Welsh drinks producers get into the festive spirit with the launch of the ‘Make It A Welsh Drinks Christmas’ event

Over 100 drinks producers in Wales are coming together to create the first ever ‘Make It A Welsh Drinks Christmas’ event to showcase the quality and diversity of Welsh drinks produced across the country ahead of the festive season.

Make It A Welsh Drinks Christmas is being co-ordinated by the Welsh Drinks Cluster and consumers will see an abundance of activity across the campaign – from events to competitions – all hosted by Welsh drinks producers from every sector, including wine, beer, cider, spirits, water, soft drinks, health drinks, tea and coffee.

The campaign’s website is set to launch on Monday 9th November and the festivities begin from 23rd November, with a range of online events hosted by drinks producers from across Wales. Through virtual tastings, online tours and meet the expert sessions, each event will give consumers insights into the industry and specific businesses, including the chance to discover more about the best Welsh drinks products available to buy ahead of Christmas and the New Year period.

Events already confirmed include tasting sessions from Colwyn Bay based brewery Snowdown Craft Beer, Machynlleth gin firm Dyfi Distillery and Anglesey wine producer Red Wharf Bay Vineyard. Live workshops will be hosted by kombucha producer Absorb Health on festive whole foods and fermented drinks, while Cardiff Distillery’s mixologists will be creating delicious cocktails for attendees to follow and make themselves.

Consumers will be able to find their local drinks producers from all corners of Wales using the interactive maps on the website. Using the maps, consumers can then click through to the producers’ websites to buy directly from them. There will also be competitions and industry reviews to complement the events calendar.

The Welsh Drinks Cluster, funded by Welsh Government, works in partnership with drinks businesses, retailers and wholesalers to create a thriving and developing Welsh drinks sector comprising of innovative and energetic producers of distinctive high-quality drinks. It is launching the Make It A Welsh Drinks Christmas event to support producers who have seen a decline in on-trade and hospitality sales this year ahead of what should be one of the busiest times of the year for drinks producers.

Consumers will have access to exclusive competitions on the dedicated Make It A Welsh Drinks Christmas website. Drinks producers hosting tasting events will release information on the products being showcased in advance of their event, with attendees encouraged to buy a bottle beforehand to sample during the tasting event to be part of the experience.

Food & Drink Wales Industry Board drinks representative, Norma Barry, said: “With people across the world still continuing to fight the coronavirus pandemic, we know this year’s Christmas will look very different to normal. The burgeoning and internationally respected Welsh drinks industry has felt the impact of coronavirus with less tourism meaning a decline in cellar door sales, and hospitality and on-trade sales equally taking a hit.

“Despite the challenges facing them this year, Welsh drinks producers in every sector have been working harder than ever to make premium quality produce. The aim of the Make It A Welsh Drinks Christmas is to ensure that Welsh beverages play a part in people’s Christmas this year. Whether it’s to buy as a gift or drink during Christmas dinner, let’s support our independent Welsh drinks producers as the year draws to a close.”

The Make It A Welsh Drinks Christmas initiative hopes to drive awareness and increase visibility of all Welsh drinks producers, guiding consumers towards businesses on their doorsteps and across Wales.

Minister for Environment, Energy & Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths, said: “In the face of many challenges during these unprecedented times, food and drink producers across Wales have continued to work, to protect jobs and create products that celebrate all that Wales has to offer. The launch of Make It A Welsh Drinks Christmas is an opportunity for us all to support the ongoing resilience of our food and drinks sector.”

The full events calendar for Make It A Welsh Drinks Christmas is due to be released in the following weeks on the official website http://www.welshdrinkschristmas.co.uk.