Summer lovin’!

Summer months are synonymous with entertaining outdoors and manufacturers have stepped up to the plate to meet the demand for refreshing summertime alcohol beverages, as evidenced by the amount of NPD and innovation which has taken place across the entire category, writes Gillian Hamill


Brand Central

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15 May 2015

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Amstel Radler is a refreshing blend of 40% Amstel beer and 60% cloudy lemon

Amstel Radler

Refreshment in the mix

Heineken Ireland promises even more sociable times ahead for Amstel Radler and the growing number of people who enjoy its unique, lower alcohol mix. Launched last year, the refreshing blend of 40% Amstel beer and 60% cloudy lemon is set to appear in a through-the-line campaign throughout the summer.

The new Amstel Radler creative is about ‘Refreshment in the mix’. It relates directly to the unique product combination of Amstel beer and cloudy lemon, and also to the sociability of its drinkers. Amstel Radler is generally enjoyed during occasions with family and friends, at barbecues, after playing team sports, at family brunches and more.

Enjoyed all year round, Amstel Radler caters to the growing lower strength category, as the brand has a 2% ABV. It appeals to existing lager drinkers looking to enjoy occasions with less alcohol, as well as recruiting new drinkers. In fact, it’s estimated that 40% of people who tried Amstel Radler last year were new to beer.

In Irish taste tests, 79% of the people who sampled it, liked Amstel Radler’s unique mix of premium Amstel beer and cloudy lemon, with an equal spread of male and female drinkers.

Amstel Radler already has brand awareness of 60% with trial at 20%. This new marketing drive promises to push Amstel Radler into increasingly sociable situations where lower alcohol is not only appropriate, but also welcomed.

A flavour of Barcelona brilliance

Estrella Damm uses only 100% natural ingredients

Estrella Damm uses only 100% natural ingredients

Molson Coors has added to its suite of Irish and international brands with the launch of the Damm family of beers which include:

Estrella Damm (bottled and draught) is a premium, refreshing lager which uses only 100% natural ingredients. It is the perfect beer for fun loving consumers who enjoy the more vibrant, stylish and culture filled lifestyle, akin to how our Mediterranean counterparts live their lives.

Daura Damm is the number one selling, internationally recognised beer for coeliacs

Daura Damm is the number one selling, internationally recognised beer for coeliacs

Daura Damm (bottled) became the first beer in Spain to guarantee a gluten content below 3ppm making it suitable for people with coeliac disease.

Ireland has one of the world’s highest incidence of coeliac disease with an estimated one in 100 or 46,000 people suffering from the condition. It will therefore come as welcome news that not only is Daura Damm the number one selling, internationally recognised beer for coeliacs, but it has won countless taste awards too including the Superior Taste Award at the International Taste & Quality Institute of Brussels and the World’s Best Gluten-free Lager Award at the World Beer Awards by the Beverage Testing Institute.

Inedit Damm is presented in a 750ml bottle for sharing

Inedit (bottled) is best served in a white wine glass. Presented in a 750ml bottle made for sharing, the multi award-winning Inedit Damm looks just as at home in premium restaurants around Ireland than the fine wines currently served. Made with barley, malt, wheat, hops, coriander, liquorice and orange peel, Inedit Damm works with a wide variety of culinary creations including starters, salads, and fish.

Authentic Spanish taste

San Miguel is full bodied with a refreshing balance of bitterness and sweetness

San Miguel is full bodied with a refreshing balance of bitterness and sweetness

San Miguel is an authentic Spanish lager. It is a pilsner style lager, golden in colour, sparkling with a generous white creamy head. The taste is full bodied with a refreshing balance of bitterness from the hops and sweetness from the malt. Its rich, intense and refreshing flavour makes it ideal to enjoy with friends.

Recognised for its premium taste, San Miguel is slowly crafted using a unique yeast and additional malt and hops. To ensure a perfect drinking experience every time, the brand has created the San Miguel chalice. This Spanish designed glass keeps the beer colder and ensures the head remains for longer.

San Miguel’s ethos focuses on finding happiness in the everyday and its brand tagline is ‘The best is yet to come!’

Fruity and Fresca!

San Miguel Fresca is a pale blonde Spanish lager

San Miguel Fresca is an ideal lager to be consumed in the summer climate. It’s light and crisp taste delivers a light and refreshing citrus flavour.

Fresca is the refreshing lager from San Miguel. Using a unique brewing formula, the flavours combine to produce an extremely well balanced and crisp lager. San Miguel Fresca is golden in colour, best served with a slice of lime to fully appreciate the refreshing, fruity taste. Fresca takes inspiration from the vibrant Spanish social scene, which epitomises living life to the full.

