Beer: Picture this

It’s all about the branding for craft beers trying to get noticed in a crowded marketplace. Shay Waterworth gets under the skin of funky designs

Vodka: A clear winner?

Is it possible to apply the craft approach to vodka? Philip Duff could have had the recipe for success

Champagne: Pick of the sparklers

With the term ‘sparkling’ gaining credence in wines from England, Canada and Spain, champagne can’t afford to rest on its laurels. Jamie Goode reports

New shoots

Finally getting its own craft segment, vodka is taking cues from wine and championing the terroir of its base as a flavour provider. Shay Waterworth grows the theory.

Brands Report: Pisco

There’s an exciting new entrant in this sector, reports Shay Waterworth

Brands Report: Irish Whiskey

The growing Irish Whiskey category gets its first page to itself this year. Hamish Smith explains why

Brands Report: American Whiskey

Diageo’s Bulleit holds both top spots for the third year running. Shay Waterworth reports

Levels of consumer confusion 'astonishing', says wine industry expert

There is an astonishing level of consumer confusion in an increasingly proliferated wine industry, according to wine consultant Mike Paul.

Three Amigos

Some new faces have appeared on the Jalisco horizon but is Tequila Town big enough for all of them? Hamish Smith takes a wander over yonder

G'Vine launches brand ambassador competition

G’Vine gin’s Connoisseur Programme 2013 includes the chance to become the brand's ambassador.

Profile: Mikaël Silvestre

World Cup finalist, UEFA Champions League, FA and League Cup winner… and now rum brand owner. Christian Davis tackles French international footballer Mikaël Silvestre

Blossom Hill gets largest ever advertising spend

Blossom Hill, one of the UK’s most popular wine brands, is receiving its largest ever advertising support, including £2.2m on media alone.

Jacob’s Creek in major UK chat show sponsorship

Jacob’s Creek, the leading Australian wine brand, is to sponsor the UK’s leading chat show.

Treasury appoints Grant to head up Beringer

Treasury Wine Estates has appointed John Grant as managing director of its Beringer Brand Business Unit.

Heineken reels in Strongbow for US expansion

Heineken has announced it will take the US distribution of its global-leading cider brand, Strongbow, in-house from next year.

Armagnac

Armagnac is arguably the closest spirit to wine in terms of provenance, raw materials and the outlook of the growers, producers and brand owners. Christian Davis reports

Gin

Gin is trading on the complexities of its flavour profile to cash in on the cocktail boom. Patience Gould finds a booming super-premium sector

Accolade Wines revamps Echo Falls

Accolade Wines has unveiled a new look for its Echo Falls Californian wine brand in key European markets, including the UK, Netherlands and Spain.

Inver House reports strong results, releases new Balblair vintages

Inver House Distillers, the Scotland-based spirits arm of International Beverage Holdings has reported a 28% increase in turnover for the year ending December 2011.

Diageo launches a Chinese white spirit to the UK market

Diageo, has launched Chinese white spirit brand, Shui Jing Fang, onto the UK domestic market.

Żubrówka Biała joins The Millionaires’ Club

Żubrówka Biała has gained inclusion into The Millionaires’ Club 2012 after becoming CEDC’s second biggest brand and the world's 83rd largest selling spirit in 2011.

Diageo buys Brazilian cachaça brand Ypióca

Diageo, the world's leading premium drinks business, has announced that it has reached agreement with Ypióca Agroindustrial Limitada to buy cachaça brand, Ypióca, and certain production assets.

Concha y Toro commits to Fetzer

Concha y Toro, the largest wine producer in Latin America, is committed to developing and improving the Californian wine producer, Fetzer, which it bought from Brown Forman in March 2011.

The Philippines' Emperador leads the brandy world

The Philippines-based Emperador brand is the world’s number one selling brandy after more than doubling its volume sales during 2011.

CEDC takes Barefoot to Poland

Central European Distribution Corporation (CEDC) has extended its links with Gallo Vineyards to include the distribution of Barefoot wines in Poland.

