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Industry News, Views & Opinions

Industry News, Views & Opinion

Welcome to Hand Crafted Drinks Magazine, the online platform dedicated to supporting and promoting artisan and hand-crafted drinks producers, and anyone operating in this dynamic sector of the UK economy.

New formats drive expansion

Shanky’s Whip has added three new formats of its Irish Whiskey Liqueur to its range in the UK, including 350ml, 1 litre and 1.75 litre bottles, which are now available to drinks retailers and hospitality operators now through Craftwork, the company’s distributor. Each variant supports critical pillars in Shanky’s Whip’s global expansion strategy; the full […]

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New formats drive expansion

Shanky’s Whip has added three new formats of its Irish Whiskey Liqueur to its range in the UK, including 350ml, 1 litre and 1.75 litre bottles, which are now available to drinks retailers and hospitality operators now through Craftwork, the company’s distributor. Each variant supports critical pillars in Shanky’s Whip’s global expansion strategy; the full […]

Buxton Brewery goes for growth

Buxton Brewery has announced the appointment of three key executives who will lead the business and play a pivotal role in delivering ambitious plans for this successful independent brewery. Rob Topham joined the company in August as technical director; he will oversee production at the brewery’s Staden Lane brewing facility in Buxton, Derbyshire. With an […]

Inflation rate down

Commenting the recent fall in the UK’s inflation rate, Ed Bignold, head of travel, hospitality and leisure at UK-based management consultants, Alvarez & Marsal, said: “Data from the ONS shows that inflation is finally heading in the right direction in the restaurant and hotel sector, with inflation down to 7.6% in October from 8.6% in […]

Australian distiller goes for gold

As one of the media partners of the London Spirits Competition, we have been interviewing a number of people who represent companies whose products were winners at this year’s competition. This is an interview with Gordon Chalmers, head distiller and co-owner of Tamborine Mountain Distillery, Queensland, Australia. When asked for his opinion of the London […]

Time to chill

Enviro-Cool, an innovative refrigeration technology company, has launched V-Tex, a game-changing technology that chills cans and bottles on demand.  Since launching in 2000 it has been Enviro-Cool’s mission to develop technology and products that rapidly chill beverages at the point of sale or consumption. Based in Wapping, East London, the British company has patented technology […]

Invest in self-sufficiency

Collective Motion Brewing, a brewery equipment specialist, is experiencing a surge in demand from independent breweries investing in their facilities to increase their self-sufficiency and reduce running costs. The Bradford-based company has received orders from breweries across the UK who are upgrading and expanding their own brewing facilities and harnessing technology to eliminate the expense […]

Visit IBWSS London

The International Bulk Wine and Spirits Show (IBWSS) is an annual trade show and conference, developed specifically for trade professionals. IBWSS visitors are buyers looking for suppliers to meet their demand for bulk wines, bulk spirits, private label programs, grape buying or contract manufacturing. International Bulk Wine and Spirits Show is organised by Beverage Trade […]

Don’t worry, be hoppy

November 2023 marks the tenth anniversary of Hop Hideout, an award-winning Sheffield-based beer shop and tasting room. Owned by Jules Gray, Hop Hideout is one of just a handful of female-owned beer shops in the country. Jules has planned a weekend of celebrations starting on Friday 10 November, which will include the launch of their Thornbridge […]

Tequila is just the tonic

The owners of El Santo, a Glasgow bar and restaurant, are celebrating the recent tie-up with Patron Tequila, the world’s leading premium tequila brand. Every live music event that takes place at El Santo – a Latin American-themed 90-seater restaurant with a discreet speakeasy bar (El Santito) – will now be supported by Patron Tequila. […]

Vodka that hits the mark

Before you even take the first sip of Kingmaker Vodka – a premium of 41% ABV British vodka produced by the award-winning Warwickshire Gin Company – you sense you’re in for a treat. The confident brand messaging starts with the elegant, elongated octagonal glass bottle with a short, straight neck and over-sized stopper. The black […]

Make a great impression

Labelnet, a trusted name in the world of self-adhesive labels for over two decades, has announced an exciting addition to their range of services. With over 24 years of expertise in the field of self-adhesive label printing, Labelnet is committed to delivering cutting-edge labelling solutions to clients across various industries. Their latest offer comprises three […]

Knock-out rums

The Warwickshire Gin Company, an award-winning distillery based in Leamington Spa, has turned its distilling prowess to producing three new rums under The Pugilist brand: White Rum, Spiced Blended Rum and Honey Rum.  After going a few rounds with the three varieties, there was no overall winner and we declared a tie. The White Rum […]

Single malt success

Carpathian Single Malt Whisky’s Cognac, Ruby Port and Amarone expressions took gold at the recent World Whisky Masters 2023 in the UK, whilst Fetească Neagră, Madeira, Burgundy, Commandaria and Vradiano were awarded silver. At the International Spirits Challenge (UK) Fetească Neagră & Cognac expressions all took bronze, as did their Oloroso expression at the International […]

