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Time called on Imbibe

Published:  10 November, 2020

The Harpers team is saddened to learn that Imbibe magazine and will publish for the last time this December.

In a release today, the publication’s editor Robyn Black and her team announced that “Covid-19 is wreaking its worst on our industry and unfortunately Imbibe has not escaped its clutches”.

Black, who joined the bar and restaurant focused publication just a year ago, added: “It is with the heaviest of hearts that I must announce the editorial team has poured its last cocktail at Imbibe towers and the shutters are coming down after 13 incredible years, effective December 2020.”

Imbibe Live will, however, continue to run, with the annual event for the hospitality sector next scheduled to take place in July 2021.

From its launch Imbibe magazine became a breath of fresh air for the trade, taking a wholly unstuffy and inclusive approach to the world of drinks and drinks service, at its heart championing the sommeliers and bartenders that add such a heady mix of theatre and professionalism to our industry.

It also featured a roster of great editorial staff and writers, who pulled few punches, while also injecting an element of fun and quirkiness to their coverage of the trade.

Founding editor Chris Losh, who parted company with Imbibe in 2019 and now contributes to Harpers, very much stamped his personality on the publication from the get go.

“We were trying to give a voice to the people that went largely unreported, the bartenders and sommeliers, who are such a key part of the UK industry, who didn’t really have a platform,” Losh told Harpers.

“And we tried to do it in a way that wouldn’t make people fall asleep, and we achieved that for 13 years until Covid put a stop to it.”

Speaking as one of those former contributors to Imbibe before joining the Harpers team, this editor is among many that will much miss our colourful rival on the on-trade side.