What I learnt 1: you don’t need to drink to survive social events
That it was fine for me not to drink at social events. I’m an introvert nervous drinker who can get accidentally sozzled in the process of finding the courage to talk to people. A few events during Dry January made me realise that I felt better and had more to say when I wasn’t drinking – I wasn’t scared of ‘overdoing it’ and getting drunk.
If going out, I planned ahead to see what alcohol free options were available. Anywhere that sells cocktails should make you an alcohol free version, even if it isn’t on the menu.
I’d get alcohol free supplies in from Dry Drinker to drink at home and to take to friends or family parties or dinners.
‘I can’t have fun without booze’ is a myth. More than 10 million adults in the UK manage it.
Benefits of alcohol free drinksThey help you to:
- remember conversations and people
- go home when you’ve had enough
- make conscious decisions about what you spend and eat
- stay safe
- avoid the beer (or wine) goggles (and the toe-curling consequences)
- get up in the morning feeling human
- stick to fitness goals
And they taste nice! See below.
Of course, alcohol free means you get don’t get inebriated, drunk, trollied, tipsy, wrecked, wasted, p*ssed-up, hammered. That’s the main difference: alcohol free doesn’t affect how your brain works. You don’t get hangovers, forget what happened in every episode of your Scandi noir drama, burst into tears, feel sick, be sick, fall over, stuff your face with junk food, tell everyone you love them, start arguments, embarrass the hell out of your kids, talk gibberish and spend a fortune you haven’t got. And no walk of shame.
What I learnt 2: the health stuff
I must mention health. The less I drink, the more healthy I feel. Better skin, more sleep, and all the bits we can't see so try to forget about. My dad drank too much alcohol. He couldn’t stop, struggled to moderate and died of mouth cancer aged 52. That’s why I think about it. Alcohol harms and lots of us know that. It causes physical and emotional pain. There is lots of info online: DrinkAware, NHS, and Alcohol Change UK* — the charity behind Dry January — are good places to start. Check out the fact sheets for easy-read evidence to help you decide about Dry January.
What I learnt 3: alcohol free beers ARE a great alternative
‘Toy beer’ (as it’s known at home) is darn tasty. I’m not keen on sweet fizzy drinks or fruit juice, so alcohol free beers offer a satisfying edge of bitterness, complexity, and none of that artificial sweetener ‘finish’. And they are low calorie – often coming in at less than 50 cals per drink.
Alcohol free beer is not all ‘rubbish’. That would suggest it’s all piped from the same big vat, which obviously it isn’t.
Though you might be used to seeing two or three brands of lager in supermarkets, the real choice is huge (if you shop at Dry Drinker):
- Varieties including premium craft beers, IPAs, stouts and porters, dark beers and sours, lagers, fruit beers, and wheat beers
- From the UK (north, south, Scotland, west country) or the USA, across Europe, including Spain, Portugal, Germany, the Netherlands, (all places where you can expect to get alcohol free on tap) and further east into Russia
- Made by micro breweries, craft breweries, or larger set ups that have been brewing for HUNDREDS of years for customers who demand consistent excellence
The process and the ingredients are the same as the full-strength versions: the only thing that is different is the alcohol.
And that’s before we get started on the wines – red, white and rosé – sparkling wines, distilled alcohol free spirits, and mocktails. Oh, and cider too. Again, there’s a huge range if you know where to shop, all made with dedication and inspiration.
How I know this
I write the words for Dry Drinker and so I have checked the many and varied background stories for every product they stock.
One thing in common? Brewers, vintners, distillers and drinks entrepreneurs large and small, want to make drinks that you will enjoy, which will bring pleasure to your meals, occasions and simple relaxation. They are aiming for gold medals in competition against full-strength competitors, not second best.
And take it from some Dry Drinker customers who left 5-star comments on Trusted Shops this month and last month:
- 'Took the recommendation from DryDrinker and ordered a case of the No1 German beer. This is the best I have tasted plus the order and delivery were executed excellently.
- 'Quick and efficient. Unrivalled variety of beers'.
- 'A great selection of beers. I’m enjoying the alcohol free Cuba Libra & saving the Fizz til closer to Christmas'.
- 'Loved the Botonique – distinct aroma, lovely sparkling wine'
- 'On all counts – can't be faulted. Brilliant service, brilliant product … Whole new world.'
- 'Fabulous experience … when you taste them they are worth every penny. No more feeling left out standing at your party with a glass of water. The drinks are adult and sophisticated and the selection is so broad that there is something for everyone.'
Good luck with your Dry January or Dryathlon 2019! Give it a go. What have you got to lose?
Get ready: you can pre-register now. And why not stock up with Dry Drinker at the same time? It's the UK’s largest independent alcohol free specialist.
*Alcohol Change is the new charity formed by the merger of Alcohol Concern and Alcohol Research UK. I like their funky new website and their values: Truthful, Compassionate and Ambitious for change).