The drinks industry pulls together to help

Robyn Black

Robyn Black

31 March 2020

With Pernod Ricard’s announcement last week that the company will be donating £250,000 to hospitality charity The Drinks Trust, we take a look at the suppliers and operators trying to help the industry during the coronavirus crisis

They say charity starts at home and the drinks sector has proved just that during the Coronavirus crisis, initiating a range of initiatives designed to help those in our industry that are in most in need.

In the last week alone more than 10 separate initiatives have been launched, including that announcement from the UK arm of French company Pernod Ricard, which has also pledged to provide WSET Level 1 online courses for 2,000 hospitality professionals, and accelerated a £50,000 donation to MND Scotland on behalf of Chivas Brothers.

Fellow drinks supplier Diageo announced some weeks ago a number of initiatives it had designed to help, including funding an information line to help licensees navigate government guidance and assistance, £1m in support from Guinness for UK bartenders, and a swathe of free training.

Such generosity has been replicated in many ways across the industry from companies big and small. Take a look at our round-up below – and help us highlight even more good works by letting us know about them on social media (@ImbibeUK on Twitter and Instagram), or email



The hospitality industry's festival, PX+ Festival, has launched PX+ Listens, a confidential and free phone service for anyone in the food, drink and hospitality industry who needs support from industry professionals during the covid-19 crisis. Using its network and community, PX+ are helping callers with issues that range from mental health, to money and family issues, how not to spend all day on social media, and sourcing food and essentials.

All you have to do to access help is fill in the form on the PX+ Festival website. You will then be contacted within 24hrs to organise a call or text.

Camden Town Brewery

As part of its virtual pub, The Brew.www.ery Bar, which is being hosted on the company’s Instagram page, the chaps at Camden Town Brewery are raising money to help Hospitality Action’s Covid-19 Emergency Fund via a ‘digital tip jar’ and will match all donation made. They have also added a donation button on the web shop to encourage people to donate.

Liana Collection

The importer and distributor has launched an initiative called #PutItOnMyTab aimed at ‘helping the short term cash flow of bars facing an almighty struggling in the coming weeks’, said company founder David Wood. The idea is to call to arms all alcohol brands and encourage them to get in contact with the bars who have supported them in the past and pay for a bar tab or gift card redeemable in the future. The company itself has sent £100 each to five independent bars, Wood said, and is urging any other companies doing similar to use the hashtag and build support.

Budweiser Brewing Group

The American brewer’s programme of support for the UK on-trade includes its ‘Save Pub Life’ initiative.

The scheme encourages pubgoers to purchase gift cards to be used in their local pub when it re-opens and the group has pledged to match contributions, aiming to funnel at least £1m of financial support into the sector. The programme is open to pubs, bars and restaurants throughout England, Wales and Scotland, who can sign up to the scheme by visiting

SpecialIty Drinks + Edrington-Beam Suntory

The two drinks firms have joined forces to deliver wellbeing packs containing food and other essentials, to those in the drinks industry who need them most. The first batch sold out in just 90 minutes but the plan is to continuously replenish stock so that anyone out of work and struggling can get hold of some essentials. Anyone in the drinks industry who would like to apply for a pack can do so online here.

Fox & Fox

The English wine producer is raising funds for The Drinks Trust and its local community by launching a trio of sparkling wines.

A donation of £10 from every Foxy Rescue Remedy three-bottle tasting pack, will be divided equally between The Drinks Trust and the Sussex Community Foundation, which is providing support for local food banks as well as caring for vulnerable people. The pack contains three Fox & Fox English sparklers, including Tradition 2014.

Ramsbury Single Estate Spirits

The Wiltshire-based gin and vodka maker has launched ‘Ramsbury & Friends’ a scheme that enables drinkers to buy drinks vouchers for their favourite bar, restaurant or pub, with the company matching every pound spent as a tip for that venue.

The initiative pledges to support the on-trade in both the short term and long term with the funds reaching bar owners immediately, and the redeemable voucher will driving footfall when venues re-open.

Ridgeview Winery

The East Sussex winery is donating £2 for every bottle of Ridgeview Sparkling Wine sold online until the end of May to Hospitality Action and all orders from the company’s website, no matter how big or small, will be delivered free of charge across the UK.

Whisky Auction

Online whisky, spirits and wine auctioneer Whisky.Auction will use its April auction, beginning on Sunday 5 April, to support The Drinks Trust.

All proceeds from the sale, including buyers’ commission, will go to the charity. It is estimated that there will be over 100 lots dedicated to supporting The Drinks Trust – including bottles of: Hanyu Ichiro's malt, The Joker; Pappy Van Winkle 23yo; Glenfarclas 30yo; Longmorn 23yo; magnums of Absolut Elyx, and wines from Chateaux Pichon-Lalande and Harlan Estate. Anyone looking to bid needs to register with Whisky.Auction before 5 April.

Hepple Spirits

The good folks over at Hepple are donating £9.30 – the equivalent of an hour’s Real Living Wage - for every bottle of gin sold via its website. The offer is live now and will be available for at least six weeks, said co-founders Nick Strangeway and Valentine Warner.


Sipsmith's offer to give 12 free G&Ts to anyone donating £20 or more to The Drinks Trust via the distillery’s GoFundMe page, was so successful the company ran out of stock after 2,000 pledges. 

If you’d like to make a donation to The Drinks Trust you can do so here and Hospitality Actions Covid-19 emergency fund is open for donations here.

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