Summer sessions

It’s time to get stocked up with the right products to satisfy your customers during the summer. Drinks Industry Ireland looks at the new and old reliables on the market that perform especially well in the summer months

At the slightest mention of a sunny day, Irish people love to plan outdoor meet ups with friends and so the beer garden in pubs is often the first destination.

The scale of the summer upswing in sales varies from province to province, and venues in rural and suburban areas are more likely to draw people out to drink lager in beer gardens and terraces. For example, Connaught and Munster gain more share of the category between June and August, while growth in Belfast is outpaced by the rest of Ulster in Northern Ireland according to CGA Ireland.

“Lager sales always rise in line with the temperatures, so summer is a great time for suppliers and operators to cement loyalty, develop new brands and innovate,” says Sian Brennan, CGA’s client director, Ireland.
“Successful strategies will help increase share not just in the main summer months but all year round, as consumers continue their habits into autumn and winter. Taking a deep dive into sales trends and consumers’ summer preferences is the vital first step towards achieving growth.”

The cider category, the third largest category within LAD, saw consumption reach a new peak in 2022, according to Orchard Thieves due to the fine weather so all fingers and toes will be crossed this year for another fine few months ahead.

Lager in Ireland’s On Trade: five CGA insights for the summer

1 Summer spike
CGA’s sales data shows how summer traditionally lifts lager sales. It attracts more than half of LAD serves across the island, and grows its share of the market from June to August by 1.5 and 1.0 percentage points in Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland respectively.

2 Refreshment the main appeal
Lager has become synonymous with summer drinking in pubs and bars. A third of consumers choose it ‘to refresh themselves’ when out, and the top traits they seek in a lager are ‘refreshing, ‘crisp’ and ‘light’—so these should be key features of all promotional strategies in the summer months.

3 Loyal drinkers
With two thirds of lager consumers drinking the category every or almost every time they go out, suppliers have a loyal and reliable core of drinkers to target. This is especially the case in pubs, where lager accounts for 46% of sales in both Republic Ireland and Northern Ireland.

4 Regional variations
The scale of the summer upswing in sales varies from province to province, and venues in rural and suburban areas are more likely to draw people out to drink lager in beer gardens and terraces. For example, Connaught and Munster gain more share of the category between June and August, while growth in Belfast is outpaced by the rest of Ulster in Northern Ireland.

5 Bottled serves gain share
Draught dominates the lager category, attracting nearly nine in 10 of all serves. But the packaged segment attracts more interest in the summer, and earns 11.4% and 13.5% of sales in Ireland and Northern Ireland—both up by 0.4 percentage points compared to the rest of the year.

Source: CGA’s On Premise Measurement Service and On Premise User Survey To learn more, email Sian Brennan at

Secret Orchard Campaign supports home-grown talent

The first Secret Orchard event will take place on 26 April in Whelan’s, Dublin, headlined by the talented Dublin-born artist, Kojaque

Bulmers has announced the launch of its latest campaign, Bulmers Secret Orchard, aimed at supporting Irish home-grown talent. As part of the campaign, a series of gigs will be held across the country in local venues, bringing the magic of the Clonmel orchards to the masses, featuring headline performances by some of the hottest up and coming artists in Ireland. The final gig of the summer will take place in the home of Bulmers in their orchards in Clonmel. The campaign is supported with through the line marketing communications including a VOD film with backing track by emerging Irish artist, Shiv. The campaign will also be supported with digital, social, media partnerships and on and off trade point of sale.

The first Secret Orchard event will take place on 26 April in Whelan’s, Dublin, headlined by the talented Dublin-born artist, Kojaque. The gig promises to be an unforgettable experience for Bulmers consumers and music lovers, showcasing some of the best emerging talent Ireland has to offer.

Consumers can get tickets for each event by signing up at To get to the ultimate Secret Orchard gig in Clonmel, simply pick up a limited edition pack of Bulmers in-store, scan the QR code on pack and enter the competition to win.

