It was only ever going to be a matter of time before fruit cider made its way from the fridge to the bar. And leading the crusade is Aspall.
The Suffolk-based company is to launch its Perronelle's Blush Cyder on draught after it was trialled in selected Mitchells & Butlers' pubs.
The cider is a 5.4 per cent ABV blend of cider and crème de mure (blackberry liqueur). Commercial director Geoff Bradman says the product will launch in spring. "The trials have proved very successful and have surprised me to be honest," he says.
"The throughputs have been above what we thought they were going to be."
"Seasonality is becoming a theme with cider. But specific brands do better in summer than winter. Perronelle's Blush is one of them. If you can imagine a nice pub garden in the summer, Perronelle's Blush goes extremely well with that."
Thatchers has just bottled its new season Katy Cider. The cider, which is made using just Katy apples, was the first single varietal cider to hit the market when it came out in early March 2009.
According to managing director Martin Thatcher each apple - like grapes - has its own character affected by the local climate. The 7.4 per cent Katy cider is designed to accompany food.
"Weather conditions have been perfect for the apples this year," says Thatcher.
"Rain at the beginning of the year, and sun to sweeten them, has resulted in our harvest of Katy apples being exceptional this year.
"The fruit is of a very high quality - sweet, crisp and pressing well."
WKD Core is offering you the chance to win, well, whatever you want in the run up to Christmas.
Publicans and consumers alike can win absolutely anything that they ask for, as long as WKD thinks the request is interesting enough, says WKD's owner, Beverage Brands.
Consumers can post their requests on Facebook. Licensees should use trade website www.wkd.co.uk/trade to share their Christmas wishes.
Debs Carter, marketing director for Beverage Brands, says: "Pubs may want a new fridge, new loos, or even a new TV; we're open to ideas! Just tell us what you want and, most importantly, why you deserve it."
WKD Christmas decoration kits are also available free to stockists by calling 0800 917 3450.
Following on from a year of impressive growth, COS Brands, distributor of Kopparberg, is investing a record £5m in a new ad campaign for 2011.
It spent £3m in 2010 on its first major campaign, which included ads in arthouse cinemas. It also ran the Kopparberg Klash in partnership with VICE magazine, where undiscovered talent including photographers, film-makers, stylists and new bands were invited to showcase their talent on the Kopparberg website, findkopparberg.com and at five live events. The new campaign will include a new burst of advertising and experiential activity.
"We've moved on so much with the size of the brand that we're having to work extra hard to keep attracting that trend setting consumer," says UK managing director Davin Nugent. "Every year is a step-change for us and it's vital to keep investing."
Bulmers Red Apple
Bulmers has released its second seasonal variant - Red Apple.
Red Apple is intended to encourage drinkers try the brand over the festive period. Summer Blend, a mix of apples and pears, was launched in April as a summer variant.
"The series of Bulmers variants are designed to broaden the appeal and usage of the brand and category, recruiting new consumers who want to try something new and building relevance to existing cider drinkers," says Darryl Hinksman, Heineken UK head of on-trade customer marketing.
Red Apple is being supported by an advertising campaign which it is estimated will reach 36 million adults.
"Our objective for 2011 is to help licensees capitalise on the as yet untapped potential for still more growth that exists within the cider category. We will be introducing additional exciting Bulmers variants into the on-trade in 2011."
This October saw the launch of Rekorderlig Winter Cider, which can be served warm or cold. Eye-catching dimpled tankards are also available free with stock purchase and hold 250ml.
A Rekorderlig-branded eight-litre stainless steel urn, which heats the cider in just 25 minutes, is also available. The urn has a controlled pouring spout which guarantees no waste.