Hidden Sea reveals RTD spritz range

The Hidden Sea has just launched a new ready-to-drink (RTD) range comprising Spritz Rosé and Spritz Pinot Grigio, available in cans across the UK. The new range will join its wider range of vegan wines, including a Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Rosé, Shiraz and Red Blend – in a drive to actively remove plastic from the […]

Packaging that delivers

Hand Crafted Drinks Magazine is primarily here to support the artisan and hand-crafted drinks sector, but we’re also delighted to support those companies that in turn support the increasing numbers of independent producers across the UK. One such company is Printed Paper Tubes, which for over 30 years has been producing a wide range of […]

Collaboration is key

Tomasz Lenartowicz, a director at Collective Motion Brewing, explains how brewers can collaborate to serve the collective cause in addressing climate change. The company launched in 2022 to support brewers in the design, development, management and maintenance of their breweries and equipment. Following a summer in which record temperatures across Europe have focused minds on […]

Early bird discounts end in 3 days

The London Competitions are designed to recognise the best spirits, wine, and beer brands showcasing quality at its most competitive. Their early bird discounts end at midnight on 30 September, so don’t delay in entering your products entered and be a part of three competitions that help brands to build their presence in the UK […]

Boxing clever

Warwickshire Gin Company, an award-winning distillery based in Leamington Spa, is throwing its weight behind the expansion of a local community boxing gym, which prides itself on producing champion fighters. The good sports at the Warwickshire distillery have become long-term sponsors of Cleary’s Boxing Gym following the recent opening of its new £100,000 premises, to […]

Balblair comes of age

Balblair, the renowned Highland single malt Scotch distillery, famous for its unrivalled collection of extraordinary single malts, has just unveiled its crowning jewel: the highly anticipated release of their 21-year-old expression. This permanent addition to the Balblair portfolio represents the pinnacle of their craftsmanship with six years of further maturation in Spanish oak barrels. 21 […]

Fares please!

A Warwickshire gin company has acquired the Cocktail Tours company based in Tewkesbury to take its unique concept on the road for the first time. It marks the start of an exciting new journey for That Gin Company brand, which started out as That Gin & Cocktail Bar in Warwick. The converted double-decker Cocktail Tours […]

A warm welcome awaits

I didn’t know that Dunfermline was the capital of Scotland until 1452 or that the city — as it became in 2022 (part of the late Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations) — has so much to offer locals and visitors, alike.  During my recent visit I visited Dunfermline Abbey, which was built on the site of […]

Dunfermline on the map

There are many reasons to visit Dunfermline, a town that was conferred city status in October 2022 by King Charles III — part of the late Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations. The city, which was the capital of Scotland until 1452, has much to offer locals and visitors, alike. There’s Dunfermline Abbey, which was built on […]

New wines from Andrew Peace

Andrew Peace has expanded its UK portfolio of Australian wines, with six new product lines. The entire range will also benefit from two design propositions – Andrew Peace Black Label and Andrew Peace White Label – distributed by Kingsland Drinks. Andrew Peace Black Label includes two new lower ABV wines: Shiraz (11%) and Chardonnay (11%), […]

Shanky’s success down under

Irish Whiskey liqueur, Shanky’s Whip, has signed a new distribution deal with global drinks distributor Amber Beverage Group, a move which signals the brand’s increasingly global appeal Shanky’s Whip is distilled in County Cavan and then blended and bottled by Shanky and Shireman in Ireland. The whiskey liqueur is perfectly positioned to bridge the gap […]

London Competitions update

Sid Patel, the CEO of the London Competitions, has the latest news of the 2024 competitions encompassing spirits, wine and beer. I am delighted to provide an update on some exciting features we are introducing at the London Competitions in 2024 and how we plan to give more value to our entrants. In our recent […]

16 steps to beer heaven

A family of entrepreneurs from Warwick have taken their first steps into hospitality with their new craft beer bar and shop, which recently opened in the centre of the town. Paul and Jacqui Brown, together with their sons Harvey and Regan, have launched The Craftsman, a bar that celebrates and promotes the artisan and craft […]

Hotel branches out

Keen to increase its portfolio of local, artisan suppliers, The Red House Hotel, based in the small Perthshire town of Coupar Angus, has announced that it is now stocking award-winning Lost Orchards Cider. The cidery was established in 2019 by fourth generation farmer, Andrew Husband and his business partner, Angus Morrison. The cider is produced […]

Success for Dalmore Gin

Four years ago, Dalmore Gin was created for Alan Bannerman, the owner of The Dalmore Inn & Restaurant, by the team at Persie – the renowned distillers based in the Bridge of Colly, Perthshire. Dalmore Gin is available at the Blairgowrie-based inn and restaurant, along with Alan Bannerman’s two other venues: The Red House Hotel […]

