Top 5 occasions that beer lovers turn to alcohol-free
I often get told “non-alcoholic beer isn’t for me, I want the alcohol in it” or “you won’t convert me, I don’t want to moderate on a night out”. What normally follows is an explanation by me of some of the occasions our customers drink non-alcoholic beer, followed at the end by “oh, I hadn’t thought of it that way”. Let’s get one thing straight – alcohol-free beer is not some mysterious government-backed weapon to take away your full-strength beer by stealth. There’s a reason most of Sobersauce’s customers still drink full-strength beer as well as their alcohol-free equivalents – it’s because they love beer so much they still want to drink a beer when they can’t have the alcohol in it!
I still drink full-strength beer too, so I thought it would be helpful to share the occasions that I drink non-alcoholic beer, and why. So running down from 5 to 1, here are my favourite occasions for drinking alcohol-free:
- Whilst driving. Yes, its an obvious one - when everyone is out and you’re the designated driver. I used to resort to ginger beer or another sugary soft drink before switching to water, as a constant stream of soda is just too much for me. Whether you’re bringing your own to a BBQ or going to a pub, having a good quality non-alcoholic beer transforms these occasions immeasurably. Some providers such as the amazing Lucky Saint have started publishing the venues that have their beer on tap (drool!). Call ahead to check it’s in but a pint of draught alcohol-free is AMAZING!
- Weekday evenings. There is just something amazing about the ritual of cracking open a beer at the end of a long-day. For those of us that drink full-strength beer, drinking an alcohol-free version after work even releases the same dopamine that you get for a full strength beer, even though there’s no alcohol!! Who knew? Most of us couldn’t or wouldn’t want to do this on a Monday with alcohol so an alcohol-free version with the same taste and same feeling does the trick beautifully.
- Out with the boss. Ever been out on a night out with a new boss or new team. You want to join in but that need to impress can send you overboard and end up drinking too much. Perhaps you are the boss and you need to stay the most sober? Trying to moderate by saying no to a round – or worse still, avoiding buying your own – can feel really awkward. I’ve found that alternating between full-strength and non-alc beers can be a great way to ensure you stay on top of things without feeling left out. It works at home too if you’ve got a big meeting or presentation the next day or just want to be fresh. Starting with a non-alc to quench the thirst and then alternating between full-strength and alcohol-free for the rest of the night keeps you more hydrated and less likely to have that last beer you’ll regret.
- After sport. This is great in so many ways. Not only is alcohol-free beer full of vitamins and minerals and rehydrating, many are also isotonic, making it an amazing post-exercise drink in itself. It’s also great for socializing after sport, especially when driving. I play golf (maybe you don’t think that’s a sport!) and people have one swift beer and then leave, or switch to some sort of sugary soda for a while. I don’t know about you but the contrast between a sugary soda and a pint of bitter or lager is huge. Almost nobody I know enjoys the switch between the two ,but they want to stay, and want a drink, so they feel they have to. Non-alcoholic beer is PERFECT for this. My routine is to have a non-alc to rehydrate, then a full-strength beer, then a couple of non-alcs, then perhaps another half of full-strength. Finding a non-alcoholic beer that you love just as much as the full-strength beer you’re alternating with is a game-changer. Plus with that dopamine effect again, you really won’t feel you’ve missed out on anything at all.
- Lunchtime pint. For those that love their beer, as I do, this is simply an amazing treat. I don’t know when it was that we all started drinking sugary soft drinks with lunch, but we seemed conditioned to do so. My go-to was a savoury sandwich, some savoury crisps and a sweet sugary drink, but actually, they don’t really go well together at all. We don’t pair cheese with cola, we pair it with wine or beer. We don’t get a soda list alongside our meals at a restaurant, we get a wine list or beer list. There’s a really good reason for that – sugary soft drinks are an appalling accompaniment to food. Yet, because that’s all there really was, that’s what we got if we wanted something cold. Non-alcoholic beer changes all that. I can promise you that cracking open an amazing alcohol-free beer with your lunch – whether at home or work – goes much better with your food and feels like a true luxury. It can feel weird to some at first, especially at work, but once you’re in the groove you won’t look back and it will feel like a real treat. You won’t regret it!
Of course, all of these require a great-tasting beer to do the job. It just isn’t the same with the paint-stripping taste profile that some of the macro alcohol-free beers have. I’ve tasted about 400 now and most of those that you can normally get in the pub or supermarket (improving slooowly) are squarely in the bottom 5% for taste quality. So, if you want to find that special non-alcoholic beer, check out our best-selling beers - our customers really know their beers!