Avuá Cachaça Tiki by the Sea launch

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Cocktail Bartenders! Here’s your chance to win a trip to Rome and celebrate all things Tiki.

Tiki By the Sea is a three-day bartender focused educational and cultural experience which will be based in a private seaside villa outside of Rome, running from September 17th-19th.

50 bartenders from all across Europe will get the chance to travel down for 3 days/2 nights of fun and Tiki education .

The event hosted by Avuá Cachaça in association with Don Q, Drambuie, Appleton and Plantation will feature seminars with expert speakers in Tiki culture, hands-on cocktail workshops and Cachaça and Rum tastings. There will also be time to explore the coastal town of Fregene, beach and pool party’s and, of course, the best of Italian cuisine.

 

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The application process will run from April 1 – May 31.

There are only eight available places from the U.K., five of which will be by application and three of which will be on an incentive promoting Avuá Cachaça.

Applicants can apply here

Dingle ‘Gin of the Month’ at Graphic

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Dingle Gin will be Gin of the month at Graphic Bar

Graphic Bar, one of London’s most famous gin bars located in the heart of Soho, has chosen Dingle Original Gin to be its April Gin of the Month. Graphic has one of the finest collections of gin in the world holding over 300 different gins in its back bar, so having top billing is an extremely prestigious position.

The announcement also coincides with the launch with the annual Graphic Gin-Off competition. 16 Gin brands compete over the summer months to win the Graphic Gin-Off Title. Teams are drawn against each other and over a number of rounds the public vote on their favourite Gin cocktail until only one remains.

This year, Dingle will compete. On Tuesday the draw was made and Dingle will face Kyro Distillery, Pinkster, Scapegrace in Round 2 on the 22nd May.
If you would like to find out more click here

St. Patrick’s Day 2017

This St. Patricks Day was a huge success for Porterhouse Brewing and Dingle Distillery. We here at BBB would like to say a huge thank you to everyone we worked with to bring the best of Irish craft beers and Spirits to the masses.

 


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Dingle Gin proved to be very popular with many bars putting this award winning pot-still spirit front and centre for their Irish celebrations.
It featured in special St. Patricks Day cocktails at The Bloomsbury Club, as a G&T special in The Tiger and at a tasting event in The Tate, as well as many other bars around the country.

 

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Porterhouse Brewing brought with them the authentic Dublin St. Patrick’s Day vibe to many of the craft beer houses up and down the UK. A fistful of stouts like Wrasslers XXXX, a revived recipe from the 1900’s, in ‘Paddy-for-a-day’ customers hands, was an iconic image.

Bars and customers alike were delighted with a craft alternative to a famous stout from Dublin that we shall not mention.

There were tap takeovers across Scotland’s Six° North, The Rake in London Bridge and Hoxton’s Howl at the Moon.

As well as stout, Porterhouse Brewing offered bars IPA, Pilsner and Red Ale for those non-stout drinkers or indeed, those who had had their fill of ‘the black shtuff’.

 

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The year that was 2016

We know that many of you will have spent much of the festive season entertaining customers or indeed family and friends, in what can be a frenetic season for all of us in the drinks and hospitality trade. Nevertheless. the team at Boutique Bar Brands hope you had a fun and hopefully restful Christmas and New Year.

For some of you it may have been a while since we spoke, but 2016 was somewhat of a milestone year for Boutique Bar Brands as we looked to expand our drinks portfolio, build on our efforts championing the best independent drinks producers and introducing new, exciting drinks bands to the UK market.  We wanted to take this opportunity to give you an update on our achievements in 2016, our new brands and our capabilities.

After doubling the size of our team in 2015 (you can read a bit more on our history here) we signed a lease for a dedicated BBB office space in Battersea (SW London), which also couples as a tasting room and events space complete with its own bar!  After a few late nights decorating and building our own furniture, we settled into Out Of Office in February 2016.  Since then we have had the pleasure to host tasting events with American Brewers Association, Bronx Brewery and Yeastie Boys among others.

Island Records Session IPA Launch

Also in February we launched the first Island Records beer; Island Records Session IPA taking over the decks on the Friday night of Craft Beer Rising with music dedicated to the legendary Island Records artists. It is fantastic brand to be involved with and we have been delighted with how the market has reacted to this craft beer and music collaboration.
A proud moment came in the summer when Island Records Session IPA was awarded ‘most innovative marketing’ at the Beer Marketing Awards with the ’Shazam-able’ can functionality.  With national distribution now available and a listing with Matthew Clark just around the corner it is sure to be a big year for this beer. Also look out for the second beer in the range, the Jamaica Porter brewed with rum, vanilla and coconut!