Commenting on the launch of the campaign, Karl Donnelly, ROI marketing director, “As the original Irish cider, we’re thrilled to be supporting Irish home-grown talent through the Bulmers Secret Orchard campaign. It’s a fantastic platform for emerging artists to showcase their talent, and we can’t wait to see what they have in store for us. We encourage everyone to get involved to experience the best of Irish music over a delicious pint of Bulmers and engage in the moment “When Time Bears Fruit”.

Dis is an Italian story

Disaronno is sharing a twist on a classic cocktail which is simple to make and great to drink. The rich and bold Italian taste and elegance of Disaronno makes it a versatile liqueur that can be enjoyed on the rocks and create a variety of craft cocktails such as a refreshing Disaronno Sour or Disaronno Fizz.

The Disaronno Fizz is a low-alcohol drink with a distinct character. Using just three simple ingredients it’s easy to make at home and pairs perfectly with brunch.

The original taste and unmistakable aroma of Disaronno is combined with fizzy soda bubbles and lemon juice for a refreshing, thirst-quenching cocktail: an original and contemporary version of one of the must-haves of mixology, ideal to make your brunch even more special.

Disaronno is encouraging consumers to bring a touch of Italian spirit into their homes by sharing a Disaronno Fizz with friends and family over brunch.

DIY recipe for this easy cocktail to make at home:

  • 45 ml Disaronno
  • Fresh lemon juice
  • Soda or sparkling water
  • Pour Disaronno over ice, add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and top up with soda water. Stir and garnish with lemon zest.

Disaronno is distributed by Barry & Fitzwilliam.

Revolutionary beer

Punk IPA is going from strength to strength

Punk IPA is the beer that kick-started the BrewDog revolution. This scene-stealing flagship is an India Pale Ale that has become a byword for craft beer rebellion; synonymous with the insurgency against mass-produced, lowest common denominator beer. Punk IPA charges the barricades to fly its colours from the ramparts – full-on, full-flavour; at full-throttle.

Layered with new world hops to create an explosion of tropical fruit and an all-out riot of grapefruit, pineapple and lychee before a spiky bitter finish, this is the perfect summer drink to quench your thirst.

This 5.6% trans-Atlantic fusion IPA is light golden in colour with tropical fruits and light caramel on the nose. The palate soon becomes assertive and resinous with the New Zealand hops balanced by the biscuit malt. The finish is aggressive and dry with the hops emerging over the warming alcohol.

This fresh, full flavour natural beer is our tribute to the classic IPAs of yester-year. The post modern twist is the addition of amazing fruity hops giving an explosion of tropical fruit flavours and a sharp bitter finish.

Distributed by Barry & Fitzwilliam, sales are at an all-time high and we don’t see the rebellious Punk IPA slowing down anytime soon.

Star quality rosé

Kylie Minogue Wines’ Alcohol-Free Sparkling Rosé is just 22 calories per 100ml which is around 80 less calories per glass than a standard glass of prosecco

In February 2022 Kylie Minogue Wines distributed by Barry & Fitzwilliam, launched its first 0% alcohol Sparkling Rosé in Ireland, with flavours and acidic balance mirroring that found in wine. Through a blend of premium Organic European grapes and green tea selected from the Liu-Da Mountains of Yunnan province in China, Kylie Minogue Wines’ 0% alcohol production process provides maximum development of wine attributes without generating any alcohol. The careful selection of ingredients is reflected in the extraction process of the tea, with one bud and two leaves individually hand-plucked at a time. Brewed into a strong infusion and added to the grape ferment, the result is an additional mouthfeel and finish, rounded off with dried tannins to present a complex and finely balanced Sparkling Rosé, minus the alcohol.

Kylie Minogue Wines’ Alcohol-Free Sparkling Rosé is just 22 calories per 100ml which is around 80 less calories per glass than a standard glass of prosecco, making it a lighter alternative. (Source: 125ml glass of 12% ABV Prosecco contains around 108 calories).

