Festive flavour

‘Tis the season for festive get-togethers and your customers will want to ensure their drinks cabinets are fully stocked with something to suit every friend and family member’s tastes


Brand Central

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11 November 2014

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The Irish Brewers Association recently released its Annual Market Report which shows beer remains the nation’s favourite alcoholic drink, accounting for 47% of the market. The major story this year for many in the industry has been the continued rise of the craft beer sector.

The festive favourite

Heineken’s has experienced growth of +14% in the off-trade over the past year

Heineken’s has experienced growth of +14% in the off-trade over the past year

This Christmas, Heineken, the leading lager brand of choice in the off-trade is ensuring that all festive needs are fully catered for. To support its iconic packaging in-store, a suite of festive themed POS and in-store theatre will be available to highlight the brand at the point of purchase and ensure Heineken remains the shopper’s festive favourite. A citywide outdoor campaign will also run for the month of December, capturing the magic of Heineken in a subtle yet distinctive manner.

The results of just some of Heineken’s campaigns over the last year have led to growth of +14% for Heineken in the off-trade. From a year-to-date perspective, it is the number one brand with a volume share of 15.4% and as the beer of choice at home with 18.1% value share of the lager category.* A driving force behind this strong performance was the brand’s ability to leverage massive sponsorship properties and world class advertising whilst delivering innovative in store activations.

Heineken is looking forward to developing more innovative and marketing initiatives and value-adding promotions with its retail customers. The brand will continue its focus on implementing both its local and global sponsorship platforms in the off-trade in 2015.

*(Source: AC Nielsen MAT Aug 2014, TNS ONEquity Dashboard MAT Aug 14)

A family affair

Granny Mary's BottleGravy Maevey's BottleNed's BottleMcGargles is a range of beer designed for people choosing craft beer for the first time or for people who don’t like overly hopped beers.

All McGargles beers only use four ingredients − water, hops, barley and wheat – giving the beer a distinct and natural flavour. The beers are neither overly bitter nor overly carbonated, plus they taste great and recently won eight medals at the International beer challenge in London.

The current bottled range consists of Granny Mary’s Red Ale, a smoky red ale with a fruity nose and a slightly savoury finish, Knock Knock Ned’s IPA which boasts a perfect balance of sweetness and bitter hops, Gravy Maeveys Pilsner, a clean crisp pilsner, rich in flavour with a beautiful marmalade colour and Cousin Rosie’s Pale Ale which perfectly balances bitter citrus fruit notes with a caramelised palate.

The Rye River Brewery, Kilcock, produces and distributed McGargles across Ireland. For more information contact +353 1 6287255 or email info@ryeriverbrewingco.com.

An iconic Spanish choice 

BOTELLA 33clSan Miguel CanSan Miguel 4.5% was first launched in 1957 and is an iconic Spanish Lager, recognisable the world over.It has a shiny, golden yellow colour and elegant smoky accents with pleasant herbal undertones. The palate is balanced, toasted and has a medium bitterness highlighting a subtly roasted barley flavour. San Miguel is a great accompaniment to BBQ meats and spicy food.

San Miguel Fresca 4.4% is a pale blonde lager, launched in 2011, and is brewed to the high level of quality that has become synonymous with the San Miguel name. Using a unique brewing formula, the flavours combine to produce an extremely well balanced and crisp lager. This pale blonde Spanish lager boasts a malty aroma and soft fruit flavours that provide a cleansing and refreshing hoppy finish. Fresca is well suited to most foods including; meats, snacks and salads.

The Rye River Brewery, Kilcock, distributes San Miguel in the Republic of Ireland. For more information contact +353 1 6287255 or email info@ryeriverbrewingco.com.

Great taste in every drop

Bavaria1Bavaria2Bavaria Lager 4.3% is crafted from a centuries-old family recipe using natural mineral water from its own source at the brewery in Lieshout and malt from its own nearby maltings. By using only the finest natural ingredients, the master brewers at Bavaria are able to create the finest premium beer. Today, Bavaria still maintains 100% control over the entire brewing process; ensuring consumers get a great tasting beer in every drop.

The transition of the Bavaria brand in Ireland to the Rye River Brewery promises to revitalise the brand and elevate it to the number one value lager brand in Ireland.