 

Beers from Belgium

In June 2016 BBB were chosen to represent De Brabandere Brouwerij, Belgium’s 10th largest Brewery as their UK agents.  The beer connoisseur might  be familiar with their exceptional Petrus sour beer range which are the world’s first beers designed to be blended together.  Whilst the sour beers were the focus for 2016 we will be launching their unpasteurised pilsner Bavik Super Pils and their Wittekerke Wit in 2017.  We enjoyed a successful (if quite boozy) brewery visit with some key trade customers and media in September 2016.

Expansion into Spirits

In a landmark deal for BBB, we brought on our first spirit contract in June 2016.  Avua Cachaça is an artisanal and sustainably produced spirit from Rio de Janeiro available in steel aged and oak-aged expressions.  Our big challenge is to elevate cachaça outside of its Caipirinha bubble, but with South American cocktails being identified as one of the key cocktail trends of 2017 and some cocktail menu listings in premium London cocktail bars coming in January 2017, hopefully we are at the start of a deserved evolution of the category.

Our second spirit followed relatively soon afterwards with drinks entrepreneur Dave Wallwork assigning us with the task of launching a completely new spirits category with his Nordic inspired spirit made from 100% birch water called Freya.  We enjoyed seeing Simon Rimmer and Tim Lovejoy try Freya on Channel 4’s Sunday Brunch on New Year’s Day! See how we have got on with Freya so far here.

 

Off-Trade Success

We are proud that 2016 has also seen our off-trade business develop.  In April 2016 we achieved a national listing for Bellerose in Marks & Spencer’s followed by Cranes cranberry and blood orange liqueur hitting the shelves in Partridges.  Now you can shop online at Whisky Exchange or Master of Malt to pick up our spirits and Ales By Mail for our beers.  London based consumers can stroll into any Borough Wines branch dotted around the city to pick up a few of our beery tipples. Island Records was featured in Beer52’s November box for their 9,000 subscribers alongside a beer and art feature in the Ferment Magazine.  The team from Island Records even developed a Spotify Playlist matching each beer in the box with a track from the Island Records back catalogue.  Jazzy.

BBB Ventures North

As the number of clients almost doubled in 2016 it was obvious that we needed to increase our presence in the North of England and Scotland.  George Tudor-Williams came on board as our man in the North covering Liverpool, Manchester and Leeds. Those of you in Scotland will be familiar with Charlie’s trips up to build sales North of the border, the success of which eventually led to BBB hiring Faye Woodcock as our Scottish Account Manager.

Not Standing Still

Throughout 2016 Charlie and Phil have been busy running countless tasting and educational events including Petrus blending sessions, beer and food pairings and were successfully beaten in our very own beer pong tournament.  Along the way we have consulted on a beer list for London’s first dedicated beer and food restaurant as well as advising on all the beer and food pairings for the menu.  We have also worked with two London based restaurant chains develop their ‘own label’ beers.

Tripling our headcount in the space of 12 month certainly caused some headaches and sleepless nights, as any small business will attest to.  Luckily we managed to weather the storms and even found time to refresh the BBB website and launch a brand new website for our dedicated events business The House of Boda, with help from our talented designers Blank Design.

 

Not ones to stand still, as the end of 2016 approached we even had time to agree to work with Porterhouse Brewery from Dublin and their sister company Dingle Distillery (from the West Coast of Ireland) to manage both brands in the UK.

In the last throws of 2016 we employed Kirsten Jarin, a London based drinks enthusiast who has built up her own extensive network in the London pub and bar scene through her various jobs in the industry. Kirsten’s contacts and her knowledge of all things beer and spirits related has already proved invaluable to the business in the short time she has been with us.

The next twelve months of 2017 will undoubtedly be another busy year for us as we aim to continue to work hand in hand with you; our colleagues in the drinks industry.  Our aim for 2017 is to work closer with all of you introduce you to new premium and ludicrously tasty products to help satisfy the continual evolving needs of your customers.

We ask that you take a look at our portfolio of drinks and please get in touch at any time if you would like a sample or a meeting to discuss our products and how we can add value to your business, especially if you are reviewing your beer or cocktail list for 2017.  Equally, if they are not for you at the present time, I hope you will recommend our products to anyone who you think might be interested.

You can contact any of the team at their first name @boutiquebarbrands.com or call 0207 585 2294.

Best of luck for the year ahead.

