the forum
Published:  17 October, 2008

To respond to the unanswered questions below, or to ask a reader's advice, simply e mail:

Q Sweet shops sometimes restrict the number of children in the store to two or three at a time . Has anyone got a similar policy with boozy adults on a Friday night?


We rarely get more than three or four at any one time . We have one guy who cheerfully pretends to be shoplifting and

enjoys the

game that follows, when I have to leave the counter and

retrieve cans

from his pockets . I don't like screened-off off-licences but if you're in a busy area and

open after 10.30pm, I think

it's the only


Karl, Manchester

A We used to suffer from the

weekend stampede of

party-goers, and there were times when we lost stock

and staff were abused . Now we employ a security guard for the peak hours .

Lee, Glasgow

Q Where can I get sample-size disposable plastic tumblers for in-store tastings?

A For an environmentally friendly option I


bio-degradable samplers

from Kresse Wesling at Bio-Supplies (, 07843 567935). Excellent service too!

Jem, Leeds

Q Can a police officer or Trading Standards officer request you to halt an in-store tasting in an ill-judged effort to protect public morals?

A Certainly not in our case - we made sure sampling was included in the business plan we submitted as part of our premises licence application .

MH, Evesham

A If the tasting was turning into a bun

fight and people were getting drunk, maybe, but a sensible tasting

is not going to corrupt public morals.

Bob, Kent

Q Is it true you can catch unspeakable diseases by drinking beer straight out of the can?

Andy, Cheshire

Q Is bottle-conditioned ale a hoax? How do we know the yeast sediment was ever alive in the bottle?

FG, Hove

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Is blended Scotch overshadowed by single malt in retailers?

  • Yes
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