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It is the second week of BeerShoptober and up first this week is Oddbins in Crouch End. Oddbins is an established wine merchant that also sells spirits, champagne and most importantly beer. If you want find out more about Oddbins check out their website here. I was impressed when I approached the shop and saw a selection of local ales on display in the window. You can see all of my pictures in the gallery below.
I entered the shop and I was a bit taken aback at first. The shop was bigger than I expected and inside it looked incredible there were high shelves full of bottles. Three quarters of the shop was dedicated to wine but the remaining quarter (good maths) was all about beer. I was helped by a sign saying Beer Zone with a crossed out wine glass in a red circle in the style of a road sign. Now you may have noticed in the other BeerShoptober blogs that I love a well laid out shop with clear pricing and this is an aspect that Oddbins does very well. There are shelf edges in front of every beer with the name and price and handwritten which gives it a personal touch much which is similar to that of Theatre of Wine. Most of the beers they had were from local London breweries including Kernel, London Fields and Beavertown. So I liked the fact that rather than trying to compete with other beer shops and have a wide range of everything that they specialise in local ales. Yes they did have some European beers but only a few different types of Leffe.
Now let’s move onto the all important cost. The price of each bottle was roughly £2.50 – £3.20, which is standard and what you would expect as most were medium strength beers. One thing I would like to see more in beer shops as a whole is more offers and promotions. For example, make a certain ale cheaper one week or you could encourage customers to buy in bulk by offering a discount if you spend so much. Bottles of beer are expensive and I think independent shops need to do more to compete with supermarkets.
But overall this is a good beer shop so if you see an Oddbins go in and you will find a good selection of local ale.