Beer Dad’s relaunch

Beer Dad, one of the newest names in the craft beer subscription industry, has announced the launch of their new website and their highly anticipated “All Killer No Filler” craft beer subscription service. This revamped offering promises to deliver the latest and freshest releases from top-rated independent craft and artisan brewers, whilst offering exceptional value […]

Shaken and stirred

Here at Hand Crafted Drinks Magazine we get to sample and review a wide range of drinks, including a variety of fine spirits. We only ever taste spirits without mixers, so that our reviews are based entirely on the quality of the unadulterated product. So, when we were sent a selection of cocktails from Jack […]

As good as gold

Scotland’s all-female brew team celebrated their success at the recent World Beer Awards. Amy Cockburn and Lisa Matthews from Harviestoun Brewery in Clackmannanshire scooped the top global accolade for the brewery’s iconic craft lager, Schiehallion (pronounced she-hal-ion), which takes its name from the well-known Perthshire mountain.  Schiehallion won the Gold award in the Classic Pilsner […]

Brewery’s can do attitude

Surrey-based Hogs Back brewery is putting its flagship beer, Tongham TEA (Traditional English Ale), into cans as part of the company’s commitment to brew more sustainably, while also broadening the brand’s appeal. Tongham TEA is a 4.2% ABV, full-bodied bitter, which was the first beer brewed by Hogs Back when the brewery opened in 1992; […]

Mead in heaven

Mead is one those drinks that we’ve all probably heard about, but never tasted, and don’t really know what it is. Mead is a drink that is brewed using honey in the fermentation process and its history can be traced back over 10,000 years when it was first produced in China. Centuries later, the Greeks […]

A zest for life

Here at Hand Crafted Drinks Magazine we get sent a wide selection of products to sample, which helps us keep up to date with the latest trends in the drinks industry. Flavoured gins have become very popular in recent years and it’s hard to keep track of all the new flavours and boasts of ‘unique’ […]

In the pink

Sustainable soft drinks producer, Marlish Waters, is expanding its range of canned-at-source spring waters, with the launch of Marlish Sparkling Pink Grapefruit. It is low in calories (7 kCal per can), but packed full of flavour, Marlish Sparkling Pink Grapefruit Spring Water combines the finest pink grapefruit extracts and oils with Marlish’s Spring Water, to […]

Badger’s fresh new look

Leading independent brewer Badger Beers is launching a range of characterful new designs for its range of premium bottled ales, with packs set to appear in various retail outlets in August. Initially, seven of Badger’s top-selling premium ales will feature the new design, including newly-launched coffee stout, called Master Stoat, with more to follow, including […]

Here comes summer

Shakespeare Distillery has announced the launch a new limited-edition Kaffir Lime & Orange Gin, which delivers a refreshing blend of citrus flavours. The team at the independent artisan spirit producer enjoy experimenting with different flavours to create delicious new spirits, which they regularly release as special editions in limited quantities. To create this new gin […]

MAD for art

Three British artists are at the forefront of an innovative and unique range of craft spirits that reproduces their artwork on bottle labels. Modern Art Distillery (MAD) has launched a new line of flavoured gin, vodka and rum featuring paintings by new and emerging artists from across the country, with a first series that includes […]

One-way kegs launch

Based in Antwerp, Belgium, Dolium – a worldwide leader in one-way packaging solutions – has announced its partnership with the Bristol-based Rawlings Group for distribution of its one-way kegs in the UK, Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic. Dolium, which was founded in 2013, offers a user friendly, cost-efficient and sustainable alternative to stainless steel […]

Success for Scottish brewery

Harviestoun Brewery is celebrating its 40th anniversary with a national roll-out campaign, which launches on National Beer Day (15 June). Based in Alva, near Stirling, Harviestoun has been brewing in the shadow of the Ochil Hills since 1983, long before craft beer became popular in Scotland. To mark four decades as a pioneering producer and a […]

St Maur conquers America

St Maur elderflower liqueur, which is produced in rural Warwickshire, has been awarded Best in Category, International Liqueurs at the American Distilling Institute International Spirits Competition, which was held in the USA.  The award becomes the latest in a series of prestigious industry accolades for the drink, produced by William and Kelsey Seymour, Earl and […]

Hungry for success

A waitress from Newcastle-upon-Tyne, who launched a low-calorie canned cocktail business after losing her job during lockdown, has won 12 months of business mentoring and guidance valued at £50,000 through the Brew//LDN’s Brew//Accelerator programme for aspiring drinks firms. This prize has been supported by leading accountancy firm, Johnston Carmichael. Siobhan Linney, 30, launched Thirsty Gal […]

Twice as good

We were very fortunate to meet the owner of Kinsale Spirit Company during a meet the makers event at the Irish Embassy in London earlier this year, who recently sent us a bottle of their Spanish Earl, Single Malt Irish Whiskey and a bottle of Kinsale Gin, both of which are reviewed in this feature. […]

