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Back in the 1980s heyday of advertising there were a handful of TV channels and newspapers, limited out-of-home media spots, and no accurate viewing figures, detailed audience profi ling or attention data. The ad industry had to be incredibly creative to stand out and attract attention.

Drinks stores are continuously looking for new ways to stand out and remain profitable, and one potential way to do this is to become a hybrid business, blurring the lines between retailing and the on-trade.

The latest beer review

07 September, 2023

Jeff Evans appraises four recently-released beers

Sustainability. It sounds good, modern, well-meaning, the sort of thing New Labour might have come up with. But what exactly are we talking about when we talk about sustainability? 

Tom Harvey, co-founder of YesMore marketing agency, says it’s time for drinks producers and retailers to give careful consideration to sacrificing easy wins in favour of genuine steps to secure the future of the planet

Received wisdom says that branded spirits won’t sell in significant volumes in convenience stores. They do, of course, but to sell them successfully requires understanding how. Theoretically, establishing an attractive, well-stocked fixture incorporating well-known spirit brands should get sales rolling.

Back in 2016, I was met with a mixture of ridicule, astonishment, disdain and – sometimes, but less often – admiration when I started talking about how I thought there was a gap in the market for alcohol-free craft beer.

As Accolade Wines launches its Stakeholder Partnership Charter, Caroline Thompson-Hill, the company’s managing director for Europe, explains why this is a crucial move for the wider trade

The latest beer review

28 June, 2023

In the latest beer review, Jeff Evans appraises four recently released beers

When I first moved to London, I kept a list of restaurants and bars that I wanted to try. In the decade that followed I eventually gave up because the rate at which new places opened and old ones closed made the list more effort than it was worth. 

The planned changes to alcohol duty will see sweeping changes from August 1 this year, which will have a seismic impact on the way wine is bought, sold and made.

The latest beer review

02 May, 2023


At a recent in-store tasting, I showed a fashionable wine from a much talked-about producer in an up-and-coming area. Almost everyone hated it; some merely disliked it. 

While the debate in Scottish parliament continues regarding the contentious deposit return scheme, and whether to grant small business an additional year to comply or not, the result for Scottish customers will remain the same in the end, believes Richard Davis from Bristol's DBM Wines. 

Connecting with other local businesses is a good way to expand your reach, establish your place in the community, and attract new customers. Whether a partnership involves a simple recommendation or a full-on collaborative tasting event, there are many ways to get involved with other businesses to generate buzz – and sales – for both parties. 

The latest beer review

01 March, 2023

Jeff Evans back with the first beer review of 2023

It’s hard to believe that just a year ago we were emerging from Covid, having escaped a Christmas lockdown by the skin of our teeth. We had, although we didn’t quite dare to believe it, a more-or-less Covid-free year ahead of us. 

Sober Cellar founder Stuart Boorman outlines the evolution of alcohol-free drinks and offers recommendations for retailers looking to boost their low/no range

Manchester-based brewer Beer Nouveau compiled a list of 83 British breweries that closed in 2022 in the wake of Covid and soaring costs. The list comprised only those who’d gone public about their closure and didn’t include Beer Nouveau itself, which revealed in October that it was calling time.

Ten years ago, the prospect of putting wine in a can was little more than an unthinkable, undrinkable one. So how did canned wine come to be a mainstay on our supermarket shelves? And as of this month, replace the majority of mini wine bottles in Waitrose? Henry Connell, co-founder of canned wine company The Uncommon offers his take. 

One of the pleasures of running a bricks-and-mortar shop is the interaction with customers who are, for the most part, pleasant, engaged and enthusiastic about wine. You’re probably expecting a sardonic punchline, but no, it’s true. 

A pre-Christmas football World Cup offers an unprecedented sales opportunity, says David Louis, sales & marketing director of Field Sales Solutions

a man behind a bar holding a small glass of rum

As we find ourselves in one of the most challenging economic environments in recent history, there will be many trying to plan what the impact will be.

The October beer review

19 October, 2022

Jeff Evans back with his bimonthly beer review.

“It’s a naïve domestic Burgundy without any breeding, but I think you’ll be amused by its presumption.” 

While Heineken’s recent 100% buyout of London’s Beavertown Brewery has brought despair from many quarters of the craft brewing scene, many commentators regarded it as inevitable.

NielsenIQ’s Homescan survey in February showed that 53% of shoppers are looking for packaging that is “easy to recycle” and 26% want products with minimal or no packaging. With most drinks products coming in easily recyclable glass bottles or cans, the sector has potentially got a head start on some other FMCG categories, but there are new initiatives coming along to bring about further improvement. 

We have come a long way from the early low-intervention wines, which hit shelves in the UK around a decade ago. Volatile, expensive, and often unexpectedly fizzy, many had me gasping in relative joy at the first glass of stringy claret afterwards. 

The August beer review

26 July, 2022

Jeff Evans back with his bimonthly beer review.

Breaching geographical and flavour barriers holds the key to unlocking future cider sales, says Daniel Hooper, co-founder of YesMore drinks marketing agency