Ten Locks ventures into American whiskey
Manchester-based drinks firm Ten Locks has expanded into the American whiskey sector with its latest partner, Redwood Empire Whiskey.
The partnership will bring three barrel-aged Redwood Empire Whiskeys to the UK for the first time. Pipe Dream Bourbon Whiskey, Emerald Giant Rye Whiskey and Lost Monarch Blend of Straight Whiskey will all be available from July.
“A rare gem in a booming category, this is a beautiful brand to look at, taste, enjoy and experience,” Becky Davies, head of commercial at Ten Locks, said.
“Redwood Empire Whiskey has stand-out strength of character and – much like Ten Locks – is dedicated to leading the category both in terms of innovation and being a force for better.
“At a time when we’re all looking to nature and the outdoors to nurture our sense of wellbeing, we know consumers and bartenders will fall in love with Redwood Empire Whiskeys.”
Vimto Out of Home to revamp Slush Puppie brand
Vimto Out of Home is poised to revive the iconic Slush Puppie frozen drink brand in the UK following a new agreement with the brand’s US owners, J & J Snack Foods Corp.
The long-term agreement gives Vimto Out of Home the rights to manufacture, manage, distribute, and sell the Slush Puppie brand across the UK, Ireland, and Europe.
Nick Yates, commercial director at Vimto Out of Home, said: “We are thrilled to welcome Slush Puppie into the Vimto Out of Home family.
“Slush Puppie is a brand that is extremely well-known in the UK and we are delighted to be able to offer our customers an even wider choice of frozen drinks brands.
“We’re passionate about frozen drinks and believe that under our care and with our unrivalled expertise in the sector we can help Slush Puppie reach its full potential in the UK and Europe.”
Wildjac Distillery unveils seasonal spirit range
Worcestershire-based eco-distiller, Wildjac, has launched English Summer Gin, the first of a new range of small-batch, limited-edition spirits that draw provenance from botanicals associated with each of the seasons.
Bottled at 37.5% ABV, English Summer Gin combines homegrown lemon thyme with lemon, lime, grapefruit, angelica, juniper, coriander, and orange.
“We are delighted to be launching the first in our range of seasonal spirits,” Chris Sadler, co-founder of Wildjac Distillery said. “We pride ourselves on our freshly foraged and homegrown ingredients, so it made sense to release a range of small batch spirits dedicated to each season’s freshest botanical offerings – the flavours that arise from which are unmatched.
“We’re already looking ahead to our next seasonal spirit releases, which will boast delicious fruit flavours inspired by nature’s shifting landscape."
Smirnoff launches Raspberry Crush variant
Smirnoff has introduced new flavoured vodka, 37.5% ABV Smirnoff Raspberry Crush, to the UK.
“The launch of Smirnoff Raspberry Crush is a big step towards further invigorating and adding excitement to the vodka category,” Nick Payman, head of Smirnoff, said.
“Smirnoff, a renowned and trusted brand, is perfectly placed to do this as well as recruit new audiences to vodka. The vibrancy of the new pack and liquid, from its colour to its taste, will provide maximum shelf stand out and menu appeal for the trade to capitalise on.
“The new launch provides consumers the opportunity to enjoy vodka serves at a wide range of events, from casual, early evening occasions to elevated experiences and get-togethers, and focuses in creating fun, delicious serves.”
Aluna Coconut creates Peach & Pomelo Liqueur
Aluna Coconut flavoured rum has unveiled its latest coconut-based pour with the launch of Aluna Coconut Peach & Pomelo Liqueur at 25% ABV.
The spirit is a blend of Aluna’s coconut rum with natural white peach, pomelo and pure coconut blossom nectar. It has been available for the on and off-trade from the end of June 2021 and distributed through Mangrove.
Aluna Coconut co-founder, Heather Graham, said: “We love exploring the properties of the coconut. Our coconut rum is cut to bottling strength with pure, sustainably sourced coconut water. Our coffee liqueur uses toasted coconut alongside roasted coffee. Our new release celebrates the blossom of the coconut palm alongside classic summer flavours of peach and citrus.
“Aluna is named after the moon, the giant coconut in the sky,” she added. “When we discovered that in Eastern tradition the pomelo is the favourite fruit of the moon goddess, we knew it was destined to be the perfect citrus to give harmony and balance to the blend.”
Star Pubs & Bars extends Own Label wines to include new world classics
Following on the success of the Star Pubs & Bar’s L’Evento Italian own label wine range launched in 2019, the company is broadening its own label offering for its leased and tenanted pubs.
New wine additions will include ranges from, Australia, Chile and Argentina and New Zealand along with a new Prosecco Rosé from Italy to satisfy growing consumer demand for innovation within the sparkling category.
Roberta Neave, Star Pubs & Bars wine category buyer said: “Italian wines like Pinot Grigio and Prosecco are critical to the success of wine sales in pubs.
