Imbibe's most-read news and opinion pieces of 2018

Imbibe Editorial

24 December 2018

As 2018 draws to a close, we look back over the drinks industry news and opinion pieces that were most avidly read on Imbibe this year. If you've been napping, here's your chance to catch up...


How gin lost its mind: from juniper spirit to pineapple liqueur

With a seemingly endless stream of gin flooding UK shops and bars, the fight to standout has given way to an escalating war on botanicals, flavours and marketing stories. But has gin completely lost the plot? Read more>

 

BrewDog video network launch overshadowed by 'beer porn' debacle

BrewDog was left fire-fighting after the launch of its new video-on-demand network (which led consumers to a porn-parody landing page) went badly wrong. Once the furore had died down, beer writer Pete Brown penned us an article on what had motivated BrewDog's move into TV – asking whether it'd work. Read more>

 

Bulmers' apple farmers facing glut as consumers favour fruit ciders

Its apples have been feeding the ravenous presses of cider-making giant Bulmers for almost 60 years, but Herefordshire’s Grove Farm faces an unexpected quandary – unless it can find a buyer for its 50-tonne harvest, the apples will be scraped, rotting, from the ground to make way for grazing sheep. Read more>

 

Epic sommelier fail: 'If I was having a bad day, I'd have walked out...'

It doesn’t matter how much you know about wine, if you can’t handle people you’re not a good sommelier,’ writes Imbibe editor Chris Losh. Read more>

 

 

Seedlip partners with world's top bars for no- and low-abv cocktail pop-up

Two and a half years since it launched, Seedlip has become a global presence, with global  teams and distribution. Now the non-alcoholic spirit brand is uniting all its markets for two nights in July with a global ‘no and low’ cocktail pop-up bar, titled Nolo. Read more>

 

Why 'no alcohol' could be the biggest beer trend since craft

No-alcohol beer is going craft, which shouldn’t be too surprising considering figures suggest that 16-to-24-year-olds drink less than any other age group. Recent stats revealed that 30% of customers sitting in a pub or bar are not actually drinking alcohol, which makes a drinkable no-alcohol beer the new holy grail. Read more>

 

Blocktail: Mr Lyan challenges the on-trade to join the quest for cocktail traceability

Sustainability needs to go further than plastic straws. Ryan Chetiyawardana and Robin Honhold tell you why Blocktail is the answer… Read more>

 

 

Hakkasan's Orchard List re-sets the bar for no-abv drinks lists

The alcohol-free category has finally come of age with the introduction of Hakkasan’s first alcohol-free drinks list, which has been two years (and mind-boggling amounts of R&D) in the making. Read more>

 

'Don't judge breweries by their size,' says Carlsberg's VP of craft and speciality

Craft was the star of Carlsberg’s otherwise insipid trading results for the first quarter of 2018. Imbibe caught up with Paul Davies, the company’s VP of craft and speciality, to find out what craft means for a mega brewer. Read more>

 

Nate Brown v Sly Augustin: Is tiki bad for rum?

After Merchant House's Nate Brown set social media alight with his opinion piece on the direction of the rum market, we put him head to head with Trailer Happiness's owner Sly Augustin to discuss whether tiki is bad for rum. Read more>

 

'Bordeaux have sold their souls,' Graves maverick Loïc Pasquet lets rip

According to Loïc Pasquet, whose Liber Pater Bordeaux wines sell for thousands of euros a bottle, the left bank of the Médoc has it all wrong. There should

be no Merlot, no grafting and no Sauvignon Blanc. Instead, we want to rediscover the ‘true taste of Bordeaux’. Read more>

 

Beavertown - why it's not all fun playing with the big boys

There was a walloping backlash and inevitable lines about 'selling out' when Heineken acquired a £40m minority stake in craft brewer Beavertown. But what, asked Robin Eveleigh, is all the fuss about? And what does it really mean for the craft brewer and its legion of (faultering?) fans. Read more>

 

'There aren't enough skilled distillers for the Irish whiskey boom,' says Dead Rabbit's Sean Muldoon

Irish whiskey is having a boom. A big one at that. It’s now the fastest-growing spirit in the world, with sales rising 131% over the past decade. However, for some Irish whiskey connoisseurs, the growth in new distilleries has come too fast. Read more>

 

Dandelyan to close after four years

Award-winning London bar Dandelyan is closing after four years to be replaced with something ‘more fitting’, owner Ryan Chetiyawardana announced. Read more>

 

 

An open letter to the Chancellor calling for a major rethink on cider duty

Chancellor Philip Hammond’s Budget announcement elicited positive responses from many within the drinks industry – but for certain British cider producers, some of its measures could prove harmful to business. Read more>

 

The London Distillery Company regains mojo with first London whiskey for century

Following a tumultuous period and the dismissal of its founder, The London Distillery Company is finding its feet with a new management team and the release of the capital’s first whiskey in over 100 years. Read more>

 

Xavier Rousset MS launches new hospitality members club Trade

This month, a new members club is due to open in London’s West End dedicated to people who work in the hospitality industry. Simply called Trade, it is being created in a basement site at 23 Frith Street in Soho by leading master sommeliers Xavier Rousse and Gearoid Devaney. Read more>

 

Bacardi's new Grey Goose campaign to tap into kegged Espresso Martini trend

Bacardi is embracing the cocktails-on-tap trend with a new campaign dubbed ‘Disco Noir’, which will see the brand working with bars to install kegged Espresso Martinis using the recently relaunched Grey Goose la Vanille. Read more>

 

The next beer revolution: Quality on tap

Keg beer dispense quality is not often talked about in the UK, at least in contrast to the perpetual hand-wringing that goes on with regard to cask ale. But it deserves to be a very big issue, because a huge number of pubs and bars in the UK are not set up to serve craft keg beer in the best condition. Read more>

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