Alcohol awareness

Marston’s recognises that excessive drinking can be harmful to health and has social consequences. There is a heightened level of responsibility expected of us as a producer, distributor and retailer of alcohol.

We are committed to the responsible retailing of alcohol and supportive of a range of measures including education, to encourage responsible consumption of alcohol.

Marston’s is a long-standing member of the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA), and the Company continues to be a signatory to the Portman Group Code which promotes responsible attitudes towards drinking alcohol. We have made a significant investment in e-learning tools, which all Marston’s employees must complete. A core part of our investment in e-learning is the identification of potential under-age drinkers. The Company also runs similar training to ensure tenants and lessees and franchise and operators are aware of their responsibilities in this area.

  • At Marston’s: We use an independent test purchase service to check compliance with the law on under-age drinking. We employ the services of Serve Legal to test our compliance and in the past 12 months over 800 test purchases have been completed
  • All our retail staff complete e-learning training on drug and alcohol abuse and the identification of potential underage drinkers
  • None of our pubs operate a 24 hour licence
  • We expect our managers to play an active part in any local Pubwatch and Best Bar None initiatives

Challenge 21/25

All premises selling or supplying alcohol are required to have an age verification policy in place which will require staff to check the ID of anyone appearing to be under the age of 18, or any such age specified in the policy.

Marston’s have adopted the Challenge 21/25 policy where we ask for identification from anyone we believe to be under the age of 21 or 25

This year over 940,000 challenges were made by our staff asking for acceptable proof of age prior to service. Our internal audits completed externally by consultants ensure that training in completed and that C21/25 posters are being displayed in our pubs.

Pricing and promotions have their place. It is, however, reliant on all those involved in the marketing of the products we sell to ensure that these products are sold responsibly. As such we support the Portman Group’s Code of Practice, and adhere to the BBPA standards for Point of Sale promotions.

Our promotional activity will therefore not:

  • Have any association with anti-social behaviour or violence
  • Appeal to under 18s rather than adults
  • Have any association with illegal drugs
  • Suggest that alcohol can enhance mental or physical capabilities
  • Encourage irresponsible or excessive drinking
  • Involve drinking games as outlined in the Licensing Act 2003 (Mandatory Licensing Conditions) (Amendment) Order 2014
  • Involve driving in any way

Marston’s is a corporate donor to the charity Drinkaware, and supports its campaigns.

The Drinkaware Trust is an independent UK-wide alcohol education charity, funded largely by voluntary and unrestricted donations from UK alcohol producers, retailers and supermarkets. The Trust is governed independently and works in partnership with others to help reduce alcohol-related harm by helping people make better choices about their drinking.

Drinkaware engage and work directly with both the alcohol industry and public sector bodies to tackle alcohol-related harms.

Drinkaware is committed to being evidence-led and to contribute positively to the evidence base around alcohol-related harm; all of our medical information and guidance for the public is reviewed by our independent Medical Advisory Panel, and Drinkaware holds Information Standard accreditation to reassure people that the information provided is impartial and accessible.

Drinkaware is funded by voluntary and unrestricted donations from major UK alcohol producers, pub operators, restaurants, major supermarkets and other retailers.

Drinkaware donors help support the aim to reduce harmful drinking by directing customers to information and advice on the Drinkaware website (through the use of on packaging and advertising); and help extend the reach and impact of their campaigns as part of their commitment to social responsibility. Research publications are made available to Marston’s, as they are to non-donors and the general public, on the Drinkaware website.

For more information please visit:

Drink free days

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