Drinks take Summer seasonal shape

We take our annual look at how suppliers are boosting on-trade sales this Summer.

There are two times in the year when pubs can expect a significant income fillip. One is Christmas and the other is Summer. At these times sales volumes rise and every category should be a beneficiary.

On-trade sales patterns take a decidedly different tack during the Summer months when licensees can take advantage of the warmer weather to offer a more seasonal selection reflecting consumer needs.

Over the past two Summers, the average uplift in beer sales for the Summer period (June, July and August) has been 10% compared to the previous three-month period (Mar, April, May) according to Heineken Ireland’s Kathryn D’Arcy.

Summer service is a different beast altogether from Winter service and requires careful planning to maximise profits.

For example daytime custom changes with the move into the Summer months when increased custom expected in the late afternoon and early evening – especially when the sun shines.

Some licensees have found that sales can quadruple when there’s a change in the weather for the better so ensure that your staffing rota leaves room for acquiring extra staff at short notice.

This year, more than most, we can expected a Summer of sport to boost takings still further through EUEFA’s Euro 2016 and the Rio Olympics.

So it’s important to have the brand and style offerings that the consumer will be looking for this Summer, not forgetting to include healthy options and an interesting selection of soft drinks for those who simply want to quench their thirst.

If this all seems Old Hat, then ask yourself how cooling is your bar in hot weather and have you appropriate menus at the ready for this type of weather?

This is the season for consumers ordering fruit ciders, rosé wines and cool cool beers. So should you consider refrigerating your glass range for both cocktails, mixed drinks and beers?

Suppliers, too, are aware of what’s coming down the line and are ready to assist publicans make the most of it this Summer.






Trimbach Pinot Blanc

Maison Trimbach began in 1626 when Jean Trimbach settled in Riquewihr, Alsace and established the family wine trade. Today the tradition of quality continues with the 11th and 12th generations of the Trimbach family.

Trimbach Pinot Blanc is a wine for pure pleasure from Gilbeys. Maturing early, it’s dry, well-balanced, supple and refreshing. Pale straw with green reflections. Rich and concentrated, with white flower and apricot notes. Smooth, medium-bodied with good fruit acidity.

Ideal for serving as an aperitif, Pinot Blanc is best served with shellfish, cold meats, tarts, flambées, pies and other light appetisers. The Pinot Blanc has beautiful fruitiness and makes an excellent all-occasion drinking wine.




Paying homage to the company’s proud Venetian roots Modello, the premium house wine range from the famous Italian wine company Masi, has undergone a packaging refresh this year.

In addition to the new labels, the popular Modello Pinot Grigio will be joined by a new red blend, Modello Refosco & Merlot, offering consumers the opportunity to experiment with the historic Refosco grape, a native of the Veneto region, blended with the world-famous Merlot varietal.

Sourced from the historic Stra’ del Milione estate, Modello is a fruity and modern benchmark for Venetian wines. The name comes from the Latin modus, the word at the root of the Italian term moda or fashion; Masi has created the ‘Venetian Modello’ range of wines to be innovative while keeping a close link with the company’s roots in the Veneto.

Masi Modello wines, distributed by Findlater & Wine Spirit Group, are a clear and easy expression of the values and the culture that Masi has always interpreted with great fidelity.

See for more.


Maschio dei Cavalieri Prosecco Frizzante


Maschio dei Cavalieri champions the indigenous varieties typical of the Veneto Region such as Glera, used to produce Prosecco, as well as international varietals such as Pinot which have found an ideal habitat in this area.

Maschio dei Cavalieri’s semi-sparkling and sparkling wines are not produced with classic double fermentation; the alcohol and carbon dioxide are ‘imprisoned’ in the wine in the course of a single fermentation. That’s how the wine keeps its fruity characteristics intact.

Maschio dei Cavalieri Prosecco Frizzante is a light, golden-coloured lightly sparkling wine with fruity aromas and fresh flavor. The palate is mellow with hints of candied fruit and a refreshing finish.

Excellent as an aperitif, it’s also ideal for accompanying refined fish and seafood dishes as well as fresh fruit.



McGuigan Wines boost range

One of the world’s most awarded wineries has boosted its range in the Irish market and now includes its latest sparkling wine McGuigan Frizzante, The Founder’s Series – a trio of limited production wines and a limited-edition Adelaide Hills Pinot Noir Rosé.

rsz_mcguigan_frizzante_high_resMcGuigan Frizzante was launched last Summer and is an ideal celebratory drink which will be backed-up with a radio campaign, ‘Like Prosecco, Love McGuigan Frizzante’. With the current surge in sales of prosecco-style wines, McGuigan Frizzante is a light style of sparkling wine with soft lemon and apple fruity notes.