According to Minogue she is over the moon with the incredible response to the latest addition to the Kylie Minogue Wines portfolio. “Our first zero-alcohol wine and a truly sparkling example of  what can be achieved in this area! This really is a tribute to my amazing Kylie Minogue Wines team – ever since we launched, we have focused on delivering many varietals of innovative and high-quality wine, for every occasion and person, worldwide. Our Zero Percent Sparkling Rosé is no exception, and I am beyond thrilled it has been received so well. Thank you for the continued support, and cheers to the new year, lovers!” said Minogue.

Makes you Blush!

Is it a rosé? Is it a sauvignon blanc? Villa Maria has created the best of both worlds with a New Zealand Blush Sauvignon. Ninety per cent sauvignon blanc, with just a touch of merlot (10%), Villa Maria Blush Sauvignon delivers the taste experience of New Zealand’s favourite white wine with a pale pink twist.

It feels like everyone is drinking pink these days, says Villa Maria head of marketing and communications, Sarah Szegota. “Instagram feeds and social occasions are dominated by the fun-factor pale rosés and pink spirits offer, and data highlights this rapid growth in rosé. Yet despite all the noise, growth and ‘Grams’, the rosé category remains dwarfed by sauvignon blanc. Villa Maria Sauvignon Blush gives you the best of both.”

“We’ve taken the cool, fresh, leap from the glass energy of our world-renowned Sauvignon Blanc and added a splash of merlot to make a wine with a delicate pink hue, bursting with fresh flavours of passionfruit and cranberry.” Villa Maria ‘s New Zealand Blush Sauvignon is distributed by Barry & Fitzwilliam.

Zesty deliciousness

The newly textured Cointreau cap provides better grip for an easier twist-off while simulating the skin of an orange

Cointreau has launched a redesigned version of its liqueur bottles, which are now made from “two-thirds recycled glass”. Describing the brand refresh as the most momentous of its kind in 140 years, both the bottle and the label have been altered. As well as looking to boost its sustainability credentials by using recycled glass, convenience and practicality was also a consideration when redesigning the bottle. The bottle has been made four millimetres taller to facilitate its grip and make it easier to hold. Similarly, the newly textured cap provides better grip for an easier twist-off while simulating the skin of an orange

However, the bottle still displays traditional design features such as the Cointreau medallion.

Spirit lovers, both past and present, recognise Cointreau as a core building block in premium cocktails creation. Cointreau is the cornerstone of more than 350 internationally renowned cocktails such as the margarita, sidecar and cosmopolitan. It enhances your cocktails with its perfect balance.

“A masterpiece crafted through the unique distillation of all-natural sweet and bitter orange peels, resulting in a crystal clear liqueur that strikes the perfect balance between sweetness and freshness”. For more than 30 years, the finest orange peels are carefully selected by Master Distiller, Carole Quinton, to create the definitive orange liqueur. Cointreau is proudly distributed by Barry & Fitzwilliam.

Made with passion

Passoã is a passion fruit liqueur with a full-bodied sweetness that brings a twist and burst of zest to the palate. Made with real passion fruit from Brazil, Passoã is unmistakably tickled red with an intensely stimulating flavour.

It is the ideal ingredient for simple mixes, easy to make, drink and share. It is the perfect way to add a little passion to your favourite classic and frozen cocktails, with Passoã there are no boundaries to the delicious drinks you can make.

Passoã was created over 30 years ago. Since then, the distinguishing black bottle has become a household name amongst the cocktail novices. Cocktail parties at home are not complete without it. With an ABV of 20%, Passoã is a great low alcohol option, also when served with tonic water or ginger ale. Or the hero cocktail, our favourite the original Porn Star Martini! Proudly distributed by Barry & Fitzwilliam.

