Asahi launches Viper Hard Seltzer
Asahi UK has announced its entry into the hard seltzer category with the arrival of new 4% ABV Viper Hard Seltzer to complement its portfolio of super premium beer and cider brands.
Available from June 2021, the latest addition to the Asahi UK portfolio is available in two flavour variants – Lime and Cranberry.
With no artificial sweeteners, colours or preservatives, Viper Hard Seltzer is brewed with water pumped from 100m below sea level and experiences a six-day brewing process to create a Hard Seltzer with a crystal-clear appearance.
“As a business we have a proven track record for building market-leading brands and we are dedicated to always offering beverages with premium quality credentials,” Sam Rhodes, marketing director of Asahi UK said.
“Entering the vibrant hard seltzer category is a really exciting move for us, and we’re proud to introduce a hard seltzer that not only offers quality, demonstrated through the brewing process, but it also allows us to continue to offer products to our customers that are in line with consumer trends.”
Seven Bro7hers serves up Humble Pie
Salford-based brewery Seven Bro7hers is launching limited-edition wheat beer Humble Pie as part of its seventh birthday celebrations.
One of seven brothers to co-found the brewery, Dan McAvoy has created a 7% ABV pear, blackberry and nettle wheat beer inspired by walks in the countryside with his family and a love of foraging for herbs and fruit.
The new brew joins commemorative pours from brothers and co-founders Kit and Nathan McAvoy, who have respectively released Peanut Butter on a Jaffa Cake Stout and red IPA Depth Charge.
“There is nothing like getting out into nature, I wanted to create a beer that felt like a breath of countryside air,” Dan said.
“I have worked with the brewery team to include humble ingredients including berries from wild hedgerows and nettles, to make a beer that reminded me of country walks with my two children. They used to collect pockets full of blackberries and bring them home to make pear and blackberry pie.”
For each beer within the 7 Series to mark Seven Bro7hers’ seventh birthday, 7% of the profits will go to a charity personal to each brother. Dan’s chosen charity is Lyme Disease UK.
Brixton Brewery eyes up Coldharbour Lager expansion
In anticipation of a surge in demand for craft lager, Brixton Brewery is taking steps to establish a nationwide presence for its Pilsner-style Coldharbour Lager.
Following its recently secured national off-trade distribution in key grocers, Brixton Brewery is targeting 1,200 new taps nationwide.
As such, Brixton Brewery is increasing its marketing budget significantly to help accelerate awareness and reach of the beer via a variety of activity including the brand’s first ever OOH campaign, an increased digital spend as well as extensive sampling across festivals and events.
Co-founder of Brixton Brewery Xochitl Benjamin said: “Following a chance meeting in a local bar in 2013, Brixton Brewery was born, and our passion for putting Brixton on the map for great beer is as strong as ever. As a family-run business, we are rooted in our diverse and vibrant community and we work hard to brew beers that make the Brixton community proud.
“Each of our beers celebrate Brixton, from their names to the design, and each is hand-crafted in small batches, unpasteurised and unfiltered for maximum flavour.
“We always ensure we use the best ingredients we can get our hands on, whether sourced locally or further afield, resulting in beer that’s bold, modern and perfectly balanced for easy-drinking.
“Coldharbour Lager is just one example of this. Named after the bustling Coldharbour Lane, where travellers to London used to find shelter, this pilsner-style beer is full of fearless craft character and now helps consumers all over the UK take refuge from thirst.”
Van Hunks creates Brut and Rosé MCC sparkling wines
Van Hunks has unveiled Brut and Rosé Méthode Cap Classique (MCC) sparkling wines in the UK, a range of South African sparkling wine equivalents to Champagne from Stellenbosch.
Van Hunks Brut and Rosé Sparkling Meads are produced from three natural ingredients, honey, yeast and water, in the same way as Champagne but with honey instead of grapes.
