It’s a celebration at Shepherd Neame
Independent family brewer Shepherd Neame is brewing a limited-edition Celebration Ale to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
The English ale (4.8% ABV) will be available on draught at a selection of its pubs throughout Kent, London and the south-east during the Jubilee bank holiday weekend from Thursday, 2 June to Sunday, 5 June.
The brewer said the beer uses the best of British barley and boasts light caramel notes and a deep golden hue. Local East Kent Goldings hops add a spiciness to the citrus and fruit aromas, balanced with subtle bitterness from a generous hopping of Kentish Challenger.
Shepherd Neame has a long association with the Royal family, holding Royal Warrants for its Grants Morella Cherry Brandy and flagship Spitfire Amber Ale.
Chief executive Jonathan Neame (pictured) said: “We have always supported the Queen’s Jubilees with a special beer, and are delighted to mark Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee with this Celebration Ale. We hope that our customers will enjoy raising a glass to toast this very special occasion.”
Strawberry cream liqueur Manquila hits JDW sites
Manchester-based distillery Zymurgorium Group has released its first expression for 2022 with the launch of Manquila, a wild strawberry cream liqueur with agave spirit from Jalisco in Mexico.
The new pour, said to be best served as a shot, over ice or in a creamy cocktail, is available at JD Wetherspoon sites across the UK.
Zymurgorium managing director Aaron Darke said: “Manquila will be a luxurious, fruity, creamy serve that we think will deliver the best flavour and texture of any agave cream liqueur on the market right now.
“The real challenge for us was learning how to deal with dairy. We can brew, we distil, but we have never made a product with cream before and from buying it in, it has been a whole new curve for us. I think we nailed it though and I am excited to see what our consumers think.
“It is brilliant to be able to put this product straight into a mega listing such as Wetherspoon. It doesn’t stop here though, as people know, we are never one to stop once we are started, so we have big plans for more flavours very soon.”
The company expects to expand its Cane Toad Rum range this year.
Two alcoholic flavours from WKD
Drawing inspiration from the energy drinks category, WKD is set to launch a duo of alcoholic drinks containing caffeine, guarana and taurine.
Under the name WKD X, owner SHS Drinks is introducing an innovative sub-brand to augment its flagship RTD. Available in 500ml single cans, the 7% ABV drink is launching in two flavours – WKD X Blue and WKD X Gold.
Debuting in May, WKD X will be available to on-trade customers in cases of 12 x 500ml single cans.
SHS believes WKD is perfectly placed to bring a nationally recognised brand to the fledgling ‘enhanced RTD’ category. The launch of WKD X will mark a step-change in the development of this new consumer category of high energy/higher ABV drinks, with the can format aiding speed of serve for busy on-trade venues, SHS said.
Alison Gray, head of brand – WKD at SHS Drinks, said: “WKD is synonymous with delivering great flavours and even greater times. The brand has always been about providing for different consumer moments and needs across a whole spectrum of usage occasions and times of day, and WKD X will take our offering to another level.”
A Tequila-style double from Lyre’s
Non-alcoholic spirits brand Lyre’s is set to launch two Tequila-style variants in Agave Blanco and Agave Reserva Spirit in May.
The variants are said to evoke notes of citrus, peppers, pine, spices and oak and the brand has secured a number of new on-trade listings that include Albert Schloss and Blinker in Manchester, and Rockwater in Brighton.
Lyre’s chief executive co-founder Mark Livings said: “Attitudes towards alcohol are changing and with it, the no and low category continues to gain momentum. IWSR forecasts the category will grow 8% compound annual growth rate between 2021 and 2025, demonstrating the appetite for non-alcoholic alternatives is here to stay. We’re committed to providing mindful drinkers with the flavour profiles and drinking experiences they already know and love, so invest heavily in researching, testing and refining every single one of our spirits to guarantee a like-for-like experience.”
Non-alcoholic spirit brand Atopia launches two flavours
Non-alcoholic spirit brand Atopia is launching two new flavours – Rhubarb & Ginger and Hedgerow Berry – to its range.