Bavaria 0.0% is the world’s first choice for non alcoholic beer. It’s a true beer, but without alcohol. From its first release in 1978 it became phenomenally popular. Bavaria non-alcoholic beer sales have rocketed all around the world as responsible attitudes to drinking and driving became more widespread. Like all pioneering ideas, 0.0% has been much copied but never equalled.

The Rye River Brewery Kilcock, distributes Bavaria 4.3% and Bavaria 0.0 in the Republic of Ireland. For more information contact +353 1 6287255 or email info@ryeriverbrewingco.com.

A first-class portfolio

Barry & Fitzwilliam’s portfolio includes Corona Extra which has grown dramatically in both the on and the off-trade over the last few years. Corona Light continues its success with the calorie conscious consumer meanwhile.

Ginger Joe is an alcoholic ginger beer with an ABV of 4%, also distributed by Barry & Fitzwilliam. As well as its global beer brands, including the Wells & Young portfolio, Barry & Fitzwilliam is also delighted to be able to offer a new range of Irish craft beers and ciders including St. Mel’s, Toby’s Cider, Kellys Mountain Brew, Mountain Main and Longueville Cider to name a few.



Irish wine consumers prefer white wine to red, with white holding a 51% volume share, according to a new report by The Irish Wine Association. This marks a shift from 2003 when red wine was the preferred option, with a 52% volume share. In terms of our country preferences, Australian and Chilean wines have proven to be the most popular with Irish consumers, holding 20.6% and 20.1% of the market respectively.

A wine that needs little introduction

Earlier this year, Torres was voted the number one “World's Most Admired Wine Brand” by Drinks InternationalAs Ireland’s number one Spanish wine brand and number one European wine brand (Source: Nielsen) for the last consecutive number of years, Torres is a brand that needs little introduction.

But earlier this year these already impressive rankings were bolstered by the news that Torres was voted the number one “World’s Most Admired Wine Brand” by Drinks International, becoming not only the first Spanish winery but also the first European winery awarded with this distinction.

There was additional great news that Torres Gran Sangre de Toro received an impressive 90 point score from Robert Parker’s famous Wine Advocate this year, placing it in a category that labels it as “an outstanding wine of exceptional complexity and character. In short [a] terrific wine” – making it an excellent value-for-money option, distributed in Ireland by Findlater Wine & Spirit Group.

Investing in added value

Leinster Rugby players, from left, Dave Kearney, Kevin McLaughlin and Fergus McFadden with Wolf Blass wines

Leinster Rugby players, from left, Dave Kearney, Kevin McLaughlin and Fergus McFadden with Wolf Blass wines

Wolf Blass has a market share within the Australian wine category of 17%, making it the number two brand in IrelandWolf Blass is one of Ireland’s most recognised wine brands and has a market share within the Australian wine category of 17%, making it the number two brand* in Ireland. Wolf Blass is continuing to grow in a difficult market with sales reaching €16 million**, largely attributed to its quality relative to price and the investment in added value.

One such example just launched is its search for the “Local Legends” of Leinster’s rugby clubs, where Wolf Blass and Leinster Rugby search for the person recognised as going “above and beyond” for their club.

A winner will be announced each month in Leinster Magazine which comes free with the Irish Independent where they will win Canterbury and Rhino Rugby merchandise for their club, while the overall winner announced next year will win €3,000 for their team.

In addition to this Wolf Blass, Official Partner to Leinster Rugby, will continue a national campaign inviting fans to enter a national competition to win tickets to see their province play as well as win rugby merchandise.

This will be supported by adverts and stings based around matches on Setanta Sports TV and Newstalk radio, an ongoing digital campaign, and in-store activation. Wolf Blass is distributed exclusively in Ireland by Findlater Wine & Spirit Group.

*(Source: Nielsen Ireland Scantrack Service, MAT Mar ’14)

**(Source: Nielsen Ireland Scantrack Service, MAT Mar ’14)

A New World wonder

Lindeman’s Bin range offers approachable, affordable wines that win notable awards and attract critical acclaim

Lindeman’s Bin range offers approachable, affordable wines that win notable awards and attract critical acclaim

Perceptions of New World wines, and Australian wines in particular, have significantly improved over the last decade. Lindeman’s Bin range is a perfect example of this shift, offering up approachable, affordable wines that win notable awards and attract critical acclaim. This approach has seen Lindeman’s gain significant volume and value share growth in the Australian category in Ireland.

