London, Edinburgh And Bristol Craft Beer Festivals ‘Raise The Bar’ For 2018

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Bringing together 17,000 visitors and attracting over 125 world class brewers from the UK, Europe and US, this year’s London, Edinburgh and Bristol Craft Beer Festivals are back and aiming to be the biggest series of Craft Beer Festivals in the UK.

Up 60% on last year, organisers and founders of We Are Beer, Greg Wells and Dan Sylvester, will once again bring the world’s finest craft beer, headline music acts and incredible food under one festival roof.

New for 2018 and a first for the industry, We Are Beer is launching ‘Raise the Bar’ – which seeks to find new, up-coming brewers and shine a light on creativity and innovation. In a bid to champion new talent, an expert panel will independently blind taste all submissions. They will then select the top four brewers to attend all three festivals providing them with a platform to showcase their beer to 17,000 people across the UK festivals.

The Raise the Bar panel includes: Jenn Merrick, former Beavertown head brewer and founder of a new community based brewery, Earth Station, Ben Freeman, co-founder and brewer at Pressure Drop, Jonny Garrett from Craft Beer Channel, and alongside Greg and Dan from We Are Beer.

Potential brewers (under 2 years in commercial production) are asked to enter online at https://raisethebar.wearebe er.com/ before submitting some samples of their beer for panel review. Entry deadline for Raise the Bar is Monday 12th March.

Among the first hand-picked brewers to be invited to the London festival are: Mikkeller from Copenhagen, Denmark, Cloudwater from Manchester, England, and Stillwater Artisanal from Baltimore, US. For Edinburgh, the line-up includes: Lervig Aktiebryggeri from Norway, Beavertown Brewery, from London and Tempest Brew Co. from The Borders, Scotland. The full line up of brewers for each location will be announced in the coming months.

Commenting on the festivals Greg Wells, co-founder of We Are Beer, said: “The festivals are an opportunity to celebrate modern beer and brewing culture from across the globe and give beer fans and those discovering craft beer the opportunity to sample a range of beers they wouldn’t normally get the chance to try.

In our quest to champion the incredible upcoming talent we are really excited about the potential for our ‘Raise the Bar’ competition to give young, new brewer’s a platform to showcase their beer on a UK stage,” he added.

Jenn Merrick, founder of community-based brewery, Earth Station and former head brewer of Beavertown and Meantime, said: “I am delighted to be asked by Dan and Greg to be a judge for Raise the Bar. I am a great believer in opening up the industry to a more diverse group of people – so it’s great to see an initiative like this which will support new talent.”

The Craft Beer Festivals will be returning for the sixth time in London, the third time in Bristol and second time in Edinburgh. Dates and locations for the Festivals are listed below:

· Edinburgh – 25th to 27th May 2018, Biscuit Factory, Leith

· London – 3rd to 5th August 2018, Tobacco Dock, Docklands

· Bristol – to be announced

Tickets for the London and Edinburgh Craft Beer Festivals are on sale now: londoncraftbeerfestival.co.uk and edinburghcraftbeerfestival.co.uk with Bristol going on sale from March (bristolcraftbeerfestival.co.uk).

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William Grant & Sons Distils Innovative Spirit at ‘Hackadram’

hackadram logoIndependent family own distillers, William Grant & Sons, is looking to define the future of the spirits through a ‘hackadram’, its version of a hackathon.

Taking place on the 25th and 26th January at Plexal, a hub for start-ups and enterprises, in east London, the Hackadram will see creatives and specialists from a wide range of backgrounds and industries attempt to crack four business challenges.

The Hackadram will distil some of the best practices from tech and start-ups, capturing their entrepreneurial spirit where problems are solved quickly in novel ways through ‘hacks’. There is a loose format to the two days with intensive, open minded creative sessions and the opportunity for participants to pitch their ideas to a panel of judges.

The judging panel consists of a number of individuals who are renowned innovators in their own fields including one of the world’s leading bartenders and owners Ryan Chetiyawardana aka Mr Lyan, entrepreneur Simon Devonshire OBE, who has co-founded and scaled-up a number of ventures including One Water and Zopa.com, and Ben Southworth, a start-up expert. They will be joined by a number of internal judges including William Grant & Sons Global Chief Marketing Officer, Philip Gladman.

The event features four challenges focusing on themes of ecommerce, bartender engagement, shopper targeting and disruptive drinking experiences. Ultimately William Grant & Sons is looking for genuinely ground breaking and game changing ideas to invest in and commission.

