This misconception happens a lot, according to a woman in the marketing department of Cott Beverages, which makes Ben Shaws. A statement from the company said: "Anything of less than 0.5% alcohol cannot be classed as a 'beer' and must therefore fall into the soft drink category. All the products we manufacture under this name (shandy) are legally not considered to be alcoholic drinks and may be sold through unlicensed premises and to persons under 18."
The store itself has had some interesting times. For medical reasons Brian turned over the running of it to another couple. When they left it looked like curtains but the village rallied round splendidly. "We had a meeting in the village hall and it was standing room only," recalls Brian. "We raised £20K in cash and promises on the night."
The villagers didn't stop there. There have been hog roasts, games and the Open Village Day (which alone raised £6K). "This village likes a good knees-up," says Brian.
They also secured a Lottery grant of £20K, bringing it all to a grand total of £100K. Now the 15ft x 25ft store, including post office, is to be rebuilt, three times that size, operated by staff and volunteers (Brian labels himself "just a helper"), and will open next year. I should think it will be drinks all round on the day, with lashings of Ben Shaws for the kids!