Welcome to The Alcohol-Free Shop blog!

When we launched The Alcohol-Free Shop in 2006, we had planned to start a blog straight-away – somehow, we never quite got around to it. Not that we’ve been sitting on our hands during that time, but the blog just never seemed to go live. Anyway, three years late, but I’m glad to say we are finally here!

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You can now keep up-to-date with The Alcohol-Free Shop by using Twitter!

You can follow us at www.twitter.com/alcoholfree for company updates, product news, competitions and special offers.

For more information on Twitter and how it works, please visit www.twitter.com

Manchester Shop Opening Photo

(Please note – this is an archived story about our previous location, we have now moved to Failsworth, Manchester)

The official opening of our warehouse shop took place on 4 October 2008. The ceremony was conducted by the Lord Mayor of Manchester, Mavis Smitheman, who was kind enough to take time out of her busy schedule to pay us a visit.

The Alcohol-Free Shop web site has been serving customers nationwide since 2006 but the demand has always been there for a physical presence.

We opened the warehouse shop for customers who prefer a more traditional shopping experience, and those who wish to sample our products before buying.

It is located at the historic Hope Mill on Pollard Street in the city’s one time industrial heartland within the Eastlands regeneration area close to Manchester City FC stadium.

The store is on the perimeter of Manchester city centre behind the Central Park Retail Park on Great Ancoats Street and is easily accessible from the motorway network with ample parking.

The shop, which is open Monday to Saturday between 11am and 6pm, is at Hope Mill, 113 Pollard Street, Ancoats, Manchester, M4 7JA. If you are setting out to find us, please feel free to call on 0845 388 3068 for directions (it can be useful to take the number with you as the Mill can be hard to find).

We offer free tasting sesions every day and you are more than welcome to sample any of our drinks.

Shop Opening

Picture shows (l-r) John Risby of The Alcohol-Free Shop, Lord Mayor of Manchester Mavis Smitheman, Christine Humphreys of The Alcohol-Free Shop, guests and customers.

Take the Alcohol-Free Diet Test

Alcohol-free wines and beers contain significantly fewer calories than their alcoholic counterparts. Wine can contain around 75% fewer calories, and beer around 50% fewer.

To help you find out how many calories you could cut from your diet by choosing alcohol-free alternatives we have devised a unique calorie calculator. This calculator will show you how many calories you could save by switching to alcohol-free wine and beer.

Even those who stick to the recommended maximum alcohol intake of 14 units a week for women and 21 units a week for men could be consuming the equivalent of a weight watcher’s full day’s calorie allowance every week!

Imagine how much weight you could lose by replacing your favourite alcoholic tipple with some of our great alcohol-free alternatives!

Try the alcohol-free diet calculator now!

Cause a stir with cocktails

During Christmas you enjoyed mixing it with our great range of fun Finest Call cocktails. They proved so popular that we’ve now extended the range to include some more of the classic flavours you know and love.

You can now choose from a selection including Bloody Mary, Cosmopolitan and Margarita in addition to our original range of Pina Colada, Mango, Raspberry and Strawberry.

Finest Call Cocktail Mixes are the highest quality pre-mixed non-alcoholic drinks that take your mind back to sunny beaches and sophisticated soirées.

Supplied in 1 litre bottles, Finest Call Cocktail Mixers are just £4.99 each so, go on, enjoy a taste of the high life.

View our cocktail range…

Read all about it!

Journalists Edmund and Helen Tirbutt have gone into print with a book aimed to help people who want to cut out or cut back on booze. Beat the Booze is a comprehensive guide to combating drink problems in all walks of life.

Edmund and Helen came to us at The Alcohol-Free Shop during their research for the book. Our shop is featured in the book that’s aimed at those who want to control their own drinking or want to help someone else with a drink problem.

The authors draw on personal experience in this inspirational, easy to read, and practical guide.

View the book on Amazon.