The McGuigan Founder’s Series pays homage to McGuigan’s founder the gregarious Brian McGuigan. The collection comprises a fruit-led Barossa Valley Shiraz, a Chardonnay from the Adelaide Hills and a Cabernet Sauvignon from Coonawarra in South Australia.

The Barossa Valley Shiraz has a vibrant plum and oak character with very subtle vanilla notes for a delicate finish.

The Chardonnay is both fresh and zingy on the palate, with an intense fruit flavour balanced by subtle oak notes.

The Cabernet Sauvignon has rich blackcurrant and dark berry aromas, distinctive earthy tones and unique eucalyptus notes.

The MT collaborations series sees the just-released Australian MT Rosé hit the shelves this July following a high-profile food and wine collaboration with Hunter Valley-born TV Presenter and Chef John Torode who created the original exclusive Pinot Noir Rosé.

Steering away from rich and intense flavours, the MT Rosé has been made from Pinot Noir grapes, offering crisp, zesty, dry flavours, more delicate than the traditional taste and working equally as well on its own or paired with food.

The McGuigan range will have strong Above The Line marketing support for the Summer particularly on TV and radio.

The leading Australian wine brand in Ireland is imported by Barry & Fitzwilliam.


Wolf Blass

This year Wolf Blass, one of Ireland’s best-selling Australian wine brands, celebrates 50 years of ‘quality, character and consistency’, a phrase coined by the company’s founder Wolfgang Blass to sum up the wines he started making in 1966.

Since then Wolf Blass has grown from a humble tin shed in the Barossa Valley to become one of the world’s most successful and awarded wine brands – a recipient of more than 3,000 medals and trophies at national and international wine shows, the essence of Wolf Blass wines is exemplified through the passion of its custodians past and present.

Amongst many others, more recent accolades include winning International Winemaker of the Year at the International Wine and Spirit Competition for a record third time as well as being named International Winery of the Year at the San Francisco International Wine Competition in 2015.

rsz_wolf_blassWolf Blass is also famous for winning Australia’s Jimmy Watson trophy an unprecedented four times with its iconic Black Label, a powerful expression of the Wolf Blass philosophy of synergistic blending built on persistence of flavour, seamless texture and long, velvety tannins.

With 50 years of unprecedented awards, achievements and international success already under its belt, Wolf Blass is well-placed for another successful half century thanks to its team of winemakers who share a similar working ethos: to boldly chase the pursuit of excellence, to uphold and represent Wolf Blass’ proud history and to continue to create wine of exceptional quality.

Wolf Blass is distributed by Findlater Wine & Spirits Group.


Viña Carmen

Viña Carmen was founded by Christian Lanz in 1850 making it Chile’s oldest winery. Christian named the winery after his beloved wife and it now has a vast history. Today Carmen is available in nearly 50 countries and with over 160 years in the industry, the winery with the most experience in Chile.

It’s many achievements and triumphs demonstrate its tremendous consist quality of wines and its commitment to making wines capable of winning over those who try them.

Premier 1850 is a contemporary brand paying tribute to Viña Carmen.

The Sauvignon Blanc is a fruity white with an intense and lingering bouquet, with a good structure in the mouth, featuring balanced natural acidity; refreshing on the palate and a fresh and elegant aroma.












Carmen’s Sebastian Labbe – still pushing boundaries

Drinks Industry Ireland got to speak to

Sebastian Labbe, the winemaker for Carmen,

on his recent trip to Dublin.



  1. Your 11th year with Carmen – what has the passage of time since 2005 taught you in relation to the consumer and Carmen wines?

It’s been a great learning journey in all different areas of the business, from better knowledge of our vineyard sites to the influence on the actual wines as a result of this knowledge, the real potential of each vineyard block and very importantly I’ve gained a better understanding of our customers’ preferences and drinking styles. I’ve managed to build a close relationship with our import and export managers worldwide that’s been very important for achieving a greater sense of market. However, I still think that understanding the market is a never-ending process and one we have to be constantly working on.


  1. What’s your background in the winemaking industry?

My initial exposure was in Chile through my own family and family friends. A couple of my lifelong friends have famiies dedicated to wine so I grew up close to and exposed to the wine world  indirectly. In 1999 my whole family moved to NZ for a few years and there I got to work in a wine bar in Wellington and was immersed in wine once again. In NZ the wine bug bit me hard so I got a Summer job at Margrain´s Vineyard in Martinborough; during that Summer I decided that winegrowing was exactly what I wanted to do for a living. Doing something I love and making a living out of it is great.


