Latest drinks industry interviews

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just-drinks uses its unrivalled access to the top industry executives to bring you interviews with the personalities shaping the news all year round.

Interview - Harviestoun Brewery MD Toby Knowles

Scotland, already well-known for the quality of its whisky, is carving out a reputation as a centre of craft beer excellence. According to N...

Interview, Diageo's global head of beer, part II

Much as the markets of Europe and the US tend to dominate the brewing headlines, Diageo's beer business also operates further afield from th...

Interview - Mark Sandys, Diageo's head of beer

In the first of a two-part interview, Diageo's global head of beer, Mark Sandys, talks to just-drinks' Lucy Britner about craft breweries, t...

Concha y Toro's Asia CEO - Interview

Ask a Chinese person about Chile and they will immediately mention one thing - cherries. The country is famous in China for its red cherries...


"It's about the consumer, stupid" - Interview, Accolade Wines CEO Paul Schaafsma - Part II 10 Mar 2016

Olly Wehring

In the second part of this week's just-drinks interview with Accolade Wines CEO Paul Schaafsma, we discuss the role brands have to play in the wine industry, whether wine is more of an FMCG than a purist's playground and the secrets to successful marketing.


"The wine business is changing" - Interview, Accolade Wines CEO Paul Schaafsma - Part I 8 Mar 2016

Olly Wehring

In this month's just-drinks interview, managing editor Olly Wehring meets up with Paul Schaafsma, a wine industry veteran of almost 20 years, who moved up last year to become CEO of Accolade Wines.


"I find it hard to forgive and forget" - Interview, Renegade Spirits' Mark Reynier 23 Feb 2016

Andy Morton

It is late afternoon on what has been a long day. But, Mark Reynier, formerly the head of Bruichladdich and now founder of Renegade Spirits, still has the energy to vent his grievances over the Irish whiskey industry he has inhabited for just over a year.


How Germany's rock stars help the wine industry - Interview, ProWein head Michael Degan 21 Jan 2016

Andy Morton

With just seven weeks left until the start of ProWein, just-drinks sat down with lead organiser Michael Degan to ask what makes the wine and spirits show one of the biggest draws on the alcohol calendar. Along the way, Degan reveals why the show is unlikely to get much bigger, discusses the possibility of adding beer to the mix and why German rock bands know their Riesling from their Spatburgunder.


Craft brings spirits sector full circle - Interview, William Grant & Sons' chief commercial officer, Simon Hunt, Part II 4 Dec 2015

Olly Wehring

In the second part of this week's just-drinks interview, William Grant & Sons' chief commercial officer, Simon Hunt, discusses the growing role played by craft spirits, the group's core markets and future targets, and the thinking that allowed The Glenlivet to overtake Glenfiddich as the world's biggest-selling single malt Scotch whisky brand.


How to spot a trend, how to create a trend - Interview, William Grant & Sons' chief commercial officer, Simon Hunt, Part I 2 Dec 2015

Olly Wehring

Earlier this year, just-drinks sat down with Simon Hunt, the chief commercial officer at William Grant & Sons, in a restaurant just around the corner from the company's global headquarters in west London. Before looking at the group's footprint, strategy, brands, what-have-you, editor Olly Wehring has one question he is desperate to ask.


How to turn a domestic spirit into a global brand - Interview, Montenegro Group CEO Marco Ferrari 26 Nov 2015

Andy Morton

Last year, Marco Ferrari left his post as CMO of SPI Group to lead Italian spirits and aperitif maker Montenegro Group. just-drinks spoke to him at the TFWA exhibition in Cannes in October to find out what it is like to go from managing a global brand such as Stolichnaya to a company with strong domestic brands and a global outlook. Ferrari also spoke about his ambitions for Amaro Montenegro, a herbal liqueur that is finding traction in the US.


The Lidl effect on the changing off-trade landscape - Interview, Lidl's UK head of beer, wine & spirits, part II 13 Nov 2015

Olly Wehring

In part two of this week's just-drinks interview, Ben Hulme, Lidl's head of beer, wines & spirits in the UK, discusses how the company has worked to change its reputation with both its customers and its suppliers, the role that brands have played - and could continue to play - and Minimum Unit Pricing.


The Lidl effect on the changing off-trade landscape - Interview, Lidl's UK head of beer, wine & spirits, part I 10 Nov 2015

Olly Wehring

As is often the case when meeting a person widely held to be “one of the most important people in the drinks industry”, Ben Hulme doesn't appear to live up to such superstar perceptions. Since joining Lidl in 2010, Hulme has progressed from its graduate trainee scheme to become the German-headquartered supermarket chain's head of beer, wines & spirits - a position he has held since June.


Digital marketing and the search for "brand warmth" - Interview, co-founder of Nation, Tom Kile-Hartshorn 3 Nov 2015

Andy Morton

Two months ago, Tom Kile-Hartshorn's digital marketing agency, Nation, won the right to handle Grolsch's global digital content and social media platforms. 


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