For more information go to http://www.hackadram.com

Bacardi Unveils Sound Of Rum Series

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BACARDÍ® has today announced the launch of Sound of Rum Series, a four-part music documentary which explores the influence Caribbean music has on the world and the intrinsic link between rum, music and the cultures that have combined over time to create today’s the Sound of Rum. The series is the latest iteration of the BACARDÍ the Sound of Rum creative campaign which aims to connect the brand’s island roots to modern music.

The Sound of Rum is a diverse sound and unique concept born from the brand’s partnership with electro/moombahton trio Major Lazer, announced earlier this year. It draws influence from a collection of Caribbean genres including reggae, dancehall and afro beats and fuses them with modern day global influences from hip-hop, trap and grime to create something truly unique. Sound of Rum Series is released to further illustrate and explore this cultural and creative movement.

Sarah Doyle, Vice President of BACARDÍ for Europe, says: “It is important that we continue to create content and experiences that truly resonate with our audience. The Sound of Rum began as something to connect our brand’s island roots to modern music, but Sound of Rum Series goes deeper by clearly defining the concept whilst paying homage to the culture and traditions from which it was born. We are excited to have worked with so many inspiring and authentic artists on this project which, alongside the partnership with Major Lazer, enables BACARDÍ to bring theSound of Rum to life in so many unique ways.”

Each episode of Sound of Rum Series begins with the islands conveying how the Sound of Rum, though born in the Caribbean has traveled and developed throughout the world. Featuring stars such as Major Lazer, Sean Paul and Chase & Status, the series offers musical insights into the scene and reveals how the Sound of Rum has flourished in Europe.

Episode one of Sound of Rum Series can be seen below!

National Calvados Week Returns For 2017

Pere Magloire Bottle Lineup
The Père Magloire National Calvados Week, in association with UK creator Emporia Brands, returns Monday 16th October 2016 until the Sunday 22nd October 2017, taking place within bars and retailers across the UK, including London, Birmingham, Newcastle, Glasgow and Edinburgh.

For some, Normandy’s lush green pastures reach their ultimate expression in the region’s famed cheeses and rich dairy butter. We all know that it’s always been about the Calvados. The magical alchemy that transforms green apples into golden nectar, it produces apple brandy as soft, fresh and pure as the beguiling French countryside from which it’s born. The week long celebration marks the harvesting of the delicious apples for the production of Calvados. During National Calvados Week over 100 bars, shops, supermarkets and independent off licenses, including London based Swift, Merchant House, Baranis, German Gymnasium and Plotting Parlour.

Other venues and highlights for the week include such Edinburgh stalwarts as Panda & Sons, Heads & Tales, Voodoo Rooms, Bramble and The Bon Vivant, as well as Glasgow based The Finnieston, Porter & Rye and Drugstore Social. 45 West in Leicester are also showcasing their serves, as well as Jekyll & Hyde in Birmingham, Alvino’s in Newcastle and Last Chance Saloon in Nottingham amongst others.

Meanwhile, participating Waitrose stores will be running an in-store price promotion for the month of October, seeing Père Magloire VSOP 50cl with 20% off. Scotland are covered by Drinkmonger and Royal Mile Whiskies in Edinburgh, plus independent stores across England including Riddles Emporium in South Manchester, 23 Wine & Whisky in Leicester and Fenwick’s in Newcastle. We’ve also partnered with The Drink Shop, who are offering 20% off all Père Magloire products throughout National Calvados Week.

Highlights of the week involve the Telegraph Aperitifs and Digestifs evening that kicks off the celebration on Friday 13th October, TimeOut London are also hosting an evening of Père Magloire to launch the promotion within MASH London, exclusive for their members, and John Lewis on Oxford St and Soho Whisky Club, both in London, are also getting in on the action with their own tasting evenings.

In addition, Fever Tree, Franklins, Fentimans, Double Dutch and Peter Spanton No.1 Tonic are the principle sponsors for this year’s signature serve, promoted within all participating venues across the UK, the Père Magloire and tonic;

50 ml Père Magloire VS
Topped with chosen Tonic Water
Fresh Ice (at least 4 big cubes)
Slice of Fresh Apple

Using a large wine glass or a tall, slim glass, add the ice first then pour in the Père Magloire VS, followed by the Tonic Water. Cut a full slice of apple and drop into the glass.

A promotional video has also been commissioned by Emporia Brands, the exclusive UK importer of Père Magloire and National Calvados Week, which aims to see people coming together from across the UK to enjoy Calvados. To view the video, head to http://www.nationalcalvadosweek.com/press

The 1800 Studios Come To Shoreditch!

