John Smith’s has revealed details of a campaign to drive awareness of its Golden Ale among its target audience.

London-based beer retailer We Brought Beer is set to open its third store in less than two years, while other craft beer specialists have also revealed plans for expansion.

Kleine Zalze is to mark its 20th anniversary this year with investment in a vineyard analysis programme as well as new wine launches.

Strongbow is set to be the Official Partner of Team GB at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Freixenet will be kicking off the summer season with its new Ice Cava, which has been created exclusively for the UK market.

Bibendum PLB Group has been appointed by Cellier des Princes to distribute the Rhone Valley-based producer’s wines across all channels in the UK.

Vestal Vodka is gearing up for a big push into the UK off-trade and beyond, following the appointment of a new brand development director.

Kingsland Drinks, which acquired Bottle Green in April last year, has now completed the strategic integration of the two businesses.

English sparkling winery Ridgeview has announced it will feature in Michel Roux Jr’s series The Craftsmen’s Dinner.

Premium Swedish cider brand Rekorderlig has launched a “pioneering new range” of Rekorderlig Cider Cocktails.

The Real Wine Fair has been branded the most successful in its five-year history with a 25% increase in visitor numbers compared to 2015.

A criminal gang found responsible for selling alcohol illegally in the UK has been jailed for a total of 19 years.

Thomson & Scott, the company behind Skinny Champagne, has now launched Skinny Prosecco, which boasts just 67 calories per glass.

Amathus Drinks has been appointed as the UK distributor for drinks from the Scandinavian distillery Spirit of Hven.

Armit Wines is launching Digby Fine English Non-Vintage Brut to the UK market for the first time at the London Wine Fair, alongside prizes from Savile Row tailor Cad & the Dandy and quintessential English leather lifestyle brand Aspinal.

Borough Wines has extended its drink-in offering to four of its London sites, along with the launch of a new menu of bar snacks and drinks.

Copestick Murray has added wines from Chilean producer Aresti to its portfolio and believes it can help the firm become a major player in the UK market.  

Sherry Wines UK has revealed the winners of last year’s Sherry Festival and it has also released dates for its 2016 event.

Beam Suntory has released the long-awaited Jim Beam Double Oak, which Maxxium is now introducing to the UK market.

CWF, the wine importer and drinks producer, has added three new varietals to its range of 18.7cl PET wines under its Kissing Tree brand.

Kingsland Drinks has unveiled its new carbonation line, which it claims makes it the first and only UK bottler to sparkle wine.

Badet Clément, a specialist in branded varietal wines and AOCs from the south of France, has created three new ranges, which it will launch at the London Wine Fair.

Asda has secured a deal with 13 Scottish breweries to stock a total of 75 beers, ales and ciders in its stores across Scotland.

Negociants UK has expanded its premium Australian portfolio with the addition of Chaffey Bros Wine Co, which will be exclusively showcased for the first time at the London Wine Fair in May.

Guinness is rolling out a new campaign for its Hop House 13, the latest innovation from The Brewers Project.

Buckingham Schenk has expanded its Spanish portfolio with the addition of Bodega Otazu.

AB Inbev has accepted Asahi’s $2.9bn offer for some SAB Miller’s European premium beer brands, including Peroni, Grolsch and British craft beer Meantime. 

Interbev Ltd has announced the launch of Interbev Brands, a new international brand management and distribution business.

Visitors flocked to this year’s Real Wine Fair at London’s Tobacco Dock’s this week as more producers than ever before showed off their ‘natural’ wines.

Meantime Brewing Company has launched The Pilot Series, a range of small-batch beers brewed at its new Pilot Brewery in its Greenwich-based headquarters.

Greenall’s The Original London Dry Gin has launched a national on-pack promotion to highlight its partnership with British Horse Racing.

Thatchers has agreed a deal to become the Official Cider of Glastonbury Festival for the next five years.

Heineken has released a humorous new advert for Foster’s, ahead of an on-pack promotion which hits shelves on 25 April.

Diageo has launched three new fruit cider drinks under its Pimm’s Cider Cup range.

Leading Turkish producer Kavaklidere Wines is investing in the UK market in a bid to win listings at independent wine merchants.

Tesco has reported a return to profit and its first quarterly sales growth for three years.

Independents can boost profits by mimicking the way restaurants champion top-end Argentinian Malbec, according to a leading supplier.

Premium gin Pinkster has been selected as a flagship spirits provider for the Good Ship Benefit.

Woodforde’s, the award-winning Norfolk-based brewery, has been purchased by a private consortium of investors.

Budweiser has launched twist-off bottle caps to ensure the beer is better placed for outdoor events. 

Jeroboams, is launching plans to strengthen its positioning as a London wine merchant in order to take advantage of the current trend for shopping ‘local’.

Aldi has been the big winner in the wine category over Christmas and the start of 2016, having emerged as the only major retailer in growth (Kantar, 12 weeks to February 28, 2016).

Fears over a Brexit have sent exchange rates plummeting and caused consternation in a UK trade that is now paying considerably more for wines from Europe and South America.

The Wine & Spirit Trade Association is positive the wheels are in motion for a better outcome for wine in the 2017 Budget, following this year’s “disappointing” news of an inflationary duty rise.

Boutinot will display a wide range of Spanish wines at this year’s Wines from Spain event, including those with revamped labels, as well as a collection of Cavas and fortified wines.

Wine drinkers are seeking out more sophisticated rosé and Provence is perfectly placed to capitalise, according to a leading independent.

Drinks trade charity The Benevolent has appointed four new trustees: Diana Hunter of Conviviality, Guy Lawrence of Mast-Jägermeister UK, Rita Greenwood of William Grant & Sons UK and Simon Difford of Difford’s Guide. 

The UK’s wine industry is showing its support for “real wine” by backing the Real Wine Month through April and embracing the event on Twitter.

This year’s London Wine Fair will have the largest and most diverse content to date, according to the organisers.

C&C Group has offloaded some of the Shepton Mallet cider mill to Brothers Drinks, which will use it to expand production of Brothers cider.

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COMMENT

Mass entertainment

Do anything too regularly and it soon becomes a chore. Stop sniggering at the back. It’s as true for wine tasting as it is for data entry. I know, poor us. Try telling anyone with a normal job how unlucky we are and I doubt you’ll get much sympathy, but the fact remains that there are thousands of different wines and most of them taste pretty average.

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