Industry news round-up: September 2, 2013

Noilly Prat Ambre

Our weekly round-up of industry news, for August 27 to September 2, 2013

UK release for Noilly Prat Ambré
A limited number of bottles of Noilly Prat Ambré vermouth is to be released into the UK on-trade this month to mark the brand’s 200th anniversary. The rare expression uses a blend of fine white wines that are partly aged in oak vats and macerated with an aromatic selection of botanicals such as cardamom, cinnamon and lavender. Only small quantities are produced every year and traditionally can be found only at La Maison Noilly Prat in Marseillan in southern France and a few specialist shops in Paris. Click here for more at

Cardiff bar to become craft beer mecca
The site of Cardiff’s former Fire Island bar is to be transformed into a craft beer bar after its owners Beatbox Bars went into administration. Insolvency practitioners SFP have sold the Westgate Street premises to microbrewery Tiny Rebel in Newport, south Wales. They are to convert the site into their first bar, called Urban Tap House, offering more than 100 different beers from around the world. It is due to open in mid-September.Click here for more at

New brand educator for Jose Cuervo
London bartender Gabriela Moncada Peña (pictured), originally from Jalisco in Mexico, has joined Proximo Spirits UK to support on-trade education for Jose Cuervo tequilas. As brand advocacy manager, she will be responsible for educating both the off- and on-trade on Jose Cuervo. She most recently worked at The Beaufort Bar at The Savoy in London. Proximo Spirits UK, launched in July, distributes a range of spirits including Jose Cuervo, formally with Diageo. Click here for more at

Crabbie’s becomes Grand National title sponsor
Drinks company Halewood International has announced its Crabbie’s brand will become the new official title sponsor of the Grand National and Grand National Festival at Aintree. The three-year deal will see the steeplechase, now called the Crabbie’s Grand National, run for a £1million purse for the first time. As well as presence at the course and in media coverage, millions more people will be reached through marketing around the sponsorship, including activities in the on-trade.

New training scheme for licensed trade
The BII (British Institute of Innkeeping) and the Hospitality Guild have joined forces to introduce a clearly structured career pathway for employees in the licensed trade. The Voluntary Licence to Practise at levels 2, 3 and 4 will provide formal training to develop workers from entry-level roles through to becoming strong managers and leaders in hospitality. It can be achieved by sitting a series of QCF (Qualification and Credit Framework) units including health and safety and customer service or via accreditation of employee-led training. For information, email

Cider makes passion fruit permanent
Swedish cider brand Rekorderlig’s limited-edition Passionfruit flavour is to become a permanent listing from this month. Since launching in April, the flavour has driven “exceptional” rate of sales across the on- and off-trade to become the brand’s third highest-selling variant in less than four months. Click here for more at

Launch for gin aged in juniper wood
Hernö Juniper Cask Gin from Sweden – the world’s first gin matured in juniper wood casks – is being launched in the UK. It is distilled and bottled at the Hernö distillery in northern Sweden and follows the introduction of Hernö Gin and Hernö Navy Strength Gin earlier this year. The launch of the latest addition will be next week at Charlotte’s Bistro in Chiswick, London, which specialises in gin. Click here for more at

Stolichnaya adds sweet new flavour
Maxxium UK has introduced a new flavour to the Stolichnaya vodka range in the UK, combining natural flavours of coconut with sweet chocolate. Stoli Chocolat Kokonut is the second Sweet Indulgent flavour to launch in the UK this summer after Salted Karamel was added in July. Click here for more at

Manchester City renews beer deal
Manchester City Football Club has renewed its long-standing partnership with UK beer and cider company Heineken. Dutch beer Heineken will continue as the club’s official UK beer partner on match days and during summer concerts until the end of the 2017/18 season. The group’s brands, which also include Foster’s, Strongbow, Bulmers, Amstel and John Smith’s, will be served in the Etihad Stadium’s concourse bars and hospitality facilities.

Relaunch for bar serving alcohol 24 hours
Phillip Inzani, former commercial director at restaurant group Ponti’s, has relaunched Polo Bar opposite Liverpool Street station in the City of London serving alcohol 24 hours, seven days a week. Described as the “ultimate great British café”, it has been designed by bar and restaurant specialist Mark Wilkie of design practice The Narrative. Click here for more at

Success for flavoured ciders and beer
UK beer and cider company Heineken has announced “outstanding sales success” for its new fruit flavour variants of Bulmers and lemon-flavoured Foster’s Radler. Over the past six months, it has shipped over 4million bottles of Bulmers Cider Bold Black Cherry and Bulmers Cider Pressed Red Grape, securing distribution in over 7,000 on-trade outlets. It helped Bulmers to grow volume share in the modern packaged cider segment and build market share for the portfolio. Total sales of Foster’s Radler reached the 15million bottle mark in August.

Return for Everards golden ale
Everards Brewery in Leicestershire has brought back its popular limited-edition beer, Equinox, this month. With an ABV of 4.2%, the golden ale was first brewed in 1996. It balances sweetness and bitterness with a fruity aroma and lingering autumn fruit taste from the addition of dry hops.

Profits rise for spirits giant
Pernod Ricard has reported a 3.8% rise in net profit for the year to June 30 to €1.15 billion, boosted by markets such as Asia, India and the US. Profit from recurring operations, excluding costs such as restructuring, increased 5.6% to €2.23billion. Revenue was up 4.4% to €8.58 billion. Performance was stable in Europe, excluding France, despite economic difficulties, with growth in the group’s top 14 brands mainly driven by Jameson, Absolut, Chivas Regal and Beefeater. Pernod Ricard predicted “continued difficulties in Western Europe but with initial signs of improvement”.

To receive our weekly e-newsletter every Monday in your in-box, sign up for free by filling in the fields in the bottom right-hand corner of this page.

Previous UK release of Noilly Prat Ambré marks 200 years
Next Texan distiller to target top-end bars through Maverick