  1. What have you found to be the major difference between winemaking in Chile and your previous experience in NZ and then Australia?

Initially the change was big in terms of varieties, focus and scale. In NZ I worked for a small boutique winery in Martinborough. There I learnt to do pretty much everything in the vineyard, in the winery and also in the laboratory. It was the perfect place to do everything and guided by a great winemaker such as Strat Canning, I learnt attention to detail from him and how wines were really hand-crafted. I then went to the Hunter Valley in Australia with the intention of seeing how a bigger scale operation works and how you could still make great wines on a greater scale.


  1. Are you pleased with sales of the Wave Series – what prompted you to consider such a non-traditional product?

Yes, we’re pleased but eager to keep growing and establishing this range. I think that the Wave Series was great in breaking the ice and pushing our own limits. We needed to supply the style of wines consumers wanted – I mean fresh, vibrant with the essence of the Pacific Ocean inside and outside the bottle.


  1. What would you say distinguishes Carmen wines from other Chilean labels?

That we’ve been around for a long time as a brand and we’re still pushing our own boundaries in terms innovation and new products. We’re also fortunate to have the opportunity  to make wines in some of the greatest wine-growing regions in Chile.


  1. What should the Irish licensed trade know about Carmen wines?

That we will keep on working to provide excellence and consistency in all of our wine from classic varietals to innovation wines. With us, quality and consistency are at the centre of everything we do.


  1. What should the Irish consumer know about your wines?

That Carmen is the oldest Chilean winery and an ageless classic winery that’s consistently crafting some of Chile´s greatest and most innovative wines. Carmen is a brand you can always trust and be sure about high-end quality across our entire range.


  1. What’s next for Carmen?

I would say to consolidate our portfolio of traditional, experimental and innovative wines around the world.



New Zealand

Villa Maria

Villa Maria is now the number one New Zealand wine brand on the market and is expected to grow a further 20% this year according to distributors Barry & Fitzwilliam.




The biggest and most important ‘driver of choice’ for beer drinkers revolves around the desire and need to meet with friends and socialise. These mixed group occasions help celebrate great moments with friends. In fact 64% of occasions in the pub trade sit in ‘casual get togethers’ according to Diageo Ireland.

With beer already the most accessible category, “having a beer” is synonymous with great connections…


Euro 2016 – Creating great occasions

Research carried out for Euro 2012 showed that there were more avid fans of the Euros 2012 event than avid fans of soccer in general:

1,227,000 vs 907,000.

This demonstrates that Euro 2016 is the biggest sporting opportunity for your business this year. With nearly 1.9m Irish fans last time, Diageo expects fans to be getting together to celebrate this event.

Football is the #1 sport and passion-point for the core 18-34 year-old beer drinker segment both at home and in the pub.

This year sees an expansion of the Euros, now the largest-ever tournament, moving from 31 to 51 games. So 1.9m people in Ireland will potentially enjoy 51 more beer-drinking occasions this Summer. This represents a 65% increase in potential beer shopping occasions and now that Ireland are through there are even more reasons to celebrate together and watch the match.



Football is in the DNA of Carlsberg, the brand most associated with football and the longest-standing official partner of UEFA’s Euros tournament – since 1988. Carlsberg is the ‘most associated’ brand with the Euros in Ireland.

Irish consumers value these associations.

Sponsorship appeals more than advertising to three in four adults (ie over 2.6m consumers)… That’s a 21% increase in ‘likes’ for sponsorship since 2005.

Crucially, when consumers are asked unprompted, sponsorship of the Euros is more correctly assigned to Carlsberg than its association with the Irish team.




Bud is the most accessible lager. It’s easy-drinking and refreshing-tasting – perfect for new beer drinkers in the category.

A brand with broad appeal – the highest percentage of female lager drinkers (58%) have tried Bud.

  • 1 in 8 lagers in the on-trade is a Bud
  • ¾ million drinkers in the last 4 weeks (Island of Ireland)

Bud is going to bring Summer vibes to the nation…When we think of Summer in the US, visions of iconic Californian beaches or cooling down under NYC fire hydrants are evoked – and Budweiser is bringing a little bit of that feeling to Ireland with its iconic Stars and Stripes packaging.


