Odds-on demand for Summer Drinks

The population, at large again once more, don't need much encouragement to make use of any hospitality that's out there this Summer. But what are they likely to seek by way of Summer drinks preference after such a long time without the services of the on-trade? Just about anything, one would imagine, after their home experiments. We take a look at what's likely to be popular in this year's Summer drinks market.

The population will not need much encouragement to make use of the welcome mat as hospitality returns this Summer. But how has Lockdown changed them? What have they learned about their drinks preferences during Lockdown and what does it mean for the publican? Following a Winter of on-trade discontent and home experimentation, what are they now likely to seek out as a preferential Summer choice?

Market researchers CGA found that one in four UK consumers missed the notion of ‘treating’ themselves during Lockdown, so reopening the licensed trade should see a fairly dramatic swing in sales of premium serves.

CGA also found that nine in 10 respondents agreed that they’d stop purchasing drinks brands that lacked ‘transparency’ while one in four would switch to brands that provide product information.

To look at what proved popular over the past year is to look at what those in Lockdown bought from the off-trade during their social incarceration.

NielsenIQ off-trade figures for multiples, convenience and specialists (including discounters but excluding Dunnes Stores) for the year to the 25th of April indicate that the value of the Beer, Wine & Spirits market rose 34% compared to the previous year while this market was up 21% from the beginning of the year. Even in the eight weeks to the 25th of April, sales values were up 8%.



Wine showed value growth of 23% over the course of the 12 months, 14% from January and just 3% in the eight weeks from 25th of February.

Over the course of the year Champagne led growth with annual value sales up 74% and up 129% since the beginning of the year. In the eight weeks to the 25th of April Champagne sales were up 139% in value!



NielsenIQ points out that the Beer market showed growth of 48% in value over the course of the year to the 25th of April. It has grown 27% since the beginning of the year and over the past eight weeks beer values have grown by 11%.

The biggest winner within this category has been stout which showed value growth of 83% in the year to the 25th of April while Ale seems to have proved popular since the beginning of the year, with value sales rising 58%. In the eight weeks to the 25th of April, No Alcohol Low Alcohol Beers saw a growth in beer sales value of 47%.

“Non Alcoholic/Low Alcoholic Beer has high growth off a small base” observes Ruth Lloyd-Evans, Senior Business Analyst with NielsenIQ’s Retailer Service, “and it’s interesting how that has grown in the off-trade especially during Covid when people weren’t really driving anywhere – there’s a trend to healthier consumption.”

Health-consciousness is likely to see more demand for alcohol-free product in the pub, a segment of the market that has quadrupled sales in some pubs.

“Ale growth is being driven by craft – so there’s still appetite for local/craft brews,” according to Ruth.


Paulaner – icon of Weissbier

Barry & Fitzwilliam will relaunch Paulaner & Paulaner 0,0% on draught in September.

The top Weissbier in Germany and one of the world’s favourites Paulaner is naturally cloudy under a really strong head of foam.

With the well-known slogan of the Paulaner Brewery “Good, better, Paulaner” at the first mouthful this Weissbier classic has a mild aroma of Banana.

It’s a typical beer-garden beer.

Paulaner Weissbier 0,0% is non-alcoholic with a great flavour thanks to its balanced combination of fine malt aromas, refreshingly fruity Weissbier flavours and a pleasing hint of sweetness.

This isotonic thirst-quencher is brewed using the traditional Paulaner Weissbier technique. In a complex procedure all the alcohol is carefully removed from the beer without losing any of its flavour after a thorough maturing process.

The popularity of Paulaner has always extended beyond Munich. The special enjoyment of beer, the highly-skilled Brewmasters and the famous Bavarian way of life are just a few factors contributing to Paulaner’s success. More than two million hectolitres leave the brewery each year destined for over 70 countries.

Paulaner is distributed by Barry & Fitzwilliam.


Q&As with Barry & Fitzwilliam’s Managing Director Michael Barry

What’s different about Paulaner? 

Paulaner has uncompromising quality standards, deeply-rooted in its culture and safeguarded by its Master Brewers since 1634.

It’s the best-selling beer at Oktoberfest and around the world.

Produced from the highest quality ingredients and in strict accordance with Bavarian Purity Law at Europe’s most advanced brewery, only four ingredients are used in the brewing process: water, malt, hops and yeast.

Why does being a wheat beer make Paulaner all the more refreshing this Summer? 

It’s silky gold in the glass and has hints of Mango and Pineapple with a wonderful balance of sweet and bitter and a mild but sparkling mix of aromas which make it the ideal Summer beer.

