New product round-up

Royal British Legion gin, Apprentice mainstay rebuke and Christmas spirits pour in

By Stuart Stone

- Last updated on GMT

More pours: which new products have launched in the past week?
More pours: which new products have launched in the past week?

Related tags Spirits Beer Christmas Gin Craft beer

The latest new product round-up is awash with a flood of festive launches and new spirit launches including a Royal British Legion tribute and a bitter lemon dig at an Apprentice stalwart.

Burleighs creates Royal British Legion Poppy Gin

To celebrate the Royal British Legion’s Poppy Shop and highlight the importance of remembering former war veterans and supporting existing ones, Burleighs Gin has created 40% ABV Royal British Legion Poppy Gin.

Available exclusively from the the Royal British Legion’s online shop, 100% of profits are donated to the charity.

Alongside a base of botanicals including silver birch, dandelion, burdock and elderberry and a hint of citrus tones the exclusive gin is also made using poppy seeds, paying homage to the charity and its annual Poppy Appeal. 

“It’s an honour to create a gin to support all the fantastic veterans and the armed forces community we have in Britain,” Charlie Hendon, master distiller at Burleighs Gin said. 

“While the Poppy Appeal is a long-standing and well-recognised campaign, with the current times we’re living in and the Covid-19 pandemic hindering fundraising efforts, we want to ensure funds are raised and this is the best way we know how. 

“The Poppy Gin first launched in September and sold out overnight, which we’re extremely proud of and we’re glad it was so popular – the second batch of bottles has been available in the lead up to Remembrance Sunday and Remembrance Day and will still be for the coming months, so we urge everyone to purchase a bottle to support the armed forces community – there’s no better time to enjoy an at-home gin and tonic, than in lockdown.”.  


Signature Brew and The Darkness launch Bells End

Taking its name from The Darkness’ hit Christmas single, Christmastime (Don’t Let The Bells End)​, London-based craft brewer, Signature Brew has unveiled latest musical collaboration, 5.2% ABV seasonal bitter, Bells End. 

“We were really excited to brew with The Darkness, we love their music, and the experience didn’t disappoint,” co-Founder of Signature Brew, Sam McGregor, explained.  

“The band visited the brewery several times and we collaborated closely with them to find the perfect beer style and the perfect name.”

McGregor continued: “2020 has been a tough one for everyone. We’ve worked with musicians throughout the year, from our socially distanced brewery shows to enlisting bands to help deliver our now legendary Pub In A Box. 

“As we approach the end of the year everyone needs a laugh and a tasty beer – and Bells End will definitely satisfy both." 

The Darkness’ front man Dan Hawkins added: “The tasting session for Bells End went well, it was a big night and we tried every ale that we could think of. 

“We wanted a beer that’s punchy and drinkable at the same time. Signature Brew really know their stuff and captured exactly what we were after.  

“Bells End has got a bit of oomph to it but it’s something you can drink in the run up to Christmas and throughout the whole season. It’s a very wintery beer, it’s perfect and we can’t wait for everyone to try it.”


Greater Manchester businesses hit back at Apprentice mainstay with new gin 

A trio of Greater Manchester businesses – Defiance Distillery in Oldham, Atlas Bar on Deansgate and Lancashire's Cuckoo Gin – have joined forces to create a gin inspired by controversial comments made by The Apprentice’s ​Claude Littner about the city region’s hospitality sector. 

The renowned entrepreneur and businessman with almost 50 years’ experience, long-term business associate and friend of Lord Sugar, and veteran of 14 seasons of The Apprentice​, told local chef and restaurant owner Simon Wood to “just suck it up” when discussing Greater Manchester’s move into tier three restrictions on Good Morning Britain​. 

Wood described Littner's remarks as “very insensitive” and asked if that was the message he should pass on to his staff if he was unable to pay their salaries. 

Now, the three businesses have joined forces to create 40% ABV Suck It Up gin, which they say is “distilled with a bunch of bitter lemons” and will see £5 from every bottle sold will be donated to Hospitality Action. 

"Us tribal Northerners have been told to 'suck it up' for long enough,” the bottle’s reverse reads.