Not one to rest on its laurels, Lindeman’s has listened to consumers here and has just released into the Irish market its Bin 95 Sauvignon Blanc, adding this popular variety to its award-winning Bin range.

Lindeman’s continues to invest heavily in above-the-line (ATL) activities this year, with a print and online campaign, ‘There’s 1,000 hours in every drop of Lindeman’s wine’ ongoing throughout the year. Lindeman’s is distributed in Ireland by Findlater Wine & Spirit Group.

Festive packs to power sales

A specially designed and highly eye catching Winter Wonderland scene will feature on Black Tower Fruity White

Black Tower, Ireland’s category leader and pioneering brand in the lower alcohol wine sector is supporting the trade with stunning new bottle designs and an exciting on pack competition, to drive sales throughout Christmas and the New Year.

A specially designed and highly eye-catching Winter Wonderland scene will feature on Black Tower Fruity White, Ireland’s favourite Black Tower wine, and has been available to all stores since October. The design highlights a thrilling prize to be won, comprising an unforgettable weekend experience for two at the iconic Ice hotel in Sweden. Ten lucky runners-up will also receive a case of Black Tower.

Black Tower’s limited edition bottle designs have become hugely popular and are proven to generate additional sales. Smooth and full of fresh fruit flavours of pineapple and ripe mango, easy drinking Black Tower Fruity White (9% ABV) is a great match to party food and will retail at approximately €10.

Black Tower has introduced a Celebration edition of its sparkling White and Pink BubblyNew Celebration bubbly edition

To capture gift seekers – for presents or party gifts – Black Tower has introduced a Celebration edition of its sparkling White and Pink Bubbly, with stylish ribbon extension labels on the bottle front neck and foot, as well as a handy gift tag label cleverly incorporated on to the back label.

Jonathan Smith, Reh Kendermann’s country manager, Ireland comments: “Sales of Black Tower White and Pink Bubbly are continuing to exceed all expectations. Being naturally lower in alcohol at 9.5% ABV, with a SRP of €11, Bubbly and meets the growing consumer demand in the sparkling market for highly affordable, lighter styled, commemorative wines. The new Celebration edition is perfect for promoting Christmas sales and we will be featuring this limited edition pack together with the Black Tower Fruity White Winter Wonderland pack promotion on Black Tower’s Facebook page, reaching more than 20,000 Black Tower wine fans, as well as further marketing and PR support.”

Winter wonderland

A Winter’s Tale sherry comprises of a blend of palomino and pedro ximenez varietiesSherry is the darling of wine aficionados the world over, providing what is often said to be the best price-quality ratio of any style of wine, and is a must for Christmas.

A Winter’s Tale, comprising a blend of palomino and pedro ximenez varieties, is aged for a minimum of six years to produce a medium-sweet Amontillado with an intense nutty nose, full body and long finish. A versatile, approachable style that’s good with food or by itself – distributed in Ireland by Findlater Wine and Spirit Group.

The Graham’s port range is also distributed in Ireland by Findlater Wine and Spirit Group

The Graham’s port range is also distributed in Ireland by Findlater Wine and Spirit Group

A port that goes down a storm!

The Symington family was pleased to announce their decision to declare 2011 as a vintage year, which was only the third vintage port declaration for all the Symington’s port companies since 2000 and has already been called ‘the best vintage of a generation’.

The Graham’s 2011 Vintage Port has an exceptional depth of colour and concentration, supported by well-structured tannins. Graham’s Fine Ruby Port is full-bodied with youthful freshness and attractive luscious fruit. Ruby is an everyday port, suitable for enjoying anytime. Graham’s Late Bottled Vintage Port is a superb wine selected from the finest production of a very good year, but unlike a ‘declared’ vintage port – which is bottled in its second year, ‘LBV’ matures for an average of five years in seasoned oak casks prior to bottling (hence the term, ‘late bottled’).

Graham’s LBV is a leader in its category and highly prized by port enthusiasts in Ireland and the UK. The range is also distributed in Ireland by Findlater Wine and Spirit Group.

International excellence

Michael Barry of Barry & Fitzwilliam claims that the company now has probably the most successful prestigious French wines on the market when you take account of the success of Michel Lynch, Guigal and the Gabriel Meffre range which includes La Chasse du Pape.