Some like it hot

Warwick-based That Gin Company, recently sent us a bottle of their fiery gin That Jalapeños, which we looked forward to tasting the moment it arrived.  Here at Hand Crafted Drinks Magazine, we like hot and spicy food, and so we were intrigued when we first heard about this gin to see just how hot it […]

And, the winners are…

This year the People’s Choice Drinks Awards event was bigger than ever. To become a finalist is a great accolade as the competition only awards one winner, one silver and one bronze in each category. All finalists are listed online as well as on the Drinks Finder. To see the winners in each category follow […]

A right royal tribute

To mark the forthcoming coronation of King Charles III, Arkell’s Brewery has released a special dark ale: a smooth, chocolatey, traditional style, dark ale, which is surprisingly easy to drink, brewed using traditional methods in their Victorian brewery. The 4.5% ABV limited edition brew, Coronation Ale, will be available on draught at Arkell’s pubs and […]

Cask ale in demand

Demand for cask ales from Surrey-based Hogs Back Brewery has almost returned to pre-Covid levels, with a number of new pub operators taking its established cask brands and latest additions. Owners of the brewery estimate that they will be supplying 250 more on-trade outlets by the summer, compared to the same period last year. Hogs […]

Coronation Gin launched

Warwickshire-based Shakespeare Distillery has launched a new Coronation Gin ahead of the celebrations around the coronation of King Charles III, which will take place on Saturday 6 May. The team at the independent artisan distillery crafted a completely new dry gin, which has taken inspiration from the Gin and Dubonnet beloved by the late Queen […]

Winning formula

The results of the 2023 London Spirits Competition are finally out. This year a record number of entrants were hoping for the much-coveted bronze, silver, and gold medals. There were around 2000 spirits brands represented, which were sent in from more than 80 countries. The competition prides itself on consistently being assessed by a top […]

North Point’s touchdown

North Point Distillery, based near Thurso, has partnered with Caithness Rugby to produce a very special bottle marking the club’s 60th anniversary. This limited edition release of their London Dry Gin (40% ABV) has been produced in individually numbered 70cl bottles. At North Point Distillery, they create small batches of authentic Scottish spirits, which have […]

Cuvée Argot arrives in the UK

Speciality Brands has launched Waterford Distillery’s single malt Irish whisky, Cuvée Argot, in the UK. The vibrant new whisky, which will be distributed exclusively by Speciality Brands in the UK, brings together several of the brand’s Single Farm Origins for beguiling depth and ultimate complexity with a mere hint of true Irish peat. Argot (pronounced ar-go) is […]

Badger’s new craft beer

Leading independent brewer, Badger Beers, is launching a range of craft beers under an innovative new brand, called Outland. The new beers, available from April, offer drinkers characterful, contemporary tastes, complementing Badger’s existing core range of premium bottled ales.  The launch of Outland is one part of a fundamental shift in attitude at Badger Beers, […]

Anniversary ale trail

2023 is a special year for Arkell’s Brewery, which is celebrating 180 years of continuous brewing at the original site founded by John Arkell. To celebrate this milestone, the family-owned brewery has created an ale trail to encourage drinkers to visit as many Arkell’s pubs as they can, which can be found across Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, […]

Brewing up a storm

Timothy Taylor’s, the Keighley-based brewery, has recently released Hopical Storm in a can, which is their first canned beer. The foray into canning reinforces its uncompromising approach to quality and consistency by providing an additional packaging format that suits the brand and opens up availability to a younger audience (of a legal drinking age).  Timothy Taylor’s Hopical […]

Peas in a pod

Purpose-led drinks firm Ten Locks has launched its first own spirit brand: Pod Pea Vodka, a fresh, flavourful spirit made with 100% British peas.  We were recently sent a bottle to sample and everyone in the office was impressed with Pod Pea Vodka (40% ABV), which is made from peas. The smooth vodka imparts a subtle pea flavour, […]

Reduce your energy costs

Dominic Smith, a director at Collective Motion Brewing, offers advice on the steps that brewers can take to reduce their running costs during the on-going energy crisis. The prospect of energy bills substantially increasing from April is a major concern for countless breweries and cider producers. The government has confirmed the next stage of the […]

Hogs Back Little Swine 0.l5%

Zero is the hero

Let’s be honest, until fairly recently the quality of zero and low alcohol beers have been variable to say the least. Some are good, some are passable and others are about as inviting as a bowl of cold dishwater.  A few weeks ago we were sent three bottled beers from Hogs Back Brewery, based in […]

Wolftown’s winning formula

Ulverston-based Wolftown, has won a fourth award for its second gin expression – Wolftown Citrus Gin – at the 2023 International Wine and Spirits Competition (IWSC). At this year’s event, which took place during the first two weeks of March, 120 of the world’s leading spirit experts gathered in London to assess over 4,100 entries […]

BRUBL’s triumph

The quality of drinks that are being produced by artisan companies continues to impress and the diversity of those products grows by the week, judging by the number of press releases we receive announcing new companies, products and brands. Here at Hand Crafted Drinks Magazine we only witness a small proportion of the new products, […]