In terms of its taste category, San Miguel Fresca is a bitter/zesty hoppy beer with well-balanced sweet fruity flavours. It is a pale blonde Spanish lager with a malty aroma and soft fruit flavours that provide a cleansing and refreshing hoppy finish. Fresca is well suited to most foods, going well with meats, snacks and salads.

Bulmers’ authenticity and Irishness are central to its wide appeal

Bulmers’ authenticity and Irishness are central to its wide appeal

Not a moment too soon

Bulmers has made a much-anticipated return to TV with the launch of a new, through-the-line campaign that celebrates the Bulmers’ journey, extolling the virtues of that quintessential Bulmers ingredient – time.

In a world where the pace of life is increasing and attention spans are being whittled away, the new Bulmers ‘Not a moment too soon’ campaign celebrates taking it slow, reflecting all of the brand’s core strengths around heritage and authenticity.

The new ad is visually stunning, marrying incredible cinematography with a contemporary feel, underpinned by the brand’s traditional values. Shot in Ireland, Bulmers is hopeful that it will stop audiences in their tracks to take a minute to enjoy ‘Not a moment too soon’.

A seven figure investment will see the campaign roll-out across TV, radio, digital, outdoor and below-the-line together with PR and will cement Bulmers’ status as ‘The Original Cider’.

For all things Bulmers:

| | #NotaMomentTooSoon

Impressive selection to suit all tastes


Michael Barry of Barry & Fitzwilliam claims the group now has probably the most prestigious French wine range 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. Faiveley Burgundy Wines, Jolivet Loire Wines and Preiss-Zimmer Alsace wines complete what is now an outstanding portfolio of French Wine.

Villa Maria is one of the leading wine brands in the market

Villa Maria is one of the leading wine brands in the market

From Australia, Barry & Fitzwilliam offers McGuigan wines, which is now the number one Australian brand in the off-trade. From Argentina, quality offerings, Finca La Linda and Luigi Bosca wines have been added to the company’s range. Barry & Fitzwilliam offers Mont Gras, a former “Chilean Producer of the Year”, which continues to grow strongly. The Soleus range of Organic Wine produced by Mont Gras is also going from strength to strength. The company also offers Casa Silva wines, which according to Michael Barry, managing director of Barry & Fitzwilliam, “is among the finest producers of top class premium Chilean wines”.

A family owned New Zealand winery, Villa Maria has been New Zealand’s leading wine award winner, both nationally and internationally since the early 1980s. The repositioning of the Private Bin range has seen sales surge in the last 12 months. Villa Maria is now number four in the World’s Most Admired Wine Brands and one of the leading wine brands on the market.


Barry & Fitzwilliam has a very strong line up in the fortified wine sector. The company represents Harvey’s Bristol Cream Sherry, Croft Original Sherry, Tio Pepe Sherry and Cockburns.


The Barry & Fitzwilliam vehicle distributes an extremely wide range of premium spirits. These 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.

Barry & Fitzwilliam is the exclusive distributor of The Kilbeggan Distilling Company’s range of whiskey brands which includes: Kilbeggan, Connemara and Tyrconnell.

A heavyweight new TV and press campaign will support Tia Maria

A heavyweight new TV and press campaign will support Tia Maria

The summer will see a major emphasis on the new additions to the Jim Beam Range ie, Red Stag, Honey & Devils Cut as well as major promotions on Jim Beam itself.

What’s more, since the coming together of Beam Suntory, Barry & Fitzwilliam has acquired its distribution rights for Auchentoshan and Bowmore Scotch Whiskies. The company also distributes Cointreau, Bols Distilleries, Sourz, Jagermeister, Disaronno and Midori, the original and most popular melon liqueur on the market, and Tia Maria.

Tia Maria is a hugely popular coffee liqueur worldwide, particularly in its mixability in cocktails, with coffee or in desserts, or mixed with milk and ice as a luxurious long drink.  It will be heavily backed by a new TV and press campaign focusing on its mixability.

Beers and ciders

Global beer bands have seen a major increase in interest. Barry & Fitzwilliam currently distributes the Wells & Young portfolio, the most popular of which is Banana Bread Beer, Waggle Dance and Bombardier and Coopers from Australia which has gained a very loyal following over the years. A new addition to its range for summer is Warsteiner and Warsteiner Non Alcoholic. The company now also carries an extensive range of Irish craft beers and ciders.

The WKD range will be supported again this summer with a combination of promotions and a social media campaign as well as traditional media.

