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Bushmills campaign remembers its roots

Published:  16 October, 2008

Irish whisky brand Bushmills has launched an on and off-trade promotion to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the original licence to distil whisky in the Bushmills area.

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InBev "categorically denies" launch of stronger Stella

Published:  16 October, 2008

InBev has issued a statement categorically denying that it is to release a higher ABV variant of Stella Artois.

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Diageo holds on to profit target despite downturn

Published:  16 October, 2008

Diageo is holding onto its full year profit target of between 7% and 9%, despite the financial crisis. TextDiageo is holding onto its full year profit target of between 7% and 9%, despite the financial crisis.

The drinks giant, which produces Smirnoff vodka, Johnnie Walker whisky and Guinness said organic net sales growth in the three months ended 30 September 2008 was 6%.

Chief executive Paul Walsh said that Diageo had delivered a "good trading performance" in its first quarter, which ran from July to September, despite anticipated global GDP growth slowing.

Walsh said the company has not seen significant adverse changes in its markets over the past three months, but said that it will be "alert to the impact the recent dislocation in the financial markets is likely to have on trade customer and consumer behaviour during the rest of the financial year."

In August, Diageo reported a lower than expected 7% rise in sales for the year ending June 2008 and a small drop in pre-tax profit to £2.095 billion, but said that operating profit had improved 9% to £2.23bn.

The group lowered its forecast for 2009 from 9% to a more cautious 7% to 9%.

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Famous Grouse launches St Andrew's Day campaign

Published:  15 October, 2008

Maxxium is launching an on and off-trade campaign to boost sales of its Famous Grouse whisky brand in the run up to St Andrew's Day.

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Paragon re-establishes Australian connection

Published:  15 October, 2008

UK distributor Paragon Vintners has re-established an Australian representation in its portfolio by winning the full UK distribution for South Australian winery Jip Jip Rocks.

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ALMR slams Labour's drink proposals

Published:  15 October, 2008

The Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) has added its voice to the debate over a mandatory code of practice for the drinks trade, by branding the proposals "ridiculous" and "reckless".   TextThe Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) has added its voice to the debate over a mandatory code of practice for the drinks trade, by branding the proposals "ridiculous" and "reckless".


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Casella plots European expansion for Yellow Tail

Published:  15 October, 2008

Casella Wines, makers of the popular Yellow Tail brand, has appointed a specialist wine sales and marketing agency in a bid to expand the volume of the brand's European sales.

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White wine as good for your heart as red

Published:  15 October, 2008

A new study has shown that white wine might be just as good for your heart as red.

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SAB Miller reports rise in beer sales

Published:  14 October, 2008

SAB Miller, the world's third largest brewer, said that beer sales increased slightly in the first half of its financial year because rising demand in emerging markets offset falling sales from US and South African buyers.

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Yali wine shortlisted for Asda sponsored green award

Published:  14 October, 2008

Chilean producer Viña Ventisquero has been announced as the only wine company to reach the finals of this year's Green Awards.

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WSTA rejects Labour proposals for mandatory industry code

Published:  14 October, 2008

The Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) has publicly rejected Labour's proposals for a new mandatory code of practice for the drinks trade, saying that more legislation is not the way to tackle the UK's binge drink problem. 

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Absolut Vodka sues Absolute Radio

Published:  14 October, 2008

Vin & Sprit (V&S), owners of premier Swedish vodka brand Absolute Vodka is suing Absolute Radio, the rebranded Virgin Radio, over what it claims is trademark infringement.

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Chilean winery sets sights on European duty free market

Published:  14 October, 2008

Chilean winery Viña Undurraga has teamed up with travel retail specialist The World of Patria to target the travel retail and duty free markets in Europe and the Middle East.

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Licensing Act is failing, police warn MPs

Published:  14 October, 2008

The Police Federation will today tell the government that its Licensing Act is failing to encourage more responsible attitudes to alcohol or reduce drink-related crime.

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Wines in the Press: Malbec, Muscadet and wines in the desert

Published:  14 October, 2008

This week Jane MacQuitty assesses the future of Oddbins, Victoria Moore goes back to her roots and Jonny Beardsall takes a trip to the Namib desert to meet a remarkable winemaker. Meanwhile Joanna Simon is surprised by the following on new website thewinegang.com.

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Champagne Jacquart appoints new export director

Published:  13 October, 2008

Champagne Jacquart has announced the appointment of a new export director for the UK and Irish markets.

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Asda "fastest growing wine retailer" in the UK

Published:  13 October, 2008

New figures released today show Asda to be the fastest growing wine retailer in the UK.

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Tesco launches "credit crunch" ale range

Published:  13 October, 2008

Tesco is launching a range of "credit crunch" ales, in a bid to cash in on the rising demand for ale and plug the gap left by falling lager sales.

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Gallo to sponsor London art fair

Published:  13 October, 2008

Gallo Family Vineyards is sponsoring this year's Affordable Art Fair for the second year running.

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Weekend round-up: Free wine tastings to be banned; Foster's prepares takeover defences

Published:  13 October, 2008

A round-up of stories from the weekend newspapers. TextA round-up of stories from the weekend newspapers.

Sunday Times:
Picking up on the Government's drinks industry code first leaked to Harpers last week, the Sunday Times says the proposals mark a hardening in the government's stance after the failure of a voluntary code to curb binge drinking. Under the proposals, bars are to be banned from offering free alcohol to women and free wine and beer tastings will be curbed under a new system of government restrictions to cut public drunkenness. There will also be rules to limit "happy hour" offers that encourage speed drinking, and soft drinks will have to be sold at the same discount during promotions. Wine in restaurants will have to be served in glasses with marked measures.

The FT:
Foster's, the Australian drinks group, is preparing its takeover defences amid expectations that the sale or demerger of its wine business will lead to a scramble for its coveted beer operations. The drinks group, which recently named Ian Johnston as chief executive after his predecessor Trevor O'Hoy took the fall for the group's ill-fated foray into wine, is due to complete the "strategic review" of its wine business within about 10 weeks. Analysts estimate that Foster's beer assets could be worth close to A$12bn (US$7.8bn). SABMiller, the London-based brewer, is a strong contender to bid for the beer brands if they come on to the market.

The FT:
SABMiller, maker of Peroni and Pilsner Urquell beers, is expected to report flat or negative like-for-like lager sales, with sales in key markets such as South Africa and Colombia likely to disappoint. Focus will be on SAB's key trading currencies, particularly the Columbian peso, which has fallen against the US dollar (the currency that the company reports its results in) over recent months.

The FT:
Diageo, maker of Baileys liqueur and Smirnoff vodka, is expected to say it remains on track to meet prior guidance in spite of increasing macroeconomic uncertainty. But interest is on how the distiller's whisky and vodka sales are holding up in such places as Russia, which has been engulfed in political and financial turmoil.

The Sun:
A beer hall in Iraq has held its own version of Munich's famous Oktoberfest party - complete with frothy steins, sausages, an oom-pah band and dirndl-clad waitresses. German-born Gunter Voelker, owner of the Deutscher Hof Erbil restaurant in Irbil, in Kurdish controlled Northern Iraq, says he wants to dispel the notion that Iraq isn't a holiday destination and insists beer is bringing people together.

The Mirror:
Airline pilots banned from the road for drinkdriving are allowed to carry on flying passenger jets, the Civil Aviation Authority has revealed. The CAA has admitted that nine commercial pilots were convicted of drink-driving last year. Three worked for easyJet while one was employed by Virgin Airlines. Pilots are banned from any alcohol consumption within eight hours of a shift, and easyJet imposes a 10-hour embargo ahead of duty.

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