“We have proven ourselves with our ‘L’Evento range, which has been a favourite with licensees and their customers. We’re now extending our Prosecco range to include a sparkling rosé, available in early July in readiness for a boom in summer trading.
“We are also looking beyond Italy to the other key wine producing countries that are really important in the on-trade,” she added. “Since pubs reopened in July 2020, share of more expensive wines such as New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc and Argentinian Malbec have risen as customers who traded up while in lockdown are now craving a more premium experience in pubs."
Kopparberg launches strawberry flavoured hard seltzer
Kopparberg is launching a new strawberry flavoured hard seltzer variant to add to its Mixed Berries and Passionfruit pours.
Rob Salvesen, head of marketing at Kopparberg, said: “The subtle flavours that dominate the hard seltzer category can disappoint.
“Kopparberg has managed to find the perfect balance of subtle and refreshing with a punchier flavour than other brands on the market.
“For those looking for a light, lower calorie alternative, this is the drink of the summer.”
Ryan Reynolds' Aviation American Gin extend commercial relationship with Wrexham AFC
Wrexham AFC’s official gin partner, Aviation American Gin, has extended its relationship with the club to include sleeve sponsorship and branding on the training wear of the men’s and women’s senior teams for the next two seasons, beginning in the 2021/22 campaign.
Aviation American Gin was named as the club’s official gin partner in a deal announced in February after Rob McElhenney and Ryan Reynolds’ takeover of the Wrexham AFC.
On the extension of that partnership, executive director Humphrey Ker said: “We are absolutely delighted to see Aviation American Gin on the Club’s senior shirts and training wear for next season.
“With Aviation Gin as a fellow supporter, Wrexham AFC fans can expect even more fun during the season.
“Additionally, fans of legal drinking age will be able to purchase custom-labelled bottles of Aviation American Gin, featuring official Wrexham AFC team colours and crests, to be enjoyed responsibly with their fellow supporters,” he continued.
“Both ourselves and Aviation are conscious of our roles in the community and are advocates of promoting responsible drinking which we will use our partnership to highlight.”
Smokehead releases ‘first-ever’ pre-mixed single malt in a can
Smokehead Islay single malt whisky has unveiled what it claims to be a ‘first’ in the whisky industry with the launch of a pre-mixed single malt in a ready to drink can serve.
Kick-starting the new 330ml ready to drink range are Smokehead mixed with Cola and ‘Smokehead mixed with Ginger + Lime – both 6% ABV.
Commenting on Smokehead’s latest launch, Iain Weir, Smokehead brand director, said: “There is a long-standing debate whether a single malt should be mixed. But Smokehead is an unapologetically bold smoky whisky that is made to be enjoyed however you want it.
“Smokehead refuses to follow the rules of conventional whisky drinking. With summer here and BBQ season in full swing, what better time to launch the first ever pre-mixed single malt Scotch whisky in a can.”
Endangered Brewing launches premium craft beer in the UK
Endangered Brewing – a planet-friendly premium craft beer new to the UK – will donate 10% of profits to help protect the planet’s most endangered species. The brand has partnered with The Born Free Foundation, a global animal charity that’s passionate about wild animal welfare and compassionate conservation.
Each beer from Endangered Brewing is associated with an endangered species with a unique story to tell. As such, the brand is launching with two, signature craft beers – African Wild Dog Lager and the Pangolin Pale Ale.
Endangered Brewing’s co-founder and biological scientist, Alexandra Prebble, said “At Endangered Brewing we are passionate about two things: beer and beasts (or wildlife, if you prefer) – so we decided to combine the two.
“We’re very excited to be launching our first two signature craft beers for like-minded animal lovers and those who care about our planet. Every beer you buy will make an impact; helping us raise funds and support conservation efforts for our featured animals.”
Female founded sustainable rum brand arrives in the UK
A B-Corp certified rum distillery found in the Rocky Mountains, Montanya boasts plastic neutral certification, a 100% wind powered distillery, and water sourced from a snowmelt-fed aquifer directly underneath the Colorado distillery.
The hero of the range, Montanya’s aromatic Valentia rum, offers aromatic sweetness with a bouquet of vanilla, cardamom, ginger and honeysuckle.
What’s more, with tasting notes including red chilli, coffee, caramel, vanilla, pineapple and chocolate, Montanya’s multi-award winning full-bodied Oro rum is aged for one year in a former White Oak whiskey barrel.
The brand’s ruby Exclusiva rum has also been aged for two-and-a-half years in American White Oak barrels and finished for six months in a Cabernet Sauvignon and Port barrel while Montanya’s Platino features a touch of the brand’s signature Colorado honey before being filtered through a coconut husk carbon filter to retain the clear colour – the result is a craft rum with flavour profiles of cream soda, cardamom, coffee, vanilla and pepper.
West Berkshire Brewery launches golden pale ale
Award-winning West Berkshire Brewery has announced the launch of Gold Star – a 4.1% ABV zesty traditional golden pale ale boasting aromas of oranges, grapefruit, apricot and berries followed by a bright citrus finish.
