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The week in pictures

Members of the drinks trade once again gathered for The Benevolent’s annual charity ball, raising more than £40,000 to support colleagues in need. The charity’s chief executive David Cox got into the swing of things with a spot of face painting.

(L-R) David Cox, Laura Jewell MW, Dan Jago

Held at the Dorchester Hotel the evening began with the Salon des Champagnes and was followed by a four course meal with fine wines. During the dinner the guest speaker, Iain Wilson from Halewood International, spoke about how the charity provided him valuable support when he needed it most.

Ewan Murray and his band ‘Chapter Eight’

Ewan Murray, of the Wine Society, entertains guests with his band “Chapter Eight”. Guests were also treated to a casino, photo booth and face painting (see above).

Team db hard at work judging the Drink Business Global Prosecco Masters at the Punch Room at London’s Edition Hotel.

The vast majority of the world’s drinks industry set off for Germany this week to attend the annual ProWein trade fair. As the leading international trade fair for the wine and spirits business, the event saw 5,970 exhibitors from 50 countries and more than 52,000 visitors from 123 countries.

Bibendum PLB hosted its official launch party since the companies merged last year at ProWein in Düsseldorf this week.

Tesco’s Dan Jago and Pieter Ferreira, winemaker at South Africa’s Graham Beck winery.

Around 400 guests attended the event which was held on the river in central Düsseldorf with the partying where the partying continued long into the early hours of Monday morning.

The Provence Wines exhibitors celebrate the end of another year at ProWein. Around 1,000 visitors gathered to taste the 71 rosé, red and white wines on show from 49 producers and négociants offered in the Provence tasting area.

Credit: Colin Hampden-White

This week students on the first ever Spirits Marketing and Management MBA course offered by INSEEC Wine and Spirits Institute left their Groupe INSEEC London campus to explore Speyside and experience working distilleries. Here the group visit Glendronach Distillery on their final day.

Alan “Howling Laud” Hope of the Official Monster Raving Loony Party with David Paterson, head of sales at Hogs Back Brewery, at the launch of the brewery’s Hog in the Limelight beer.

The Hogs Back Brewery in Surrey has thrown its hat into the political ring by launching a beer in partnership with the Official Monster Raving Loony Party (OMRLP) in the run up to the General Election. The party is led by Alan “Howling Laud” Hope, who lives locally. The brewery has rebranded its 3.7% Hogs Back Bitter as “Hog in the Limelight”, in a nod to Hope’s self-styling as the Boss Hog character from “Dukes of Hazzard”, for the duration of the campaign.

This week, db ventured north to Sheffield, taking in the liquid delights at the Society of Independent Brewers’ (SIBA) annual BeerX convention. On offer was the chance to hear top industry figures from the world of craft brewing and also taste the Association’s award-winning beers, served from what has to be one of the world’s longest bars.

(L-R) Nigel Barden, BBC Radio food and drink broadcaster; Ian Goodall, director, Brass Castle Brewery; Rob Orton, brewing team leader, St Austell Brewery; David Barr, technical brewer, St Austell Brewery; Guy Sheppard, SIBA chairman

Three “Supreme Champions” and 60 medal winning beers were unveiled at the event by SIBA as part of its National Beer Competition 2015. Supreme Champion titles went to Brass Castle Brewery of Malton, Yorkshire for Burnout in the National Cask Beer Competition, St Austell Brewery for Big Job in the National Bottled Beer Competition, and Wild Beer Company of Evercreech in Somerset for Madness IPA in the National Keg Beer Competition.

New Zealand’s Villa Maria sent in these picture of its harvest getting under way at its Ihumato vineyard in Auckland, which is based in the crater of an extinct volcano.

The fruit quality across all regions was said to be looking “exceptional” so far.

With single serve bottles of wine proving a hit with UK consumers, Moët & Chandon was bang on trend at last week’s Cheltenham Festival, where racegoers visiting the Champagne house’s bar could enjoy these mini-bottles complete with handy drinking funnel.

With 2015 marking the 200th anniversary of Cockburn’s Port, the Port brand hosted a “once-in-a-lifetime” tasting of its Vintage Ports in London spanning three centuries, which includes the very last bottles of the 1868 and 1863 vintage.

Scotland’s Inverarity Morton and Forth Wines hosted its second annual tasting since the two companies merged last week. Featuring some 600 wines and 60 producers it is Scotland’s largest annual wine tasting.

The tasting featured a schedule of themed masterclasses with guest speakers including Fabrice Bacquey from Chateau Phelan Segur, Hannah Gordon from Craggy Range, live chef demonstrations and two chocolate and champagne sessions with Laurent Perrier and Highland Chocolatier.

(L- R) James Allan of Glasvegas, Paul Condron, marketing director of Magners and Rab Allan of Glasvegas.

The line-up for the second Magners Summer Nights festival in Edinburgh and Glasgow has been unveiled with acts anounced including King Creosote, Glasvegas, Joan Armatrading, Ben Folds and Echo & The Bunnymen. The three day night festival will run between 26 and 28 August at venues in Glasgow and Edinburgh. Both events will host a Magners Village with a cider garden and street food open from 6pm each night.

Wadworth, the Devizes-based brewers, has joined forces with Sparsholt College in Hampshire to create a Chelsea Flower Show garden featuring heritage hops as its theme. Horticulture students at the college have designed and will build every aspect of the garden, and will also be cultivating the hops. The garden will features in the RHS Discovery zone at the upcoming Chelsea Flower Show.

And finally… We were impressed by this quirky make-over given to actor Dan Aykroyd’s iconic, skull-shaped Crystal Head vodka bottle, spotted during our Prosecco Masters tasting at The Punch Room at the London Edition hotel.

Pol Roger Ltd MD Nick James celebrates his retirement with a bottle of Glenfarclas from 1971 – the year he joined the wine trade. Friends and colleagues gathered to celebrate his career at the Armourers’ Hall in London last night.

And a bit of subtle branding in the car park at ProWein, which took place in Düsseldorf from Sunday to Tuesday this week.

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