New Bavarian beers coming soon!

Bavarian Beer Horses

The first load of our fantastic new Bavarian beers will arrive within the next 2.5 weeks. It’ll be shipped by truck and ferry, and not by horse, don’t worry. Meanwhile we will be supplying you with snippets of information about the delicious beers and the quality craft brewery behind them to whet your appetite! As the Bavarians say: Prosit!

T-shirts and accessories

A range of accessories have been added to our website that have previously been available only to in-store customers.

We have some great gadgets for keeping wine fresh once opened and new easy to use corkscrews so there’s no struggle with traditional closures.

If you’re a fan of The Alcohol-Free Shop, you can now spread the word with our lovely, top-quality, branded T-shirts.

If you’re going Dry for January, wear it to let people know you’re off the booze!

Go to accessories …

It's now even easier to choose alternatives to booze!

We know how busy you are and how difficult it can be to choose a selection of drinks from our extensive range.

To save you time, we’ve done the selecting for you and come up with a new range of pre-mixed cases.

The pre-mixed cases offer you the chance to try our wines, beers, wheat beers and dark ales in convenient product packs.

View our mixed cases of beer and our mixed cases of wine!

Non-drinkers have friends who drink

I went out for drinks last night in Manchester with a few friends – some of whom I already knew in ‘real life’, some of whom I only knew from twitter.

We had a brilliant evening in the Northern Quarter and visited three bars.

The first bar, 57 Thomas Street, run by Marble Breweries, served alcohol-free Erdinger. I knew this because I’d been in a few days before and enjoyed it there then. They keep it in the main fridge with the other beers so it’s nice and cold, they serve it with real Erdinger glasses, and they don’t blink when you ask for one.

The second bar we went to was Odd, further up the same street. I asked the dreaded question “Do you have any alcohol-free beer?” to be told “No, sorry”. When I said that was a shame and maybe they should, the bar man genuinely seemed to agree as if to say “Yes, enough people ask for it but …”.

I had to have a Fentimans Dandelion and Burdock. Not a bad drink but not something I really wanted on a night out after a great beer like Erdinger.

The third, and final, venue of the night was Common on Edge Street. A really nice bar with a great atmosphere and good music. Considering the age of our table (most of us in our 40s) we didn’t feel out of place even though many people there were younger. Mind you, we weren’t the oldest in there – Mark E Smith, of The Fall, was there and he has a few years on all of us!

At the bar I again asked the question… ‘Do you have any alcohol-free beer?”

The reply was a very stern “NO”.

“Oh”, I replied as cheekily and politely as I could, “perhaps you should?”

“NO”, came the equally stern reply.

“Oh, why not?”

“BECAUSE”, and I’m using capitals as she was basically shouting at me, “THEY TASTE SHIT”.

“Oh, well I’m the customer and I’d like one but … ” I trailed off, rather stunned, as I looked at the choice of ‘soft drinks’.

Apart from the absolutely dreadful customer service, and the fact she shouted and swore at me, I was shocked by the general attitude. I didn’t particularly like her nose-ring, but I didn’t feel the need to shout that at her.

How one person, who has probably never tasted an alcohol-free beer, never mind the near two dozen we sell, can say this I have no idea. It’s like saying all wine is ‘shit’ because you once tried Blue Nun in the 1970s and didn’t like it.

We ended up staying in Common for the rest of the evening. The company I was in made it a wonderful evening, but I drank far more bottles of Coke than I enjoyed.

All three bars are ‘trendy’ and modern. But the range of attitudes to alcohol-free beer went from (nearly) one extreme to the other. The Marble pub could have stocked more choice but at least they had an alcohol-free beer and a good one too.

Everyone else I was with, except for one friend who joined later on and who was driving, was drinking alcohol – beer, wine, cocktails etc.

Next time we’re out I’ll be doing my best keep us at the venues that provide all of us with the drinks we want. At around £35 a round of drinks, that’s a far bit of cash the other venues will miss out on for the sake of stocking an alcohol-free beer and treating all their customers with respect.

I liked Common and would like to return with my friends. Maybe the landlord would like to contact The Alcohol-Free Shop, if only for some tips on customer service.

Have you tried Whissin and Ginger?

Eva, our manager in Manchester, has discovered a new personal favourite – Rochester Ginger and Whissin. She’s enjoying snuggling up with her cat Dobby in front of her log fire and enjoying this great combination. She warms the ginger up in the microwave first, then adds a splash of Whissin. She highly recommends it! We can supply the Whissin and Rochester Ginger, but can’t yet supply log fires or cats!

Ariel on the way but delayed

Ariel wines are also currently largely out of stock but they are on the way from California. The shipment is on the London Express cargo ship. You can see the live tracking here. The ship is currently on it’s way to New York and then it will be setting off across the Atlantic to London. The ship is running late though so we won’t have it until towards the end of March unfortunately (once it lands in the UK it still has to clear customs and then get up to us in Manchester).

Bernard Free is back in stock too (and back to the original recipe!)

Bernard Free is now back in stock after a week out of stock. The brewers have also gone back to the original recipe as regular fans of this great beer didn’t like the change they made to the last batch.

You’ll find this batch is back to how you know and love it!

All Carl Jung wines are now back in stock!

Good news! At last – all Carl Jung wines are finally back in stock – Carl Jung Premium Red, Premium White, Merlot, Riesling, Rose, Trocken (dry), Sparkling White and Sparkling Peach.

Apologies again for the delay which was out of our hands and due to a change in production equipment and subsequent backlog at the Carl Jung winery.

Carl Jung wines

We are still out of stock of some Carl Jung wines. We ordered it long ago and it should have been here by now but the producers have been upgrading their facilities and hit snags. We hope it will be here by the end of next week. Please accept our apologies for this delay.