Managing director of West Berkshire Brewery, Tom Lucas, said: "Traditional beer styles are part of our DNA and, whilst we have always been happy that Good Old Boy, Detour and Renegade Lager represent benchmarks for their individual styles, we wanted a traditional pale ale to be proud of.
"There are some iconic beers in this category, which is, to my mind, one of the most drinkable around, and we have spent a year perfecting the recipe to ensure that Gold Star encapsulates the style.
“We're thrilled to be launching this delicious and refreshing golden ale this summer as restrictions are lifted and outdoor celebrations are in full swing.”
Eden Mill announces major redesign and launches nine new gins
St. Andrews-based Eden Mill has announced a bottle redesign and repositioning of their gin range following the recent news that their carbon positive distillery and visitor attraction – which will use biomass plant and field electricity to power stills – will open in Spring 2022.
For the first time since 2014 the brand will distil their award-winning London dry style Original Gin into a glass bottle, joining their existing gin range and nine new premium gins in a standardised new crystal cut design.
Standout new gins include Rosa Rosa Gin made from Rosa Canina and Rosa Damascena; Forager Gin, made from berries found in the endangered hedgerows of St. Andrews and Passion Gin, an Eden Mill favourite of Passionfruit and Coconut revisited and the brand’s new Christmas offering Golden Lore Gin.
“At Eden Mill we are passionate about celebrating the best of old and new,” Tony Kelly, CEO and co-founder of Eden Mill said. “Our gins are inspired by our heritage and roots in St. Andrews, and the hidden stories of our home and it is wonderful to see these stories told across our new bottles in beautiful illustrations.
“We’re proud to be sharing this new range alongside some of our most popular gins in our innovative new bottle design. Standardising our bottle production across all of our gins to this more sustainable design will greatly help us reduce waste, as we continue to push boundaries and move a step closer to a brighter, cleaner, clearer future for our distillery and the spirits industry.”
Shepherd Neame launches United States’ #2 hard seltzer in the UK
Faversham-based brewer and pub operator Shepherd Neame has extended its connection with long-standing partner Boston Beer Company to bring Truly Hard Seltzer to the UK in two flavours – Black Cherry and Wild Berry.
Marketing manager Louise Buet said: “Over the last two years, we have monitored consumer trends closely, capitalising on premiumisation and wellness through our estate.
“We are delighted to launch Truly Hard Seltzer to meet consumer demand as these trends grow, and proud that we are able to introduce such a prominent campaign to the UK audience.
“Shepherd Neame has a strong partnership with the Boston Beer Company, working with the US team for over 30 years. The launch of Truly Hard Seltzer demonstrates a continuation of our connection, and commitment to our shared values.”
Magners launches rosé cans
Apple cider brand, Magners, has announced the arrival of Magners Rosé cans.
Godelieve Crawford, senior brand manager for Magners, said: “The rise in popularity of the ready-to-drink (RTD) market has led to customers enjoying the convenience of canned drinks.
“A complementary serve for any summer occasion, the arrival of Magners Rosé cans provides an even more convenient way to enjoy our expertly crafted cider while out and about without compromising on taste or quality.
Crawford added: “The statement blush pink can offer a lightweight alternative to Magners Rosé glass bottles enjoyed in bars across the country; ideal to take with you for memorable summer adventures, get-togethers, and weekends in the sunshine with friends.”
New fizz on the block - English Charmat method sparkling
A new sparkling wine made using the Charmat method and one of the first of its kind in the UK, has been released by Boco by West Sussex-based House Coren.
The creators wanted to release a Charmat method wine as it believes the style showcases the bright, fruity freshness found in English grapes. It also offers a more affordable alternative to the traditional method sparkling wines already on the market.
William Coren, managing director of House Coren, said: “We love that English wine has become increasingly popular over the past few years, but we wanted to create an offering that was slightly more innovative and accessible without detracting from the traditional method. The Charmat method allowed us to do that.
“Boco creates a whole different segment in the English wine market that we feel there is demand for. A different price dynamic, easier drinking and brighter packaging will all in turn appeal to a much wider demographic.
“We are delighted to debut our very first wine, which will be one of many in our future portfolio.”
Magic Rock celebrates 10 Years with new brews
Huddersfield-based craft brewery Magic Rock is celebrating 10 years of brewing with three limited-edition pours – two new additions in the form of Serendipitous and Ten Magic Years as well as the return of a fan favourite Clown Juice.
Serendipitous is a 5.9% ABV IPA created in collaboration with Kirkstall Brewery, 10% ABV Ten Magic Years is a celebratory brew paying homage to the Great American Beer Festival champion DIPA of 2011, while 7% ABV Clown Juice was originally brewed in 2012, but returns with more “tropical hoppiness” and honed in on the juicy flavours, with a slight orangey spiciness on the tongue.