Health campaigners target drinks industry too often, says retailer

A leading independent drinks retailer has questioned why it is always the drinks industry that gets hit by charity health campaigns.

Leigh Norwood, owner of Favourite Beers in Cheltenham, told OLN: “We have seen the advent of yet another ‘Dry’ month campaign, all nicely wrapped up as supporting a well known cancer charity. Now I am all for supporting these charities (and I regularly do), but why not give up chocolate or biscuits, or some other luxury item which will make you feel better about your self. Why is it always the drinks industry that gets hit? Oh yes, because there has always been a group of influential people in this country that don’t want us to enjoy ourselves."

“October is usually one of our busiest months and after the additional awareness and recognition we had gathered due to Cheltenham Beer Week I was hoping this year would be a good one – but no, we had our worst October for a number of years as we, along with local pubs and breweries, have felt the full effect of ‘Stoptober’. We are probably about 15% down overall. January was also bad but thankfully we had the best September we had had for years, probably because of the extra exposure linked to Cheltenham Beer Week.

“Well there are only 12 months in the year, so I am sure along with ‘Dryanuary’ they are already targeting the others - ‘Abstinence April’ or ‘Alcohol-free August’ anybody? It’s Prohibition by the back door.”

On a more positive note Norwood said he is “chuffed” to have received the Celebrate British Beer Regional Retailer of the year – Midlands/East award and he is also excited to be working on a brewing collaboration ‘Plum Porter’ with Cotswold Lion Brewery. Bottles will arrive in store next week.

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