Industry news round-up: October 28, 2013

Lola LoOur weekly round-up of industry news, for October 21 to 28, 2013

Eclectic to boost growth with flotation
Investment company Avanti Capital is to float Eclectic Bar Group on the stock market to raise funds for the operator’s future growth. It plans to sell its majority stake alongside the issue of about £10million new shares through the Alternative Investment Market (AIM). Eclectic operates 19 bars and clubs including sites operating as Lola Lo (pictured), Sakura, Po Na Na and Fez Club. Its latest acquisition is Wild Coyote in Derby which will become a Lola Lo. Eclectic reported sales up 7% to £21.197million over the 12 months to June 2013 and earnings (EBITDA) up 2% to £2.92million.
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Second Leeds site planned for The Pit
Arc Inspirations has begun work on a second site for its new bar concept The Pit after launching the first in Leeds city centre. It is transforming its bar The Hub in the north Leeds suburb of Chapel Allerton into the new concept as part of a revamp of the site that will increase its floor space by two thirds. The Pit opened in Merrion Street in Leeds city centre in August.
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Cider, tequila and lime mix in new RTD
Manzana Loca, a new ready-to-drink (RTD) product blending cider with tequila and lime flavour, is being launched in the UK on-trade by leading drinks company Hi-Spirits. Meaning “crazy apple” in Spanish, it is designed to bridge two expanding drinks categories in the on-trade: flavoured ciders and spirit-flavoured beers and RTDs. The 5.5% ABV blend is promoted for serving chilled with a wedge of lime in the neck of the 330ml bottle.
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Nominations sought for Scottish bar awards
New awards have been launched by the Scottish Bartenders Network (SBN) to recognise the best bars and bartenders in Scotland. The winners of the first SBN Awards 2013 will be announced in Edinburgh after the Boutique Bar Show on November 6. Nominations are being sought by Friday November 1.
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Nottingham operator opens east London bar
DHP, which operates bars and clubs in Nottingham and Bristol, is to launch a new destination for food, drinks and music in Hackney in north-east London. It has created Oslo, inspired by Nordic culture and design, in a former railway station built in 1870, working with design company Thehousewith.
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Bar and club winners in London awards
The Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town in Spitalfields has been named best bar in the London Lifestyle Awards. Other winners include Maddox, Eight, Mash London, Dover Street, ETM Group, The Savoy. And Nick House of club operator Brompton Brands.
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Whistling Shop launches new products
The team behind London bars Purl and The Worship Street Whistling Shop have developed two new products for launching to the wider market. Working with drinks supplier Master of Malt, they have created Jagertree Liqueur, made with Indian tea and rum, as well as bottled Acid Phosphate for instantly making cocktails more sour.
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New look for Captain Morgan spiced rum
A new-look bottle is being launched for Captain Morgan Original Spiced Gold, backed by a £9million marketing campaign that includes TV advertising. The new design aims to increase focus on the legendary character of Sir Henry Morgan, the 17th-century Welsh pirate. Diageo GB is introducing the new packaging in November to bring it in line with the livery in other markets around the world.
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UK secures Buffalo Trace releases
Limited supplies of the new Antique Collection of whiskeys from the Buffalo Trace distillery in Kentucky have been released in the UK. UK distributor Hi-Spirits has secured an allocation of the 2013 releases of Eagle Rare 17 Year Old, George T Stagg, Sazerac Rye 18 Year Old, Thomas H Handy Sazerac Rye and William Larue Weller.
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Krombacher brings new glassware to UK
Traditional-style German glassware is being introduced in the UK for Krombacher Pils, the number-one premium beer in Germany. Available in pints for pubs and bars from November, the stemmed glass has an authentic Pilsner-style shape used for the German beer in its home market.
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Glittery addition to Corky’s liqueurs
A fruity liqueur infused with glitter is the latest addition to the Corky’s range. After a year of development by Global Brands, Corky’s Mango Glitter Mix blends the increasingly popular flavour of mango with an edible glitter ingredient. Launching exclusively into the UK on-trade in November, it is being promoted for shots as well as shared serves.
