Some drinks in life are free. How I managed to get £30 of free drinks (you can too)
National Pub Fortnight is coming up (20 Jul - 5 Aug), and, in case you didn't know, there are 1,000s of pubs lining up to hand you a totally free drink.
With an offer like that, who could resist?
Everything tastes better when it's free, so I've compiled a list of tips for you to nab a free bevvy (or two), though I’m not suggesting you do them all – be Drinkaware.
Most of these freebies involve a sign-up, which usually means opting in to marketing emails, but you can always hit ‘unsubscribe’ after you’ve bagged your freebie.
Free drink for National Pub Fortnight (norm £3.50ish)
From Fri 20 Jul until Sun 5 Aug, you can claim a free pint or a bottle of beer, ale or cider at 2,000ish pubs in England and Wales (find your nearest). Thirsty work.
All Bar One free glass of prosecco (norm £5ish)
Download the All Bar One app and register, and you can easily grab a refreshing 125ml glass of bubbles. There’s also a virtual stamp card, where you’ll receive more rewards on your third and sixth drink (though I’m not suggesting you do it in one session).
Young's free drink (norm £4.50ish)
Register using the Young's ‘On Tap’ app to receive a complimentary pint of beer, stout or cider, soft drink or a 175ml glass of wine.
Ember Inns free beer, gin or wine (norm £4ish)
I don’t have one of these near me, but if your local's an Ember Inn you can register on the app and enjoy a free drink. Choose from a pint of Coors Light, Carling, Doom Bar, Ember Inns Pale Ale, or alternatively, a Bombay Sapphire gin and tonic, glass of Oyster Bay wine or a soft drink. Ember Inns will also give you a free bottle of prosecco on your birthday, and if yours is coming up see our 50+ Birthday Freebies guide.
Free drink every night in London (norm £4+)
If you live in London, or if you're visiting on a night out, download the free Drinki app to get one free drink every evening. It’s location based, so it’ll show you the nearest drinking hole and a specific drink you can get free for a limited time. Sadly, you won’t get to choose the drink, but it’s a cheap way to start your night out.
Nicholson's £1 gin and tonic or cask ale (norm £4.50ish)
Ok, so not quite free but £1 for a gin and tonic or pint of ale can’t go a miss. Another app for you to simply download and sign up.
What if I'd rather have a cuppa?
Of course, not everyone drinks alcohol, and while most of the freebies above include a soft drink alternative, you might prefer a hot drink instead.
See our Free Tea and Coffee deals for a full round-up - including Waitrose, Ikea and more high street names - but here are just a couple of the most widely available free cuppas:
Caffé Nero free hot drink (norm up to £2.75)
From midday every Tuesday, smartphone users can get a free hot drink from the O2 Priority Moments app. Three mobile customers can also get free coffee rewards via its Wuntu app. See MSE Kelvin's Free coffee, pizza & cinema tickets blog for more info on Wuntu.
Greggs free hot drink (norm up to £2)
Greggs offers a free regular-sized hot drink if you download and register its app.
Other ways to blag a free drink
Ask a friend to buy your drink in Wetherspoon's
Wetherspoon's is like the Greggs of the pub world. They’re everywhere. And its Order and Pay app enables anyone with a smartphone to order food and drink remotely from anywhere and have it delivered to a specific table at any of its 900+ pubs. Naturally, some Wetherspoon's customers (Wetherspooners, if you will) have found a loophole in this, where they ask absent mates – say, someone promised to meet you but didn’t show - to buy them a drink via the app by way of apology. Or maybe just because it's their round.
Buy me a coffee
If you’re a cash-strapped creative, ‘Buy Me A Coffee’ is a great way for strangers to fund your craft (no longer talking about beer). All you need to do is create your page to showcase your talents and explain how you’ll spend the donations - you don’t actually have to spend the money on coffee, that's just the name of the site. Friends or strangers can choose to buy you from one to five 'coffees' at a time. Buzzing.
Perform a stand-up comedy routine
This is not for the faint-hearted. There’s an open mic night in London called Comedy Virgins that gives a free half-pint to any comedian who manages to convince the audience they're funny. The crowd need to shout "buy ‘em a drink" before you've finished and then the free beer is all yours.I only included this one as I actually tried it myself - the lengths I'll go to for a freebie - but I did come out on (lager) top with a free half-pint, so it was totally worthwhile.
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