Award-winning Worthing craft beer bar and shop set to celebrate fifth birthday with a big party
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Beer No Evil was opened by husband and wife team Gemma Clegg and Gareth Harries in October 2018, using inspiration from the bottleshop / bar hybrids they had visited in towns like Stockport and Painton in the north of England.
Gemma said they have got through the most turbulent of times and are still passionately independent, making an impact on the craft beer scene in Worthing.
"We can't quite believe it's five years," she said. "The bar aspect of Beer No Evil has helped and allowed us to grow a community through our events and become a local destination for people who are both well versed or new to the area.
"Lots of people have chosen to move to Worthing during the past few years and obviously there have been changes in working habits which has also helped.
"Ultimately, we always wanted to create somewhere we’d want to go and spend some time ourselves, which we feel we’ve made.”
Having found their feet in creating their hybrid of a shop and bar at 82 Brighton Road, Worthing, Gemma and Gareth won a national award and were named as SIBA’s Best Independent Craft Beer Retailer for a single location in the UK 15 months after they opened.
Then, just three days later, Covid-19 hit and the country shut down. It was thanks to the retail aspect of Beer No Evil that they were able to keep running, especially as they already had a website, but both admit it was incredibly hard.
Gareth said: "We are incredibly proud that we are turning five. In the time we’ve been open, consumer habits have changed, the market we work in has changed, we now compete directly with our suppliers and supermarkets.
"Indies like us used to be the only place where you could buy indie beer – we were like the independent record shop before online retail and streaming. Many of our compatriots across the country have either decided to close or have sold on their businesses. It really is the use it or lose it mantra.”
Gemma and Gareth were a key part of the Worthing Tap Takeover when it launched in 2022 to support local independent venues and breweries, and both are looking forward to starting the planning for the next takeover in April 2024. They, along with Laurence Dumbleton from the Old Bike Store, also in Brighton Road, are the team that have made the event such a success in the past two years.
To celebrate Beer No Evil turning five, Gemma and Gareth have a big birthday week planned. They will be pouring beers from independent breweries they love to support from today, Wednesday, October 25, and the week will wrap up in style with a 5th birthday party on Sunday, October 29, from 3pm to 7pm.