Atopia, which is part of William Grant & Sons, said both variants are copper pot distilled before being blended with natural botanicals and flavours. The Rhubarb & Ginger flavour is said to have “notes of juicy fruits including green apple, rhubarb and a hint of pink grapefruit, followed by the gentle heat of ginger on the palette”.
While Hedgerow Berry’s spirit base is “a compote of tart blackberries, redcurrants, and raspberries, with floral undertones of rosehip and pomegranate, and just a hint of spice”. Both are available to the on-trade.
Collaboration beer Speakeasy released at NWTC sites
So Lets Talk (SLT), a profit for purpose platform supporting a healthier hospitality industry has announced its collaboration with brewer Tiny Rebel has been listed by New World Trading Company (NWTC).
Newport-based Tiny Rebel has made an alcohol-free beer called Speakeasy, which aims to generate a culture change in the hospitality industry by ending the silence around health and wellbeing challenges and supporting hospitality workers.
Speakeasy is a 0.5% ABV Hazy Pale ale and said to be a “refreshing and light beverage with stone fruit on the nose and citrus notes on the finish”.
Head of bars for NWTC and non-executive director for SLT Kelly Harrison said: “We have supported So Lets Talk and their work within the industry for a while now and when we heard of the collaboration with one of our favourite breweries, we were excited to try the liquid. We are proud to stock Speakeasy and support spreading more awareness of wellbeing in hospitality.”
Biddenden Cider’s new variant
Biddenden Cider is launching a sweet cider called Biddenden Ice Cider 2021, which will be the first of its kind within the company’s range.
It is made from locally grown apples pressed on site at Biddenden, Kent. The result is said to be an intense, sweet, complex ice cider that reflects the best characteristics from Kentish grown Egremont Russet and Bramley apples.
It is fermented like a sweet wine and has a finished ABV of 9%. The finish is clean, fresh, fruity and heavily emphasizes the fruit used, according to the business.
Tom Barnes, general manager at Biddenden Cider, said: “Our family have been known as wine and cidermakers in Kent for over 50 years. As the third generation, I bring a sweet tooth and passion for the complexity of sweet wines, which is what led us to the development of the new ice cider.
“We wanted to make something unique, distinctive, and different to what we’ve produced before and really bring through our winemaking expertise and techniques with this release. Consumers are always looking for something new, so we took the opportunity to do what we do best, while also appealing to a new market. Biddenden Ice Cider 2021 can be served chilled as an aperitif or with sparkling water as a spritz. It’s great paired with puddings or cheese.”
Biddenden Ice Cider launches on 30 April. Trade orders can be made through the company’s website.
Soho Street Cocktails releases strawberry daquiri
Soho Street Cocktails has launched its Strawberry Daquiri cocktail pouch flavour.
It uses strawberry purée, Caribbean rum and lime juice. Soho Street Cocktail founder Paul Scarratt said: “Our version of the Strawberry Daiquiri is amazingly fresh, and we think it’s the perfect summer drink. When poured, the cocktail hits you with smell of pure strawberry and when tasted it has layers of flavour that deliver a mouth-wateringly refreshing drink.”
The drink is available for the on-trade through LWC and Comesto.
Royal British Legion to pop off triple Champagne range
The Royal British Legion has created a trio of Champagnes with Eminent Wines to celebrate its centenary.
Some 10% from every bottle sale will go to the charity to support and provide life-long support to the Armed Forces community.
The bottles, which are available for the on-trade to buy through Eminent Wines, include Reveille Brut – Chardonnay 35%, Pinot Meunier 25%, Pinot Noir 40% at £45 per bottle; Champs de Fleurs (Rosé) – Chardonnay 75%, Pinot Noir 12.5%, Pinot Meunier 12.5% at £55 per bottle; and Centurion (Blanc de Blanc) – Chardonnay 100% £55 per bottle.
Wine producer Terlingham turns hand to dry gin
Kent-based Terlingham Vineyard has diversified its product offering with the launch of Terlingham Bacchus Dry Gin.
The limited-edition gin, which is available to the on-trade through the vineyard, is produced with seasonal wines from grapes grown just once per year meaning no two batches are the same.
