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Q and A: High times at Lowtide

Q and A: High times at Lowtide
with Rebecca Thomas – 23rd March 2021
Dave Brown of Lowtide Brewing
Who and what’s behind Lowtide?
Lowtide Brewing Co was founded by my cousin Rob and me. We were chatting at a family gathering a few years back over a couple of alcohol free beers, and we got onto the topic of how much we love craft beer. We shared the sentiment that, however delicious it may be, craft beer was increasingly incompatible with our goals to live healthy lifestyles, especially as we were getting older and ready to start families of our own. After trying our hand at distributing AF beer online, we realised we were better suited to start our own brewery, as that’s where the passion really came from. Now we’re in our second full (official) month of trading as Lowtide, and we’re absolutely loving it. We put so much time and effort into each beer we create, from the recipes to the names and artwork. It’s been great fun so far and we are both massively looking forward to continuing our journey to create great tasting AF beer!
Your heart-sink moment so far?
That’s a tough one – we can think of several. A standout moment to us was when we thought we had nailed the recipe for our first beer, DIPA Toe In, but were in fact still very far away. After months of development, we’d got our first 1,000 cans brewed and labelled, and we were ready to take the world by storm. Unfortunately, the beer just wasn’t ready yet. We tasted it and although we wanted to be optimistic, the feedback we got from our initial taste tests was disappointing. It was tough to admit we needed to go back into development after what felt like such a long process, but we had to come to terms with it and dump the rest of the brew to preserve a sense of dignity. It took us longer to get the beer out, but looking back we’re so glad we took the extra time.
Your high five moment?
Following on from above, the biggest high five moment was probably solving the recipe issue with the DIPA. We tweaked ingredients and techniques, and ultimately came out on top with a standout recipe. We knew we’d created something truly special once customer reviews started rolling in. It was one thing for us to make a sale or two, but it meant so much more once we knew our customers were really enjoying our beers. Getting that validation from everyone was really satisfying, and it’s what excites us most about continuing to innovate with our range.
3 words to describe Lowtide?
Defiant, distinctive, playful
Snack / meal to enjoy with a can of Lowtide?
We’re a bit biased because we drink our beers with pretty much anything. However, I did have a fantastic vegan tonkotsu ramen over the weekend, and it paired beautifully with our DIPA. We have a soft spot for Asian cuisines, so most of the time that’s what we enjoy them with. However, something like a traditional English pie or warm winter dish would be perfect to have alongside our Belgian ale, Brune-DMC, and we’re confident our other beers would go wonderfully with any meal – with the exception of our stout; that’s a dessert all by itself.
Amazing artwork on the cans! Who did it?
All of our can artwork is done by the ever-talented John Miles. He’s a childhood friend of mine, so when Rob and I decided we wanted to start Lowtide it was a no-brainer for us to get him involved. We’ve always loved his style and originality, and it’s so great to see that everyone else does too.
What’s next for Lowtide ?
We have been blown away by the response we’ve had so far – it’s only made us more excited for what’s to come. We’ve got a big brew calendar lined up and we’re constantly looking at new opportunities. We’ve got several more beers coming out in the first half of 2021, and there will be more later in the year. We hope we can continue on our current trajectory, as we’ve so many ideas and plans and would love to turn them all into reality. Keep drinking Lowtide and we will keep making it!
Rob Buchinger-Jones of Lowtide Brewing

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How to be love drunk, and sober for Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day – the UK loves it and Dry Drinker loves it too, especially at a time when we need to celebrate everything we can. And what’s more important to celebrate  than love?

So, if you want to say I love you, I fancy you, I’ll stick by you, I can’t live without you… we can help.

You’ll be pleased to hear that the Valentine’s Day tradition started in the UK – it’s not a US import. In fact we’ve exported this heartfelt habit around the world – helped by the religious observance of  St Valentine’s Day, which recognises the martyrdom of 2 men (both called Valentine) by the Emperor Claudius II in the 3rd century AD.

Lovestruck young men started sending cards and gifts in the UK in the late 18th century. By 1835, it was an industry, with 60,000 Valentine cards being sent, despite the steep cost of postage.  And after the Penny Black stamp heralded cheaper post in 1840, the number of Valentines posted soared to 400,000! And then the anonymous cards began…

Innovate with Dry Drinker

When it comes to gifts, the ‘box of chocs’ might be feeling a bit tired. So if your loved one loves alcohol free drinks, innovate with Dry Drinker instead this year.

Celebrate their success in completing Dry January. Respect their desire to make healthier drinking choices, while still demanding great tastes. Share and explore the great choice we have to offer. It’s always more fun to find new stuff together.

Whether your romance is solid and enduring, or new and exciting, there’ll be something to suit them in the UK’s largest range of alcohol free drinks. Tour the store – remember we’ve gluten free and vegan friendly choices too.