"Distilled with a bunch of bitter lemons and a sprinkle of northern resolve, this limited-edition gin has been created to make a stand for the hospitality industry in the north of England.”

Suck it up

East London Liquor Co and Royal Botanic Gardens release Kew Gin

East London Liquor Co and the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew have created 42% ABV Kew Gin featuring floral lavender, orange peel, liquorice root and fennel seed.

“After months of lockdown, the all-new Kew Gin has finally arrived to make everything marginally more bearable,” 

“We were so inspired by Kew Gardens UNESCO World Heritage Site, and with their incredible team whose dedication to working with plants and pollinators really make our gin possible,”Alex Wolpert, founder of East London Liquor Co, said. 

“When creating this gin, we wanted to highlight some key botanicals, which we sourced at Kew Gardens. Bright floral and citrussy, the sweet orange and Douglas fir balances perfectly with the lavender – ideal for a wintry G&T garnished with an orange slice or sprig of rosemary from your garden.” 

Quincy Leon, head of licensing at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, added: “The key botanicals in the gin come directly from Kew Gardens, including Douglas fir, which has a wonderful piney flavour.

“With the addition of lavender and sweet orange, courtesy of our pollinator friends who are celebrated on the vibrant packaging, the gin is a true flavour of Kew and its values. What better way to celebrate?”



New Belgium’s Voodoo Ranger lands in the UK

American craft brewer New Belgium’s hazy IPA Voodoo Ranger will be brewed in the UK at Fourpure Brewing Co’s London brewery as a result of its partnership in the Lion Little World Beverages’ quartet alongside Fourpure, Magic Rock Brewing and Australian favourite, Little Creatures.  

“Voodoo Ranger is a very different brand in the world of craft beer and drinkers appreciate that,” Kyle Bradshaw, New Belgium director of brand marketing in the US, said. “It’s bold, anarchic and embraces the unconventional. 

“The face of the brand is the Voodoo Ranger himself, a straight-talking and wryly humorous spokes-skeleton who pokes fun at some of the pretention around craft beer. The brand positioning offers a real point of difference, tapping into a millennial and Gen Z-centric audience and we think Voodoo will translate to a British audience very well.”  

Adrian Mooney, marketing director at Lion Little World Beverages added: “While we have big Voodoo boots to fill in the UK, it’s great opportunity to inject some revelry back into UK craft beer. 

“It’s time for Voodoo Ranger to rock the boat of what has become the ‘norm’ for craft beer and we plan to execute the same authentic positioning, through the line from marketing to on-shelf and in venue, that gave Voodoo Ranger its ‘cult like’ following in the US. 

“Just like our American cousins, we want the brand to be a genuine player within the gaming sphere and see Voodoo Ranger collaborating with the community to make two worlds collide. 

“We’ll continue the legacy of the Ranger, by delivering quality beer alongside tongue-in-cheek content that’s relevant and engaging to our audience and, of course, live a little Rangerously.”


Anspach and Hobday launches Christmas beer 

London-based craft brewery Anspach & Hobday has announced the launch of Christmas beer, 6.0% ABV Pfeffernüsse Stout.

The seasonal stout is based on the German Christmas biscuit Pfeffernüsse, which translates into English as pepper nut. 

The new brew will initially be available at the Arch House in Bermondsey and the Pigeon bar in Camberwell for both takeaway and web shop click and collect services. 

Chairman and co-founder Jack Hobday said: “In these turbulent times we hope our evocative Christmas stout will still raise a little cheer this Christmas for friends, family and all our loyal customers.” 

Head of production and co-Founder Paul Anspach added: ‘With the move of all saison production to our Bermondsey Arch House site, it felt like the right time to take our Christmas beer in a new, darker direction. 

“We’ve used all the same spices as are present in both the biscuit and the old beer, but paired it this time with a smooth, brooding stout. 

“Where the saison was dry and spicy, the stout is rich and roasted, with the festive spices sitting making themselves known from the off. 

“The dark malts give a gentle roastiness, and Centennial, Columbus and East Kent Golding hops bring layers of dark fruit, citrus and spice."


Manchester Gin launches Winter Spiced Gin

The Spirit of Manchester Distillery has released its first limited edition festive-inspired serve – 40% ABV Winter Spiced Gin. 