The distributor also has a number of highly respected wine brands from Australia, California, New Zealand, Chile and South Africa. Barry & Fitzwilliam also has a strong line up in the fortified wine sector. The company represents Harvey’s Bristol Cream Sherry, Croft Original Sherry, Tio Pepe Sherry and Cockburns.

Strikingly pure in flavour 

Marques de Murrieta Reserva is ideal for a traditional turkey and ham dinner, with decanting before serving recommendedMarques de Murrieta Reserva is the kind of wine you bring out for special occasions, and because it’s so well priced you can afford to have a few bottles on hand.

Established in 1852, Murrieta are one of the oldest and most respected bodegas of Rioja.

With 300 hectares around Ygay near Logroño in the heart of Rioja, Murrieta is one of the region’s most significant producers.

Marques de Murrieta Reserva is a medium to full-bodied Rioja – rich, spicy and finely textured. It’s very aromatic, with cassis, liquorice and tobacco notes with toasty and creamy overtones. It’s big and spicy with all of the above coming through; strikingly pure in flavour and fine in texture with a long, warming finish. Grape varieties include Tempranillo 88%, Garnacha 9%, and Mazuelo 3%.

Your passport to French wines!

The Thomas Barton Réserve range offers rich, fruity and elegantly oaked wines

The Thomas Barton Réserve range offers rich, fruity and elegantly oaked wines

The Thomas Barton Réserve range is the ultimate homage to the founder of the Barton & Guestier company. Thomas Barton, the Irishman from County Fermanagh settled in Bordeaux in 1725 where he quickly became the most important wine merchant, building a solid reputation among prestigious customers all over Europe.

His spirit has been perpetuated in this prestigious range of rich, fruity and elegantly oaked wines from the heart of the greatest appellations: Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux, Saint Emilion, Graves Blanc and Sauternes.

B&G Réserve offers a premium range of French varietal wines from the South of France

B&G Réserve offers a premium range of French varietal wines from the South of France

Barton & Guestier also brings the B&G Réserve varietals, a premium range of French varietal wines from the South of France. In the Languedoc, winemaker Laurent Prada works with a small selection of wine growers to produce the B&G Réserve Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Rosé, all classified IGP Pays d’Oc. The B&G Réserve Pinot Noir is produced on the Island of Beauty or Corsica, IGP Ile de Beauté, and the B&G Réserve Sauvignon Blanc comes from the Gascony area, classified IGP Côtes de Gascogne.

This year Barton & Guestier made its entry in the Top 50 of World Most Admired Wine Brands. The company celebrates its 290th anniversary next year. For more news, visit www.barton-guestier.com.

Unique characteristics

Amaru Malbec has the perfect balance between fruity characteristic aromas and touches of oakAmaru Malbec hails from The Calchaqui Valley which is a sub-region located in the Northwest of Argentina. At 6,000 feet, this terroir displays many unique characteristics. Sandy alluvial soils, low humidity and drip irrigation from the Andes make Amaru wines highly concentrated in colour, aroma and flavour with unique fruity characteristics.

Recently awarded at the Decanter World Wine Awards 2014, Amaru Malbec has the perfect balance between fruity characteristic aromas and touches of oak – plum jam and raisin combined with slight notes of chocolate and oak. 70% of the wine is aged for nine months in French and American oak barrels. The final blend is made with the extra 30% preserved in stainless steel tanks.

The Amaru Malbec is a winner with steak or also try the Amaru Torrontes or Amaru Torrontes Rose. It’s available from Classic Drinks Wine Specialist, info@classicdrinks.ie.



Festive cocktails remain perennially popular, and this year there has also been exciting innovation and development taking place within the drinks industry, particularly within whiskey. According to Tom Burke, senior executive at the Alcohol Beverage Federation of Ireland (ABFI): “This is an exciting sector that’s going through considerable development, with dozens of drinks manufacturers setting up shop across the country, including 21 whiskey distilleries is various stages of planning at the moment. This is leading the way for an Irish whiskey renaissance and a potential boost to the €1.4 billion export figure cited in the latest data.”

