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Premium and craft gin is on the rise. In the last two years sales have jumped 18% and astonishingly British gin makes up 20% of the worlds supply. But what’s driving this growth? One word. Craft. Craft gin distilleries are popping up faster than you can say G&T. According to figures released by HMRC at the end of 2014 applications for distillery licenses have jumped a massive 1500% and show no signs of slowing. But what exactly is...

The English wine sector is in rude health. 2014’s harvest has seen production explode with exports set-up to grow. The wines continue to wow critics and awareness of English wines is growing among UK consumers. Consumers sales have grown too as UK drinkers discover the wines with Waitrose reporting a 95% uplift in sales. So how well are English wines using social media to reach consumers? We decided to take a look. Producers only have to look...

A recent trip to Vancouver was full of surprises. Great food, lovely people but more importantly amazing craft beer. For a city that’s half the size of Birmingham it’s blessed with 16 craft beer breweries. So when in craft beer heaven it’d be rude not get a taste for the city. Where to start? On a recommendation from a bartender in Gas Town we headed from downtown to East Vancouver AKA brewery central. Our cab pulled up on Commercial...

Fancy a prawn flavoured pint? Yep it's that time of year again, April Fools Day. We've picked our top five beer related pranks doing the rounds; 1. BrewDog Fancy smelling like a brewery? BrewDog hoped to trick fans into purchasing his and hers scents – Esther for her and High Alpha for him. We like how far they’ve taken the gag even setting up an online purchase function. When you add to basket you get a nice message...

It’s been a busy start to 2015 for the craft beer sector. We’ve picked out some of the key developments in the craft beer market in the first of our sector reviews. The sector’s confidence and growth are evident and our highlights reflect this optimism. The Guardian toasts the health of the European craft beer market emphasising the benefits the sector brings. Chief among these is that Europe’s 5,000 craft breweries account for almost 2 million jobs across...

Take a quick read of the headlines from Harpers Wine & Spirits in December. Can you spot a common thread? [caption id="attachment_829" align="aligncenter" width="850"] Headlines from Harpers Wine & Spirits December 2014[/caption] Spotted it? Yep you got it - the wine industry isn't great at marketing and even worse when it comes to the online world. We discussed why wine marketing is so rubbish in an earlier blog post. But let's give the wine industry a break. We all know...

The Grocer is reporting the decline of pear ciders with sales down 29% and the fall knocking more than 25% off the value of the market. Pear’s share of the cider market has fallen from 9.3% to 6.4% over the same period (year to September 2014). So what’s behind this? Is it purely down to the success of fruit ciders? And which brands are the most effected by this? More importantly, what are the implications for the...

Wine brand marketing is rubbish. There’s no other way to describe the drivel offered often by the big producers to create their name wine ‘brands’. Their attempts at social media are equally poor. It almost feels like the consumer just gets in the way. But why is this? For a product considered as urbane and sophisticated, wine’s marketing, advertising and social media aren’t a patch on those of its rivals: beer, spirits and cider. It’s a complex market  Many would...

The pub sector is back in the news after MPs passed an amendment which impacts on pub companies who operate tenanted pubs. The move is being seen as the end of the beer tie and of excessive control over landlords. So what is the beer tie and why is it news? The ‘tie’ system refers to the structure of businesses where pub companies buy a pub and then lease it to a tenant landlord who pays rent...

When we talk about pubs and social media we get that oft-repeated line that pubs are the ‘real’ social media, that people need to get back into the real world, to socialise with their mates rather than virtual friends. The reality is, of course, that we use social channels to enhance physical interactions. The pub sector is an important part of the economy and its contribution to tax revenues is equally vital.  Yet the pub sector remains...