Top Shelf: Brooklyn Brewery’s new IPA, Martell’s refresh and more

By Nicholas Robinson

- Last updated on GMT

Just in: new product launches this month
Just in: new product launches this month

Related tags Pale ale Beer

Brooklyn Brewery’s Scorcher IPA has launched in 30-litre kegs and Martell has “refreshed” the cognac category with a new liquid and packaging, but what have other brands been up to in recent weeks? 

Brooklyn Brewery

Brooklyn one

US brewer Brooklyn has launched its Scorcher IPA in two new formats: draught, available in pubs as part of the core Brooklyn range; and cans for both the on and off-trade.

The 4.5% ABV India Pale Ale has been brewed with Amarillo, Simcoe, Cascada and Bravo hops.

Each beer is imported from New York to the UK and is overseen by brewmaster Garrett Oliver, who said: “It’s funny to note that we actually first released Scorcher in 2004.

“At the time, most people seemed to only want massive IPAs, but other brewers were really big on Scorcher… we’ve updated the beer with even brighter hop notes and its now our go-to beer for barbecue food and evenings out in the pub.”

Martell cognac

Martell one
Pernod Ricard UK-owned Martell has launched a new VS cognac with refreshed packaging that is aimed at younger drinkers.

The new liquid and modern bottle design have been developed to tempt a new audience into the category, according to Magin Trewhella, head of marketing for dark spirits at Pernod Ricard UK.

Martell VS Single Distillery has been inspired by the brand’s heritage and craftsmanship, is 40% ABV and will be available in the on-trade from this month.

Trewhella said: “The new liquid is exceptionally rich and fruity, and further highlights the finesse of the Martell distillation style.

“We are doing more to support the category with this brand refresh by creating real 'standout' against other cognac offerings through a revitalised, modern look and a totally differentiated liquid.”

Mortimer’s Orchard

Westons’ Mortimer’s Orchard English Berry Cider is a clear, berry cider featuring bitter-sweet, sharp and sweet apples.
Orchard one

The apple cider is for the drink is first matured in Westons' traditional oak vats to add depth before being blended with berry fruits to deliver flavour.

At 4% ABV, the cider will be available to the on-trade exclusively on draught from this month and will be showcased in Mitchells & Butlers premium sites first.

Tessa Holden, Mortimer’s Orchard brand manager, said: “The launch follows our market insight and research, which has identified that while draught fruit cider is growing spectacularly at 85% year on year, there is a limited super-premium offering within draught fruit cider.”

She added the product would help establish a super-premium offering in the category in pubs and pointed out Mortimer’s Orchard was first launched in 2013, growing at 30% year on year in sales and available in more than 1,000 outlets.

Big Drop Brewing

Big Drop one
A new ‘responsible’ beer has been developed by craft brewer Big Drop for those who want to drink craft beer, but don’t want to get drunk.

The less-than 0.5% ABV Citrus Pale Ale follows the successful launch of the Bermondsey, south London-based brewer’s Chocolate Milk Stout.

Its new beer is a delicate blend of mango, passion fruit and pineapple flavours combined with a light, refreshing body and finished with a smooth caramel aftertaste.

Founder Rob Fink said: “Consumer feedback tells us that our Chocolate Milk Stout has achieved our ambition of keeping the character and flavour of the beer intact while managing the alcohol level below 0.5% ABV.

“In researching a style and flavour for our second beer, the call for a pale ale came through loud and clear.”

A “special process” is used to maintain flavour intensity, while managing the alcohol levels, he added.


Welsh brewer Brains has introduced four new canned craft beers, which will be available across its 111 pub estate and in Welsh supermarkets.

Brains one

The new 330ml can range includes Point Break (4.5% ABV), which is a smooth full-flavoured lager brewed with 100% lager malt; Gin Lane (5% ABV), featuring lemon and lime aromas; Black Mountain (5% ABV), brewed in collaboration with the Craft Beer Channel and is similar to an American pale ale; and Barry Island (5% ABV), which is an India Pale Ale with a smooth malt taste finished with bitterness and citrus.

Highland Park

Highland Park

Single malt Scotch maker Highland Park has revealed its new look to stand it apart from other single malt varieties.

The brand’s director Jason Craig said: “The inspiration for the design came from an ancient ‘Stavkirke’ (wooden church), a world Heritage site in the tiny Norwegian village of Ornes.

“The wooden church is heavily decorated with extensive, ornate wood carvings that we thought would look amazing on a glass bottle.”

Elements Eight

Rum one

Independent craft rum brand Elements Eight has added a new addition to its range in the form of Republica.

The 40% ABV rum has been made in traditional column stills and is non-chill filtered before being aged for a minimum of five years in Bourbon casks. It uses single malts from Cuba and Panama.

Brand founder Carl Stephenson said: “I hold product integrity dear and consult heavily on the liquid with distilleries, bartenders and rum writers. Cuba and Panama have always fascinated me and I feel Republica respects the spiritual home of rum, with its rich, romantic and unorthodox roots.”

Marques De Caceres

Wine one

Rioja brand Marqués de Cáceres has bolstered its portfolio with the launch of several new vintages, including Gaudium 2012 from its new winery in Rueda, Spain.

Cirstina Forner, president at Marqués de Cáceres, said: “Our vocation is to improve our levels of quality year after year. Many critics highlight that this marks the strength of Marqués de Cáceres and forms the basis of our brand’s prestige.

“Since 2008, when the crisis affected our economy, we set an even firmer wager on the strategy that has reigned at our bodega since our foundation: quality, quality and more quality, backed by competitiveness as a vector of consolidation.”

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