James Wilmore

The beverage business blog from James Wilmore

If you would like to offer your comments, opinions, suggest topics or just have a good rant, please feel free to email: James Wilmore.

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Pumpkin beer - not just for Halloween?

22 Oct 2012 15:55

Is pumpkin beer finally making a breakthrough as a credible style in the US?

I only ask after noticing on a recent trip to New York a number of folks ordering and taking an interest in it at bars.  One overheard conversation involved a 20-something guy ordering a pumpkin beer, to which his companion responded: "Pumpkin beer? Really?" The retort was: "Yeah, when it's this cold, I like the spice". 

One writer suggests, until recently, it was the Blink 182 of of the beer world - "corny, commercial, not taken seriously". Or Coldplay, maybe. 

But with the redoubtable Delaware-based brewer Dogfish Head among a glut of brewers getting in on the act, perhaps pumpkin ale is about to bust out of its Halloween niche? 

Follow me on Twitter @jamescwilmore


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Minimum pricing fears spread Down Under

17 Oct 2012 16:04

In case you were in any doubt how much the industry wants to close down the threat of minimum pricing, wherever it rears its head, evidence has come this week. The Scotch Whisky Association, which counts Diageo as among its leading members, has responded to a consultation in Australia on minimum pricing

The SWA's full submission can be viewed here

With the group fighting the matter closer to home, with a two-pronged legal challenge, and the UK's Prime Minister David Cameron also keen on the idea, fighting the measure is becoming a full-time job. 

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Bloomberg's New York political hari-kari explained

15 Oct 2012 12:41

New York City's Mayor Michael Bloomberg clearly cares little for popularity. His plan to ban large high-sugar soft drinks from the city's stores and restaurants has been vilified by many. In the latest twist, the proposal is even facing a legal challenge.

But, although it may seem an act of political hari-kari, it appears to matter little to Bloomberg. For readers not familiar with the political workings of the Big Apple, under the city's current rules a mayor can only serve for a maximum of three terms.  And, you guessed it, Bloomberg is in his third term, due to end next year. It's all about the "legacy" now. 

Moreover, as reportedly the tenth richest person in the US, with a net worth of US$25bn, Bloomberg needn't worry about finding another job after he exits the role of mayor.

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just-drinks in New York City

03 Oct 2012 15:53

Next week my good self will be pounding the streets of Manhattan on behalf of just-drinks. The diary is filling up, but if you would like to meet up informally please drop me a line at: james.wilmore@just-drinks.com or tweet me @jamescwilmore

James Jordan, our corporate account manager, will also be in tow (james.jordan@aroq.com). 

We'll be on the beat from Tuesday (9 October) to Thursday (11 October). 

Now there's an offer!

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Cape Wine 2012 - See you there

21 Sep 2012 13:53

Next week sees the return of Cape Wine, the three-day South African wine trade exhibition, after a hiatus of four years.

In keeping with the country's eco-credentials, all the stands have been designed with the environment in mind. Click play, below, to find out more.

To those of you heading to Cape Town this weekend, we wish you safe travels. We also look forward to seeing you there!

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Murray - made in Scotland from girders

12 Sep 2012 16:20

Irn-Bru makers AG Barr enjoyed some great free PR after Andy Murray's epic win at the US Open this week. 

The mighty Scotsman was snapped drinking a bottle of Scotland's most famous soft drink following his five-set defeat of Novak Djokovic. And the Daily Record even reported he turned down other drinks later, in favour of more Irn-Bru.  

Murray is famously proud of his homeland, so it's perhaps no surprise he used the opportunity to promote one its most recognisable brands.

I wonder whether execs at Barr's potential future partners, Britvic, enjoyed a wry smile at the coverage too?  

(Incidentally, Britvic used to sponsor Murray through its Robinsons brand.) 

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The off-trade: the elephant in the room again?

31 Aug 2012 17:26

As is so often the case in the UK, the off-trade appears to be the elephant in the room when it comes to tackling concerns around alcohol. 

From tomorrow, a new self-regulatory code governing irresponsible promotions in Northern Ireland comes into force. I'm assured the code covers the off-trade, as well as the on-trade. But a glance at the code document suggests otherwise. 

Interestingly, the Pubs of Ulster trade group is backing the code, so they must acknowledge there is a problem to be addressed in the on-trade. 

Publicans in England and Wales have for a long time pointed the finger at the major supermarkets as being the real culprits when it comes to alcohol-related issues, due to their deep discounting. 

Perhaps Northern Ireland's licensees are holding out for minimum pricing to address the problem of cut-price off-trade deals? 

 

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Monday - just-drinks will be closed

24 Aug 2012 17:39

A quick note, to let readers know that just-drinks will be closed on Monday (27 August), due to a Bank Holiday here in the UK. 

Normal service will be resumed on Tuesday.  

 

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Four more beers!

17 Aug 2012 17:28

Beer, it appears, is playing a leading role in this year's US presidential election campaign.

Barack Obama was recently caught on camera (see video below) at the 'Bud Tent', during the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines. Ever the cool customer, Obama was not caught out by one wag asking him to buy a round. It then prompted calls of "four more beers!" But the good old president put his hand in his pocket.

USA Today this week also picked up on an old story that the White House has its own micro-brewery

Meanwhile, presidential VP candidate, Paul Ryan, seems to be more a Miller man, after it was reported he told a crowd in Milwaukee suburb, Waukesha: "My veins run with cheese, bratwurst, and a little Spotted Cow, Leine's, and some Miller."

Does that mean Mitt Romney is a craft beer drinker? 


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How to understand the Euro crisis.... through beer

15 Aug 2012 17:05

Ever wanted to understand the Eurozone financial crisis... but in a (kind of) fun way?

Well, now you can thanks to some number boffins. Described by Business Insider as "the world's best economics website" FRED has charted the crisis by beer inflation. In a nutshell, the price of beer has mirrored each countries' economic fortunes. Germany has stayed sober, while Greece is off the scale, you get the idea... 

 

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