Available in 500ml can & 300ml glass bottle, this Summer Budweiser launches this limited-edition packaging featuring the iconic silhouette of Lady Liberty to celebrate its American heritage.



Cider sales can rise by as much as 12% during the Summer months – especially in July.



Stella Cidre

Stella Cidre launches new packaging that’ll hit the spot for cider consumers this Summer.

The new premium pack design has better standout and is more appetising due to the use of strong fruit/natural cues.


Orchard Thieves’ bold Summer celebrations


Orchard Thieves, the bold Irish cider with an urban edge, not only celebrates its second Summer this year but also being the number two cider brand in Ireland. The refreshing cider, a mix of crisp and tart apples, delivers an instant fresh apple taste that’s certain to quench the thirst of its Irish fans during the hot Summer. The brand has implemented a heavyweighted Through The Line campaign including TV, outdoor and digital.

This Summer the brand invites consumers to register at for a ‘Sneaky Pint’. The ‘Sneaky Pint’ offers fans spontaneous text alerts, letting them know that a free pint is available in their area. No-one will know when or where a Sneaky Pint alert will be switched on, which encourages consumers to embrace a random evening out with friends.

Those looking for a lighter alternative, but without compromising on taste, can enjoy Orchard Thieves Light. Launched in April, it’s now available nationwide, giving consumers choice in the great taste of Orchard Thieves.

“After such a phenomenal year following the launch of Orchard Thieves, it’s fantastic to be able to offer a lighter option that tastes just as good as the original with only 28kcal per 100ml,” said Heidi McCaughey, Trade Marketing Activations Manager.

Orchard Thieves will be at Ireland’s biggest music festivals this year including Longitude, Electric Picnic, Indiependence and Marlay Park.

Follow Orchard Thieves on Twitter & Facebook:

#BeBold | |@OrchardThieves





Rum remains a critical part of the spirits category in the on-trade with one in 10 spirits sold being a rum.



Bacardí – perfect base for Summer cocktails

Bacardí Carta Blanca is the perfect base for a host of Summer cocktails. The original light crisp and refreshing Bacardí Mojito cocktail was first consumed in the 1800s in Cuba. The original recipe used freshly-squeezed lime juice, unrefined sugar, bruised mint and a jigger of Bacardí Carta Blanca rum.

Why not create your very own Mojito!


You’ll need the following:


35.5 ml Bacardí Carta Blanca

8-10 fresh mint leaves

200 ml fresh lime juice

2 spoons of castor sugar

crushed ice

splash of soda water

Just follow these steps:

Gently press together the limes & sugar. Bruise the mint leaves by clapping them between your palms & drop them into the glass. Half-fill the glass with ice, add the Bacardí Carta Blanca & stir. Top with ice, a splash of soda & a sprig of mint.




Captain Morgan

rsz_captain_morgan_whiteCaptain Morgan remains the biggest dark rum, continuing its healthy growth of 0.6% MAT, remaining relevant to 18-24 year-old spirits drinkers. Whilst Bacardi White is the largest brand in white rum, white rum has seen the greatest growth within rum in the on-trade and Captain Morgan White has recently been launched which will drive further growth and recruitment into the category.









Barry & Fitzwilliam exclusively distributes The Kilbeggan Distillery’s range of whiskey which includes: Kilbeggan, Connemara and Tyrconnell. In that distinctive decanter-style bottle Kilbeggan 8 Year-Old continues to grow, especially after it was awarded Best Grain Whiskey at the Irish Whiskey Awards.




Barry & Fitzwilliam represents an unrivalled range of premium gins from across the globe. The London Number 1 from London, Copperhead from Belgium, Damrak from Holland, Larios from Spain and B&F’s latest addition, the iconic The Botanist from the island of Islay in Scotland.













Gin is in phenomenal growth, up 14.2% in the RoI on-trade.

Tanqueray London Dry Gin 350ml

The world’s number one gin brand and number one bartenders choice spirit brand, as voted by the World’s Top Fifty Bars, Tanqueray is quickly gaining momentum here in Ireland through bartender advocacy and industry-leading venues opting to use it as their pouring gin (The Mint Bar, Zozimus, Dublin). On the IoI, The Tanqueray trademark is growing at 58% ahead of the spirits Category and 49% ahead of the gin Category (Volume MAT, Nielson, April 2016). The Brand also showed up well at Taste Of Dublin with Fitzer’s Catering and will be supported by intensive BTL and PR activity throughout 2016.