What are your on-trade plans for Paulaner?

When the on-trade gets back to some kind of normality we’ll be relaunching it in the on-trade primarily by leveraging the very strong partnership that exists between Paulaner and Bayern Munich, one of the top five football clubs in the world.

We’ll also be relaunching Paulaner Zero.

Have you a customer profile for the brand?

Yes, Paulaner is the beer for the discerning drinker!


Estrella Damm

 When August and Melanie Kuentzmann fled the Franco-Prussian war they settled in Barcelona where, in 1876, they founded the Damm brewery. Today, after more than 140 years, their legacy continues with the global reputation of Estrella Damm.

The beer was originally brewed with a lighter character to suit the Mediterranean climate and palate but it’s a perfect accompaniment to the finest cuisine in Ireland, Europe and worldwide. The perfect beer for Summer weather, fingers crossed.

Also check-out Daura Damm, a leader in the gluten free beer market. Distributed by Noreast Beers.


Rascals collaborate with Dubliner

The Dubliner Irish Whiskey has collaborated with Rascal’s Brewing Co in Dublin 8 to create the second batch of The Dubliner Whiskey Beer Cask Series, a limited-edition range whereby the award-winning Dubliner Irish Whiskey is aged in beer casks and craft beers in whiskey casks.

The coupling of The Dubliner Three Year-Old blend with Rascals Smoked Stout casks makes for a whiskey packed with personality.

But The Dubliner Irish Whiskey Smoked Stout is a limited-edition with fewer than 2,000 bottles on sale, available online from for €35.

This latest collaboration saw The Dubliner Irish Whiskey (part of the Dublin Liberties Distillery’s portfolio of Irish whiskeys majority owned by Quintessential Brands) share its ex-Bourbon whiskey casks with Rascal’s Brewing Co. The brewery filled the casks with its high quality unfiltered, unpasteurised beer and after a few months’ finishing, the beer was bottled.

The casks were returned to the Dubliner team and each cask was refilled with The Dubliner Irish Whiskey, allowing the flavours of the beer, having soaked into the casks, to seep into the three year-old whiskey, creating a delicious blend that’s set to excite whiskey and beer fans.

“This is the latest in our flavour work on the brand,” said Bronagh Hunt, Global Brand Director, Irish Whiskies, “The Dubliner Irish Whiskey is committed to making whiskey accessible for anyone to try.”

There will be more releases from The Dubliner and Rascal’s in the coming months and you’ll hear of the latest releases first by following the brand on Instagram @dublinerwhiskey.


Spirits values rose 28% in the 12-month period to April the 25th while spirits sales were up 19% from the beginning of the year and they were up 10% in the eight-week period to the 25th. Gin proved the fastest-growing with a 40% increase in sales value in the year, a 37% growth from the beginning of 2021 and a 21% growth in the eight-week period to the 25th of April.

“Gin, Rum and Brandy are still out-performing total spirits – spirits and cocktails are popular,” points out NielsenIQ’s Ruth Lloyd-Evans.


Bevella – Adventures in Beverage

Primeline Group, Ireland’s largest independent provider of logistics, sales and marketing services, has launched Bevella, a beverages distribution and brand-building business servicing the island of Ireland.  Bevella will champion new and existing brands, particularly Irish-developed alcoholic beverages, in accessing the local market and developing on- and off-trade sales channels where it can be difficult to achieve a national footprint given the challenging route to market.

Launching in Q2, the independent brand-led distributor will focus on key business areas such as industry knowledge, customer understanding, trade and trends. Partnering and planning with brand-owners is a priority, nurturing reliable, supportive revenue and driving interdependent relationships with publicans, wholesalers and retailers.

Bevella will work with top quality innovative beverage brands, seeking out opportunities for compelling Irish and international brands.

Connacht Whiskey Company, Blood Monkey Gin, the Muff Liquor Company, Two Stacks and Xoriguer Mahon Gin are among the first key brands to be announced, designed to bring diversity, energy and new consumer experiences to the sector.

“Bevella will exude Primeline’s 30 years of experience as well as an enhanced determination to bring diversity and new experiences to the Irish alcohol industry,” according to Bevella Director Paul Mc Inerney, “Our experience, capability, imagination and resources are at your disposal, whether you’ve a brand to distribute, a bar to fill or an off-licence shelf to stock.”