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Mauritian agricole rums launched in UK
A new range of premium agricole rums from Mauritius have been launched into the UK to meet a growing thirst for different styles of rum. First showcased to the public at Rumfest in London this month, Chamarel is a single-estate rhum agricole. It is available through Coe Vintners and Master of Malt and is starting to gain on-trade listings in London.
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Bartenders challenged to create Bloody Mary twists
Bartenders are being challenged to come up with an original cocktail inspired by a Bloody Mary in a competition run for hot pepper sauce Tabasco. Entries are being sought for the Tabasco British Bloody Mary Challenge 2013, with two first prizes that include a three-day trip to New Orleans for the Tales of the Cocktail festival next year. The deadline is November 20.
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Winner named in ‘positive drinking’ tequila competition
Jay ZinZan, from bar consultancy Ldn Shindiggery and previously London bar Lab, has won the AquaRiva tequila competition that celebrates “positive drinking”. His cocktail used a reposado infused with raspberries plus organic agave syrup infused with vanilla.
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Environment enhances whisky enjoyment
A change of environment can enhance the experience of enjoying whisky by up to 20%, according to the world’s first scientific study exploring the senses and taste of whisky. It found that the experience of drinking whisky was affected by changes in lighting, a special soundtrack and surrounding aromas, highlighting how the right environment in a bar can enhance drinking complex liquids such as whiskies. Click below for the full story and video.
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New look for Thorntons liqueur
Global Brands has unveiled a bright new look for Thorntons Chocolate Liqueur in line with the wider rebrand of the Thorntons chocolate brand. The brighter sleeve, with a flash of hot pink and larger text, has been designed to ensure prominence on the back bar and increase its appeal to women.
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Inverarity Morton acquires Forth Wines
Scottish-based wine and spirits supplier Forth Wines has been acquired by Scotland’s leading independent wine and spirits merchant Inverarity Morton (IM). The deal, for an undisclosed seven-figure sum, will see IM gain an even stronger foothold in the marketplace in Scotland.
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Industry appeals to Chancellor over rates
Industry bodies have joined forces to appeal to Chancellor George Osborne to reduce the burden of business rates on pubs and bars. They are backing an early day motion from Charlotte Leslie MP calling for an extension of Small Business Rate Relief, better promotion of rural rate relief to encourage take-up, and a review of the revaluation system for pubs. It involves the British Beer & Pub Association, Camra, the Federation of Licensed Victuallers’ Associations, the Brewing, Food & Beverage Industry Suppliers Association and Business In Sport and Leisure.

Senior roles filled at spirits company
The Quintessential Brands Group, whose products include Greenalls, Bloom, Berkeley Square and Ophir gins and Toussaint Coffee Liqueur, has made two senior appointments. Director of brands is Stephen Loftus, who joins from Accolade Wines where he was global innovation director. International business development director is Patrick O’Reilly, who was previously group marketing manager at drinks company Cellar Trends.

Rugby deals for cider and beer brands
Two leading drinks brands have announced sponsorship deals in rugby. Kingstone Press has become the official cider of Rugby League World Cup 2013, building on its existing partnership with the Rugby Football League. The new deal will mean perimeter board advertising at all stadiums including the Millennium Stadium, Wembley, and Old Trafford and match-day advertising. Caledonia Best, the draught ale from Tennent Caledonian Breweries, has become the official beer for English Championship club London Scottish. As part of the two-year agreement, Tennent Caledonian Breweries will have its brands promoted around the club’s Athletic Ground.

Technology provider joins ALMR
LiveRES, the online booking and marketing platform, has become the latest supplier member to join the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers. It provides pubs, bars and clubs with a cost-effective means of managing promotions, marketing and online bookings and reservations. Customers include Spirit Pub Company and Brasserie Blanc.

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