Heart and soul

Brian Nation, master distiller of Keeper's Heart Irish American whiskey

Brian Nation, master distiller of Keeper’s Heart Irish American whiskey

Created by whiskey icon Brian Nation, formerly master distiller for some of the most well know Irish whiskeys including Jameson, Redbreast, and Midleton, Keeper’s Heart is a new style of whiskey, bringing together the best of Irish and American whiskey-making traditions. After leaving Ireland in 2021 to move to America and craft Keeper’s Heart with the O’Shaughnessy family, Nation is bringing the unique blend of Irish and American whiskeys home.

Keeper’s Heart Irish + American Whiskey launched in 2021, and quickly expanded its portfolio with Keeper’s Heart Irish + Bourbon. With its innovative liquid and expert craftsmanship, Irish + American became the most awarded new whiskey brand in 2022, including International Wine and Spirits Challenge Platinum, Ultimate Spirits Challenge 94, Critics Challenge International Platinum and Pr%f Award Double Gold honors.

Speaking about the foundation of O’Shaughnessy Distilling Co, co-founder Patrick O’Shaughnessy said:

“What started as an O’Shaughnessy family reunion became the birthplace of Keeper’s Heart, a celebration of our family’s Irish-American heritage.”

“Our great, great grandfather came to the United States from Ireland, and our large extended family has stayed close to our Irish roots. Keeper’s Heart was created to celebrate that. We are extremely proud of the Keeper’s Heart team and the reception the brand has received since we launched. It has made it possible to continue to grow Keeper’s Heart and evolve the liquid offerings, and now, as we begin international distribution, Ireland was at the top of the list. We hope the Irish people enjoy what we have created as much as the American drinkers have.”

Liquid development is led by Master Distiller Brian Nation, who has more than 22 years of experience working on some of the most renowned and high-quality Irish whiskeys in the world.  Born and raised in Cork City, Ireland, he moved to Minnesota following a meeting with the O’Shaughnessy family to embark on a new adventure and create a new style of whiskey, marrying the best of Irish and American whiskey-making traditions.

“I never thought I’d leave Ireland until I met the O’Shaughnessy family and heard what they wanted to create,” said Master Distiller Brian Nation.

“From the beginning, our goal has been to put Keeper’s Heart on the world whiskey map, and today we begin expanding into international markets, sharing our story, our proud Irish-American heritage, and our award-winning liquid portfolio with the global whiskey community. Beginning that journey in Ireland is the perfect first step,” said Mike Duggan, CEO of O’Shaughnessy Distilling Co.

Keepers Heart is available exclusively from Barry & Fitzwilliam.

For more information, please visit


Stealing the show

Orchard Thieves is the #1 consumed cider among 18–24-year-olds

The cider category, the third largest category within LAD, saw consumption reach a new peak in 2022, (+5% vs 2019) aided by one of the warmest summers of the last decade and an eventual return to normal socialising. This uplift in cider has been exponentially driven by 18–24-year-old consumers, commonly referred to as ‘Gen Z’, with whom overall cider consumption and frequency of consumption has hit a 3-year high. Orchard Thieves, as the #1 consumed cider among 18–24-year-old consumers, has played a critical role in driving this cider resurgence.

As part of the Heineken Ireland portfolio, Orchard Thieves benefits from the company’s 125-year heritage in cider and is crafted using the best of traditional cider-making skills. A passion for bringing choice and dynamism to the cider category has also seen the rollout of Orchard Thieves Blood Orange on draught most recently. According to Heineken Ireland marketing director, Wojciech Bogusz, “This flavour innovation guarantees the trusted quality and taste experience that is expected from Orchard Thieves, whilst giving consumers a new slice of flavour refreshment on draught.”

In 2023, Orchard Thieves will continue to delight consumers with unforgettable experiences as part of their ‘Obey Your Instinct’ platform with events planned throughout the year to guarantee another bumper year for Cider.

To find out more about Orchard Thieves, follow @orchardthievescider on Instagram & Facebook or visit

Serving up the taste of summer 2023


Peroni Nastro Azzurro, the number two super premium brand in on-trade packaged lager and the number two super premium lager brand in draught, is invigorating the sunshine beer category with a brand-new, refreshingly light lager – Peroni Nastro Azzurro Stile Capri. The latest innovation from Peroni Nastro Azzurro features a subtle spritz of Italian lemon and lower bitterness to deliver exceptional quality and taste credentials for summer 2023.

