Industry news round-up: November 4, 2013

pitcher piano manchesterOur weekly round-up of industry news, for October 28 to November 4, 2013

Eclectic expands with Manchester site
Eclectic Bar Group is continuing its acquisition programme by taking over the former Pitcher & Piano in Manchester’s Deansgate Locks (pictured) for conversion into its tiki concept Lola Lo. It has acquired the lease on the 560-capacity bar, bringing the size of its estate up to 20 after several acquisitions including Coyote Wild in Derby which is also due to become a Lola Lo. The Manchester bar is due to relaunch on December 12. Read more

Barworks to open third 5cc bar
Barworks is to open its third 5cc cocktail bar under the 5cc name with plans for a new site tucked away in the City of London. The bar, which will specialise in whiskies as well as cocktails, will be above Harrild & Sons, an old print house turned pub in Farringdon Street. It follows Barworks’ opening of 5cc bars above The Exmouth Arms in Exmouth Market in north London and beneath The Well & Bucket on Bethnal Green Road in east London. The third 5cc will open in early December. Read more

Edinburgh bartender named Malt Mastermind
Till Britze of The Last Word in Edinburgh has been announced as winner of this year’s Glenfiddich Malt Mastermind competition. He faced six other bartenders at the final at the Glenfiddich distillery in Dufftown in Scotland. They had to showcase their creativity by making their own twist on the classic whisky cocktail, the Rob Roy, as well as devise their own signature serve using Glenfiddich 12, 15 or 18 Year Old. In addition, all candidates were quizzed on their knowledge of the malt whisky category. Read more

Winner named in Coco Re’al final
Maxime Creusot of 64th & Social in Clapham, south London, has been declared the winner of the Coco Re’al cocktail competition run with the UK Bartenders Guild. He beat 13 other contestants at the final to win the £500 top prize after blending salted caramel vodka with Coco Re’al coconut cream, limoncello and lemon juice to create his tiki-style drink, Allo Treacle. Read more

SSP buys Waterloo bar from Corney & Barrow
Corney & Barrow Bars is to return to its focus on the City of London and Docklands after a strategic review under new managing director Ed Gardner. It has sold the Cabin bar that it opened at Waterloo station in summer last year, which heralded a new concept combining a contemporary feel with luxury and “mystique” inspired by the Orient-Express. The bar’s new owner is SSP UK, operator of bars, cafés, pubs and restaurants in railway stations and airports. Read more

Walkabout in Blackpool reopens after £3m rebuild
The Walkabout bar in Blackpool city centre has re-opened after the venue was badly damaged in a fire in June. The £3million redevelopment sees the addition of more bars and an outdoor balcony overlooking the town, all with the feel of an “upmarket Australian city bar”. Operator Intertain has also introduced a new menu. Read more

Stoli sources New Zealand water for new release
A new limited-edition vodka has been released in Stolichnaya’s Elit Pristine Water series, using water sourced in New Zealand. The New Zealand Edition is the second offering in the Elit Pristine Water series, with only 300 bottles created for distribution globally. Read more

Recreated Belgian beer launched in Scotland
A forgotten Belgian lager, recreated using ingredients and techniques from centuries ago, has been introduced exclusively to the on-trade in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Ireland. Heverlee was redeveloped by brewer Joris Brams who used old descriptions of the beer once brewed at the abbey of the order of Prémontré in Heverlee, near Leuven, in central Belgium. Read more

Cask launch for beer inspired by pork crackling
Lancaster Brewery has teamed up with the trio behind Mr Trotter’s pork crackling to develop what is thought to be the first chestnut beer to be brewed and bottled in the UK. Mr Trotter’s Great British Chestnut Ale, with ABV of 4%, was introduced in bottles in Selfridges and Booths supermarkets this summer but has now been launched into the on-trade in cask. Read more

Ooberstock debuts ale list with Tony Hadley
UK drinks wholesaler Ooberstock has launched its first national cask ale programme, starting with exclusive distribution of the new cask lager from Spandau Ballet’s Tony Hadley. The programme is being run through Ooberstock’s distribution partner, Kuehne + Nagel Drinks Logistics, which is accredited by ale quality initiative Cask Marque. It is starting this month by offering Hadley’s Gold, the new 4% ABV cask smooth golden lager, designed by Tony Hadley with The Great Yorkshire Brewery in North Yorkshire.
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UK sommeliers reach final global stages
Three UK-based sommeliers are among the five people to made it through to the global semi-final of the first Sake Sommelier of the Year competition. They are Barry McCaughley of Chotto Matte in Soho, London, Jean-Louis Naveilhan of Sumosan in Mayfair, London, and Jonathan Beagle of Yashin Sushi and Bar in Kensington, west London. The semi-final and final will be held on November 11 at London’s Westbury Hotel and will involve a presentation, a food pairing test, a service task and a blind tasting. Read more