“We have an excellent portfolio of wines, spirits, beer and RTDs. A range to satisfy all price points and are expecting a very busy summer season,” said Michael Barry, MD of Barry & Fitzwilliam.

An elegant portfolio

Served chilled, this wine is an ideal match for entrées and grilled fish with lemon juice

C&C Gleeson distributes an excellent range of French wines. These include the Château de la Malonnière – Muscadet Sèvre et Maine sur Lie.

From: Loire, France

Grape: Melon de Bourgogne

Bottled at the Château de la Malonnière, this wine has a nice fin­esse and a lot of aromas. Fruity on the palate with exotic fruits and grapefruit flavours; min­er­al­ity and a slight brine worth not­ing for shell­fish fans. Served chilled, it is the perfect match with entrées and grilled fish with lemon juice.

Feu! Rosé d’Anjou is ideal chilled with a summer salad or oriental vegetable dishes


From: Loire, France

Grape: Grolleau, Gamay

An intensely fruity off dry wine with red fruit flavours, Feu! Rosé d’Anjou is a lively fresh character with a long aftertaste. Bright and clear pink colour with salmon shades, Feu! is round and smooth with a vivacity that balances the sweetness and refreshes the palate on the finish. A beautiful wine to drink chilled with a summer salad or oriental dishes (vegetables).

Les Gourmets – Sauvignon de Touraine is crisp and delicate


From: Loire, France

Grape:  Sauvignon Blanc

Les Gourmets – Sauvignon de Touraine is a typical Loire style Sauvignon – crisp and delicate, with a charming currant leaf bouquet overlain with a hint of gooseberry. Colour is greeny-yellow. Well balanced on palate with long “muscaty” finish. An utterly delicious summer wine!

Tuffolo Gavi Di Gavi D.O.C.G. is a well-balanced white wine


From: Piedmont, Italy

Grape: Cortese

Tuffolo Gavi Di Gavi D.O.C.G.  is an Italian dry white wine produced in a restricted area of the province of Alessandria, Piedmont, close to the Ligurian border. A well-balanced white, with an attractive straw appearance loaded with floral elements and stone fruit, namely peaches and a touch of apricot. There’s a little pineapple on the finish, too. Modest acidity on a medium body.

A highly distinguishable style

Wolf Blass is the fourth most popular wine brand in Ireland

Wolf Blass is the fourth most popular wine brand in Ireland

Wolf Blass, the number four wine brand in Ireland (Source: AC Nielsen), has always had a unique and highly distinguishable style, with a strong focus on careful fruit sourcing, maturation and blending, the wines consistently deliver vibrant fruit flavours at a great price.

In keeping with the current trend for lighter wines, Wolf Blass has this year launched Eaglehawk Sauvignon Blanc, an easy-drinking and delightfully fresh alternative to the ever present New Zealand offerings packing the shelves. It has lifted gooseberry and herbs on the nose while the palate is clean and fresh with flavours of citrus and kiwi fruit. A perfect match with chicken or fish cooked on the BBQ.

Also new to the Irish market is the Wolf Blass Yellow Label Moscato which has an ABV of just 5.5%. This is a refreshingly crisp, lightly spritzed wine with lively sweet tropical fruit flavours with a hint of passionfruit. It is ideal for sipping over lunch or as an al fresco aperitif.

Finally, while Prosecco has been the go-to bubbly of late, there has also been an increase in sparkling wines that are made from the famous Champagne blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Wolf Blass Red Label Premium Cuvée has always been a champion within the sparkling category as this value-for-money sparkling shows qualities well above its station. Containing a depth and complexity with refreshingly dry characters of stone fruit with soft yeast-derived toastiness and lasting minerality, it’s a great dinner starter.

A winning summer combo

WKD, Ireland’s biggest-selling RTD brand has launched a new WKD Vegas Limited Edition bottle

WKD, Ireland’s biggest-selling RTD brand has launched a new WKD Vegas Limited Edition bottle

A vibrant new packaging design and a new limited edition which takes its cue from the vibrant nightlife and neons associated with the world-famous Las Vegas Strip are set to make WKD sales sizzle this summer.

The  new look is being rolled out across all pack formats and variants of WKD, Ireland’s biggest-selling ready-to-drink (RTD) brand*, and brand owner SHS Drinks has also unveiled the new WKD Vegas Limited Edition which is available in 275ml four-packs and 70cl multi-serve bottles.

The new-look includes:

  • An evolution of the WKD logo;
  • New bottle graphics which prominently feature the word ‘Original’ to emphasise the brand’s quality credentials;
  • Attention-grabbing visuals on four-pack sleeves, multi-pack cartons and case outers which depict a crowd scene conveying the high-energy consumption occasions consumers associate with WKD;
  • Enhancing the perforation line to improve the ‘tearability’ of the six x 700ml bottle cartons making them easier to open whilst barcodes have been included on both bases and at least one side to facilitate scanning.