Wide range of premium spirits 

Kilbeggan has had a makeover with a completely redesigned package

Jagermeister is a strong seller within the shooter marketThe Barry & Fitzwilliam vehicle distributes a wide range of premium spirits. They include Teachers Scotch, Courvoisier Cognac, Rémy Martin Cognac, The Famous Grouse Finest Scotch Whisky, Jim Beam Bourbon, Vladivar Vodka, Boru Vodka and Whyte and Mackay Scotch. The group also distributes Jim Beam, Cointreau, Bols liqueurs, Sours, Tia Maria and Disaronno.

Barry & Fitzwilliam is the exclusive distributor of the Kilbeggan Distillery’s range of whiskey which includes: Kilbeggan, Connemara and Tyrconnell. Kilbeggan has had a makeover with a totally redesigned package which has been instrumental in its current success.

Jagermeister, the famous German schnapps, is a huge seller in the shooter market, particularly among trend setters and is growing internationally. It is a half-bitter German schnapps with a unique blend of 56 herbs and spices is ideal served chilled. Sales are up again this year which is an excellent performance and a reflection of its place in the top three spirits in the on-trade. The 20cl size continues to do very well in the off-trade. Barry & Fitzwilliam has also just listed a 50cl variant.

Dog days!

Sea Dog Dark Rum is Ireland’s number one dark rum, a rich, dark, old Jamaican rum produced from the finest sugar cane.

Sea Dog Dark Rum is Ireland’s leading dark rumDuring the middle 1500s, John Hawkins, the leader of the infamous Sea Dogs, plundered the wealthy merchant ships trading in the lawless Caribbean Sea. There was one prize he cherished above any other: the fine, dark Jamaica Rum – destined for European royalty – rarely found its way past the thirsty Sea Dogs.

This Christmas try something that will warm the heart: Sea Dog Dark Rum with a blend of brown sugar, butter, nutmeg, cloves, hot water. And for more serve suggestions search for the brand on Facebook.

Sea Dog Dark Rum is distributed in Ireland by Findlater Wine & Spirit Group.

A gift like no other

Brockmans Gin is distributed in the Republic of Ireland by MCM Spirits & Liqueurs Ltd Brockmans Gin – the ‘gin like no other’ – is launching a gift pack for Christmas which includes a free mini cocktail recipe book and a peeler. The gift pack is being distributed by MCM Spirits & Liqueurs Ltd, the distributor for the Republic of Ireland.

Since the brand’s launch earlier this year, Brockmans Gin sales in Ireland have gone from strength to strength. The Christmas pack showcases the tactile and stylish new bottle design.

Brockmans is a 40% ABV super-premium gin made in England, using quality botanicals and berries from around the world.

An inspired combination of Bulgarian coriander and berries, together with the dry, bitter sweet peel of Valencian oranges, elongates the deeper tones and serve to give Brockmans an intensely smooth, memorable taste.

For details contact William Doogan at mcmwilliam@eircom.net. The price of Brockmans, including the gift pack items, is around €42.



Countdown to Christmas with WKD  

WKD is Ireland’s top ready to drink (RTD) brandWKD, Ireland’s number one RTD brand*, is getting consumers in the party spirit in the countdown to Christmas with advent-themed social and digital media and sampling activity being the driving forces behind this year’s high profile festive campaign.

Retailers can grab a slice of the seasonal action too with the brand’s distributors – SHS Sales Marketing Ireland which supplies WKD to retail groups such as Dunnes, Tesco, Musgrave Retail Partners, Musgrave Wholesale Partners, Superquinn, BWG and O’Briens; and Barry & Fitzwilliam which serves wholesalers and smaller independent convenience stores – offering a selection of case deals and a range of account-specific promotions across the WKD range of flavours and pack formats.

From November through to Christmas, brand owner SHS Drinks will be constantly promoting and advertising WKD with activity and competitions scheduled to appear advent-style on a daily basis across a wide platform of digital and social media. Publicity surrounding the WKD Clash celebrity DJ party being staged at the Wright Venue in Dublin on 22 November will also be stirring up excitement in the lead up to the crowd-sourced event, organised in partnership with music-streaming service Spotify.

For sales enquiries contact: SHS Sales & Marketing 01 401 6200 or email: info@shs-sales.ie. Or contact Barry & Fitzwilliam by telephone on 021 432 0900 or email: info@bandf.ie.

*(Source: Nielsen Scantrack: ROI Take Home RTD Volume Ltrs Value £M share MAT data to January 2014)






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