It is created by first distilling the vineyard’s award-winning Bacchus Wine then combined with gin crafted using locally foraged botanicals from Terlingham’s home in Folkestone before more wine is added to produce the final liquid.
Terlingham Vineyard co-founder Jackie Wilks said: “By combining both our widely applauded Bacchus Wine with foraged nettle and coriander from our neighbouring community garden, alongside other fresh botanicals, we’ve taken great care to ensure that our flagship gin reflects not only reflects Terlingham Vineyard, but also Folkestone, our home.”
Adnams and Sierra Nevada tie-up
Suffolk-based brewery Adnams has collaborated with US craft beer business Sierra Nevada to create a pale ale called Eastern Edge (4.8% ABV) to mark Adnams’ 150th anniversary.
The name comes from the vistas that dominate each brewery’s hometown, with Adnams looking across the sea from the English east coast and Sierra Nevada towards the Sierra Nevada mountains to the east with the brew inspired by Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and Adnams’ cask Southwold Bitter.
It uses UK and US varieties of Cascade and Chinook hops while Rye, Pale Ale and Cara malts provide a spicy biscuit balance.
Dan Gooderham, Adnams head brewer, said: “American hops are such an essential component for Sierra Nevada’s Pale Ale, so we decided to source some UK grown hops of the same variety to add even more depth of flavour to Eastern Edge. The provenance of hops has a huge influence on their characteristics and the flavour and aroma expressed, much like wine and the ‘terroir’. All this combined is what gives Eastern Edge its unique taste.”
It is available at Adnams’ own pubs and those it supplies beer to.
DropZone adds to spirits range with Bajan rum
DropZone Brewery has continued its expansion into the spirits market with the launch of Valkyrie Rum, honouring the men and women who have served in the armed forces.
DropZone launched last year with a range of military-themed beers and its new Valkyrie Rum, which is available for the on-trade through the brewery, will see all profits committed to military mental health charities.
This is a limited-edition, eight-year-old Barbados rum hailing from a pot and column still blend. It’s cask strength 65% ABV, distilled using the finest molasses and matured in ex-bourbon and American oak cask.
DropZone Brewery founder Sean Crawford said: “The name Valkyrie comes from Norse mythology, and these myths and legends have long-standing ties with military and naval traditions.”
Bladnoch adds peated expression to whisky range
Bladnoch Distillery has added a peated expression to its Classic Collection of Lowland single malt Scotch whiskies called Alinta.
Available to the on-trade via Master of Malt trade and Speciality Drinks at £79.95 per bottle, Alinta – an indigenous Australian word that means ‘fire’ and ‘flames’ – uses PX Sherry and ex-Bourbon casks and is bottled at 47% ABV.
Bladnoch’s master distiller Dr Nick Savage said: “Focusing on a very small annual peat production campaign, only a small volume will ever become releases. The exquisite combination of the PX sherry and Bourbon casks give Alinta an amazing balance of rich raisin-like sweetness and smoky campfire.”
Bladnoch added the whisky gives notes of smoky ice cream, delicately florals and sweet oak on the nose and campfire smoke, almonds, raisins, and white chocolate across the palate.
In the pink with Chuckleberry Gin
Chuckleberry Gin is the new gin from Shed 1 Gin Distillery in Cumbria – a micro distillery that started out in a 7ft x 7ft garden shed.
The gin is deep ink in colour and its tasting notes claimed: “The chuckleberry is a hybrid of a redcurrant, gooseberry, and jostaberry (which itself is a hybrid of a gooseberry and blackcurrant). It is slightly sharp on the tongue before giving way to a tart sweetness and is dry on the palate. Botanicals have been kept to a minimum to let the drinker capture the unique tart sweetness of the chuckleberry fruit with only very subtle herby notes coming through from the aromatic, soft almond meadowsweet and fragrant hyssop.”
It is available for the on-trade via the distillery and recommended serve is ideally complemented by tonic over ice. It costs £29.95 for 50cl, £9.95 for 10cl and is bottled at 40% ABV.
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