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WHAT:
London’s first-ever aperitivo beauty bar, 1800 Studios, is set to be the ultimate hangout in Shoreditch, where you can step away from the rush and indulge in some personal preening whilst enjoying the latest aperitivo cocktail, the 1800 Blush – a deliciously refreshing combination of 1800 Silver Tequila and Fentimans Rose Lemonade, served over ice and garnished with a slice of pink grapefruit and a sprig of fresh mint.
From post-work to nightfall, this salon turned saloon will offer simple beautifying treatments (choose from an express manicure, arm & hand massage or beard trim/shave) for you and your friends in plush surroundings. Tickets for treatments are just £10 and will also include two 1800 Blush cocktails. A whole host of other delicious 1800 Tequila twists on classic aperitivo cocktails, including the ever popular Negroni, will also be available at just £5 each.
Don’t forget to consult the 1800 Studios concierge desk on departure for tips on where to continue your evening in Shoreditch with partner bars.

WHY: We live in a time-poor world with demands constantly placed upon us throughout the day. Step away from the rush and make time for you and your friends at the 1800 Studios.

WHEN: The 1800 Studios will be open on the following days/times:
Tuesday 10th October 19:30 – 23:00
Wednesday 11th October 17:00 – 23:00
Thursday 12th October 17:00 – 23:00

WHERE: Protein, Studios 3 & 4, 31 New Inn Yard, Shoreditch, London, EC2A 3EY

HOW: Everyone is welcome to enter the 1800 Studios and entry is free.
You can just come to the 1800 Studios for a drink at the aperitivo bar without having a treatment. Appointments for treatments are bookable, although there will be available slots for walk-ins. Advance tickets for the beauty treatments are priced at £10 and can be purchased via: https://feverup.com/m/59644 . The ticket price includes one beautifying treatment (manicure, arm and hand massage or beard trim) and two 1800 Blush cocktails.

Final Five Named In The Chairman’s Reserve Mai Tai Campaign

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Spirits innovator Emporia Brands and award-winning Chairman’s Reserve rum of St Lucia Distillers, are proud to announce the final five venues who will be participating in the UK final of the current Chairman’s Reserve Mai Tai campaign.

The evening, to be held at The Magic Roundabout, one of the cities iconic pop-up sites in London, will feature five venues from across the UK who have been tasked during July and August to promote their twist on the classic Mai Tai cocktail using two expressions of Chairman’s Reserve. Once gaining a spot in the final, the winning venue are rewarded with a training visit for two to St Lucia as part of the prestige Chairman’s XI programme.

Earning their way to the final on Tuesday 26th September will be last year’s winners Alvino’s of Newcastle upon Tyne, Colonel Porter’s, also of Newcastle upon Tyne, Milk from, Ten Mill Lane from Cardiff and our wild card entry of Panda & Sons from Edinburgh.
The respective bars will now be invited down to Magic Roundabout next Tuesday to re-create their Chairman’s Reserve Mai Tai cocktail to the public at the biggest Mai Tai party of the year!

With a secret panel of judges on hand to test out each cocktail too, the winning bar will find out on the evening whether they have earnt their place on the plane to St Lucia later in the year.

Venue: The Magic Roundabout, Old Street Tube Station, London, EC1Y 1BE
Timings: 7pm – late. Open to general public and trade.

St Lucia Itinerary for the winning venue:

Day 1: Arrival in Saint Lucia
Day 2: Visit of Saint Lucia Distillers, local art makers & the Castries market
Day 3: Training session for local bartenders & Friday night in Gros Islet with the SLD Team
Day 4: Local Chairman’s Reserve Mai Tai Competition judged by European winners and guest shift in the evening at Chairman’s Reserve event
Day 5: Day out on catamaran with local bartenders & SLD team
Day 6: Flights back home

Hi-Spirits Breaks Out The Brands For London Cocktail Week

Southern Comfort hits the streets for LCW
Hi-Spirits will be celebrating the capital’s booming cocktail culture by putting some of the biggest brands in its portfolio in the spotlight during London Cocktail Week.

Southern Comfort, Buffalo Trace bourbon, Tito’s Handmade Vodka and the classic Italian Fratelli Branca liqueur range will all be featured, with the cocktail cognoscenti able to enjoy a range of £6 drinks at selected bars throughout LCW, which runs from October 2 – 8.

Buffalo Trace and Fratelli Branca will be offering a programme of masterclasses during the week at the Buffalo Bourbon Empire pop-up bar, which will be located this year at the Looking Glass Cocktail Club in Shoreditch.

VIP hosts for the classes will be Drew Mayville, Buffalo Trace master blender, and Nicola Olianas, World brand ambassador for Fratelli Branca. Along with an opportunity to taste the 2017 release of the five-strong Buffalo Taste Antique Collection, there will be a special masterclass featuring cocktails made with the Antique Collection and vintage Carpano Vermouth.

