The beverage business blog from Olly Wehring
If you would like to offer your comments, opinions, suggest topics or just have a good rant, please feel free to email: Olly Wehring.
Wine tasting: BANNED
05 Jul 2012 14:42
Click play, below, to see UK comedian David Mitchell sound off about wine tasting. He's not a fan, it appears.
(NB, not suitable for work, due to naughty words)
"We never comment on market speculation or rumour. No, wait..."
25 Jun 2012 16:40
I feel like I've just seen a pig.
In the air.
Anheuser-Busch InBev has just released a statement, in which it comments on market speculation!
Do you hear that Modelo? They must really like you!
Pernod Ricard - On your bike, for The Benevolent
20 Jun 2012 14:45
Last month, we (exclusively) announced that the deputy MD at Pernod Ricard UK, Simon Thomas, is set to leave the company. Prior to his departure, however, Simon this month embarked on a charity bicycle ride – a 640-mile charity bicycle ride.
Starting At The Glenlivet distillery in Speyside last week, Simon and a team of Pernod Ricard UK employees, arrived at the Beefeater distillery here in London yesterday (19 June). The riders are raising money for The Benevolent, the drinks industry charity of which Simon is the chairman.
The team has raised 80% of its fund-raising target, apparently, so if you'd like to make a donation, then head here between now and 12 July.
And, if you'd like to see the team's video diary, before Simon cycles off into the sunset, then click here, paying particular attention to the start of day seven - don't drink and ride, boys!
North British Distilleries - An apology
12 Jun 2012 17:14
It would appear that I owe North British Distilleries an apology.
In the weekly newsletter sent to just-drinks' members yesterday (11 June), I suggested that the facility, which is jointly-owned by Diageo and The Edrington Group, was found to be the source for the Legionnaires' disease outbreak in Scotland last week.
It transpires however, that this is not actually the case. As things stand, Scotland's health executive has served an improvement notice on the company for alleged failures to adequately control the risk of legionella in the cooling tower. The facility has not been identified as the source.
My apologies, folks.
Yes, but, who ARE Gruppo Campari?
12 Jun 2012 14:04
If you've ever asked yourself the above, then fret no longer. Here, from the company itself, is the comprehensive answer to that question.
Having been invited to the Campari calendar launch last year, I'd got it into my head that I must be in this video, lurking somewhere in the background. I think I'm there at 0:12.
Diageo - Who will buy my baijiu?
31 May 2012 15:17
Amongst the sideline talk at this year's Capital Markets Day from Pernod Ricard yesterday, check this, from a China Daily reporter.
Talk over dinner last night turned to baijiu, the domestically-produced white spirit and national drink of China. The category accounts for a staggering 99% of spirits sales in the country, with imported spirits – annual volumes of a still-healthy 5m cases – making up the final per cent.
What was Diageo's thinking in getting involved in baijiu, the reporter asked me. Could the company be keen to grow the Shuijingfang brand in China, or is Diageo looking to introduce baijiu to export markets?
I proffered the possibility that Diageo is hoping to use Shuijingfang as its way in to the Chinese consumer, before looking to turn him on to the likes of Johnnie Walker.
“No,” the reporter fires back. “That will never work.” The baijiu consumer is such, due to a mixture of compulsion and national loyalty, I'm told. A Chinese civil servant, for example, - of which there are a few - will buy baijiu and baijiu alone when it comes to spirits.
I'm hoping Diageo knew this before it made its play for Shuijingfang.
Unless, of course, baijiu's going to get its own gondola end in Wal-Mart and Tesco some time soon?
Soft Drinks International Conference - See you down the front
11 May 2012 13:36
We're less than a week away from the inaugural Soft Drinks International Conference here in London, and just-drinks will be there in force.
Taking place at the Tower Hotel in London on 17 and 18 May, the trade event will see a wealth of soft drinks companies attend. We will be there on both days and hope to see you there.
I'm told that, if you book now, you'll get a 50% discount off the standard delegate rate (use the code SDIVIP50).
To register, click here, and hopefully we'll see you there.
Anheuser-Busch InBev – My cup, it runneth over
10 May 2012 09:16
When Anheuser-Busch InBev lined up a three-year tie-up with the English Football Association last year, the romantic in me got all excited.
"Maybe," he pondered, "I'll get to see Liverpool in the FA Cup Final."
The realist in me quickly took hold and, considering the season my team has just put me through, was quite valid in dismissing such flights of fancy.
Okay, they didn't win, but I still got to watch my team play at Wembley Stadium on Saturday, thanks to A-B InBev here in the UK.
Not only that, but I also managed to get another snap for the 'Me with a Trophy' photo album.
Thanks to A-B InBev UK and Michelle Norman.
Coca-Cola Co & Monster - Did you get rich quick?
01 May 2012 16:48
Here's what my news 'timeline' looked like this morning:
A story runs in a prominent newspaper, citing unidentified people familiar with the situation as saying that the Coca-Cola Co is in discussions to buy Monster Beverage Corp.
Then, some stories break saying that Monster's share-price has soared to an eight-year high.
Soon afterwards, Coca-Cola issues a statement, saying it is not in negotiations with Monster.
Finally, several news outlets say that Monster's share price has slipped back to pre-speculation levels.
I'll wager that someone, somewhere made a pretty penny in the last 24 hours.
Let pirates be pirates
25 Apr 2012 11:56
l to r: A pirate, some Diageo execs, a governor, some more execs
This photo, from the opening of Diageo's Captain Morgan visitor centre in St Croix on the US Virgin Islands, came through earlier this week. It reminded me of my last encounter with a pirate.
In Cape Town with Wines of South Africa four years ago, I attended a party at which a performer - dressed as a pirate - did some pretty fancy juggling and some elaborate trickery with knives.
At the end of the evening, as we were leaving, I saw the pirate. I complimented him on his skills. His response?
Once a pirate...