What advice would you give to people taking part in Dry July or generally trying to navigate not drinking in social settings?
- Firstly, know why you are doing it and realise the benefits of cutting back on alcohol. This could be either health related, better sleep, losing weight or increased energy. Now stick to that goal whatever it may be.
- The biggest supporters are those who are closest to you. So rally your troops and encourage your friends or family members to join you on the challenge.
- Substitute going to the pub with going to the gym, jog or just a stroll.
- Be adventurous and occupy yourself with new interests. You will be amazed by how much time you have at your disposal when your weekends aren’t wasted on boozy hangovers.
- Discover the marvellous world of alcohol-free drinks.
- Be prepared and stock up on alcohol-free drinks
- Pick up better habits such as meditation or reading rather than drinking.
- Start small and take it one step at a time. Go one month without alcohol, who knows, you might like it so much that you decide to take the whole year off alcohol.
- Bring your own (alcohol-free) drinks. You’ll be surprised at how many people will join in.
- Set expectations, have an answer ready for when someone asks you why you’re not drinking, be prepared.
- Take control of where you go out with your friends or family. Choose places that make you feel comfortable not to drink.
- Offer to be the designated driver.
How has the non-alcoholic movement grown in recent years?
It’s only in the past 2-3 years that the non alcoholic movement has really gained exponential growth. There are two main reasons for this recent growth to take place. Firstly, the quality of products being developed has improved dramatically compared to previous years.
There has been an explosion of new non-alcoholic products appearing onto the market from smaller producers around Australia and overseas recently. As a result, mainstream liquor manufacturers and retailers are now venturing into the alcohol free space to keep up with demands.
Secondly, consumer behaviour has also changed towards healthier alternatives. It seems that Covid-19 has allowed people to stop and reflect on their own habits and searched for ways to improve their health without compromising on taste or experience.
What are some of the biggest myths and misconceptions about the non-alcoholic industry?
The main misconception is that non-alcoholic drinks “don’t taste good”. We always encourage people to try it before they knock it. In most cases people are shocked at how good it tastes once they’ve tried them. To be fair, not all categories are the same, we all have different taste buds, that’s the beauty of variety and choices. Non-alcoholic beers are our best selling category, they are exceptional and some even taste better than their alcoholic counterpart, especially craft beers.
Non-alcoholic sparkling and white wines taste almost the same as the alcoholic versions, especially Sauvignon Blanc which seems to have a distinct character that is noticeable even when you remove the alcohol.
We get it, some red wines still require improvement, however, red wine alternatives such as Nine Elms No.18 is very well structured with tannins that resemble alcoholic red wines and are designed to pair with food.
The other misconception is the cost of non-alcoholic drinks. They are not soft drinks or flavoured drinks. They are carefully brewed beers, distilled spirits and dealcoholised wines.
Although they do not attract alcohol related taxes, they require additional processes to remove the alcohol, which is not required with regular alcoholic beverages. The cost of labour and expensive machinery involved to remove the alcohol adds to the bottom line.
What are some of your favourite non-alcoholic drinks at the moment?
Well, this really depends. As the weather is getting colder, I’ve been really getting into my stouts, some of my favourites are Big Drop Galactic Milk Stout and the Upflow Stout. A really nice pale ale to reach out for after cutting the lawn on a Sunday would be either Vandestreek or our limited edition Pavlova Pale Ale by Upflow. If I’m coming back from a cycle session on the weekend I’ll grab an Athletic Golden Ale or IPA. A midweek regular at the moment is the Drop Bear New World Lager.
My go to celebration sparkling wine is the Noughty by Thompson & Scott, which also happens to be our best selling sparkling wine. I guess there’s a reason for that, it is delicious.
We love supporting small batch distilleries, ALTD and Banks Botanicals are some of our favourite spirits. The people behind those brands are truly inspirational and shape the way you perceive their products in a positive way.