The week in pictures
They say good things come in threes. First, we heard that Joe Biden officially, finally won the US election. Then, we heard there may officially, finally be a coronavirus vaccine ready for distribution slightly sooner than we thought (although we’re not getting our hopes up too much yet).
Now, the founders of London-based craft beer maker Signature Brew have finally, arguably reached the pinnacles of their careers by collaborating with 00s rock group The Darkness on a seasonal festive ale.
The beer, called Bells End, takes after the band’s iconic Xmas track Christmastime (Don’t Let The Bells End).
It’s a bitter with mid-low carbonation and plenty of wintry aromas and flavours. On the nose is stone fruit, toffee and light, earthy hops, which carry through to the palate along with some spicy blackcurrant flavours.
The duo visited Signature’s brewery in Leytonstone several times to work out the ideal beer to launch in the run-up to Christmas with founders Sam McGregor and Tom Bott.
Commenting on the collaboration, The Darkness’ Dan Hawkins said: “We wanted a beer that’s punchy and drinkable at the same time. Signature Brew really know their stuff and captured exactly what we were after. Bells End has got a bit of oomph to it but it’s something you can drink in the run up to Christmas and throughout the whole season. It’s a very wintery beer, it’s perfect and we can’t wait for everyone to try it.”
AB InBev-owned wine brand Babe has launched a “Bubble ICE-A” to help its fans save money on wine during the second lockdown.
The canned wine label is giving people the chance to win bundles and pampering goodies throughout November, kicking off with an Instagram partnership with cosmetics brand Soap & Glory.
While we’re on the subject on generation-defining brands, Mark Anthony Brewing is set to invest $400 million in a new production facility for White Claw Hard Seltzer in Columbia, South Carolina.
Irish whiskey label Jameson, which is owned by Pernod Ricard, has turned empty whiskey bottles into Christmas trees and is giving fans the chance to take one home this festive season as part of a new festive competition.
Seven trees have been created, all of which are made of 130 Jameson bottles, are 8ft 6″ tall, and have their own lights.
To win one of the trees, Irish whiskey lovers are being asked to explain why they deserve to bring a tree home to share with their friends and family this year in up to 200 words. Visit jamesonwhiskey.com to enter.
In lockdown reads, Richard Mayson’s The Wines of Portugal was published on Thursday (12 November).
The tome covers the history of Portuguese wine, grape varieties, winemaking and the regions and their producers, along with guidance for visitors. Mayson hand-picked the featured producers based on their historic importance, the quality of their wines and international distribution. Here, we see him sharing a glass with Rui Reguinga in Portugal, whose wines are covered in the book.
While The Fladgate Partnership put foot-treading in Porto on hold this year due to ‘elf and safety, things are a bit more casual in the UK. Winemaker Sergio Verrillo of Blackbook Winery in Battersea (south London) sent us some plandid snaps of himself stomping the 2020 vintage of Pinot Noir from Clay Hill Vineyard in Essex this week.
In other EW news, three years after planting vines at Pinglestone Estate Hampshire, French champagne house Vranken-Pommery saw its first ever grape harvest on UK soil.
Clément Pierlot, Champagne Pommery chef de cave, said the harvest was “notable for its early development and quality. The favourable Spring weather resulted in early bud break.
“The dry and sunny Summer weather facilitated the ripening of the grapes, allowing picking to start earlier in the season than usual. We were rewarded with marvellous healthy bunches of Pinot Noir, Meunier and Chardonnay with optimal maturity levels.’’
Whisky label The Famous Grouse has partnered with Premiership Rugby, The British & Irish Lions, SA Rugby, and Glasgow Warriors as part of its extended Spirit of Rugby campaign.
This means it is not only the official whisky partner and will be served across Premiership Rugby games for the next three years, but is also the sponsor for the British, Irish, South African and Glaswegian teams.