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SAB Miller chief brewer retires

SAB Miller’s group chief brewer is to retire. Professor Barry Axcell will step down at the end of July 2012.

Diageo posts 7% organic sales growth

Diageo has delivered 3% volume growth and 7% organic net sales increase for the six months ended December 31, 2011.

Austrian wine exports set a record

Exports of Austrian wine by value have exceeded estimates as a result of higher prices and a decline in bulk wine.

Scotch Whisky Association launches job report

The Scotch Whisky Association has launched a report, which outlines the number of jobs supported by the scotch whisky industry. 

Heineken USA appoints western sales chief

Heineken USA has appointed Brian Fried as regional vice president sales, western region, effective immediately.

Consultancy firm hires former Bacardi chief

Global business consultancy McKinney Rogers has appointed a former Bacardi USA president to its board.

Beam reports strong 2011 fourth quarter and full year results

Beam Inc, the US-based global spirits company, has reported full-year net sales increases of 8%.

The Cognac Bureau (BNIC)
Asian cognac clamour drives sales of €2bn

Annual sales of cognac are worth €2 billion thanks to a surge in XO and VSOP sales in the Far East, says the Cognac Bureau (BNIC).

Pernod Ricard and Southern strike Washington deal

Pernod Ricard USA has announced the appointment of Southern Wine & Spirits of America as its spirits and wine distributor in the state of Washington.

CEDC's Green Mark and Zubrówka to join First Drinks

First Drinks will be the new UK distributor of CEDC brands Zubrówka Bison Grass Vodka and Green Mark - the world's fourth largest vodka.

Diageo director is new head of Carlsberg UK

Former Diageo northern Europe managing director Benet Slay has become to the chief executive of Carlsberg UK.

International Cider Challenge open for entries

Entries are now being taken for the International Cider Challenge.

Beam makes senior appoint

Beam, the US-based global premium spirits company, has announced that Arthur Aroney will join the organisation as managing director of Emerging Markets for its Asia Pacific/South America (APSA) region.

CEDC pairs with Beam in Poland

Central European Distribution Corporation (CEDC) has signed a five-year exclusive agreement to distribute Beam brands in Poland.

Pernod Ricard UK announces senior appointments

Pernod Ricard UK has announced the following senior appointments within its executive committee and senior management group with immediate effect.

French wine is the ideal

French wine is the favourite of regular wine drinkers in the UK and China and the second preference in Germany, says Wine Intelligence.

SAB Miller launches beer in China

SAB Miller is to launch a trial of its Miller Genuine Draft brand in the Zhejjang region of China.

Mast-Jägermeister appoints new manager

Jägermeister parent company Mast-Jägermeister has appointed Denis Schrey to its management team.

Diageo pumps €153m into Dublin brewery

Diageo has announced a €153 million investment into a ‘brewing centre of excellence’ in Dublin.

Man dies at Glenfiddich distillery

A man has been found dead at the Glenfiddich distillery in Scotland. According to several newspapers,  Brian Ettles died in a 16ft washback.

Ethiopia: Diageo completes brewery acquisition

Diageo has completed the acquisition of the Meta Abo Brewery in Ethiopia for US$225 million.

No German ice wine this year

There is unlikely to be any ice wine from Germany this year because of the mild winter north west Europe is experiencing.

Sparkling sparkles in US

US consumption of imported sparkling wine will reach new heights in 2012 due to the increased penetration of prosecco and cava, says Wine Intelligence. 

LVMH appoints champagne heads

LVMH has appointed new chief executive officers for its champagne brands Moet & Chandon and Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin.

Pre-mixed Drinks Challenge results are published

The 2012 Pre-mixed Drinks Challenge was Drinks International’s fourth examination of the category and our most wide-ranging yet.

Czech Republic: Budvar toasts record exports

Budvar has reported record export results for 2011.

Napa Valley trade association appoints 2012 board

Napa Valley Vintners (NVV), a non-profit trade association, has announced its new board of directors for 2012.