For further details please contact +353 87 332 6783/+353 (01) 835 3000 or e-mail


Q&As with Bevella Director Paul McInerney

What are some of the key factors that make the brands you partner with unique? Do your brands have a rich brand story and heritage?

Our vision is to bring brands to the market that are unique in their field with a compelling backstory.

We’ve been very selective when it comes to the brands we’ve partnered with and have always had the consumer front-of-mind in our decision-making.

We’re proud to say we’re focused on selecting the best of Irish and looking farther afield for emerging trends to excite the Irish consumer.

A few key elements that underpin our selection are the quality and provenance of the product and the energy and passion of the producer.

How does your portfolio meet the latest consumer trends within the drinks industry?

Trends are a key focus for Bevella; we don’t have to take prescribed ranges and products from head office as we continuously review global trends and developing categories internally. It’s no surprise that LA, New York and London are key influence – and opinion-forming markets for consumer offerings, whether it be the Tequila revolution in the US, the exploding Dark and Spiced Rum categories in London or the growing on-trade cocktail and mix-at-home trends.

We’re selecting great products to meet these needs whilst ensuring we’ve a great range in established categories such as Vodka, Gin and Whiskey.

We’re focused on premium products and discovery when we consider what the consumer is set to purchase.

Our range will appeal to the fantastic bars that want to offer choice and variety to an informed consumer and provide the ingredients for their mixologists to play their part in a truly unforgettable night for their customers.

What was the inspiration behind forming Bevella and what are your core goals for both 2021 and long-term?

For our Q2 2021 launch we’re developing and will distribute a tight but effective portfolio of emerging and on-trend Irish and international premium beverages in both on- and off-trade divisions throughout the island of Ireland.

Our ethos is ‘Adventures in Beverage’.

Choice, discovery, making great Irish brands available and introducing new trends to the Irish consumer who’s responsibly enjoying nights out and good times is a key priority.

I think we can all agree this is well overdue as we’ve all played our part in stopping the spread of Covid-19.  Being Ireland’s best independent brand-led distributor is our aim and purpose. We’re well advanced in our brand selection and we’re currently looking for some great team members for field roles in both on- and off-trade so please get in touch if this sounds like it’s for you.

How will Bevella stand out from rivals in terms of the service you offer customers?

Independence, flexibility, consumer-focused propositions, a large international network of brands and distribution partners to choose ranges and offerings from.

Two things that we have in our DNA in the Primeline group is a ‘can-do’ attitude along with an insatiable drive for growth.

We constantly deliver for our partners and customers and have the scale of a truly nationwide business across all channels.

What is your team’s experience within the drinks industry and how will you build on this to ensure you deliver an adventurous, rewarding proposition for both drinks brands and retailers?

Our business has over 30 years in distribution of world class brands in Ireland; within our senior team in Bevella we have vast experience in both on- and off-trade (both sides of the counter).

Our Managing Director has over 20 years’ experience in Heineken, our Finance Director over 20 years’ experience in Diageo and our Business Development Manager spent over 10 years in a developing Irish business, a forerunner to the craft beer explosion in Galway Hooker.

We get it and we’re here to listen.

Primeline has grown tenfold in the last 10 years by working with and listening to our partners and customers.

Bevella will develop using our ears and ensuring we are servicing the requirements and not forcing our strategy!



Royal Oak’s award-winning Busker range

The Busker is the new Irish whiskey produced at the Royal Oak Distillery in County Carlow.

The Busker includes all four types of Irish whiskey (Single Grain, Single Pot Still, Single Malt and a Blend).

The Busker Blend – Triple Cask Triple Smooth – combines Grain with a high percentage of Malt and Pot whiskey. Matured and finished in three different casks (Bourbon, Sherry, Marsala), this whiskey brings a new meaning to smoothness in Irish Whiskey.

The Busker Single Collection, represented by the three traditional Irish Whiskeys (Single Grain, Single Pot Still and Single Malt), is produced at the Royal Oak Distillery. Each whiskey boasts an unmistakable taste profile, with nuances ranging from Vanilla and Oak to rich, spicy notes.

Royal Oak Distillery has a huge focus on quality. Proof of this can be found in the results of the recent San Francisco World Spirits Competition.

The Busker received four medals: Double Gold for The Busker Single Pot Still, Gold for The Busker Triple Cask Triple Smooth and The Busker Single Malt Irish Whiskey and a Silver medal for The Busker Single Grain.

Moreover The Busker has secured the highest-rating (94 points) and “Best Buy” among all Irish whiskey blends from Wine Enthusiast among other medals in LA. Spirits Awards, World Whiskies Awards and Bartenders Brand Awards….Distributed by Barry & Fitzwilliam.


