Hooch, Reef, VK and Amigos Tequila Beer maker, Global Brands are set to release Buddy’s Bourbon flavoured beer, a 5.1% ABV bottled beer aimed at 18-24 year old males which celebrates the legend of JW Buddy, a man whose disrespect for convention is embodied in the strap line, ‘Make Your Own Rules’. Licensed by Buddy’s Brewhouse in Michigan, USA, it combines beer with honey, sugar, and bourbon.
Following their tie up with Bury band Elbow, Stockport brewer Robinsons have now teamed up with heavy metal legends Iron Maiden to make a new cask ale. Trooper, which is named after the group's 1983 Top 20 hit, will be released in May 2013. The 4.8% ABV cask ale, and 4.7% ABV bottled variety are both made using Bobec, Goldings and Cascade hops. Frontman Bruce Dickinson said " I thought I'd died and gone to heaven when we were asked to create our own beer" before adding "I was very nervous", despite selling over 100 million records, as "Robinsons are the only people I have had to audition for in 30 years." [click here for video]
Britain's biggest brewer, Carling is set to launch a new ginger beer into their low alcohol Zest range this month, following the success of their Summer Edition Citrus and Winter Edition Lightly Spiced Orange flavours. It is hoped that this 2.8% ABV ginger flavoured lager will attract female drinkers due to its "light, refreshing flavour" and a huge £5.3 million advertising campaign.
The annual Sunday Times 100 Best Companies To Work For list features some of Manchester's bar and restaurant operators. American chain TGI Fridays, which opened their largest branch in the world in Manchester's Royal Exchange this summer, finished third overall (behind a national radio operator and a Swansea financial services company). They boast an incredibly low staff turnover ratio for the industry at just 25%. Former TGI Friday bartender Tim Bacon went on to create Knutsford based Living Ventures, who own Grill On The Alley, Gusto, The Alchemist, Australasia and The Oast House amongst others. They ranked 9th overall (third best restaurant group) despite a relatively high staff turnover of 42%. Ashton-under-Lyne's Inventive Leisure, who own Revolution and Revolucion de Cuba ranked 25th overall (4th best bar) despite a high staff turnover of 48%. Other establishments with a Manchester presence included Las Iguanas (79th) whilst in the large company category, InterContinental Hotels (3rd), Marriott (7th), Whitbread, owners of Costa, Brewer's Fayre and Beefeater (10th) and Hilton (22nd) all ranked high with empoylees. Something to bear in mind if you're looking for a new job.
The best selling whisky in Scotland, The Famous Grouse, have released their new Ginger Grouse 4% ABV alcoholic ginger beer across the UK following success north of the border. Made with The Famous Grouse whisky, ginger and citrus, it is best served over ice with a wedge of lime. In what is an ever-growing ginger beer market, a £4million advertising campaign is set to push the bolder, more energetic and adventurous product to a younger, new breed of consumer for the 117 year old company.
Revolucion De Cuba has introduced Bachata Beer to its drinks range. Named after the genre of music derived from Cuban boleros which combines Latin, Caribbean and African rhythms, the smooth, easy drinking 5.3% ABV beer is made by blending a quality malty lager with Cuban golden rum and a dash of orange zest. Bachata is being distributed by Manchester drinks company Flagship Brands, who are also responsible for importing Russian Flagship Vodka and the distinctive Estonian Viru beer.
One of New Zealand's most iconic and well-known wineries, Brancott Estate, is set to release 3500 individually numbered, limited edition bottles of their new Chosen Rows Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc (2010). Expected to retail around £35, the wine is the result of nearly a decade’s worth of work called 'The Icon Project' and is being compared to the top names from Bordeaux, Burgundy and Loire.
The opening date of Black Dog Ballroom's brilliantly named bowling alley, Dog Bowl, has been announced as the 2nd April 2013. Located in the old Cocotoo unit on Whitworth Street West, just around the corner from Black Dog Ballroom NWS, the late night venue will feature a New York style bar and diner alongside five bowling lanes complete with cheeky ball dispensers inspired by the brand's own black dog, Bruce the Patterdale Terrier.
As the appeal of clear spirits for bartenders continues to increase, especially amongst Manchester's artisan cocktail bars, drinks distributor Hi-Spirits has started importing limited supplies of the unaged and barrelled Buffalo Trace White Dog Mash #1. Formerly only available from the distillery's gift shop in Kentucky, the unaged spirit, traditionally nicknamed ‘moonshine', is bottled at 62.5% ABV, and can be used to add extra flavour to cocktail recipes. Its ‘cleaner’ character makes it ideal for infusing with flavours such as fruit and herbs. [click here to buy online]
Following support from 5plus Architects and the local business community, the members' hospitality suite at The Royal Exchange Theatre has undergone a facelift. Located In the Victorian boardroom of the old Cotton Exchange, the dark and dated room has been modernised without losing the history, becoming more connected with the actual theatre. It retains the original wood panelled boardroom of the building, whilst an old fireplace has also been resurrected.
Live music venue and iconic Manchester nightclub The Ritz has submitted a planning application to allow mixed martial arts and boxing events. ~ 19th March 2013
The first lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community cafe in the North West is set to open on he 24th April. Sidney St Cafe, at the LGBT Centre just off Oxford Road, will open during the daytime on Wednesdays and Thursdays and will be staffed by volunteers. ~ 19th Mar
Whal Bar, the popular student bar and music venue in Fallowfield, is on the market for £94,950. ~ 19th Mar
The team behind The Belle Epoque restaurant in Knutsford have taken over the beautiful Rose 'n Crown on King's Street in the town. It's set to reopen as The Rose ‘n Crown Chophouse this week. ~ 19th Mar
Former Manchester United captain Gary Neville has bought the former Northern Stock Exchange building which is home to Stock Italian Restaurant. It's rumoured he plans to turn part of the Grade II listed building into a private members' club. ~ 15th March 2013
Bristol based chain Loungers, who have 12 venues around the UK, including Brasco Lounge in Liverpool, are set to open a neighbourhood cafe bar in Manchester this Spring. ~ 15th March 2013
50 fire fighters were called to tackle a blaze which broke out at Panacea in Alderley Edge, mainly affecting the area which was soon to open as a new Piccolino restaurant. This is the second "suspicious" fire to hit the celebrity haunt, after it was completely burnt down in 2008 just days ahead of its relaunch following a £3.8 million refurbishment. ~ 12th March 2013
Pure in The Printworks is to reopen this Spring as The Bierkeller, a huge Bavarian-themed party bar which currently has branches in Leeds, Blackpool and Liverpool. Expect themed rooms, oompah music, live sports and steins of draught German beers served by staff in lederhosen and dirndl dresses. ~ 4th Mar
Didsbury is set to get a new bar with The Didsbury Lounge set to open on March 18th in the former Lloyds Pharmacy on Barlow Moor Road. ~ 25th Feb