Don, Phil, Lee, Charlie, Kirsten, George and Faye

Boutique Bar Brands

LATEST NEWS…

Avuá Cachaça Tiki by the Sea launch

  Cocktail Bartenders! Here’s your chance to win a trip to Rome and celebrate all things Tiki. Tiki By the Sea is a three-day bartender focused educational and cultural experience which will be based in a private seaside villa outside of Rome, running from...

read more

Dingle ‘Gin of the Month’ at Graphic

  Dingle Gin will be Gin of the month at Graphic Bar Graphic Bar, one of London’s most famous gin bars located in the heart of Soho, has chosen Dingle Original Gin to be its April Gin of the Month. Graphic has one of the finest collections of gin in the...

read more

St. Patrick’s Day 2017

This St. Patricks Day was a huge success for Porterhouse Brewing and Dingle Distillery. We here at BBB would like to say a huge thank you to everyone we worked with to bring the best of Irish craft beers and Spirits to the masses.     Dingle Gin proved to be...

read more

The Young and Hungry

In a recent report produced by the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers, in partnership with CGA, findings show that young people aged 19-24 are binge drinking less and are in fact, favouring to spend their money on eating out.

With this generation rapidly becoming a foodie generation thanks to the influence of celebrity chefs and reality cooking programs, young consumers are eating out on average 5 to 6 times per month. And they aren’t just eating at the usual chains. Now conscious of things such as provenance, and calibre of ingredients, younger diners are choosing quality and are making the effort to support new local businesses.

Provenance is a buzz word that gets thrown about in many food and drink related articles these days, but what does it actually mean? Provenance, if you will, is the story of the food or drink you’re having; where did it come from? Who produced it? How far did it travel before it ended up on your plate or in your glass?

Why does this matter? Provenance not only impacts on freshness, which in turn impacts on nutrition  – who wants asparagus that has travelled 6000 miles from Peru and has sat in cold storage for weeks – but actively pursuing a product’s provenance gives consumers the power to support local farms and food producers. It also makes one conscious of seasonality, something we all should pay attention to more.

We are so used to having everything available all year that true seasonality is something a lot of people don’t understand. With the influx of imported fruit and veg, consumers are spoilt for choice, but may indeed be choosing things that are spoiled.

With key figures in the food and drink world driving the importance of seasonality and buying local, this is influencing young consumers and their food choices, which is a terrific thing.

Just because the rise of eating out is on the up, and nights of binge drinking are in decline, this is great for the drinks industry, as it means people are enjoying food and drink together and are becoming more interested in matching their food and drink. Their knowledge of what they are drinking is growing and palates are becoming more adventurous and discerning.

This is reflected in the rise of younger people returning to classic cocktails such as the martini and the old fashioned; gin and whisky were seen as old people’s drinks for decades, however, the reinvigoration of these markets is thanks to the young ditching vodka and its blandness and wanting drinks with flavour. The boom of gin producers over the last six years is certainly evidence of the demand for younger consumers preferring products with a story, products made by people and not companies and products made from quality ingredients.

Likewise the younger crowd has played a role in craft beer boom; London has so many wonderful small breweries and their open days are jam-packed with the under 30s enjoying their IPAs and oatmeal stouts – a drink that was vehemently out of vogue until recent times.

Education is why these changes are occurring. With information so readily available these days through the internet, social media and mainstream television and print media, consumers before they consume the actual food and drink, have consumed the knowledge and information behind it, and it is this digestion of facts that will better equip everyone, consumer and producer alike, to create a vibrant and thriving food and drink scene.

LATEST NEWS…

Avuá Cachaça Tiki by the Sea launch

  Cocktail Bartenders! Here’s your chance to win a trip to Rome and celebrate all things Tiki. Tiki By the Sea is a three-day bartender focused educational and cultural experience which will be based in a private seaside villa outside of Rome, running from...

read more

Dingle ‘Gin of the Month’ at Graphic

  Dingle Gin will be Gin of the month at Graphic Bar Graphic Bar, one of London’s most famous gin bars located in the heart of Soho, has chosen Dingle Original Gin to be its April Gin of the Month. Graphic has one of the finest collections of gin in the...

read more

St. Patrick’s Day 2017

This St. Patricks Day was a huge success for Porterhouse Brewing and Dingle Distillery. We here at BBB would like to say a huge thank you to everyone we worked with to bring the best of Irish craft beers and Spirits to the masses.     Dingle Gin proved to be...

read more

That’s the Spirit…..for Beer Drinkers

So I had the challenge of trying to educate the rest of the BBB team on the subtleties and complexities of premium spirits. Most of the team have come from a solely beer background so it was an interesting prospect for myself to introduce them to the higher end of the market and combat some of the misconceptions of certain categories that the mass market brands have created.

We started off on the white spirits with a 5 times distilled Vodka called AKA which has then been pot stilled. Being the first spirit we tried the first nose and sip of the liquid generated a few interesting facial reactions. But they soon started rolling it around their pallets (like you would a fine wine) a few times and adapting their “nosing” technique. By this I mean going to and from the glass to acclimatise your nostrils to the alcohol and sniffing gently. Not the large inhale you would do to try and detect the notes from a beer.

