When I went to Blair Castle to become a Keeper of the Quaich all those years ago, it was a very memorable occasion. Not least because of the exalted company I was in. So a massive congrats to Mark Thomson of Glenfiddich who has recently become a Keeper, and to Stephen Rankin who has become a Master of the Quaich, an honour which has only
been bestowed on 200 people worldwide. A Keeper is someone is who recognised for their contribution to producing or promoting Scotch whisky.
There has been plenty going on of late, and too many events for us to get to. But the recent Glenfiddich Market Report
launch threw up some interesting facts, although we did have to press for Scottish Statistics… and they are great. In fact, Scotland is outperforming the rest of the UK when it comes to Malt Whisky – on average a Scottish pub sells £4.5K of malt whisky a year more than double total GB. And when it comes to gin pubs, in Scotland they sell £10K+ plus
a year compared to £8K+ for Total GB. Well done everyone. Mind you, I am sure some of you sell a lot more than that!
I can’t believe the Bier Halle is celebrating its 20th anniversary this month. It doesn’t seem that long ago that we were covering the launch of the bar and for some reason, we were doing a photoshoot which involved taking a Vespa down the stairs… with a gentleman called Gordon Shon. I’m sure I have a photo somewhere. One thing is for sure, Colin Barr has as much enthusiasm for beer now as he did then! Congrats to the whole team.
Andy Gemmell has always been at the forefront of change in the trade, and now that he is running his own pub, The Gate,
in Glasgow’s Gallowgate, he is bringing some fresh ideas to the party. He has just launched Reset. Every Monday from 4pm
they are having an alcohol-free event with ‘bangin’ drinks and a DJ. He is also opening from 10am every Monday offering free
space for brand reps and the trade to meet and have a coffee.
Still on the subject of Andy, he got the opportunity to interview David Beckham recently when he was in The Gate shooting an advert. Any excuse to put Andy on the Cover! The Crab Shakk in Finnieston got a visit too. Here’s hoping David enjoyed his stay in Glasgow and that he will make a return visit soon.
On the subject of rates, Lisa Wishart has devised a spreadsheet to collate information on rates and look at whether sq ft would be a better option. If you would like a copy of the spreadsheet, let me know. I’ve sent it to quite a few people in the hope of getting a snapshot of what changing to Sq ft would mean and if it would be fairer. It’s part of the ‘Fair Rates for All’
campaign. Email me directly and I will send it to you email@example.com
I headed down to the launch of the new Arran Malt rebrand as we went to press. I have to say I have a soft spot for Arran Malt. In 1998 I headed across to the island for its launch. Scots actor Ewan McGregor was the guest of honour … it was a memorable day.
Next month we have our review of the year, but we will also have a look back at the last nine years