Shaken and stirred

An English earl is celebrating his Brazilian roots as part of a new collaboration that has caused quite a stir in the world of cocktails. William Seymour, Earl of Yarmouth, together with Matthew Hiscoe – owner of Café Cocktail in Stratford-upon-Avon – have created a perfect blend by mixing their skills to create a unique […]

A compelling competition

As one of the media partners of the London Spirits Competition, London Wine Competition and London Beer Competition, it was a pleasure to be invited to meet the organisers and the judges. On Wednesday 22 March, the day the spirits were being judged, I interviewed Sid Patel – the who runs Beverage Trade Network (the company […]

Spice up your life

Surrey-based Hogs Back brewery has extended its Little Swine family of low alcohol beers with the launch of a flavoured craft ale, Little Ginger Swine. With an ABV of 0.5%, and spiced-up with natural ginger extract after brewing, Little Ginger Swine is a full-bodied, flavourful pale ale. It is brewed with four speciality malts and three […]

Sky Wave Zero

Sky Wave Zero is a new, alcohol-free drink distilled with the same innovation and passion we have come to expect from premium spirits brand, Sky Wave Gin. To perfect this new zero-alcohol distilled drink it has taken their master distiller, Andrew Parsons, over eighteen months to develop. Parsons applied the same expertise that has helped […]

Success for pint-sized brewery

The lockdowns of early 2020 forced thousands of businesses to the brink of bankruptcy and nearly 350,000 businesses closed their doors for the last time, including a high proportion of leisure and hospitality companies. Not only were the bars, pubs, hotels and restaurants affected by the lockdowns because they simply could not trade, the producers also […]

New competition deadline

The deadline for this year’s London Wine, Beer, and Spirits Competition (London Competitions) has been extended until Tuesday 28 February, which is great news if you thought you had missed the deadline (originally 22 February), because we know just how much exposure these events can generate and why they should be seriously considered. So, if you’re a drinks […]

Love, share, enjoy

St Maur was first produced for the guests who attended the wedding of the Earl and future Countess of Yarmouth, which took place at Ragley Hall in Alcester. The success of the unique liqueur spurred on the young couple to turn the production of St Maur it into a full-time family business at the start of […]

Ginfinite combinations

A Warwick-based gin bar has launched a unique pick-and-mix concept that allows their customers to choose from over 90 flavours to create their own bespoke gin. Steve Bazell, who owns the bar and devised the new concept, believes that his company has the largest range of flavours, which customers can choose from to create specific and […]

Tickets for awards event

It is now just over a month to go for this year’s People’s Choice Wine Awards, which were launched in 2017 by Janet Harrison of Cracking Wine and Judy Kendrick from JK Marketing. In 2020 the company launched the People’s Choice Spirits Awards. The consumer-friendly categories attract wine and spirits submissions from all over the world, in any […]

Hogs Back Little Swine 0.l5%

New no and low beer family

Surrey-based Hogs Back Brewery has launched Little Swine 0.5% to complement its existing low alcohol beer, Little Swine 2.8%, creating a family of no and low alcohol beers in time for the peak in consumer demand during Dry January.   Little Swine 0.5% has launched in 330ml bottles and will be available in 500ml bottles […]

Inspired by nature

Centuries ago, the Aborigines unlocked the healing power of the eucalyptus tree, which was revered by Australia’s indiginous people. The sacred plant was used to promote health and cleanse, and was part of rituals and ceremonies to cure the spirit. They would crush and soak the eucalyptus leaves in water to create a medicine that they used […]

Carbon neutral distillery

Warwickshire-based Shakespeare Distillery has been certified as carbon neutral after a full-scale carbon dioxide footprint assessment and off-setting programme. The independent artisan spirit producer is working to minimise its environmental impact and become a truly sustainable business.  Over the summer of 2022 the company employed a carbon footprint data analyst. with the support of the […]

A great year

Without a doubt 2022 has been a good year for the Alexandrion Group, which was delighted by the level of interest and positive feedback to their Carpathian Single Malt Whisky – Romania’s first ever single malt whisky. The single malt was launched in the USA in May 2022; it was then officially unveiled at a product […]

UK’s favourite drinks

In December 2022 a survey was conducted by Surrey-based Lunzer Wines to find out about the UK’s drinking habits. They polled 2,000 consumers and found that 75% of adults enjoy an alcoholic drink at least once a week. The results of the survey also found that the UK’s favourite tipple is white wine, along with the following […]

Gin designed for you

Warwick-based That Gin Company, which also owns a cocktail bar, offers customers the chance to create their own flavoured gin. Most artisan and hand-crafted drinks companies will argue, rightly so, that their products are unique, whether it is the ingredients used, the processes employed or a totally new product. But, in the case of That […]

