Industry news round-up: November 25, 2013

rosyleeOur weekly round-up of industry news, for November 18 to 25, 2013

Hula team to open Manchester speakeasy
The team behind Manchester bars such as Hula, Rosylee Tea Rooms (pictured) and Walrus are to open a new “speakeasy” in the city’s Northern Quarter. The opening for The Fitzgerald, down an alley off 11 Stevenson Square, has been announced for November 29 and 30. Named after The Great Gatsby author F Scott Fitzgerald, it is based on 1920s American speakeasies, offering classic cocktails with modern twists, and designed by Daryl Cross of design company Flawless. Read more

Rocket boss to launch La Sala in UK
James Horler, the boss of Rocket bars and restaurants, is to head the launch and roll-out of Spanish restaurant and bar brand La Sala in the UK. He has set up a new company to take on the UK licence for the restaurant in Puerto Banus in Marbella. They will raise between £3.5million and £4.5million through an EIS (Enterprise Investment Scheme) and plan to roll it out quickly over a three-year period with two sites in the first year, initially focused on Essex and the south-east. Read more

Second Rum Kitchen to open in London
The team behind The Rum Kitchen, the Caribbean restaurant and bar in London’s Notting Hill (pictured), are preparing to launch a second site in December. Alex Potter, Jonny Boud, Stevie Thomas and Fraser Shipsides are officially due to open The Rum Kitchen in Kingly Court, close to Carnaby Street in Soho, on December 4. Read more

Funkin launches Piña Colada mixer
Cocktail mix specialist Funkin has launched the first-ever homogenised 100% natural Piña Colada mixer that needs only rum and ice added. Available in a one-litre pack, it contains limes from Mexico and Spain, sweet Caribbean coconuts, and a combination of golden and cayenne pineapples from Ghana and the Ivory Coast. It overcomes the challenge of a pre-mix using ingredients that are prone to separation. Read more

Mozart adds oak-aged chocolate liqueur
Spirits and liqueurs specialist agency Mangrove has launched a new addition to the Mozart range of super-premium liqueurs. Mozart RG Milk Chocolate Cream is a 17% ABV blend of Belgian gourmet chocolate, Madagascan vanilla, fresh cream, cocoa butter, Forastero and Trinitario cocoa from Ghana and fine alcohol distillate. The cocoa macerate is refined in bourbon oak casks for at least six months. Read more

Chase releases sloe and mulberry gin
Chase Distillery in Herefordshire is championing the traditional British mulberry with a new gin blend made with the fruit as well as sloe berries. Williams Chase Sloe and Mulberry Gin has been made by marinating Herefordshire hedgerow sloe berries and adding mulberries for a final two months before decanting and bottling at 30% ABV. The gin is made with botanicals that complement the richly flavoured fruits. Read more

Launch planned for “alcoholic confectionery”
Drinks company Babco is to launch “chocolate bars in a bottle”, described as the arrival of a new liqueur category called “alcoholic confectionery”. With UK partner Proof Drinks, it is to introduce the Mickey’s DeLight Alcoholic Confectionery range in early 2014 as a spin-off from its Mickey Finn liqueurs. They are made with chocolate and alcohol, gently whipped with light cream and blended with confectionery flavours. It is bottled at 15% ABV. Read more

Jack Daniel’s supports on-trade at Christmas
New point-of-sale kits in the on-trade are supporting this year’s festive ad campaign for Jack Daniel’s featuring a Christmas tree built out of whiskey barrels. The POS kits include a mix of seasonally themed and semi-permanent items to help licensees to drive sales and boost brand visibility at Christmas and all year round. Bacardi Brown-Forman Brands is also releasing a new festive limited-edition of the Jack Daniel’s bottle, called Winter Jack. Read more

Purity black beer inspired by cycling
Purity Brewing Co has announced the release of its first-ever black craft beer, Saddle Black, dedicated to cyclists. Available in cask from late November to March 2014, it is made using smoked, chocolate and black malts and New World hops Chinook and Cascade. Together, these create a well-rounded beer at 5.1% ABV with aromas of citrus, chocolate and espresso. Read more

Grolsch to turn Brighton bars green
Bars, pubs and clubs in Brighton are to be turned green in a campaign to promote Dutch beer Grolsch. In line with the brand’s green colour, distributor Molson Coors is to use green lighting to transform eight participating outlets as well as the Brighton Wheel on the seafront and a bicycle taxi rank. It is part of Grolsch’s Green Light District campaign and will run from November 27 to 30 and from December 4 to 7. Read more

Stonegate invests in new Slug and Lettuce
Stonegate Pub Company is continuing its programme of opening new Slug and Lettuce bars with the launch of a new site near Tower Bridge in London. It has invested £370,000 in the unit in St Katharine Docks, creating 10 new jobs, after taking over what was formerly a branch of The Living Room and previously Prohibition Bar & Grill. Read more

Jim Beam names Noe Your Bourbon winner
Gareth Evans, group bar manager for chef Jason Atherton’s restaurants in London, is off to Kentucky after winning a competition for Jim Beam bourbon. He impressed judges with his creativity and knowledge of the whiskey at the Noe Your Bourbon final which featured bartenders from across the UK. He invented a cocktail called White Said Fred which was a carbonated mix of Jim Beam White Label with Sacred Spiced Vermouth, peach liqueur, Kamm & Sons ginseng spirit and a dash of absinthe. Read more

24-hour Tube welcomed by bars and clubs
The bar and club trade has welcomed plans by Transport for London to run the London Underground for 24 hours a day at weekends by 2015. Kate Nicholls, strategic affairs director of the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers, which has campaigned for longer operating hours, said: “We very much welcome today’s announcement that the tube will finally be brought into the 21st century and meet the needs of a modern, dynamic city, a vibrant late-night economy and, most importantly, the hundreds of thousands of visitors who come to enjoy it each Friday and Saturday night.”

More ex-Bramwell sites put up for sale
Christie & Co has announced that a further 68 pubs are being brought to market from the estate of Bramwell Pub Company which went into administration. It follows the marketing of 35 sites by Christie & Co two weeks ago on behalf of administrators from restructuring specialist Zolfo Cooper. The new package includes sites throughout England, Scotland and Wales, from London to other cities such as Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds and Cardiff. All 67 pubs and bars, which include part of the Varsity chain, continue to trade.

Stonegate rewards its top suppliers
Stonegate Pub Company has named Carlsberg UK its supplier of the year at its annual supplier conference. Voted for by staff at the pubs and the support team at head office, Carlsberg was credited with category insight and best service provider. The drinks innovation award went to First Drinks Brands, the supplier partnership award was won by Chilli Marketing and the special Stonegate Icon award was given to Les Murphy from Heineken for his contribution to the industry ahead of his retirement.

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