Bank finance helps Bristol bar expand
Bristol bar and restaurant The Cowshed has expanded into part of a former cinema thanks to a £140,000 funding package from HSBC. It allowed owner Adam Denton to renovate the venue including a new bar area, larger kitchens and a chef’s table, taking over the cellar and bar of the neighbouring Grade II-listed Whiteladies Picture House which closed 12 years ago.
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Sol provides branded areas for bars
Bars across London are working in partnership with beer and cider company Heineken to create areas branded with premium-packaged lager Sol. Bespoke furniture and furnishings have been developed for the dedicated areas, using materials such as denim, worn leather, hessian, cast iron, wood, steel and vintage Sol bottles.
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Disaronno partners Italian designer with bottle
A limited-edition bottle for amaretto Disaronno has been created in partnership with Italian fashion brand Moschino. While retaining the brand’s iconic shape, the “Moschino Loves Disaronno” bottle has been designed with Moschino’s classic style featuring its signature heart pattern. Part of the profits will be donated to the charity, Fashion 4 Development. Distributor First Drinks is promoting the new bottle with the Disaronno Loves Sour cocktail. Read more

New look for Dartmoor ales
Dartmoor Brewery in Devon has unveiled a new brand identity as part of its strategy to expand sales across the UK. Famous for its Jail Ale, Legend and Dartmoor IPA beers, the Princetown-based brewery has overhauled its branding, packaging and licensee merchandise, drawing on its provenance as the definitive, authentic brewery on Dartmoor. Read more

CWF launches ready-made mulled wine
A new ready-made mulled wine has been launched specifically for the on-trade by wine importer and drinks manufacturer CWF. With ABV of 10%, the bottled Mulled Wine allows bars and pubs to create the winter drink without the trouble of steeping their own red wine with mulling spices.
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Movember inspires bar’s cocktail list
With the annual Movember sponsored moustache-growing charity campaign under way, Primo bar at the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge Hotel in London is offering a nine-strong list of cocktails inspired by different moustache styles. The drinks cost £7.95 each, with £4 from each cocktail going to the charity which raises awareness and funds for prostate and testicular cancer and mental health.
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Winning Kraken cocktails served on sea fort
Two bartenders won places to serve cocktails in one of the most unusual pop-up bars ever – on an historic sea fort nine miles off the coast of Kent. Manuel Correa from Old Mary’s Bar in Lancaster Gate, London and Sarah Harker of Cairn Hotel in Newcastle upon Tyne triumphed in the competition run for The Kraken Black Spiced Rum.
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Bar operator Faucet Inn joins ALMR
Threats of restrictive legislation on the on-trade have led bar and pub operator Faucet Inn to join the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR). The company’s decision adds more weight to the trade body’s campaigns and other activities to challenge issues such as Early Morning Restriction Orders, the late-night levy and future legislative plans. Faucet Inn operates 20 outlets across London and the south of England.
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Plea for more flexible hours for World Cup
The British Beer & Pub Association has called on the Government to offer greater flexibility on licensing hours for opening and closing weekends of the World Cup 2014. With some games potentially set to kick off at 11pm, the association has written to the Home Office minister responsible for licensing, Norman Baker MP, calling for similar flexibility to that shown for events of national importance such as the Royal Wedding and Diamond Jubilee. It is backed in Parliament by beer and pubs champion Andrew Griffiths MP.

Bierkeller group wins Liverpool bar award
Bierkeller in Liverpool One on Liverpool waterfront has been named best bar in the Juice FM Style Awards. They are voted for entirely by the public through the Juice FM website. The venue has a traditional Bavarian theme with authentic food and drink and live entertainment.

BBPA reports quarterly beer sales rise
UK beer sales rose by 5.2 per cent in the third quarter – the biggest quarter-on-quarter increase this century – according to the British Beer & Pub Association’s latest Beer Barometer. The boost follows the fine summer weather as well as optimism over the Chancellor’s beer tax cut in the March Budget, the association added. While the on-trade saw sales fall by 1.2 per cent on the same quarter last year, it is the most favourable on-trade third quarter since 2003.

Festive beer returns for sixth year
Bath Ales’ winter brew, Festivity, is making a return for its sixth year after demand from consumers and retailers across the south-west of England. It goes on sale from early November and will be available on draught at bars and pubs including Wetherspoon’s. It is a porter brewed using Maris Otter barley and roasted chocolate malt, with Challenger and Bramling Cross hops. Dark ruby in colour, it produces a hint of rum mingled with coffee and vanilla flavours.

M&B names Kopparberg as top supplier
Bar and restaurant operator Mitchells & Butlers has named Swedish cider brand Kopparberg as its supplier of the year in its 2013 annual. The brand also picked up the award for cider supplier of the year and a special commendation for category management at the ceremony.

Everards marches in with new beer
Leicestershire brewer Everards has introduced limited-edition beer, Regimental IPA, which is based on the traditional IPA beer styles that were originally created to satisfy the tastes of the British Army in India. It is the brewery’s tribute to the Royal Leicester Regiment and its achievements in India. Regimental IPA has a 5% ABV.

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