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The week in pictures

Diageo’s Cîroc Vodka and American rapper Sean “Diddy” Combs have launched a new campaign to promote the launch of the new seasonal flavour variant Cîroc Summer Citrus. Available for a limited time, the spirit is distilled from French grapes after which it is infused with orange and other citrus flavours.

Brand partner Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs said: “Start your summer celebrations early with our new limited time offering, Cîroc Summer Citrus. The perfect complement to your summer celebrations with friends and family. Welcome to the Summer of Love.”

Image: Simon Finlay Photography

Crisp Maltings’ craft brewing and logistics director, Rob Moody, is stepping down from his role after 37 years in the industry.

Paying tribute to Moody’s many years of service, managing director Adrian Dyter said: “Rob has played an instrumental part in the evolution of
the company. His enthusiasm for the new direction the market was taking; pushing for change; and laying the foundations of our support to the craft sector has been critical.

“In paying tribute to his 27 years’ with Crisp and 37 years’ service to the malting industry, I would like to thank Rob for his passion and commitment, as well as for his skills and knowledge. He has definitely helped to make the company what it is today; he’s been a truly excellent colleague, and we will all miss him.”

Reflecting on his achievements, Moody said: “It’s been a privilege to work with so many fantastic people over the years and I’m sad not to be
getting together with the team to thank them all in person.”

Scotch whisky distiller Loch Lomond Whiskies has entered into a new three-year partnership with rugby league team Wigan Warriors. Loch Lomand will become the club’s official spirit partner, and its logo will appear on the shorts of both the men’s and women’s first-team squads.

The WSET held its first ever virtual graduation yesterday to honour those achieving their Level 4 Diploma. This year’s Vintners’ Cup, the only prize awarded this year, was given to Mary Wright, who is the Sogrape Iberia Estates ambassador at Liberty Wines. Wright achieved the highest overall mark across all units of the qualification.

Commenting on her achievement, Wright said: “I am absolutely thrilled to have been awarded the Vintners’ Cup and Scholarship and am really grateful to The Vintners for their very generous study grant. I’m looking forward to a trip to the vineyards of South America, hopefully in the not-too-distant future.

President of the Spanish Wine Federation (FEV) Emilio Restoy met with the Spanish Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism, Reyes Maroto, this week. Restoy called on the government to dedicate resources from the Next Generation EU recovery fund to the Spanish wine industry.

He said: “Our priority is that the wine sector is the specific object of this aid and that it reaches the entire sector, formed mostly of small and medium-sized companies that provide employment and support the entire rural economy of our country.”

Canadian actor Ryan Reynolds gave his first UK interview on the subject of Aviation American Gin on ITV This Morning with Alison Hammond and presenters Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby

During the interview, Alison Hammond (pictured above) sang her own football chant to celebrate Reynolds and Rob McElhenney’s purchase of Wrexham Football Club and the subsequent launch of the limited edition Wrexham AFC Aviation Gin. Bottles are available to buy from the Wrexham AFC Webshop priced at £32 for 70cl.

Bature Brewery, which claims to be the first craft brewery in Nigeria, has collaborated with pop artist and graphic designer Williams Chechet on new designs for its core range to coincide with the opening of a new Lagos brewery.

The brewery said Chechet’s work will not only feature on the cans and other packaging, but also will be displayed inside the brewery.

Alcohol-free ‘spirit’ company Sea Arch Drinks has teamed up with The Seahorse Trust to raise awareness and funds to support the charity’s research and conservation work. Both businesses are based in Devon and share a passion for coastal conservation. The partnership will see Sea Arch become a member of the trust and donate funds to the charity as well as help share its news.

Neil Garrick-Maidment, executive director and founder of The Seahorse Trust, said: “We are really happy to be working in partnership with Sea Arch Drinks. We share the same environmental concerns and standards, and to be associated with an environmentally aware company with great tasting non-alcoholic spirit is brilliant news. We look forward to a long partnership, helping to protect our seas together.”

Fightback lager, the official beer partner for the Music Venue Trust, has announced a new crowdfunding campaign. Launched in 2018, the beer brand was established to raise income for the charity, which protects the future of grassroots music venues. 

In its new campaign, Fightback hopes to raise some £200,000 to help expand the business and be listed in over 900 music venues when the industry reopens this year.

Gary Prosser, director of Fightback lager, said: Despite the trials and tribulations of lockdown, we are now in a position to roll out beer and cider that will help secure the long-term future of grassroots venues. These venues are the beating heart of the UK music industry, defiantly backing new artists and training the talent that invigorates music culture.

It is also an opportunity to invest in a business where credibility is the foundation, combining financial success with saving venues. With Fat Boy Slim and Frank Turner already among our famous fans, investors know they’ll be in good company.

Fellow beer brand Tennent’s is marking the countdown to the reopening of pubs with the launch of six-litre kegs of its lager for use with PerfectDraft machines.

The kegs are available for £31.50 at Beer Hawk, with the first 1,000 customers who buy three kegs or more also receiving two bonus pint glasses. The beer brand is also selling bar kits, including glassware, bar runners and t-shirts, from its own website.

Irish whiskey producer Tullamore D.E.W launched “the world’s smallest(ish) Irish pub” this week to celebrate St Patrick’s Day. Named the D.E.W Drop Inn, it is open (online) for business 24/7, closing on Sunday 21 March 2021.

The interactive pub allows visitors to curate their own St Patrick’s Day experience from a range of creative content including music from Irish singer Carrie Baxter, comedy from Alison Spittle, toasts from global culture and Tullamore distillery ambassador Kevin Pigott and cocktails from UK ambassador Conor Friel.

Scotch distiller Annandale and London-based whisky cask brokers VCL Vintners announced a multi-year deal of exclusivity this week. The agreement will entitle VCL to half of Annandale’s output every year, equating to some 276,000 litres, which it will sell on to investors.

Benjamin Lancaster, director of VCL Vintners, commented: “We’ve been working with David Ashton-Hyde (distillery general manager) and the team at Annandale since early 2020 and we’ve seen significant demand from investors for their premium product. We ended up forming a close friendship with the distillery and started to explore the possibility of working closely together on an exclusive basis.”

“We’re excited because now that we have secured a consistent supply, our clients can benefit from casks with a high-grade premium product and an even higher potential for return on investment, and we can explore both digital and non-digital options for distribution.”

Meanwhile, drinks group Beam Suntory has made a £6 million investment in Glen Garioch’s distillery in Oldmeldrum in north east Scotland. The funds will go towards renovation work which will see the site return to more traditional practices, while also using cutting-edge technology such as direct-fired distillation. The changes will also help to reduce the carbon footprint of the distillery by around 15%. Work is expected to be completed this year.

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