshness and a bittersweet finish that suits spicy food. Meaning “yellow sapphire”, it has an ABV of 5.4% and comes in 500ml bottles.
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Northern Irish bar marks Turner Prize with cocktails
The team at the Library Bar at the Everglades Hotel in Derry-Londonderry hotel have created cocktails inspired by the city hosting this year’s Turner Prize. The drinks are influenced by past winners of the prize and their work, such as the Damien Hirst Shark Tooth cocktail which is inspired by the artist’s shark in formaldehyde and combines Bacardi Superior rum, freshly squeezed lemon juice and grenadine syrup, served over “shark fin” ice cubes and topped with soda water.
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Industry duo inspired by Kentucky Derby for new bar
A London pub dating back to 1738 has been reinvented by Dominic Jacobs, formerly of Sketch and Harvey Nichols bars, and James Chase of vodka and gin producer Chase Distillery. The pair have created a “real pub” on the ground floor of The Running Horse in Mayfair but are also planning to open a cocktail bar called The Whip upstairs at the end of November. It is inspired by the classic US horse race, the Kentucky Derby, and will specialise in Juleps, the race’s celebrated drink.
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Aromas and flavours influence new whiskies
Wemyss Malts has released its largest-ever parcel of single-cask single malt Scotch whiskies to date. Named after the natural tastes and aromas, the 12 bottlings come from the Highlands, Islay, Campbeltown, the Lowlands and Speyside.
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Children’s stories inspire Drake & Morgan cocktails
Cocktails inspired by fairy tales and children’s stories have been added at Drake & Morgan’s six bars across London. They include George’s Marvellous Medicine, inspired by Roald Dahl’s modern classic, combining vodka, poppy liqueur, apple juice and poppy seeds, all served in a swing top “potion” bottle.
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New app helps locate nearest bars and clubs
A free app for smartphones and tablets has been launched by the team behind the Drink Advisor website, helping people to find the best bar near to where they are. It already covers London, Manchester, Edinburgh, Leeds, Birmingham, Brighton, Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Liverpool, Newcastle upon Tyne, Oxford and Sheffield. It is available for Android via Google Play and for iPads and iPhones through the App Store.
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Bar’s winter terrace serves warming cocktails
Warming winter cocktails have been added to the menu at The Churchill Bar in London’s Portman Square along with the transformation of its outside area into The Winter Terrace. Using British seasonal ingredients where possible, the drinks include the Speyside Snood, a mix of 16-year-old Mortlach whisky with clouded yellow wheat beer and sweet Frangelico and vanilla, served warm, with shortbread.
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Free online training for bar staff from AB InBev UK
AB InBev UK has launched a free online training module for people serving and selling alcoholic beverages. It covers subjects such as alcohol regulations, ID-checking, the effects of alcohol and managing challenging situations. It is available through AB InBev’s business-to-business website Bar Expert at

Industry bodies oppose planned licensing change
Industry groups, including the British Beer & Pub Association, BII and the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers, called on the Government to retain personal licences in a letter to Norman Baker, the minister responsible for licensing. They said Government proposals to replace the current national system with the option for local authorities to impose training conditions on individual licences would lead to inconsistency for companies working across different local authorities. There is also the risk of increased reviews of licences to impose training conditions, leading to extra costs.

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