Cooley’s and Jameson ready for St Patrick’s Day

Beam Inc., the new owners of Cooley’s the Irish whiskey brand, says it has signaled its intent to build the Kilbeggan brand in the US by importing the largest case shipment ever of the blended whiskey for the St Patrick’s Day (March 17) celebrations this weekend.

Ballantine's whisky goes for golf

Chivas Brothers is to launch a limited edition golf pack for its Ballantine’s 17 and 21 year old blended whiskies.

Danny DeVito’s Limoncello poised for world markets

Danny DeVito’s Limoncello is about to be rolled out to international markets, following its US launch in 2011.

Glenfiddich launches first ever vatted vintage reserve

William Grant has released Glenfiddich’s first-ever vatted ‘vintage reserve’, the 1974 Glenfiddich Vintage Reserve which the company claims was selected by a global panel of 16 experts.

Angostura crowns 2012 cocktail champ

Angostura has crowned US bartender David Delaney Jr as the winner of the 2012 Angostura Global Cocktail Challenge.

Johnnie Walker takes 1st place in Brands by Value list

Johnnie Walker has taken first place in Brands by Value, a list of the world’s 50 most valuable drinks brands.

Pernod CEO rues Havana Club stagnation

Pernod Ricard’s CEO Piere Pringuet has spoken out about Havana Club’s flat half-year sales growth, branding its performance “disappointing”.

Perthshire Raspberry Edinburgh Gin launches in UK

The Spencerfield Spirit Company has launched a Perthshire Raspberry edition of its Edinburgh Gin brand to the UK.

Pernod launches special edition Martell cognac

Pernod Ricard has launched a new expression of its Martell cognac to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Martell Cordon Bleu. Cordon Bleu Centenary limited edition has launched in Asia duty free.

Beefeater 24 is now in 50 markets

Pernod Ricard’s super premium gin, Beefeater 24, is now available in 50 markets worldwide.

Altia buys Xanté

Altia Plc is buying the Xanté Company and the Xanté spirits brand from the Swedish Tilander family.

Ethiopia: Diageo completes brewery acquisition

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

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.

Beam launches 'super premium' Teacher's from India

Billed as its super-premium expressions, Beam has released Teacher’s 25 Year Old and Teacher’s Highland Single Malt to global markets.

Nicolas Feuillatte toasts best ever year

Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte achieved its highest volume sales in 2011, says the brand’s Caroline Defaut.

Peroni to gain from craft's rise, says brand director

The rise of craft beer in the US can benefit Peroni Nastro Azzurro, says the lager's global brand director Andrew Walker.

Pickle Back

We’re all interested in ‘what’s going to be next?’ Well I returned recently from New York where, courtesy of Pernod Ricard/Irish Distillers I witnessed the launch of Jameson Select Reserve Black Barrel. Apparently the brand kicked off in the US in Brooklyn so the new limited edition ‘dialled up’ Jameson was launched there and at the moment it is only available there...

Bell's whisky gets £1.35m push

UK: Diageo GB is re-positioning its Bell’s blended scotch whisky brand via a £1.35m TV ad campaign.

Master of Malt reveals Rumbullion

Online spirits retailer Master of Malt has released Rumbullion, an “old-fashioned“ rum under its Professor Cornelius Ampleforth brand.

Jameson on course to hit 1.4m cases in the US

Pernod Ricard's new intenational brand development director says that it's number one Irish whiskey brand, Jameson, is on course to meet it's forecast of hitting 1.4 million cases in the US  within the next year.

Sogrape acquires Stevens Garnier

International wine producer Sogrape has acquired 100% of UK wine agency Stevens Garnier. The company previously owned 38% of Stevens Garnier and financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.

Beam announces management changes

Beam Inc has announced a new commercial structure in its Europe/Middle East/Africa (EMEA) region.

Sazerac serves up new Wave of flavours

Drinks group Sazerac has unveiled a line of flavoured vodkas under its Wave brand for the US market.

New look Martell VSOP

Martell’s new look for its VSOP, which was recently launched in the Singapore and Malaysia domestic markets, is now being rolled out throughout the world.

Constellation acquires Ruffino wine brand

Constellation Brands has purchased the remaining 50.1% of Italian wine brand Ruffino from MPF International.