WKD Vegas Limited Edition is distributed by SHS Sales & Marketing Ireland – which supplies WKD to retail groups such as Dunnes, Tesco, Musgrave Retail Partners, Musgrave Wholesale Partners, BWG and O’Briens; and Barry & Fitzwilliam – which serves wholesalers and smaller independent convenience stores as well as on-trade stockists. The new line is being supported via a heavyweight social and online digital media campaign; extensive consumer sampling activity; introductory price promotions; provision of free-standing display units; and tailormade wholesale/cash and carry activity.  Free Vegas-themed POS kits are available from the WKD POS hotline on +44 (0) 800 917 3450.

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

As easy as 3, 2, 1!

Aperol has infusions bitter sweet oranges and many other herbs and roots in perfect proportions

Aperol has infusions bitter sweet oranges and many other herbs and roots in perfect proportions

Now distributed in Ireland by Richmond Marketing, Aperol has a bright orange colour and a refreshing unique taste, with infusions of selected ingredients including bitter sweet oranges and many other herbs and roots in perfect proportions.

The perfect serve is the Aperol Spritz, which is fast becoming a cult drink outside of Italy. It can be enjoyed as a true Italian aperitif before dinner, or simply as a lighter option with colleagues and friends. The Aperol Spritz is very easy to prepare, light in alcohol, sparkling and has a unique, refreshing taste.

It’s as easy as 3, 2, 1 –

  • 3 parts of Cinzano Prosecco
  • 2 parts of Aperol
  • 1 splash of soda

Just get a large wine glass, add the ice, pour in the Prosecco, followed by Aperol and then a splash of soda. Top it off with a slice of orange. This serving avoids the Aperol settling at the bottom.

House heroes

Longueville House Artisan Cider is gluten free, with no colourings, additives, preservatives or sulphides used

Longueville House Artisan Cider is gluten free, with no colourings, additives, preservatives or sulphides used

Longueville House Artisan Cider uses apples which are harvested in the autumn every year. Once picked, the apples are crushed and pressed in an oak cider press machine located in the cider house on the owners, the O’Callaghans’ farm.

The pressed juice is naturally fermented over time incorporating natural sugars in the juice and natural yeast on apples and in the atmosphere, resulting in a rich amber coloured cider. The cider is then filtered, carbonated and pasteurised. There are no colourings, additives, sulphites or preservatives used at any stage during the production and manufacturing process of the cider and it is gluten free. The cider strength is 5°. The pasteurised end product is back sweetened with sweet apple juice and a small amount of sugar. It is then bottled in a 500ml glass bottle.

Longueville House Irish Apple Brandy (Calvados Styled) is aged for four years in French oak barrels

Longueville House Irish Apple Brandy (Calvados Styled) is aged for four years in French oak barrels

Longueville House Irish Apple Brandy (Calvados Styled): After the crushing process, the pressed juice is naturally fermented over time, resulting in a rich amber coloured cider. This cider is poured into pot stills where it is distilled into an apple brandy. This brandy is stored in French oak barrels where it is aged for four years to mature. During the maturing process, the brandy draws out the tannins from the oak wood. The resulting brandy is rich with the aroma of apples, smooth and full bodied on the palate. It develops a rich, dark colour after four years resting in the oak barrels, and comes in a 500ml glass bottle.

For more information, contact William & Aisling O’Callaghan at Longueville House, Mallow, Co. Cork.

Tel: 022 47156  Email:


Q & A with… 

Conal Cassidy

Conal Cassidy

Conal Cassidy, wine director, C&C Gleeson

What are the most significant developments throughout your company history that retailers should be aware of?

C&C Gleeson has a long and interesting history but the most significant development in its more recent history was the strategic consolidation of the Bulmers business with the Gleeson Group to create a single Irish entity – C&C Gleeson.

C&C Gleeson is a leading manufacturer, marketer and distributor of some of Ireland’s favourite brands including Bulmers, Tennent’s, Clonmel 1650, Beck’s Vier, Finches, Tipperary and Gilbeys, one of the foremost wine companies in Ireland today.

In 2010, The Gleeson Group purchased the Gilbeys wine business from Diageo making it the largest wine importer and distributor in Ireland, with an outstanding portfolio of star performers such as Santa Rita, [yellow tail], Joseph Drouhin and Laurent Perrier.  That position was copper-fastened following the integration of the Bulmers and Gleesons businesses, creating a dynamic force and one stop shop for our customers across the Island of Ireland.