Anyway on to the spirit itself, the guys were pretty good when it came to the flavour combinations they detected. Notes of Vanilla, lemon and a rich body that rolled over the tongue rather than attacked the back of your throat like some entry level brands. The overall reaction was positive and a group consensus was that the pot stilling finish really helped round the liquid nicely, 4 stars

Moving swiftly on to a couple of Gin’s. The first being Ish a London dry gin actually from London (believe it or not this is more unusual than it sounds, as ‘London Dry Gin’ is a style not an appellation d’origine contrôlée) Ish is a heavily Juniper led Gin with notes of Grapefruit, pepper on the tongue. Again the smoothness of the Gin was appreciated by the team, with the Gin Martini being the cocktail of choice. Murmurs around the table of ‘that was quite tasty for straight Gin, quite smooth wasn’t it’.

“Right Tequila is up next”, as the groans rang out I poured a Herencia Mexican Blanco. “7 year old Agave is harvested” “What’s Agave?” One of the team asked. Well it’s a flowering green plant (Succulent) that is from the same classification as cactus and the type used for Tequila is Blue Agave. This for me was probably the category I had expected the biggest reaction in, mainly due to the terrible way a lot of Tequilas on the market are usually consumed (salt, throw the cheapest Tequila you can find down your throat and then suck on lemon). Funnily enough when you have good tequila, of which there are many out there it’s a totally difference proposition. Sweet aroma’s of strawberry and pineapple. A little bit of caramel (not from any additives, but due to the altitude and soil type) plus a peppery tingle on the tongue. Delightful and that opinion was shared around the table.  “Do you have any more we can have?”

Next, Rum. A White Rum from Atlantico Platino first. After a bit of background on the production process which for this rum involves both Molasses and sugar cane aged separately for two years and then married together for another 2. Charcoal filtering brings the colour back to clear and you’ve got an incredible White Rum great with Tonic Water (Nothing too citrus or overpowering, So 1724 would be my first choice but Fever Tree does a nice job too and is more accessible).  The team picked out the vanilla richness, notes of citrus but the overwhelming flavour was Cream Soda of all things. Their tiny little minds had been blown by a white rum that tasted incredible, rather than the usual garbage you get in generic rum and coke. It’s the same as the beer world I explained ‘there are thousands of Rums out there with different flavour combinations, by only tasting the lower end of the market you miss out on the whole category. It’s like saying I’ve tried Carling and therefore don’t like lager/beer’

The jewel in the Atlantico Crown is the Private cask. Up to 25 year old Rum aged in a solera process. If you are not familiar with the process (as the team weren’t) it involves the stacking of barrels of all different ages of rum to allow them to combine to create a well-balanced Rum) The rich smooth syrup like older rums with that balance of green apple like sharpness flavours and strong body from the younger rums creates a beautiful product. The aging process with rum happens a lot quicker than with spirits such as Whisky (circa 3 times faster, due to the climate differences between the UK and Rum producing areas such as the Caribbean, Central America etc.)

It’s nice to be able to teach the rest of the BBB team something for once rather than them teaching me the nuances of different styles of beer’s and brands. Particularly with a two Beer Sommeliers amongst the team I am usually playing the role of pupil.

We now have two extremely high quality spirits brands in our portfolio;

 

FREYA

The first pure wild spirit. Distilled from Nordic wild birch sap. A new clean, pure white spirit. Unique taste, full flavour. Wild origins. Unique taste. Craft production. Premium quality. 40% ABV

AVUA

Avuá Cachaça is a single-sourced and pot distilled spirit from a 3rd generation distillery farm 4 hours from Rio de Janeiro, and comes in both 42% silver Prata and the unique South American indigenous  40% Amburana wood aged expressions.

Contact if you would like to find out more – info@boutiquebarbrands.com

LATEST NEWS…

Avuá Cachaça Tiki by the Sea launch

  Cocktail Bartenders! Here’s your chance to win a trip to Rome and celebrate all things Tiki. Tiki By the Sea is a three-day bartender focused educational and cultural experience which will be based in a private seaside villa outside of Rome, running from...

read more

Dingle ‘Gin of the Month’ at Graphic

  Dingle Gin will be Gin of the month at Graphic Bar Graphic Bar, one of London’s most famous gin bars located in the heart of Soho, has chosen Dingle Original Gin to be its April Gin of the Month. Graphic has one of the finest collections of gin in the...

read more

St. Patrick’s Day 2017

This St. Patricks Day was a huge success for Porterhouse Brewing and Dingle Distillery. We here at BBB would like to say a huge thank you to everyone we worked with to bring the best of Irish craft beers and Spirits to the masses.     Dingle Gin proved to be...

read more