Free collection service

We are now offering a free collection service for those who find it more convenient to pick up their purchases.

In response to customer demand, we can now invite people to collect their orders from our Manchester depot.

We will continue to offer our fast and efficient doorstep delivery for those who prefer to have us send purchases by post and courier. Our new collection service will mean people who find it easier to pick up their own orders will be able to do so and avoid shipping costs.

Although The Alcohol Free Shop will continue to be web based with all purchases made over the internet, customers who would like to collect may choose this option when checking out and have the delivery charge knocked off their order.

Customers choosing this option will then be notified by email when their order is available for collection.

Purchases may then be picked up by arrangement from the reception desk at our depot.

Big Brother goes sober

Big Brother contestants had a chance to sample products from The Alcohol-Free Shop when we became one of the show’s suppliers.

Tea-total contestant Spiral inspired Big Brother bosses to bring in treats from The Alcohol-Free Shop. We were happy to provide a selection of wines and some of our luxury hampers including our popular Brighton Bubbly, chocolates and toiletries.

Spiral had rejected boozy treats traditionally used to reward housemates for completing tasks and had been missing out on the ‘mission-complete’ parties.

We supplied the Channel 4 show with three wicker hampers, containing our Brighton Bubbly sparkling white wine, luxury soaps, beauty products and hand-made luxury truffles, as well as a case of mixed alcohol-free wines so Spiral could enjoy some of the luxuries he had otherwise had to by pass. We are sure the friendly Dublin DJ shared some of the delicious luxury truffles, wines and pamper products to prevent his booze-loving competitors losing out when the housemates discovered how good they were.

John Risby, from The Alcohol-Free Shop, says: “We’re delighted to have supplied Big Brother with some of our alcohol-free products. I know Spiral is tea-total and I hope he enjoyed the wines – especially the chilled whites – but I’m also hopeful the other housemates have found that you can still have fun without the alcohol.”

Politicians choose alternative to booze

Alcohol-free wine is on a town hall’s menu after politicians voted to practise what they preach.

Manchester City Council has ratified a decision by its Social Strategy Committee to encourage council caterers to include alcohol-free wines and beers at functions and events.

Members attending the latest full council meeting then had the chance to choose wines from The Alcohol-Free Shop alongside their regular tipple at the monthly council lunch.

The move is the latest in a series of initiatives by the council to tackle the city’s binge drinking culture that has been blamed for a rise in violence and booze-related illnesses.

The decision follows a presentation to the Social Strategy Committee, which develops policy on social issues such as alcohol and smoking, by The Alcohol-Free Shop that launched in Manchester in May.

The Alcohol-Free Shop is working with health promotion and crime prevention agencies to help deliver messages on sensible drinking and drink driving and campaigning for a change in the law on alcohol-free classification.

Committee chairman Pat Karney referred to the aggressive marketing strategies adopted by supermarket chains in relation to the promotion of alcohol during the FIFA World Cup.

Cllr Karney said this perpetuated the spurious link between alcohol and sport, and he drew the committee’s attention to the corresponding increase in drink-fuelled violence during the competition.

The council also agreed to support representations to the Government on adopting European policy in classifying drinks as alcohol free.

Across Europe drinks containing 0.5% alcohol or less as labelled ‘alcohol free’ whereas in the UK they are classed as ‘de-alcoholised’.

John Risby at The Alcohol-Free Shop welcomed the council’s support for our campaign to win a change in Government policy towards labelling drinks that have had the alcohol removed.

John says: “It’s easier in Europe to promote alcohol-free wines and beers because of the rules on classification. There are many more alcohol-free beers and wines available in Europe than in the UK and these are increasingly popular on the continent. We believe this is largely down to the rules on classification. The classification rules in the UK complicate the issue, confuse the consumer and restrict the market so there is less choice. We welcome the council’s support on this issue and will be lobbying MPs to take up this issue with the relevant government departments.”