Lambay Whiskey unveils Summer cocktails

Lambay Irish Whiskey, a portfolio of Irish whiskeys known for their unique Cognac-cask finish, focuses on craft and the art of blending through the expertise and partnership of Cognac House Camus.

Lambay Whiskey Small Batch Blend continues to drive the cocktail strategy for the brand to bartenders and home drinkers alike.

Lambay Malt Irish was launched last September, the first Irish blended Single Malt with a Cognac cask finish on the market. Both whiskeys make an excellent base for whiskey cocktails.

“The drinks industry trend this Summer is all about combining bold fruit flavours but in a health-conscious way” says Sabine Sheehan, Lambay’s Global Brand Ambassador, “working with sugar alternatives like Agave, nectars and fermented drinks like Kombucha – definitely more healthy and without the heavy alcohol taste.”

Lambay Irish Whiskey reflects the current climate of hand-crafted Irish spirits on the market marrying classical approaches with modern ingenuity, showcasing local ingredients with an authentic story.

The Puffin Breeze

For this Pineapple whiskey cocktail:

50 ml Lambay Small Batch Blend

10 ml Limoncello

35 ml Pineapple juice

10 ml Lemon juice

Add all ingredients into shaker, add ice & shake hard for 10-15 seconds. Strain into rocks glass with ice, allow Pineapple foam to fully cover drink. Garnish with Lemon zest and some Pineapple sprigs.




Tel: +353 (0) 1 567 5400



Southern Comfort ‘Remixes the Spirit’

Southern Comfort has collaborated with some of Ireland’s most talented DJs to create the ultimate Southern Comfort Summer playlist with a twist.

Southern Comfort invited four artists – Dublin’s George Feely(@georgefeely), Clare’s Daithí Ó Drónaí(@daithi), Cork’s Robert O’Halloran(@jarjarjr) and Isabel Bartak-Healy(@izzyshowbizzy) – to each remix a classic New Orleans Jazz sound.

The campaign, launched on the 14th of May, is the brand’s latest digital venture, which saw each given the same New Orleans sound sample to remix and create an original track.

Crafted over 140 years Southern Comfort has mastered the definition of easy drinking. The New Orleans-rooted liquor unveiled its ‘Remix the Spirit’ campaign to provide the soundtrack to Summer celebrations.

Each DJ will record themselves creating their original track and can be followed on Instagram for exclusive behind-the-scenes footage.

“What better way to get the Summer started than enjoying our amazing Irish artists’ customised new playlist!” stated Laura Scott, Brand Manager of Southern Comfort with Hi-Spirits Ireland, “Our ‘Remix the Spirit’ campaign was launched to bring people together for a good time through music and the much-loved Southern Comfort brand.”

Showcasing the brand’s infectious and playful spirit, Southern Comfort incorporated Snapchat and Spotify in its latest campaign to show the public what celebrating with Southern Comfort’s all about – while enjoying it on its own, mixed with soda or in a classic cocktail.

For further information, access to all the ‘Remix the Spirit’ behind-the-scenes content and to listen to the new tracks, follow @southerncomfortireland on Instagram and Spotify.


Shake Baby Shake

Inspired by the most loved cocktails being served in the coolest bars, Shake Baby Shake delivers high quality cocktail liquids in an easy-to-drink, on-the-go sleek 25cl can in four flavours.

Perfect for meeting friends in the park or at the beach, garden parties or BBQs, it’s now available in a 2.25L box.

Distributed by Noreast Beers.


Craft cocktails completes collection

Craft Cocktails has added three new flavours to its premium bottled ready-to-drink cocktails range, joining bestsellers Tommy’s Margarita, Mai Tai and Pornstar Martini.

The Banana Old Fashioned has a Caribbean feel with overproof rum, Banana liqueur and chocolate bitters swimming in Bulleit Rye Whiskey. The French Martini is a classic mix of vodka, Pineapple and black Raspberry liqueur with a little Irish Raspberry wine to give an extra Summery feel.

The Whiskey Sour tweaks the original recipe by using Bulleit Bourbon blended with Roe and Co Irish Whiskey, leaving the egg white out to ensure a six-month shelflife as with all the range which are made using only 100% natural ingredients and some serious bartender knowhow from the award-winning team at Dublin’s Bar 1661.

With fresh fruit, hand-made syrups, cordials and infusions, Craft Cocktails are made to be served straight from the bottle over ice.

