New product round-up

Israel’s ‘first whisky’ lands in UK, Big Drop unveils Nordic brews, Beavertown launches High Priestess

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 Drinks Spirits Beer Wine low2no

An international flavoured new product round-up features new brews created in tandem with beer makers in Iceland, Sweden, Norway and Finland as well as new distribution deals for an Israeli whisky and a Danish spirit maker.

Big Drop launches Nordic World Collab Series quartet 

Alcohol-free beer maker Big Drop Brewing Co has joined forces with four Nordic breweries to launch a limited-edition range of 0.5% ABV collaboration pours – the second in its World Collab Series.

Available from mid-January, the range comprises; Big Drop and Einstök’s (Iceland) Arctic Beach Coconut Stout; Big Drop and Hop Notch’s (Sweden) Fläderlätt Elderflower IPA; Big Drop and Fat Lizard’s (Finland) Rye’d Said Fred Juniper Rye IPA; and Big Drop and Amundsen’s (Norway): Eush Rider Peach Melba Pastry Sour.

“These are all world-class breweries with whom we’ve had great fun conjuring-up big-flavoured beers and brewing them naturally without the need for any artificial nonsense to remove the alcohol,” Rob Fink, founder and CEO of Big Drop, commented. 

“The result isn’t just excellent tasting alcohol-free beer, it’s excellent beer that just happens to be alcohol-free. 

“We’re all about innovation and hope that these special editions will bring the joy of new experiences to people who love great beer.”

Big Drop

Danish distillers to join Mangrove UK

Copenhagen-based Empirical has joined forces with drinks distributer Mangrove UK to introduce its range of spirits and RTDs to a UK audience.

Empirical’s brands – which include spirit The Plum, I Suppose and Ayuuk – are already available in a number of London’s bars and restaurants.

“Time and time again the Mangrove team have shown that they are strong brand builders who value education, quality and flavour, this perfectly aligns with Empirical's values and was a defining factor on our decision to partner with them,” James Goggin, head of sales at Empirical said. 

“London has become a home for us at Empirical and with Mangrove by our side in 2021 we are focusing on growing our reach across the entire UK.”

Nick Gillett MD at Mangrove UK added: “2021 will see the return of the hospitality industry in the UK. We believe that a bold and forward-thinking approach to the future, working with brand partners who embody the finest spirits flavours that industry has to offer, will enable us to emerge from this pandemic ready to offer consumers the best brands.

“Empirical is a perfect fit for Mangrove – they are innovative and interesting; they champion local flavours with a global mind set,” he continued. “To me, they are flavour magicians who challenge the status quo and make our industry take notice with extreme flavour profiles that stage an assault on our senses. 

“Already loved by chefs and more creative bar tenders, we’re looking forward to bringing their portfolio to a wider audience. 

“Adding Empirical to our portfolio highlights our credentials as the UK’s leading premium spirits distributor, offering our partners in trade world-class products with a sense of purpose.”

Empirical’s founders Lars Williams and Mark Emil Hermansen – who previously worked together at renowned two-Michelin star restaurant Noma in Copenhagen – launched the company in 2017.


Israel's first whisky maker arrives in the UK

​Israeli whisky distillery, the M&H, has unveiled its first range of single malt whiskies comprising its ​Classic single malt – which is claims is the world’s first Israeli whisky – as well as and ​the Element Series​, a trilogy of single malts each matured in a different type of cask.

What’s more, the M&H has partnered with Welsh whisky distillery Penderyn, to join their supply arm as the exclusive distributor of its award-winning spirits – which also includes Levantine Gin – to UK consumers. 

Since its establishment in 2012, the M&H has experimented with whisky production in hot climates, claiming that whisky matures and extracts barrel flavour faster in Tel Aviv’s hot and humid, Mediterranean climate than in traditional whisky-producing countries – giving its spirits characteristics usually only achieved after more years of maturation.  

Stephen Davies, chief executive of Penderyn, said: “​We’re proud to distribute the M&H’s single malts collection to the British public. 

“There’s a new world of single malts out there to be explored, and the M&H is bringing their unique taste of Israeli whisky to our shores without us even needing to go anywhere.” 

The M&H Distillery’s spirits are currently available in several global markets including the U.S., Canada, France, The Netherlands, Austria, Germany, Denmark, Australia and South Africa. 


Sussex Brewery launches first low and no pour 

West Sussex-based Hepworth & Company Brewery has added its first low alcohol beer – 0.5% ABV British Style pale ale Spartan – to its range of 13 beers and lagers

Modelled on Hepworth’s successful Traditional Sussex Bitter, Hepworth & Company Brewery used five different hops to create Spartan, sourced both locally in Sussex and from around the UK.

The latest addition from Hepworth & Company is also gluten free and vegan friendly and comes at just 21 calories. 

“Low alcohol beers have improved greatly over recent years,” head brewer and managing director, Andy Hepworth, said. “However, many of the ales use big, brash American hops to make up for the lack of other characters in these beers. This frequently makes a beer that has great flavour but just that one alone.
“We wanted to create a low alcohol beer that is genuinely quaffable, and we have spent time developing Spartan to ensure the taste of it measures up. A beer that you can join in the British custom of ‘rounds’ with others and not just nurse one drink through the evening.  

“It’s perfect for many occasions, whether you’re looking to upgrade a soft drink choice or looking to cut down on alcohol, you’ll still get the refreshing reassurance of a great Hepworth beer, without compromise on flavour.”


Nichols re-launches Feel Good Drinks

Nichols has relaunched Feel Good Drinks – a range of 100% natural fruitful canned sparkling waters, using no artificial flavours, added sugar or sweeteners and containing 15% real fruit juice.

Available in three variants; Peach & Passionfruit, Rhubarb & Apple, Raspberry & Hibiscus, the range contains fewer than 27 calories per 330ml can.

What’s more, Feel Good has unveiled a ‘3% for People and Planet Fund’ in which it will give 3% of sales to charities and non -profits that support personal and planetary wellbeing.

Feel Good general manager, Ed Woolner, explained: “In a century of rapid technological and industrial growth, humans have somewhat forgotten how fragile the natural world is and how much we rely on it for our wellbeing. 

“The Feel Good 3% People & Planet fund is our way of giving back, we know we are taking raw materials from the planet, but by donating and partnering with charities that support personal and planetary wellbeing we hope to help protect the natural environment that gives us so much.’  

“We are excited to see what the re-launched Feel Good brand delivers to our portfolio and the role it has to play in the future, ” Andrew Milne, CEO of Nichols PLC, added.

Feel Good

Beavertown launches The High Priestess 

London-based Beavertown Brewery has launched 5.2% ABV pour The High Priestess, a new addition to its recently re-launched Tempus Barrel project.  

Named after the tarot card, the new brew features a savoury coriander seed and green olive finish formed through a 3-6 month ageing process, using an ancient terracotta vessel traditionally used for winemaking to transform its natural wine yeast. 

The High Priestess joins Beavertown’s Tempus Barrel project line alongside The Chariot and Rule of Three.


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