Kronenbourg has relaunched its 1664 Blanc beer for the UK market. The move comes after Carlsberg Marston Brewing Company Group (CMBC) acquired the UK rights to produce and distribute Kronenbourg in June last year. Previously it had been under the stewardship of Heineken. Brewed in the UK, the product is being billed as a premium wheat beer with ‘a delicate taste of citrus fruits and coriander spice’. 1664 Blanc was first launched in 2004 as a competitor product to fellow white beer Hoegaarden. “There is a genuine excitement surrounding the imminent launch of Blanc in the UK,” says CMBC’s Dharmesh Rana. “Consumers really love the taste, the look and the brand world we are creating, our customers can see the category opportunity and are excited for the growth that it will bring. Our partnerships and marketing initiatives are hopefully going to get everyone talking about and trying Blanc throughout the year. It’s going to be hugely exciting”.
Madame F Frizzante on Tap
Prosecco brand Madame F will make a nationwide move into the on-trade this year having secured its first listing at Dishoom’s new Permit Room offshoot. Its Frizzante on Tap is 11% abv and is made using grapes from a boutique vineyard in Veneto, northern Italy that is says are grown on the south facing hillsides only. The grapes are soft pressed with no skin maceration and are then slow fermented in stainless steel tanks at low temperature. The sparkling process is made using the Charmat method (natural re-fermentation) in pressurised stainless steel tanks. The prosecco is characterised as being straw yellow in colour with a ‘persistent perlage’ with a taste profile that is described as ‘dry, harmonious and balanced’.
BrewDog Distilling Co.
BrewDog Distilling Co. has added a new high-end Tequila to its portfolio of spirits. Casa Rayos Tequila is made in Mexico's Jalisco state from 100% agave in partnership by the Orendain family, the third oldest distilling family in the town of the Tequila. BrewDog Distilling Co’s new CEO, Martin Dickie (co-founder of BrewDog) and managing director Steven Kersley worked closely with the Orendain family to create a flavourful Blanco Tequila, a blend of over 12 varieties from both copper pot and stainless steel distillations. Tasting notes include lime and orange citrus zest, underpinned by spicy cracked black pepper, pink peppercorn, and an earthy component typical of the region in which the agave has been grown. BrewDog Distilling Co. is focusing on the on-trade for Casa Rayos and will soon look to use its whisky know-how to explore aged Reposado and Añejo variants.
Belgian cherry beer Cherry Chouffe is looking to get a foothold in the UK market and is being pitched as the perfect drink for Valentine’s Day. The 8% abv beer is made using cherry juice and has notes of strawberry, almond, spices and sweet port and is described as having a ‘round-bodied, soft, and delicate profile’ with a subtle touch of bitterness.
Hartridges soft drinks
Drinks brand Hartridges is adding two new sparkling products to its soft drinks range. Elderflower Pressé and Traditional Lemonade bring its premium range of soft drinks to 14, comprising eight sparkling drinks and six fruit juices. The product launches coincide with a complete rebrand that includes the introducing of new labels.
The Diamond Collection whiskies
Family-owned scotch whisky business Douglas Laing & Co has released six of its most scarce and precious single casks, hand-selected from the family vaults. Named The Diamond Collection, the releases comprise a Speyside’s Finest 55 Years Old; Port Dundas 45 Years Old; Macallan 35 Years Old; Blair Athol 30 Years Old; Cameronbridge 45 Years Old; and an elusive Port Ellen 40 Years Old.
Orbit Belgian Wit beer
The South London-based Orbit Beers has added a Belgian Wit beer (4.9% abv) to its core range. Replacing the brewer’s ‘Peel’ Belgian Pale Ale (4.3% abv), the new beer is a result of a year’s research and recipe development. Orbit’s Belgian Wit beer - which inherits the ‘Peel’ branding - is described as soft and hazy with a billowing, fluffy white head. Tasting notes include subtle citrus flavours from the dried orange peel and Motueka hops, and a ‘moreish’ malt sweetness alongside aromas of clove and banana from the Belgian yeast and coriander seeds. The ‘Peel’ name is a nod to legendary DJ John Peel’s The Peel Sessions that gave hundreds of up-and-coming musicians airtime.
Absolut has expanded its flavoured vodka portfolio with the addition of a honey variant. Absolut Hunni has been designed to be mixed with lemonade but also offers bars the chance to extend their repertoire of flavoured martinis, according to the vodka brand. “Absolut Hunni Lemondrop Martini offers a balanced yet sweet, zesty serve that will ensure customers aren’t stung when ordering at the bar,” says Ian Peart, commercial director for brand owner Pernod Ricard UK.
MOMO Kombucha has launched a limited-edition Forced Rhubarb Kombucha in partnership with Natoora. Made with rhubarb grown by famed Yorkshire-based producer Tomlinson’s, the product is described as ‘a little bit sweet, a little bit tart, and totally delicious’ and comes in 330ml bottles. “It’s a huge honour to partner with Natoora, an inspiring organisation which exists to fix the food system by sourcing radically seasonal produce from small-scale growers,” says MOMO Kombucha co-founder Josh Puddle. “With a shared commitment to quality and artistry, Natoora and MOMO are natural partners.”
Speciality coffee pioneer Workshop Coffee has completed a £1m funding round to support its next stage of growth following a recent management buyout. Led by the company’s founder James Dickson, investment was secured from multiple new high net worth investors and The FSE Group. This will be primarily used to drive continued growth in Workshop’s B2B division, as well as to launch a new website and e-commerce platform. Workshop Coffee says it has an ‘unwavering commitment to directly sourcing and roasting coffee of the highest possible standard’ and that recent B2B account wins from the likes of Raffles London, The Langham, London and 1 Hotel Mayfair have ‘reinforced their premium positioning’. “Our wholesale division is experiencing an unprecedented level of growth, and we’re very pleased to have welcomed several new 5-star hotels to our client base in recent months,” Dickson says. “With Andy Phillips appointed as CEO, and David Read as chairman, we believe we now have the best possible platform to scale the business.”