Alcohol awareness

Marston’s recognises that excessive drinking can be harmful to health and has social consequences. We recognise the responsibility we carry as a retailer of alcohol.

We are committed to the responsible retailing of alcohol and supportive of a range of measures, including education through Drinkaware, 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 (see below) 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 as well as alcohol and drug abuse. The Company also runs similar training to ensure tenants and lessees and franchise 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. In a normal year we complete an average of over 60 test purchases a month albeit more recently the programme has been impacted by the pandemic
  • 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 has adopted the Challenge 21/25 policy where we ask for identification from any one we believe to be under the age of 21 or 25. We carry out unannounced, independent, expert, third-party audits to ensure that identification is requested and to ensure that C21/25 posters are being displayed in our pubs.

Portman Group’s Code of Practice

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

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.

Food & drink

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