A new business accelerator programme which mentors start up drinks companies has revealed its finalists in the first year of its competition.
In Drinks Catalyst supports emerging drinks brands with business advice, publicity and networking and takes place as part of a new national trade show for the drinks sector being staged in Glasgow in March.
Ten finalists across a range of drinks categories have now been selected by an industry judging panel which met last week to assess entries from across the UK. Two winners will be selected at the In Drinks trade show following short presentations from all the finalists.
ADAM HARDIE, Head of Food and Drink at Johnston Carmichael is a sponsor and judge in the programme and commended the start-ups for their efforts to get involved in the competition.
“We’ve received a tremendous number of entries in our first year and we’ve been impressed by the diversity of drinks which have commenced trading recently in difficult market conditions."
“Very many congratulations to all the finalists who now receive free stand space at the show for them to promote their brands and have an opportunity to win a year of business advice, mentoring and introductions.”
Entries in the competition were received from across the UK and covered all major drinks categories including low and no alcohol, beers and alcoholic spirits.
In Drinks Catalyst is also sponsored by the design agency Contagious and Morton Fraser solicitors.
Jason Dobson, Director of Contagious, commented:
“We’re really pleased to have selected ten interesting finalists and I am looking forward to hearing more from them about their brands and ambitions for their business in March.”
Andrew Walker, Partner in Morton Fraser’s corporate team commented:
“It has been fascinating reading and sampling such a large range of entries and hearing about the people behind the brands and their hopes for the future. We are very much looking forward to choosing the winners and working closely with them in the year ahead.”
The In Drinks trade show takes place at the SEC Glasgow on 8 – 9 March 2023. It is free to attend for over 18s working in the drinks sector and visitors can register for their tickets at www.in-drinks.com
The In Drinks Catalyst 2023 Finalists:
Bemuse Limited is a range of non-alcoholic, sparkling mead drinks that are low in sugar. Bemuse reimagines honey-based drinks, encouraging people to ‘Bee inspired to drink differently.’ It is produced by natural fermentation of honey, water and yeast, infused with natural ingredients to create four individual flavours.
Inspired by a family recipe for nettle cordial and a fast growing alcohol-free market, Nuisance Drinks has launched a range of premium, sparkling botanical soft drinks inspired by the British countryside. In three flavours; Wild Bramble & Rosemary; Nettle & Elderflower and Mint, cucumber & chilli, the product balances health consciousness with great taste. All are natural, low calorie and great tasting drinks for the consumer to enjoy using no artificial sweeteners.
Three Robins emerged from a real-life family challenge to find delicious, nutritious and sustainable dairy alternatives for a busy family of three boys. This original oat drink is barista standard, low in sugar and fortified to support families' nutritional needs. It is an oat milk brand which firmly targets the family market with a mission is to create products that children, their parents and the planet will love.
Tongue in Peat
Proudly handcrafted in Glasgow, Tongue In Peat was founded by an avid Bloody Mary drinker searching for a new mixer to give the cocktail an extra kick. By experimenting with fresh, seasonal tomatoes which are cold infused for 12 hours over a peat fire, sourced from the Scottish island of Islay, this peat smoked tomato juice is richer, deeper, more complex in taste than its market rivals.
Great Glen Distillery
Nestled on the banks of Loch Ness, Great Glen Distillery has big ambitions to make the most of its large number of tourist visitors to the area with a range of gins. Recently released, Inverness Gin is full of flavour with deep tones of kombu kelp seaweed and golden chanterelles, add layers of aromatic fennel seed and summer scented elderflower, finishing with a high, bright tones of citrus fruit.
Precision Spirits gin spritzers in ready to drink cans comprise of dry gin, macerated tonic water and are mixed with low calorie lemonade. With a bold and lively brand, the products are targeted firmly at the festival and event market in the growing RTD sector. Products use an abundance of real, natural ingredients including berries, citrus, herbs and botanicals creating a light and fruity taste.
Wee Smoky is a multi-award-winning Scotch whisky brand, designed for a new generation of cocktail enthusiasts. Our smooth, fruity single grain is a wee bit smoky thanks to its finish in peated casks. Embraced by some of the world’s best mixologists, Wee Smoky has ambitious plans to shake up the whisky quite literally.
North Point Distillery
North Point Distillery is producing small batch sustainable spirits from its picturesque location overlooking Crosskirk Bay in Forss, Caithness. Their signature Crosskirk Bay Gin is juniper led with a mix of 17 local and traditional botanicals providing a soft citrus character. The gin is presented at 45.1% ABV as this strikes the perfect balance between heat and retaining those bright citrus notes.
Caru is a premium British brandy liqueur sustainably produced in the UK. Distilled from surplus English wine and sweetened with locally sourced honey, this product reduces waste and supports the bee population. It is a re-imagination of a timelessly elegant spirit. A sweet aroma of brandied raisins, vanilla and fresh orange is followed by velvet cocoa and coffee, light spiced prunes with a subtle hint of ginger on the palate.
Panther M*lk is the world's first oat milk based RTD cocktail. Panther M*lk is a luxurious mix of premium spirits, high quality oat milk, and condensed oat milk available in 4 delicious flavours Vanilla, Strawberry, Mint and Coffee with occasional limited- edition releases. Panther M*lk is the ideal drink for lovers of rich and creamy drinks such as White Russians or Piña Coladas, but due to being made with oat milk has a low carbon footprint making the drink more sustainable, and better for the environment than dairy based brands.