Available in two sizes, the small 200ml bottle serves two and the large 700ml bottle contains seven serves.

Bestseller is the small mixed bundle, a rainbow box of six 200ml flavours with free shipping all over Ireland.

Craft Cocktails launched last October with six classic cocktails made for ease of serve: Aviation, Pornstar Martini, Raspberry Negroni, Strawberry Daiquiri and Old Fashioned.

Mai Tai and Cosmo followed in February 2021 along with the zero alcohol 200ml Not a Negroni and the luxurious earthy 700ml Belfast Coffee.

The collection now has eleven core cocktails with special limited-edition cocktails offered throughout the year.

The ‘message on a bottle’ personalisation service makes an excellent gift whether celebrated in person or remotely. The personalised label is designed and printed locally and shipped on the cocktail of choice.

Craft Cocktails are available directly from







Hard Seltzers


White Claw

The company behind White Claw, Ireland-based Mark Anthony Brands International, has revolutionised the US alcohol industry and subsequently made White Claw the Number 1 Hard Seltzer brand in Ireland, with a 58% value share of Hard Seltzers.

The Hard Seltzer category is experiencing explosive growth across North America, with total US sales growth of 159% in 2020 and achieving over 118 million case sales, with predictions for 2021 set to be even higher.

White Claw Hard Seltzer has dominated this new category, commanding a 56% market share with White Claw Hard Seltzer fast becoming an iconic, global brand to be launched in more markets over the coming months.  Defining and redefining a whole new category in alcohol beverages, White Claw Hard Seltzer has become an online and cultural phenomenon. Championed by millions of consumers, White Claw has gained cult status, becoming the most successful new alcohol brand in a generation.

The Hard Seltzer category in Ireland is now worth nearly of €7 million, with White Claw leading the way in value sales.

It’s now available in four invigorating flavours: Black Cherry, Raspberry, Natural Lime and Mango.

Made from the finest natural ingredients, a blend of sparkling water, gluten-free triple-distilled spirit and a hint of natural fruit flavour, at only 95 calories, 4.5% ABV and just 2g carbs, White Claw Hard Seltzer delivers a wave of pure refreshment like no other.

Available to the on-premise, it’s distributed by Barry & Fitzwilliam, Ireland’s largest independent premium drinks distributor.

@whiteclawireland on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.


Molson Coors introduces Three Fold Hard Seltzer to Ireland

Molson Coors Beverage Company has introduced a new Hard Seltzer to Ireland as the market for the beverage (that has taken the US by storm) continues to grow abroad.

Three Fold Hard Seltzer is light in flavour, bringing together three simple ingredients: Sparkling Spring Water, Natural Alcohol and a touch of Real Fruit.

It comes in three varieties: Red Berries, Tropical and Citrus. Each 330ml can contains 4% ABV, 93 calories.  The beverages are naturally vegan and gluten-free.

Three Fold comes in single 330ml can format as well as a variety six-pack.

“Three Fold has been especially crafted for the legal-age Generation Z audience, with flavour combinations that we know consumers will love,” says Jim Shearer, Category, Insight and Innovation Director for Molson Coors Europe, “Creating a Hard Seltzer of our own with mainstream appeal felt like a natural next step given the momentum in this space and the inroads we’ve already made this year into the Ready-To-Drink category.”

Hard Seltzer has proven to be a phenomenon in the US, with continued triple-digit growth upending the beer industry in a few short years. The Irish market, although in its infancy, is already showing signs of strong growth in this area and that trend looks to continue this year.


Seven Summits

Seven Summits is Ireland’s first premium, naturally-produced Hard Seltzer.

With an ABV of 4.5% Seven Summits is created using natural flavours, is low carb and low calorie, gluten-free and vegan-friendly.

It’s naturally brewed providing a unique difference to other Hard Seltzers.

Produced in association with the Whitewater Brewing Company, one of Ireland’s leading craft breweries, Seven Summits draws its inspiration and its pure water from the breath-taking seven summits of the Mourne Mountains. Known widely as an adventure destination and for its natural beauty, Seven Summits draws on this inspiration, being created with natural ingredients offering a unique and refreshing flavour.

Seven Summits is not blended like many Hard Seltzers, but is produced in small batches using hand-crafted alcohol with natural flavourings and sparkle added through a natural brewing process. The result is a premium Hard Seltzer that’s unique on the island of Ireland.

Seven Summits is being introduced in three flavours: Wild Berry, Lemon and Mango.

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