A real gem of a gin

We were recently sent a bottle of Triple Three Gin, produced in South Africa by Triple Three Distillery, which in 2022 won a brace of trophies for its Just Juniper Gin at the prestigious Trophy Spirits Show: the Investec Trophy for Best London Gin and the Riedel Trophy for Best Gin of Show. This was an […]

Making waves in Cornwall

Earlier this month, a microbrewery specialising in hand-crafted beers has landed a haul of regional awards, bringing early festive cheer to one corner of the Cornish coast. The Driftwood Spars Brewery at Trevaunance Cove, St Agnes, won two golds and a silver at the SIBA  (Society of Independent Brewers) Independent Beer Awards, South West region; […]

Christmas cocktail

If you want to offer your customers or friends and family a memorable cocktail this Christmas then look no further than the Partridge and Pear Sour cocktail made with St Maur elderflower liqueur and a quality gin.  This unique cocktail is the perfect balance between the sweet and the sour, which pairs beautifully with savoury canapés […]

Stunningly unique

Artisan and hand-crafted spirits, beers, meads and ciders are, by definition, unique, but sometimes you need to qualify just how special an individual product is. In the case of Procera, a super-premium gin produced in Nairobi, Kenya, it’s their attention to detail that elevates their offer; from the hand-blown bottles and individually applied labels, to the […]

Not to be missed

London, the global capital of the drinks culture, plays host to the annual London Spirits, Wine and Beer Competitions, which are becoming an unmissable event where world’s top on-trade and off-trade professionals gather to judge thousands of spirits, wines and beers by quality, value and package. The judging panel encompasses head bartenders, mixologists and bar […]

People’s Choice Drinks Awards

The finalists have been announced in the People’s Choice Spirits Awards, as well as the shortlist for the People’s Choice Wine Awards, now in its sixth year. Judging sessions took place in Manchester and London, with over 160 people taking part. The panels comprised enthusiastic drinks consumers (chosen from an application process), alongside trade judges and […]

Media partnership confirmed

Hand Crafted Drinks Magazine has renewed its partnership with Beverage Trade Network to help promote and support the London Wine, London Spirits and London Beer competitions during 2023. We will continue to work to promote and support the three UK-based international events, which recognise, reward and help promote drinks brands that have successfully been created […]

Devilishly good

At Hand Crafted Drinks Magazine we were delighted to receive a bottle of Diablesse Coconut & Hibiscus Rum, which is produced by the first solely female-owned rum brand in the UK. Cleo Farman launched her company in 2019 after travelling the Caribbean and spent months back in the UK developing her range of rum. Following the […]

Iced tea perfected

Iced tea is one of those American institutions that you imagine has been enjoyed by those living in the balmy southern states for hundreds of years, yet it only become popular in the 1860s. Although iced tea is gaining popularity outside the United States and is being enjoyed by an increasing number of countries around […]

Good Karma

We shouldn’t be surprised when we receive good service at pubs, restaurants or hotels — they’re in the hospitality industry, after all, and good service should be a given. But, all too often customers are disappointed with the quality of the food or the service, or both, and can leave feeling underwhelmed.  Such is the […]

Artisan beers direct to you

Sometimes you can have too much choice, which actually impedes the decision-making process. Faced with a menu of just half a dozen mains and you’ll be far quicker to make your choice than if you have 20 dishes to consider. You can find yourself in the same situation when buying beers, especially if you’re in […]

La vie en rose

Warwick-based children’s charity Molly Ollys is celebrating its tenth anniversary with the launch of its very own pink gin. Working in partnership with Shakespeare Distillery, based in Stratford-upon-Avon, the charity has launched a bespoke, small batch craft gin with notes of raspberries, blackberries and Mediterranean citrus. Molly Ollys already had a successful range of products, […]

Shibden Valley Gin

If you watched Gentleman Jack, which aired on BBC1 on Sunday evenings, this striking manor house will be familiar. Shibden Hall, which dates back to 1420, was home to Anne Lister (1791-1840) whose controversial life was played out in series one and two. The hall was the home to several families for over 500 years before […]

Good as gold

Out of many entrants in the Pre-Mixed/RTD (ready-to-drink) category at the recent Global Spirits Business Autumn Tasting Masters Competition 2022, the panel of judges awarded Myatt’s Fields Cocktails the only gold medal. Taking the gold medal was Myatt’s Fields Cocktails’ Vesper Martini that impressed the judges with its character, smoothness and balance. Commenting on the award, Clemency Penn, […]

Unique new whiskies

This autumn Elements of Islay is launching a re-imagined core range of blended malt whiskies. The multi-awarded brand, which has won a loyal following over the years for its various limited batch editions, will be presenting three permanent whiskies that all capture the essence of their origin: Islay. The three expressions, Elements of Islay Cask […]

As you like it

We’re delighted to report that Shakespeare Distillery has expanded its business in the centre of Stratford-upon-Avon where it has opened a brand new experiences space, which will create six new jobs. The independent artisan spirit producer has taken a long-term lease at 1 High Street in the historic town which houses their retail shop on […]