Other classes will spotlight the Pappy Van Winkle bourbons from the Buffalo Trace Distillery in Kentucky, and the full range of premium brands from the Fratelli Branca distillery in Italy. With limited spaces available and demand expected to be high, bar trade professionals can sign up at http://www.BuffaloTrace.co.uk/BBE

The Spitalfields Market Village cocktail hub will host the Southern Quarter, celebrating the true Spirit of New Orleans. Inspired by the city’s French Quarter, the bar will be welcoming cocktail lovers with a selection of delicious Southern Comfort cocktails paired with freshly-cooked Buttermilk Fried Chicken.

Tito’s Handmade Vodka will also feature in the Spitalfields Market Village, with the Tito’s Texan Mule Cart bringing a Texan twist to the classic mule cocktail. Tito’s, the Vodka for Dog People, will be supporting the Guide Dogs Foundation, giving £1 from every cocktail purchased to the charity. MASH and Off Broadway are also giving £1 from every Tito’s drink sold to the Guide Dogs, with Tito’s matching the funds raised.

Partner bars around London will be offering exclusive £6 cocktails throughout the week. Buffalo Trace will be at Vaults of Soho, Fat Bear, Benares, Four Sisters, Four Sisters Town House, Barbecoa, and Basement Sate; Tito’s Handmade Vodka will be at Mash and Off Broadway; and Southern Comfort cocktails will feature at Hoxley & Porter, Quaglinos, Bermondsey Yard Café, Salvador and Amanda, Kansas Smitty’s, Stillwater and Bobo Social.

For those looking to chill out between cocktails, Our/London Vodka is taking up residence at Blixen in Spitalfields village, offering respite as well as free coffee, snacks and WiFi access for trade wristband holders. There will also be an opportunity to try the newly launched range of Our/London Infusions.

Dan Bolton, managing director of Hi-Spirits, said: “London is one of the world’s great cocktail cities, and we’re delighted to be featuring some of the iconic brands from our portfolio during London Cocktail Week.

“It’s especially exciting to be bringing Buffalo Trace and Fratelli Branca, two of the world’s greatest distilleries, together at the Buffalo Bourbon Empire, which will be a great opportunity for bar professionals to learn more about the heritage and skills of both.

“With cocktail sales booming in UK pubs and bars, London Cocktail Week is a great showcase for our national cocktail culture, and so we’re delighted to be right at the heart of the action again this year.”

St-Germain Is Bringing A French Touch To The Oxo Tower Bar’s Terrace

Oxo Tower
St-Germain is bringing a splash of joyful decadence to the OXO Tower Bar’s Terrace this September.

In celebration of the thousands of elderflowers harvested to create the unique elderflower liqueur, St-Germain has partnered with Harvey Nichols in a terrace takeover welcoming guests through its doors until Tuesday 31 October.

The takeover will capture the spirit of Les Années Folles with delicious St-Germain cocktails artfully crafted in collaboration with Paulius Patumsis from the OXO Tower Bar team and Camille Ralph Vidal, Global Brand Ambassador. The Terrace will be brought to life with a foliage wall, created by Emily Baylis, floral designer and founder of ‘June in March,’ making the space the perfect spot to enjoy St-Germain cocktails this autumn, surrounded by stunning views of London’s skyline. A St-Germain camera will be on hand to help guests capture the evening, providing each customer with a Polaroid picture to take home.

St-Germain® Elderflower Liqueur is the world’s first French liqueur made from delicate elderflower blossoms, handpicked at the height of their beauty during a maddeningly ephemeral growing season once a year.

For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/StGermainUK/

St-Germain take over the OXO Tower Bar’s terrace Oxo Tower Restaurant, Bar and Brasserie, Oxo Tower Wharf, Barge House St, South Bank, London SE1 9PH from Friday 1 September – Tuesday 31 October

Bombay Sapphire’s ‘The Glasshouse Project’ Continues World-Wide Multi-Stop Tour In Manchester

Bombay Sapphire logo

BOMBAY SAPPHIRE, the world’s number one premium gin, has announced
Manchester, UK, as the next stop of The Glasshouse Project. Taking place 14-16 August, the vibrant city is the second stop in the global tour of the brand advocacy initiative following the launch of this year’s programme in Mallorca last month. Designed especially for the world’s top-tier bartenders, The Glasshouse Project aims to push the boundaries of creativity within mixology.