“Sparkling sales have benefitted from a number of trends recently, fun packaging and consumer interest in aperitivo culture and spritz drinks,” Tom Gamborg, founder of Van Hunks and Skäl Drinks SA said.
“Champagne and sparkling wine consumption rose approximately 4% in 2019 according to the beverage Information and insights group, reaching 24.9m nine-litre case sales.
“This marks the category’s 18th consecutive year of growth since 2002 and we believe the time is right to introduce consumers to the exciting world of South African MCC’s.
“We have focused on the beauty of our product and brand story and we believe that there is a great opportunity for high quality MCC’s in the UK to rival other styles of sparkling wine and Champagne on quality and on price and this is why we are extending the Van Hunks range into the Sparkling Wine category.
“Van Hunks is a brand that will put MCC and the great liquid on the map.”
Secret Garden Distillery launches new look
The Secret Garden Distillery has unveiled a new look for its premium gin range comprising two traditional gins; Lemon Verbena and Wild; and two floral gins; Elderflower & Jasmine and Apothecary Rose.
“Nature is at the heart of everything we do and our aim is to communicate this message to a wider audience,” Hamish Martin, founder, herbologist and head gardener at Secret Garden Distillery said. “We are truly ‘rooted in nature’ and the changes made to our packaging, such as the grass labels, are part of our journey to become even more sustainable.”
Managing director André de Almeida, added: “This is an exciting next step in our journey, creating a pack that clearly reflects our values and communicates our point of difference including our ongoing commitment to improve our sustainability credentials.
“There are some exciting developments still to come in the next few years and I am looking forward to bring these to fruition.”
New seaweed infused Scottish rum, Lowland, revealed
John Paul Jones, a new independent boutique rum company from the Scottish Lowlands, has been launched by three young entrepreneurs following Covid-19 job losses.
Ollie Blackett, Finnian Gill, and Jack Cuddigan formerly London-based professionals have reinvested furlough funds to create seaweed infused Lowland Rum.
“To say it has been a rollercoaster of a year would be an understatement, but honestly we are all absolutely delighted with what we have produced,” admitted Gill said. “With no professional experience in the spirits business and no outside investment, we have made something really special. The dream for us is just that this can now be our lives forever.”
Signature Brew announces Hot Chip collaboration
London-based beer maker Signature Brew is launching One Pure Thought a 4.8% ABV brew in collaboration with Hot Chip, described as ‘the thinking person’s party band’.
One Pure Thought is a rice lager created with real Sicilian lemons launched to coincide with a week of new band collab launches to celebrate Signature Brew’s Bigfoot Festival takeover – where Hot Chip will be playing the Signature Brew stage.
Some of the other acts, curated by Signature Brew for the festival, have also dropped into the brewery; Big Joanie have collaborated to create Sistah Punch, a gluten free mango pale ale; Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs created New England pale Beer Beer Beer Beer Beer Beer Beer and The Wytches brewed up a Wytches Brew – an American IPA.
Speciality Brands rolling out new limited edition Rye release in the UK
Premium drinks agency Speciality Brands is rolling out a new limited edition Rye release from Michter’s: US*1 Barrel Strength Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey in the UK.
The Michter’s Barrel Strength Rye was last released outside of Kentucky in 2019 and will be available on allocation at specialist retailers and on-trade accounts across the country.
Michter’s US*1 Barrel Strength Rye is a single barrel whiskey chosen by Michter’s master distiller Dan McKee, Michter’s master of maturation Andrea Wilson, and Michter’s senior production team.
The rye whiskey is bottled at barrel strength, with a 2021 release median ABV of 55.1% and boasting notes of butterscotch, cinnamon, cherries, toasted vanilla, caramel and a warm spice finish.
Michter’s president Joseph J. Magliocco said: “Our team has been turning out some wonderful Kentucky style ryes over the years, and this 2021 release continues that trend.”
McKee added: “I was really happy when we tasted these barrels. This release has so much of what I look for in a rye.”