Kelham Island Brewery saved

We are delighted to report that Sheffield-based Kelham Island Brewery has been saved from closure by a group of Sheffield businesspeople. The rescue of the city’s oldest independent brewery is a collaboration between James O’Hara (Tramlines co-founder and Sheffield venue owner), his brother, financial analyst Tom O’Hara, Simon Webster and Jim Harrison (who run the […]

Spookily good

Here at Hand Crafted Drinks Magazine we like to have a bit of fun, especially when the news agenda is, well, a bit gloomy at the moment. So, here are two Hallowe’en Cocktail recipes created by Warwickshire-based liqueur producer, St Maur: the Vampire Cocktail and the Daylight Cocktail – with garlic to help ward off […]

A cracking result

The winner of the inaugural OGGS® Shake Off Challenge has been named as London-based mixologist Ryan Saunders. Saunders, who is bar manager at East London Liquor Company’s bar and restaurant, beat three other talented mixologists in the competition final, which saw the finalists’ skills put to the test across two rounds at the event, hosted […]

The People’s Choice

We’re delighted to be supporting an exciting consumer-facing national drinks awards, which is currently open for entries. The deadline for online submissions for the People’s Choice Drinks Awards is 17 October 2022; samples must be received by 28 October 2022. The cost is just £120 and includes free marketing assistance for finalist and medal winning […]

Land your dream bar job

Are you interested in becoming a bartender? Although it’s a hectic job, bartending can be a great career choice, where you can master the ins and outs of working in hospitality, as independent coach and mentor, Julie Morris, explains. The following tips lay out a path to becoming a bartender, from sprucing up your CV […]

Girls allowed

Award-winning Birmingham-based bar, The Pineapple Club, is celebrating its second birthday in September by launching a new menu that’s been curated to champion under represented groups in the UK drinks sector.    All drinks brands on the ‘Faces of our Industry’ menu have been selected due to their high quality and because of the people behind […]

Think outside the box

As energy prices continue to rise there are few areas of the economy that are not being negatively affected, unless you’re one of the oil producers who have come to regard their businesses as ‘cash machines’. All businesses are going to have to think creatively to ensure that they can keep the lights on, including […]

Hogs Back is 30

Hogs Back Brewery recently celebrated its 30th birthday with a special ’30 at 30′ event, to which 30 local loyal drinkers were invited to join the company for a celebratory pint of its flagship beer, Tongham TEA. Commenting on entering their fourth decade in business, Hogs Back Brewery’s managing director Rupert Thompson said: “We wanted […]

The spice of life

Since February this year Ten Locks has been the UK distributor of authentic Indian spirit brand, Sollasa, which has been available to the UK’s retail and hospitality sectors, particularly premium Indian restaurants and contemporary fusion dining venues. Sollasa burst on to the UK drinks scene in July 2021 and caused much excitement with its unique proposition: the first […]

Success for Romanian whisky

In July, the prestigious Royal Automobile Club in London’s Pall Mall, was the setting for the unveiling of Alexandrion Group’s Carpathian Single Malt Whisky. The lavish event took place In the presence of Her Excellency Mrs Laura Popescu, the Ambassador of Romania to the United Kingdom, along with Alexandru Dodan, Deputy Head of Mission at […]

For peat’s sake

According to Tongue In Peat’s website, their “Peat infusion creates a love it or hate it taste, but there is no denying it creates a deeper, richer and more complex drink…” It all sounds very intriguiing but what does Tongue In Peat produce? The answer is a peat-smoked tomato juice that produces an extra ‘kick’ […]

Award-winning Wolftown Gin

Wolftown, the Ulverston-based distillery, has won a third award for its second gin expression: Wolftown Citrus Gin, just nine months after its release. Their latest success, a 1-star Great Taste Award from the Guild of Fine Food, follows on from winning in the Flavoured Gin category at the Gin Guide Awards and a Bronze Medal […]

Low2NoBev 2022

The Low2NoBev show has been re-scheduled to be co-located with The Big Hospitality Expo at Olympia, London from 26-28 September 2022.  Following the successful launch in 2021 the Low2NoBev show will receive even greater visibility this year by opening its doors for an extra day and extending its reach and reputation by running alongside The […]

Savoia arrives in style

This August, Savoia Americano Rosso (18.6% abv), a bold, distinctive and delicious vino aperitivo, joins Ten Locks’ growing portfolio. Uniting both sides of the aperitivo tradition (Torino and Milano) with the original tradition of D.O.C. Marsala fortified wine from Sicilia, Savoia Americano Rosso elevates simple, low alcohol cocktails, plays a leading role in the classic spritz […]

Tip top idea

Sometimes the best ideas are the simplest. Enter the OST Tipple Top Drinks Measure (TTDM), a remarkably simple and unique concept. The essence of the product is a 25ml measure that has been incorporated into a stylish bottle top, which replaces those supplied with bottles of spirits. David Ostick, the product designer, wanted to create something […]

