The trade body for advertisers has hit back at the health lobby’s renewed calls for calorie labels on alcohol, saying they “miss the point spectacularly”.

AB Inbev UK blamed a World Cup hangover and poor weather for a 9.8% volume sales drop in the third quarter of 2014.

Retailers stocking Fireball liqueur with cinnamon and whisky have been asked to remove the product from sale and prepare it for return.

The biggest names in the British beer industry have united to launch a £10 million marketing campaign called There’s a Beer for That.

Chancellor George Osborne hailed the impact the drinks industry is having on the UK’s economic recovery after meeting with WSTA chief executive Miles Beale.

Diageo has delayed plans to expand production capacity for Scotch whisky after the world’s thirst for the drink started to drop this year.

Diageo has reversed its decision to axe Pimm’s No.6 Vodka Cup after fans of the drink apparently bombarded the supplier with demands for its return.

Bibendum and PLB merge

29 October, 2014

Bibendum Wine and PLB have announced plans to merge the businesses in a bid to become a one-stop shop for both on and off-trade retailers.

Marston’s and Tesco have teamed up to launch a beer created by injured veterans that will raise funds for military charity Help for Heroes.

The UK government wants a future EU alcohol strategy to promote more research into the possible impact of restrictions on alcohol advertising, according to a top official at the Department of Health.

Trade associations have slammed the government for forcing through a raft of changes to licensing law guidance that will embolden draconian local councils.

Former buyers have spoken out about the culture of “creative accounting” across the big retailers and warned more could have their practices scrutinised in the wake of the financial investigation at Tesco.

Portsmouth council has attacked retailers for failing in their responsibilities and warned that “selling alcohol is a privilege, not a right”.

European wineries unite

24 October, 2014

Nine wineries from across Europe have joined forces to promote the Old World’s heritage through a series of collaborations.

Tesco profits drop 92%

23 October, 2014

Tesco chairman Sir Richard Broadbent is to step down after the supermarket revealed the “black hole” in its accounts was even bigger than had been suspected and saw pre-tax profits plummet 92%.

Diageo aims to grow its luxury reserve portfolio from 12% of the business to 20% after launching the £45 rrp Haig Club whisky in partnership with David Beckham.

Rioja must hold price

23 October, 2014

Deep discounts risk denting the image of Rioja and wineries should resist cutting prices to shift surplus wine, according to Marques de Riscal.

Asda has been forced to recall its own-label Prosecco Spumante Extra Dry after bottles started exploding in stores and in customers’ homes.

Pernod Ricard posted a 1% sales dip in Europe during the first quarter of the 2014/15 financial year.

Australian wine producer McWilliam’s is 100% family-owned once more after buying the remaining shares held by E&J Gallo.

Heineken blamed wet weather for a 4.1% drop in revenues for Western Europe during the third quarter of 2014.

Brewdog will serve 16 collaboration beers made in partnership with local breweries at each of its bars across the UK as its craft beer festival returns on October 25.

Rockers Status Quo have passed a million sales for the first time since the 1970s after the millionth pint of the bands Piledriver ale was downed this week.

New look for Rudgate

17 October, 2014

North Yorkshire-based craft brewery Rudgate has given its bottled ale range a revamp.

Babycham has added two flavoured variants to its range for the first time.

Greene King has teamed up with Tesco to release four bottled beers designed to cater for growing interest in specialist brews and new flavours.

Pernod Ricard has chosen three brands – Jameson, Chivas Regal and Brancott Estate – to focus its marketing efforts on in the run-up to Christmas.

William Grant has bolstered its advocaat range by launching Warninks White, a vodka liqueur with flavours of white chocolate and mint.

The advertising watchdog has warned Diageo that future marketing must not appeal to children after it banned a Parrot Bay ad that was deemed to “appeal strongly to under-18s”.

Tesco has confirmed it has suspended global head of BWS Dan Jago over the £250 million accounting scandal.

The 2014 Bordeaux vintage should be “as good as, if not better than 2006”, according to a leading producer.

One of the world’s largest online e-cig suppliers is making a concerted push into the UK off-trade with a range of cartridges, pens, pipes and liquids.

Chivas Brothers said it is confident in long-term growth potential for Scotch whsiky after announcing production will start at its new distillery later this month.

The number of UK wineries has risen to a 20-year high after 46 budding vignerons registered with HMRC in the past year.

Westons has launched a mulled version of its Henry Westons cider in bag-in-box.

Lager and cider suffered dwindling sales over the summer months as shoppers turned to spirits and ales instead, according to the latest Nielsen data.

Suppliers have had their hopes raised of less one- sided relationships with the major supermarkets in the wake of the controversy over Tesco’s accounts.

Off Licence News has taken its fight for legal clarity over Reducing the Strength schemes to the European Commission.

The quality of Crus Bourgeois wine is improving each year and bringing younger consumers into the Bordeaux category, according to retailers.

Wines of Rioja is redistributing its marketing budget to focus on independent retailers and the on-trade as it seeks to push into more premium tiers.

Australia continues to pull away from its closest rivals as the UK’s favourite wine producer after value sales grew 2% to £1.1 billion (Nielsen, year to July 19).

Office worker Graham Nelson first tried making beer a year ago, but today the beer he originally crafted in his kitchen went on sale at Waitrose.

Berry Bros & Rudd has released a new whisky made from 10 vintages of aged spirit from its Glenrothes distillery on Speyside.

Sparkling wine is now worth £510 million to the UK retail trade after sales grew 19% in the past year (Nielsen, 52 weeks to July 19).

Specialist retailer The Whisky Shop has launched a new e-commerce website in a bid to transport its “bricks and mortar flagship store concept into the online world”.

William Grant & Sons is set to release the fourth expression of The Girvan Patent Still single grain Scotch whisky.

Gordon & MacPhail is to release a series of private bottlings to mark the transition of the family-owned firm to a new generation.

Co-op grows range for autumn

06 October, 2014

The Co-operative has added three new wines to its Truly Irresistible range.

Waitrose said sales of fine wine and Champagne are up 7% this year compared to the same period in 2013.

Bargain Booze owner Conviviality Retail will expand its food range after hiring Spar’s head of fresh food Andrew Dorricott to head up its non-licensed products team.

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Richard Hemming: Mind your language

Hand-picked, whole bunch, punched down, 50% old French for 12 months. For most people, that sentence is utterly impenetrable. Is it about flowers? Bananas? Abused Parisian pensioners?

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