Aimed at a younger on-trade consumer searching for great refreshment from the category, brand-new Peroni Nastro Azzurro Stile Capri offers lower bitterness and lower ABV (4.2%) than the original Peroni Nastro Azzurro, with exceptional quality and taste credentials.


Inspired by the taste and scent of Capri, an island in Italy’s Bay of Naples, the new brand from Peroni Nastro Azzurro offers a subtle and lightly aromatic flavour. The launch comes in time for spring and summer, and is ideal for informal occasions. Whether it be music festivals, live sport, picnics, BBQs, or a pub beer garden, Peroni Nastro Azzurro Stile Capri will stand out from the crowd.

Available to consumers to purchase in 24x330ml pack size, from On Premise outlets from the end of May onwards, the new brand will be nationwide by Summer 2023.

Data Source: CGA. Based on sales in the 12 Month period ending 28 February 2023 compared to the 12 Month period ending 28 February 2022 for all measured stores in Republic of Ireland of products in the beer super category in the Lager category of the super premium quality that are packaged.

A 100% malt masterpiece

The Powerscourt Distillery is proud to announce its latest release, a Single Malt whiskey that has everyone talking. Why? Because it is the first distilled whiskey from Co Wicklow in over 100 years! Whiskey enthusiasts and connoisseurs get ready for a new whiskey experience like no other. The Powerscourt Distillery has made history with their latest release – one hundred years since a whiskey has been distilled in the county, 100% malt, 100% distilled on the Powerscourt Estate and 100% Wicklow in a bottle! The Powerscourt Distillery Single Malt is available from 28 April at selected stockists nationwide and from the Powerscourt Distillery and Visitor Centre, plus their online store. RRP for the release is €55.

But don’t take our word for it. Let the whiskey speak for itself. This whiskey’s complex flavour profile boasts a nose filled with toffee, baking spices, vanilla, dessert apples, pears, soft leather, cinnamon, nutmeg, and baked buttered pastry crusts. On the palate, enjoy rich notes of vanilla custard, soft oak, salted caramel, digestives, and tarte tatin, followed by a warming finish complemented by oak spices, soft leather, honeyed almonds, and stewed fruits.

John Cashman, the head of new product development for The Powerscourt Distillery and local Wicklow man from Rathdrum, “Our First Fercullen Single Malt release takes authentic inspiration from our unique location. It is a great honour to be involved in the inaugural release of a whiskey which was completely distilled here in Powerscourt Distillery. The whole team are exceptionally proud of this key milestone in our story, especially our first employee and senior distiller, Johnathan Graham, who, alongside our founding master distiller, supervised the first distillation in 2018. Our award-winning master distiller, Paul Corbett, has curated the final liquid – a sensational single malt worthy of the title “Spirit of Wicklow”.

“The spirit laid down at Powerscourt Distillery in 2018 is of exceptional quality. To have the opportunity to blend these liquids and establish the DNA of Fercullen Single Malt has been an honour.  I look forward to blending many more releases of Powerscourt Distillery liquid in the coming years,” says Paul Corbett, master distiller


Wine of the year!

Rioja Vega Crianza was crowned the winner of the title, Ireland's Wine of the Year at the most recent Irish Wine Show

Rioja Vega Crianza was crowned the winner of the title, Ireland’s Wine of the Year at the most recent Irish Wine Show

Rioja Vega has emerged as a prominent name in the world of Rioja wine, and it is no surprise that Rioja Vega Crianza was crowned the winner of the title, Ireland’s Wine of the Year at the most recent Irish Wine Show hosted by the National Off-Licence Association. The Semi-Crianza was also awarded the gold star for best in category, Old World Red Wine under €12 and these accolades are a testament to the exceptional quality of the wines produced by this renowned winery.