Vodka remains the biggest & most important spirits category in the on-trade with more than three in 10 spirits being a vodka. More than two of these three drinks are Smirnoff which has an epic plan of activity over the Summer months. Smirnoff believes that being open-minded and inclusive makes good times better for the many and is kicking-off the Summer at Dublin Pride on 25th June. It’s official sponsor of the Mother Pride Block Party where it will bring great drinks and House of Vineyard Voguers to the main stage. After Dublin, the brand will be showing up across Belfast and Cork Pride too, supported by OOH media, BTL activation in outlets and PR.




Pravda Ultra Premium Vodka

Pravda Ultra Premium Vodka is now available in Ireland. Ballyshannon-based MCM Spirits has been appointed Island of Ireland distributor for Pravda Ultra Premium Vodka and Pravda Espresso Vodka and it’ll be rolling out a trade launch this Summer. However it’ll also be launching to consumers at Taste of Dublin with a Pravda Vodka bar.

Pravda Vodka is a 40% ABV premium vodka imported directly from Poland and represents a distinctive look and refreshing addition to the world of spirits.

The vodka, with a rich unbroken history dating back to 1743, became known as the ‘Champagne of Vodkas’ because of its reputation for being reserved for the finest of occasions and served to the nobility of its country.

Pravda Vodka is a Gold Medal winner and was voted Best Luxury Vodka at the World Beverage Championships in San Francisco.

Pravda 700mlNEW2

The consistency and quality of Pravda is down to the distillation methods used, combining this with the finest of ingredients. The Pravda Distillery only uses the purest of spring water from the Carpathian Mountains and uses a late harvest Rye, untreated and totally natural, which gives Pravda its renowned mellow taste.

Distilled five times in small batches, Pravda uses a unique patented process to achieve the cleanest of vodkas. After completing distillation Pravda is stored for six months, adding to the mellow taste.

More than a distinctive-looking vodka on the shelf Pravda offers a great combination of choice to the customer.

It’s only when you’ve experienced Pravda that you fully understand the statement ‘Pravda Vodka – the truth in Vodka.’


For trade enquiries: 071 9852434



The Cotton Ball Brewing Company and Killarney Brewing Co supply just a few of Barry & Fitzwilliam’s range of Irish craft beers. New additions here include Anarchy and Marblehead and for the Summer it has added Jenlain French beers to its portfolio.

B&F also offers a large range of Irish Craft Ciders including Toby’s Cider, Kellys Ciders, Longueville Cider and Longways Cider.


Hop House 13

Hop House summer

Looking for more crafted beers – there is an inescapable excitement around products that are created with authenticity, craftsmanship and character.

This trend is fuelling a renaissance in beer, however shoppers are not finding what they want (repeat purchase in the category is only 4.7% according to Nielsen MAT RoI on-trade April 2016).

St James gate wants to bring more people into this beer renaissance by creating more flavoursome beers that are more flavoursome.

Hop House 13 has been driven by transcending the category norm, driving 38% repeat purchase in the same time frame (above source).

Valued at €28m RSV and with a 2.5% share of lager in the RoI on-trade, it’s the fastest-growing innovation in Ireland in the last 12 months.



WKD Blush

WKD Blush has just been launched on the market. It’s being backed up with promotions, a radio campaign and a major social media campaign from Barry & Fitzwilliam.



Other spirits distributed by B&F include Bols Distilleries products which have added Bols Elderflower and a number of new SKUs to the Bols range this year.

B&F’s Midori, a premium melon liqueur infused with Japanese muskmelons, adds vibrancy to any night out. Carefully crafted by artisan spirit makers through melon infusion and distillation it has a touch of French brandy to give it just the right taste profile. Known for its bright green color, premium quality and authentic taste, Midori is perfect for mixing with juices, spirits and other liqueurs. Let its versatility turn an ordinary drink into an exotic cocktail.

Passoã is the only passion fruit-based liqueur made with passion fruit juice from Brazil. With an ABV of 17% it blends perfectly with any fruit juice and makes a perfect base for cocktails.

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It has seen a lot of success with the Pornstar Martini: 25ml Passoa, 25ml vodka, 2 teaspoons sugar, 25ml Passion Fruit Puree, shot of Champagne and a splash of pressed apple.







B&F’s Sourz range is now available in Apple, Blackcurrant, Cherry and Tropical Blue while Jagermeister has also just listed a 50ml size for retail.


Barry & Fitzwilliam has a very strong line up in the Fortified Wine Sector and it looks forward to a ‘fortified Summer’ especially now that Sherry is very much back in fashion.

Close up of pouring white wine in a glass
















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