The festive expression has a blend of orange and cinnamon alongside notes of clove and nutmeg, creating a tipple packed with Yuletide spices. 

Manchester Gin co-founder and master distiller, Seb Heeley, said: “After a hard year for many, we want to celebrate the festive season more than ever before, and what better way to put a smile on people’s faces than with a delicious yet distinctively Christmassy gin?  

“We had such fun sampling the festive flavours until we found the perfect expression, which is both high quality and mouth-wateringly delicious. 

“Winter Spiced Gin has the perfect balance of spice and citrus to provide that perfectly festive flavour whilst creating a drink which everyone will enjoy. 

“It’s also really exciting to be launching our first gin with a recommended hot serve, further adding to the warm feeling this unique blend of botanicals creates.

“We hope gin-lovers across the country enjoy drinking Winter Spiced just as much as we enjoyed creating it.”


Salcombe Brewery launches new limited-edition porters

Salcombe Brewery Co has announced the launch of two new 6.2% ABV limited edition barrel aged porters, created by ageing their award-winning Island Street Porter in a Speyside whisky barrel and a Heaven Hill bourbon barrel. 

“Our Island Street Porter has been a huge hit since its launch two years ago and has gained a number of prestigious accolades,” brewer Sam Beaman explained. “Inspired by its popularity, we wanted to build on its strengths and see if we could create a very special version as a limited-edition gift. 

“We aged the porter in wooden barrels for six months to allow the flavours to evolve,” he continued. “The barrels had previously contained either Speyside Whisky or Heaven Hill bourbon and we were thrilled with the results. 

“The process created beers with the characteristic undertones of our Island Street Porter of chocolate and dark cherry but with a far greater depth and complexity of flavour. And we are not the only ones who are impressed. Our Speyside Whisky barrel aged porter has already won Gold in its category both regionally and nationally at the SIBA (Society of Independent Brewers) digital awards 2020."


Beavertown classics return to offer comfort this winter

Beavertown has announced it is bringing back core classics 8Ball Rye IPA, Black Betty Black IPA and Smog Rocket Smoked Porter during England’s second national lockdown.

8Ball Rye is spicy and nutty thanks to its Red Rye Crystal Malt while 5.4% ABV Smog Rocket Smoked Porter, inspired by London’s Industrial Revolution, is an original homebrew recipe using nine different malts with a big-hitting taste of molasses, smoked hickory wood, raisins and caramel. 

Finally, Black Betty Black IPA is inspired by classic childhood Black Jack and Fruit Salad sweets and boasts roasted coffee and liquorice flavours alongside grapefruit and mango aromas from its Pacific west coast hops.


El Tequileño tequila available to British pub trade exclusively via Ten Locks

El Tequileño tequila is now available across the UK on-trade thanks to a new partnership with Manchester-based drinks company Ten Locks.  

Comprising Blanco, Reposado, Platinum, Reposado Gran Reserva, Añejo Gran Reserva and Reposado Rare, El Tequileño’s range is expected to be made available in the UK throughout 2021.  

Becky Davies, head of commercial at Ten Locks, said: “We know the arrival of El Tequileño is much-anticipated within the trade; our talks with bartenders reveal this to be one of the spirit brands they have been trying to get their hands on for some time – especially the Reposado Rare. 

“We’re proud to spearhead its arrival in the UK and see real promise for the brand as the trade is able to tap into increasing consumer appetite for tequila and unlock the potential of a sector that’s really showing momentum.  

“We promised to back brands that present innovation to UK bartenders while striving for positive change. 

“In El Tequileño we have the perfect partner; it has its own 60-year old distillery, employs traditional, sustainable production techniques, and offers a fantastic spectrum of flavours to really showcase how good tequila can be.”

Steffin Oghene, vice president of business development at El Tequileño, added: “Our goal was to find a UK partner who shared our vision and ethics, while understanding the truly special proposition of El Tequileño. 

“In Ten Locks, we have the perfect partner; the team is curating an exceptional portfolio of premium spirits and we’re excited to be among the foremost listings. 

“This is one of our first export projects, and we look forward to being welcomed by the UK on-trade.”


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