Through collaborative, interactive talks and seminars led by leading figures from both inside and outside the drinks industry, The Glasshouse Project looks to identify how cultural, social and economic influences and trends can affect gin consumption and cocktail creativity. The outcome is a series of workshops designed to rethink mixology in the gin category and provide attendees with the information and inspiration to create their own bespoke serves to list in their respective bars.

The session has been put together by Renaud de Bosredon and Sean Ware, U.K. and Northern Europe Brand Ambassadors for BOMBAY SAPPHIRE respectively, and will be attended by Raj Nagra, Global Brand Ambassador for BOMBAY SAPPHIRE, with speakers including Mark Shayler (Director of This is Ape, a sustainable innovation consultancy), Dr. Rachel Edwards-Stuart (Food Scientist and Flavour Expert), Chris Hines MBE (Founder of Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) and former Sustainability Director of the Eden Project) and Sean Pillot de Chenecey (Futurologist and Trends Consultant).

Following the successful pilot in London last year, BOMBAY SAPPHIRE announced the global expansion of the programme. Julian Davies, Global Marketing Manager at BOMBAY SAPPHIRE, says of the initiative:

“BOMBAY SAPPHIRE has been driving the conversation in gin for the last thirty years and The Glasshouse Project is our logical next step in pursuing excellence and innovation for the gin category as a whole.

“Last year’s inaugural workshop was hugely successful in terms of opening up conversations with some of the world’s best bartenders and serves as a platform for this year. The sessions are designed to be a genuinely memorable experience for our attendees and draw in elements of other creative disciplines to add value to the art of mixology – it’s a purposely collaborative and interactive initiative, as these
bartenders are at the top of their game”.

While the initiative has a global reach, each event will have a highly localised feel with the content of each individual workshop cultivated with the specifics of each market in mind. The Glasshouse Project sessions are part of a three-step process with follow-ups taking place in each individual market. Each attendee will lead a tasting session attended by fellow mixologists, designed to showcase how they’ve incorporated learnings from the workshops into their day-to-day work, as well as taking part in various other brand initiatives at local and global levels.

Further sessions are scheduled to follow in Germany (August), Sydney (September) before wrapping up in Asia and Africa (November). The activity will culminate in an exhibition of the results of the workshops at Laverstoke, Hampshire, home of BOMBAY SAPPHIRE, at the end of the year.

The Bassano Bar @ PizzaExpress Launches ‘Bassano Aperitivo Season’

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Pop-up innovators Bassano Events and their Manchester venue, The Bassano Bar @ PizzaExpress located on First Street, are launching a tasting calendar of Italian aperitivo over the next two months.

Focusing on Distilleria Nardini, the namesake of the bar name Bassano with its origins from Bassano del Grappa in Northern Italy, guests will enjoy one of the famous serves originating from the iconic Ponte Vecchio bridge distillery, the Mezzoemezzo, itself combined with soda and a twist of lemon. A closer look at the flavour profiles of Nardini Grappa Bianca 40 and a selection of their liqueurs, including the citrus peels of Acqua di Cedro, juniper led Ginepro and the almond profiles of Mandorla.

Each session looks to finish with a refreshing Nardini Ginepro and Tonic, as well as a classic offering of Italian Antipasto courtesy of PizzaExpress.

Each hosted by Dave Marsland, co-owner of Bassano Events and brand agency Drinks Enthusiast, the Bassano Aperitivo Season is said to demystify the Italian spirit category, showing off the tradition of grappa and aperitivo and its versatile use within simple mixers and flavours.

All sessions will be held within The Bassano Bar @ PizzaExpress, itself opening in June 2017 to bring the modern Italian cocktail bar concept to the North of England after it follows last summer’s successful debut for The Bassano Bar and its winning Italian drinks formula within the busy ‘Magic Roundabout’ venue in London’s Shoreditch.

Offering a selected menu that combines a focus on classic Italian cocktails such as the Negroni with Campari, Aperol Spritz, Nardini Mezzoemezzo and Frizzante Frutta with San Pellegrino, the bar is also including innovative home-grown recipes, with the ‘The Haçienda Sour’ and ‘The Manchester Negroni’ featuring local gin producer, Three Rivers.

Dates of the Bassano Aperitivo Season;

18th August
25th August
31st August
7th September
21st September
28th September

Price;
£15 pp – tickets can be purchased in venue or via http://www.thebassanobar.com

General Opening Hours;
Wednesday-Friday from 5pm – 11pm and from 12noon to 11pm on Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays.

Address;
The Bassano Bar @ PizzaExpress, First Street North, Manchester, M15 4FN

#BassanoMcr

ALL DRINK IMAGERY BY GEORGIE GLASS/ WWW.GEORGIEGLASS.CO.UK / @GEORGIEGLASS_