Wowsers, how did that happen? We’re five years old. What a journey. It’s been both rewarding and very tricky at times, but we’ve all stuck through it together with our lovely customers and friends who have supported us.
If you fancy joining us for a bit of a Birthday Shindig we’ll be celebrating with a 5th birthday party complete with silly games on Sunday 29 October from 3-7pm, and during the week of the 24-29 we’ll be pouring some of our favourite breweries who we’ve made friends with over the past five years, with different beers going on across that weekend. We’ll have cake too.
We kicked things off on Tuesday at ou annual Birthday Bottleshare Club. We tried some magnificent beers, some of which will be available over our birthday week.
But first...time to reminisce… when we first opened, we were relatively new to Worthing only having moved here 18 months previously. We’d known we wanted to do something in craft beer and were inspired by businesses, and people we’d met who had opened beer and food based venus as well as the bottleshop/bar hybrids we’d visited in towns like Stockport and Poynton in the North of England. Having moved, we thought Worthing, with its passion for beer, good drinks, and independents, would be the perfect place to open, plus we wanted to do something in the town we call home.
A few have said that as an unknown entity in the South Coast Beer scene they thought it was a brave move. And it was, we’re two people who had spent much of our previous working life in very risk averse industries and we took a massive risk. We then went and won a national award just 15 months in - named as the SIBA Best Independent Craft Beer Retailer in the UK. Then, just three days later COVID hit and everything went topsy turvy.
Consumer habits have changed, the market we work in has changed, we now compete directly with our suppliers and supermarkets. Indies used to be the only place where you could buy indie beer - we were like the independent record shop before online retail and streaming. The high street has changed with bricks and mortar being more difficult to sustain. We’ve lost customers over the years because of these changes but we’ve also gained others along the way too. New people moving to the area during lockdowns and changes in working habits have nudged something that was already happening along.
The bar aspect has helped us grow a community through events and people who like what we do. Some people don’t get it, which is fair enough, and the beauty of Worthing is that the town has lots of other places to drink. But those that do, seem to have similar values and attitudes. A customer and friend said “we always seem to chat to people (at Beer No Evil) that we haven’t met before but we’re all of the same ‘tribe’. It’s lovely.” A tribe, we guess that’s true, and it is lovely to hear and see.
We’ve had some wonderful times and visitors from all over the world enjoying the beers we’re pouring and stocking. We’ve had engagements and people meeting through ours and relationships blossoming. We’ve welcomed our beer heroes and heroines into the shop and laughed like crazy at their anecdotes. It’s been a ride. And long may we continue to keep rolling with the punches and keeping Worthing and our friends from across the UK and the world supping, laughing and enjoying delicious beer.
We would be nothing without you all, Cheers!
Blog post by Gareth and Gemma