Black Lab Partners
Times Cold Brew Article.jpg

Premium Beverage News

Premium beverage brand news. Hot off the press. You heard it here. Oxford's first distillery opens up it's shares to the public. Organic food and craft breweries have been tantalising more discerning palates for quite a while.  Cold brewed coffee is the hot new thing this winter. Dalmore sells £1m Paterson Collection. Soft drinks are getting an adult makeover. Mintel's team of expert analysts have pinpointed five key trends that will impact the global food and drink market in the coming year. Drinks giant Diageo to revive two 'lost' Scotch distilleries in £35m plan.


12 December 2017

Top 6 Global Drinks Industry Trends for 2018. Radius, the IWSR's global innovation database, predicts the leading trend drivers affecting the global beverage alcohol industry for 2018.

1. Unfiltered

Far from being a flaw, 'cloudiness' is beginning to denote not just flavour, but a more natural, less tampered with product. When a trailblazing Scottish craft brewer announced the launch of its inaugural spirits range, comprising both a vodka and a gin, it was adamant the latter was to be unfiltered. Why? Because this "means that all of the flavour and spirit complexity remains", it said. Notably, the liquid even louches on contact with ice and water, as "removing flavour in the pursuit of vanity makes no sense".  While clarity was once seen as a chief sign of quality, brewers are increasingly marketing beers as unfiltered, communicating to drinkers that the beer is rawer and more flavourful and authentic.  And with all of those things being key consumer drivers, we expect an increasing number of players in the 'unfiltered' space, most notably when it comes to spirits.

To read the full article, click here.


1 December 2017


Oxford's first distillery opens up it's shares to the public

Oxford's first distillery will be opening up its shares to the public in an attempt to raise £1million. The Oxford Artisan Distillery will launch its online crowdfunding campaign at the end of the month, which will go towards building a restaurant, bar and visitor centre. Kirstie Chambers met with the founders from the distillery.

Watch another video about The Oxford Artisan Distillery here.



30 November 2017


Organic food and craft breweries have been tantalising more discerning palates for quite a while 

Now a number of drinks companies are using the foundations of the craft beer revolution for soft drink additions to the marketplace, offering a real choice of flavour and options away from Coca-Cola and PepsiCo products.

And it makes sense, isn’t it boring being offered the same old fizzy drinks in shops and restaurants?

Although craft sodas have been available online via specialist retailers for some time, it’s only in the past 18 months or so that big supermarkets are really starting to see the potential in the non-alcoholic artisan drinks sector. 

Over a quarter of people aged between 16 and 24 don’t drink any alcohol, compared to 19% back in 2005, according to the Office of National Statistics.

To read the full article, click here

14 November 2017


Cold brewed coffee is the hot new thing this winter

Connoisseurs of all things caffeinated will be drinking cold brew coffee this festive season, a trend that has spread from the hippest independent cafés to major chains and supermarket shelves.  Unlike traditional iced coffee, which is made hot and then cooled over ice, cold brew is created by steeping grounds in cool water for up to 20 hours before they are strained, a process that extracts more sweetness and less bitterness and acidity from the beans. Starbucks has added a vanilla-flavoured cold brew to its menu, a spiced “festive” offering for Christmas, and has rolled out its “Nitro” speciality — served from a pub style pump that creates a dark foamy coffee resembling stout beer - across its 600 stores after a successful trial.  Dave Law, of the independent company Brew Lab Coffee in Edinburgh, said: "We've had a huge amount of enquiries as people saw it crop up in Starbucks, which is seen as a gateway for people to learn about coffee and then start to look for more specialist versions".

Sandows, a specialist cold brew coffee firm, has had its products sold by Selfridges, Fortnum & Mason and Harvey Nichols, and added Harrods and Ocado to its sellers in the past year. Hugh Duffie, the co-founder, said: "In the past nine months cold brew has had a really big push, with major coffee chains introducing it. It has become significantly more available. Search engine searches for cold brew have really spiked in the past 12 months in the US and UK.



30 October 2017


Soft drinks are getting an adult makeover

Soft drinks are growing up - becoming more mature, serious and sophisticated. The category is responding fast to new lifestyle trends which include reduced alcohol consumption and increased demand for drinks which support health, well-being and fitness, but also taste sophistication and connoisseurship.. Connoisseurship

Alcohol consumption is being curtailed, with more adults drinking less. In 2005 65% of adults would drink on a weekly basis, this has now dropped to nearer 50%, and there are now 11 million adults in the UK that consider themselves teetotal. As many as 1 in 4 younger people 18-25, now choose not to drink at all. Health, fitness and well-being trends are encouraging more and more soft drinks to emerge, catering for people looking for nutrition and hydration rather than a sugar or caffeine based hit. Globally, over 60% of global soft drink launches recorded by Innova Market Insights in 2016, used a health positioning of some kind.

To download the full article, click here.



26 October 2017


Mintel's team of expert analysts have pinpointed five key trends that will impact the global food and drink market in the coming year. 

In 2018, expect to see transparency and traceability for all, regardless of their income. From ingredient scares to political bombshells, self-care has become a priority for many and one that includes choosing food and drink that will address perceived nutritional, physical, and emotional needs. Opportunities also will be plentiful for natural, tantalising, and unexpected textures from chewy beverages to cookies with popping candy inside.

Meanwhile, the rapid expansion in the variety of food and drink retail channels will fuel the opportunity for recommendations, promotions, and product innovations that are personalised based on individual consumer behaviour. Finally, forward-looking companies are developing solutions to replace traditional farms and factories with scientifically engineered ingredients and finished products.

To download the full report, click here.


9 October 2017


Drinks giant Diageo to revive two 'lost' Scotch distilleries in £35m plan

Two remote Scottish distilleries, whose whiskies have developed cult status after production was halted nearly 35 years ago, will reopen thanks to a major investment by their drinks giant owner Diageo.

Port Ellen, on the island of Islay, and Brora, on the remote eastern coast of Sutherland, have become two highly sought after whiskies, with production having halted more than three decades ago during a lull in the popularity of the tipple.

Now the Johnnie Walker and Smirnoff vodka maker will pump £35m into revamping the distilleries and building visitor centres at the sites. The FTSE 100 company still needs planning permission for the work although backing has been given by David Mundell, the Secretary of State for Scotland, who praised the support for some of the country’s “most remote communities”. “These ambitious new developments will create jobs, boost tourism and produce premium products to be exported around the world,” Mr Mundell said.

To read the full article, click here.