Codorníu makes new appointments

UK: Grupo Codorníu has made four appointments. Carolyn d’Aguilar and Susannah Bearne move internally to roles in the marketing department while Jake Crimmin and Tom Barton join the UK sales team.

Fine wine prices drop 15% in 2011

Fine wine prices fell 15% in 2011, fine wine index Liv-ex has reported.

Philippines spirits tax appeal rejected

The European Union and the US Distilled Spirits Council (DISCUS) have welcomed a decision that finds the Philippines to be in breach of trade rules when it comes to tax on imported spirits.

Beam agrees Cooley Distillery purchase

Beam Inc has announced an agreement to purchase Irish whiskey producer Cooley Distillery.

Russian Standard moves into wine

Russian Standard Corporation (RSC) has acquired a 70% stake in Italian wine company Gancia. 

Direct Wines reshapes its buying and merchandising team

Direct Wines, the world's largest independent wine merchant with a turnover of £350 million, has announced major changes to its buying and merchandising teams.

Heineken to up share in Haitian brewery

Heineken has declared an intention to increase its share in a brewery in Haiti to 95%.

Russian Standard proposes alliance with CEDC

Russian Standard Corporation has proposed the additional acquisition of nearly 20% of Central European Distribution Corporation’s (CEDC) shares as part of a "strategic alliance". 

Rok Stars thrash out Oval's UK debut

US consumer goods company Rok Stars has stuck a deal with Castle Trade Services to launch its recently acquired Oval vodka in the UK.

Brown-Forman posts 12% half-year growth

Brown-Forman has reported double-digit half-year net sales growth after a strong performance from its Jack Daniel's brand. 

Russian Standard buys CEDC share for $25m

Vodka company Russian Standard has purchased a 9.9% share in CEDC (Central European Distribution Corporation) for $25.35 million.

Irish Distillers confirms £100m expansion

Irish Distillers Pernod Ricard has confirmed it will spend €100m on the 2012 expansion of its Midleton Single Distillery, the site where Jameson is produced.

Rémy Cointreau cites Asia in H1 profit spike

Rémy Cointreau has attributed its positive half-year profits to “remarkable” growth in Asia and “strong” performances in the US and Europe.

Scotland: Diageo opens £10m cooperage

Diageo has opened a £10 million cooperage in Scotland.

Africa: Diageo opens $55m brewery

Diageo subsidiary East African Breweries Limited (EABL) has opened a $55 million brewery in Moshi, Tanzania. 

Fuller's posts half-year growth of 6%

London Pride brewer Fuller’s has announced half-year growth of 6% after registering a turnover of £128m.

Boisset buys Skalli winery

Boisset, La Famille des Grands Vins has purchased the Skalli winery and brands in the Languedoc and Rhône Valley. The financial details were not disclosed. 

Accolade sets its stall out

Accolade Wines has set its stall out, 10 months after Constellation Brands sold off its international wine division to an Australian private equity group.

Accolade receives £150m from GE Capital

Hardys and Banrock Station brand owner Accolade Wines is to receive a £150 million financing facility from GE Capital.

Mexico: Beam teams up with La Madrileña

US: Mexico-based La Madrileña is to distribute Beam’s entire portfolio in Mexico. As part of the performance-based agreement, effective on January 1, 2012, La Madrileña will be the exclusive distributor of Beam’s brands, including Jim Beam bourbon, Sauza tequila, Courvoisier cognac and Cruzan rum.

ProWein to be bigger

ProWein organisers Messe Düsseldorf, has announced that next year’s show will be bigger with the opening of an additional hall.

Asia-Pacific to become the fastest-growing alcoholic drinks region over the next five years

International Wine & Spirit Research (IWSR) says that Asia-Pacific will be the fastest-growing region for the alcoholic beverage markets over the next five years.

China falls in love with Italian wine, claims Vinitaly organiser

Veronafiere, organisers of the Vinitaly exhibition, claims China has fallen in love with its Italian wines which were in show at the recent Hong Kong International Wine & Spirits Fair (HKIWSF).