Helping our heroes

Staffordshire Distillery — part of Derbyshire Spirit Group of Partners, based at Markham Vale near Chesterfield — has become a corporate partner of Help For Heroes. Under the terms of the partnership the distillery will produce a wide range of branded spirits that will help raise essential funds for this charity that supports wounded veterans, […]

Good Vibez

The Covid-19 pandemic undoubtedly affected millions of people and countless businesses across the company, but many used the downtime to consider their future and take their lives in a new direction. One of the new companies that emerged from the lockdowns was Vibez Drinks, which was launched by Ivor and Eugene Paterson, a father-and-son team […]

New cider launched

Napton Cidery is celebrating a pivotal partnership with Purity Brewing, following the launch of the brewery’s new cider. The award-winning businesses, Napton Cidery and Purity Brewing, have announced an exciting collaboration to create the brewers’ medium dry Pure Cider recipe, which is now available in pubs, bars and restaurants throughout the UK. The partnership, to […]

Award for apprentice distiller

Ffion Lewis has been promoted to lead distiller at In The Welsh Wind Distillery, the award-winning distillers based at Tanygroes, near Cardigan, after completing a Foundation Apprenticeship in Brewing. Now the 22-year-old’s learning journey has been rewarded with the Foundation Apprentice of the Year award at the annual Apprenticeship, Employment and Skills Awards, held by […]

Just the tonic

We might be breathing a collective sigh of relief now that the heatwave has subsided, but for when the sun returns the Isle of Barra Distillers and Wild Eve have created some mouth-watering cocktails.  The Barra Mojito 60ml Island Dark Rum 20ml Sugar syrup (seaweed infused syrup adds an additional layer of depth to the […]

Super Early Bird Discounts

The 2023 London Spirits Competition is now accepting submissions, so enter now to take advantage of their super early bird discounts. The organisers of the 2023 competition are encouraging brand owners to enter their spirits in the 6th annual London Spirits Competition and take advantage of the super early bird offer, which can save £75 […]

Highway to EV hell?

The sale of petrol and diesel-powered cars will be banned from 2030, which is going to lead to more and more people driving electric vehicles over the next few years. The elephant in the room, however, is charging points or lack of charging points to be precise. I have yet to visit any pub, restauranr […]

New rum launched

The Isle of Barra Distillers has just launched their very first Island Dark Rum, which is infused with exotic botanicals, including carrageen seaweed, coconut, cardamom, cloves, lemon and orange peel. We have yet to sample what sounds like an amazine rum, but we have read the tasting notes, which have certainly whet the appetite: on the […]

And, the winner is…

At the recent Coventry & Warwickshire Foodie Awards, two companies that have previously been featured by Hand Crafted Drinks Magazine walked away with prestigious awards. St Maur, the Alcester-based start-up liqueur company founded by the Earl and Countess of Yarmouth, won The Foodie Start-up Award. St Maur, is a hand-crafted elderflower liqueur, which was originally […]

We are the champions

A total of 250 pubs have joined the Grassroots Sports Champion programme, launched in March by PubAid and Sky to recognise and reward pubs’ support for local sport. The Grassroots Sports Champion programme is open to any pub involved in local sport, whether they host a pool or darts side, sponsor a football team or […]

Beer Piper cleans up

Manchester-based Beer Piper, the UK’s number one company in beer line cleaning, is investing over one million pounds into the business as it consolidates its dominant position in the hospitality sector, which with enable to the company to move to new premises and buy additional equipment. The company will move to enlarged premises at Trafford […]

The Macallan M Collection

The Macallan has unveiled The Macallan M Collection, a range of limited release single malt whiskies, which celebrate the brand’s six pillars. The six pillars are the foundation stones that account for The Macallan’s distinctive and exceptional whiskies and comprise: Natural Colour, Mastery, Curiously Small Spirit Stills, The Estate, Exceptional Oak Casks and Sherry Seasoning. […]

Enter your spirits brand

The 2023 London Spirits Competition is now accepting submissions. Brands looking to enter into the sixth annual London Spirits Competition are encouraged to submit by 31 August to get the super early bird offer and save £75 on the entry fee. If a drinks competition is doing its job, it should be attracting the most […]

Bless these hops

Surrey-based Hogs Back Brewery welcomed 200 guests to an official blessing of its hop garden in Tongham by local vicar, Reverend Claire Holt, held on Ascension Day (26 May). Blessing of crops is a tradition dating back centuries in rural communities, as a way of encouraging plentiful harvests. Hogs Back’s 8.5-acre hop garden is home […]

Spirits competition winners

The results of the 2022 London Spirits Competition are out. This is a competition where spirits were judged for end-user consumers. Spirits were rated with three main criteria in mind: quality, value and packaging. To be a medal winner, Spirits must show a rating in all the three factors with most of the weighting on […]