Situated in the heart of Rioja, Spain, Rioja Vega has been crafting outstanding wines for over 140 years. Their wines are a reflection of the unique terroir of the region, which is known for its perfect combination of soil, climate, and grape varieties. The winery uses traditional methods of winemaking, and the wines are aged in oak barrels for an extended period, adding depth and complexity to the final product.

One of the key factors behind the success of Rioja Vega is their commitment to sustainability. The winery is mindful of the impact of their activities on the environment, and they have implemented several initiatives to reduce their carbon footprint. They also work closely with local farmers to promote organic farming practices, which not only benefits the environment but also enhances the quality of the grapes.

Rioja Vega’s rich winemaking tradition dates back to the earliest days of wine culture in the Rioja region, making it one of the few wine cellars with such a storied history. Unlike many others, the origins of Rioja Vega predate the creation of the Denominación de Origen quality guarantee, which has enabled the winery to maintain the use of the Rioja name in its trademark. This is a testament to Rioja Vega’s dedication to preserving the authenticity and heritage of the region’s winemaking traditions.

Rioja Vega produces a range of wines, from entry-level wines to premium blends which are all available from Ampersand Wines. Their Reserva and Gran Reserva wines are also particularly noteworthy, with the latter being aged for at least five years in oak barrels and then further aged in the bottle for several years before release. Rioja Vega wines exhibit a perfect balance of fruit and oak flavours, with a silky texture and a long, lingering finish.

Rioja Vega’s wines have gained a significant following amongst Irish consumers and wine enthusiasts all around the world, and it is no surprise that they have been recognised as the winner of Ireland’s Wine of the Year. This accolade is a testament to the exceptional quality of the wines produced by this renowned winery, and it further cements their position as one of the top Rioja wine producers in the world.

For more information on Rioja Vega or if you would like to order contact your Ampersand representative or call the sales line on 01 4130150.

Introducing ‘Flora Adora’ by Hendrick’s

Hendrick’s Gin reveals a new limited release from its Cabinet of Curiosities. Carefully created using a wildflower bouquet that most entices our nectar loving friends, Hendrick’s Flora Adora offers a bright floral explosion to that signature Hendrick’s style.

Flora Adora is buzzing with an enticing aroma of enchanting flowers and a fresh, herbal character that is classically Hendrick’s in style. The juniper and coriander backbone are lengthened by lush green and wonderfully sweet floral characteristics.

The new gin was curiously perfected by Hendrick’s master distiller, Lesley Gracie, within the Hendrick’s Gin Palace in Southwest Scotland. Lesley loves watching the bees and butterflies at play in her gardens and how they seem to favour particular flowers. With Flora Adora, Lesley has used this favoured floral bouquet, that is most attractive to our precious pollinators, and used them to distil this refreshing floral infusion.

Gracie comments: “I find it really relaxing to watch the butterflies and bees busy at work in the garden. It’s fascinating to me how they seem to settle on some plants more than others. Certain flowers are more enticing to the pollinators and it’s these blooms that I’ve used to create a botanical blend for Hendrick’s Flora Adora.”

Eimear Genin, marketing manager adds: “As with all of the Cabinet of Curiosities releases, the base is always Hendrick’s original gin – made with the same 11 dried botanicals distilled in two utterly dissimilar stills and distinctly consummated with rose and cucumber. Any other additional botanicals are layered on top. In the case of Flora Adora, this is a floral bouquet that is particularly attractive to our flying friends.”

How to serve Flora Adora: Exquisite with tonic and 3 thin slices of cucumber, or perhaps try mixed long in a ‘Wildgarden Cup’ – a medley of fresh mint, cooling cucumber and juicy raspberries lengthened with a refreshing lemon soda.

Embrace the enchanting nature of the garden and its floral bouquet with Hendrick’s FLORA ADORA, available at leading supermarkets and off-licences across the Republic of Ireland now, including Supervalu and Centra. The new gin will also begin rolling out in premium bars across the country from the beginning of April.

For further information please visit


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