The Gilbeys portfolio is widely recognised not only for the quality of its wines but also the value for money and extensive range on offer, which we have sourced from the major wine-producing regions of the world.

Through delivering a varied offering, C&C Gleeson has created a multi-beverage platform. Can you outline more about the breadth of the business and the different market segments covered?

C&C Gleeson supplies all market channels on the island of Ireland with a multi-beverage offering that allows our customers to fulfil their drinks requirements from a trusted Irish supplier across all categories – wine, beer, cider, soft drinks and mineral water.

In the off-trade, we work with partners from the large multiples and cash and carries in addition to independent off-licences and grocery stores. Our experienced teams deal directly with our on-trade customers; from five-star hotels and Michelin-starred restaurants to local brasseries and bars.

C&C Gleeson has the capabilities and expertise to support its almost 7,000 customers across all four provinces, with great brands complemented by an unrivalled quality of service from a dedicated team of professionals.

The company’s strong brand focus is an integral part of C&C Gleeson’s commitment to its customers in helping to drive sales. Take our sales force for example, which includes experienced merchandisers and wine specialists, many of whom are WSET Diploma holders who provide our customers with education, training and wine list advice, which for many, has proven to be an invaluable resource.

How has C&C Gleeson altered its wine portfolio to match the current market requirements?

We have researched, we have listened and we have responded by spending the past year reshaping the Gilbey’s portfolio to reflect current demands and trends in the wine market.

40% of our portfolio is new and comprises wines such as Codorniu, Raimat and Fortant de France and this is a direct response to market feedback.

Recent duty increases have rendered price points tighter than ever before; 80% of retail sales are below the €10 mark. We therefore recognised a real need to provide a range of wines that are not only market relevant but that also provide the retailer with  competitive pricing and strong margins.

Of equal importance is providing value for money and we have a number of really great wines in our portfolio that retail at over €10, allowing the consumer to trade up and enjoy a superior wine at an excellent price point.

C&C Gleeson has a wide range of on and off trade-exclusive wines and will soon be announcing some new and exciting additions to our portfolio.

Despite market challenges we have grown our wine business significantly over the past 12 months and are well positioned to accelerate this growth during the next year, so we are really confident about our wines and the quality of the portfolio we have brought to market.

Q & A with…

William O’Callaghan, chef/proprietor, Longueville House

Can you take us through your professional background and how you came to set up your company – what was it that inspired you?

I’ve been mostly influenced through my travels to Thailand, South America, Australia, the Caribbean, Africa and Europe. I read a lot and also have a huge interest in gardening, fishing, shooting, mushroom hunting, nature, history and traditional Irish music and folklore.

The house was built in 1720 and we run it as a 20 bed country house hotel with a good restaurant on a 500 acre wooded estate. I am the head chef and trained in France and also with Raymond Blanc in Le Manoir aux Quatre Saisons.

We grow our own vegetables, fruit and herbs in our three-acre walled kitchen garden. We also make a cider and apple brandy (calvados style) on site from 25 acres of cider apple trees grown on the property.

How difficult was it for you to set up the business?

Not too difficult as my late father Michael had planted the 25 acre orchards and set up Ireland’s first and only apple brandy distillery over 20 years ago. I took over the reins when my father died in 2010. I tweaked the apple brandy recipe that existed in my father’s time, changed the bottle and label and marketed the product a little differently.

You’ve had a highly successful couple of years, with awards including gold stars at the Blas na hÉireann Awards; what’s your reaction to the accolades?

We’re delighted with the awards and the attention the product has been receiving. It’s a very pure beverage of serious quality. It’s made from 100% fruit, grown, nurtured, distilled on site. We’re very proud of it.

How do you see the business developing over the next few years? Are you planning any expansions?  

Yes the business will naturally and organically expand as sales are steadily on the increase.  We’re currently in the process of sourcing/talking to US and UK importer/distributors for our apple brandy product and our craft cider which will open up interesting markets to us. We are also looking at/experimenting at distilling other apple distillate products. The craft of mixology is opening up another interesting world to us.

Recent awards for Longville House Beverages include:

  • Blas na hÉireann Gold Award for Apple Brandy 2014
  • Georgina Campbell’s Natural Food Award for Longueville House Cider & Apple Brandy 2014
  • Euro-Toques Food Awards for Cider 2013
  • Cider Ireland Award for Taste & Presentation – Best in Class 2013
  • Blas na hÉireann Gold Award for Apple Brandy 2013
  • Plus numerous hospitality and food awards and a plethora of awards and distinctions prior to this.










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