Here’s 3 ideas to start with:

If they fancy something sparkling and not too sweet, there’s Scavi & Ray Prosecco 0.03% with Lyre’s Italian Spritz Non Alcoholic Spirit 700ml

Start your evening the Italian way. Light, refreshing and authentic alcohol free Prosecco from Scavi & Ray is a perfect partner to the bittersweet flavour of Lyre’s Italian Spritz.

Or if beer is dear to their heart (as well as you), think about the Ultimate Great British Beer Box. That’s 36 different beers made in the UK (330ml to 500ml) plus a free Big Drop glass.

The Ultimate Great British Beer Box – 36 Different Beers 330ml-500ml +Free Big Drop Glass

If love blooms afresh and you’re not sure of their tastes yet, think about The Dry Drinker Gift E-Voucher
Choose a gift card from £25 to £100, and let them decide!

Valentine’s traditions around the world

We said we’d shared the love, so here are some examples of romance around the world:
Amigo secreto or ‘Secret friend’, a bit like Secret Santa, is celebrated in the Dominican Republic and El Salvador. • The mythological meeting of a cowherd and weaver girl is recognised by China’s Qixi or Qiqiao Festival • It’s more platonic in Finland, where they have ystävänpäivä, or Friends Day. • Denmark and Norway mark Valentinsdag, and Sweden opts for Alla hjärtans dag – All Hearts’ Day – though they don’t make such a fuss about it. • Lebanon, where Saint Valentine is the patron saint for many, loves it! Cupcakes are a favourite gift, as are red roses – the emblem of sacrifice and passion. • In Iran, Valentine’s Day threatens to edge out Sepandarmazgan, an ancient Iranian day of love, particularly towards mothers and wives, and a celebration of earth in ancient Persian culture. • Saint Valentine or Zdravko is a harbinger of spring in Slovenia, and is seen as the day when work starts again in the vineyards and fields.

Wine for dining in

Ok, no one will be eating out this year. You’re probably planning a special meal at home instead. We’ve got the BEST choice of alcohol free wines; reds, whites and roses to team with the food of love.
Explore our wine and sparkling wine selection.

We can recommend:

• To start, Richard Juhlin Sparkling Rosé Alcohol Free.  An elegant sparkling wine with a silky texture that reveals subtle notes of sweet berry, citrus and apple.
• For something special, treat yourself to Domaine de la Prade Organic Merlot/Shiraz alcohol free wine 0.0%. Spot on with veal and poultry. Toffee-rich Merlot grapes and crisp Shiraz.
Barrels and Drums 0% Chardonnay is created to enjoy with fantastic food. Fresh and dry, full of tropical fruits and citrus flavours, it’s a winner with fish and seafood.
What to write in the card? Well, I think we’ll have to leave that up to you. But for some inspiration, here’s the classic contribution from Scotland’s national poet, Rabbie Burns.
(Oh, while we’re talking about Scotland, got to admit we’re head over heels in love with Harviestoun Wheesht Dark Ale 0%, brewed at the foot of the Ochill Hills. Velvety, smooth mouthfeel. Rich in flavours of chocolate, biscuit and dried fruit. Like everything at Dry Drinker; no alcohol, no compromise.)

A Red, Red Rose

O my Luve is like a red, red rose
That’s newly sprung in June;
O my Luve is like the melody
That’s sweetly played in tune.

So fair art thou, my bonnie lass,
So deep in luve am I;
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
Till a’ the seas gang dry.

Till a’ the seas gang dry, my dear, And the rocks melt wi’ the sun; I will love thee still, my dear, While the sands o’ life shall run.
And fare thee weel, my only luve!
And fare thee weel awhile!
And I will come again, my luve,
Though it were ten thousand mile.

Robert Burns

Lots of love, from everyone at Dry Drinker!

Dry January: something you can control

If 2020 felt like groundhog day, Dry January is your chance to start 2021 doing something different, for yourself.

Dry Drinker is super proud to be an online partner of the UK’s one-month alcohol free challenge, run by Alcohol Change UK.

This year is different, let’s be up front. A good place to start is Tips on how to do Dry January during COVID-19

Quick wins

Of course, we know the delights of alcohol free drinking for its own sake – that’s our bread and butter. But here are a few more benefits of trying Dry January:

Brighter skin

Calmer mind

More motivation

No hangovers!

Surveys of former participants show:

86% save money

70% have better sleep

66% have more energy

Get your fun back. Get your energy back. Get your calm back. Get your YOU back.

Alcohol Change UK

Long-term benefits

And of course, there can be significant long-term health benefits from reducing how much you drink. Test what you know about alcohol and your body

These health benefits can be physical and mental.

Try Dry app

Download the Try Dry app to your Apple or Android smartphone and you could DOUBLE your chances of completing Dry January (if you use it, obviously!). Download the Try Dry app

We’d love to know how you’re getting on.

We’re here to help

Dry Drinker has got something for everyone in Dry January, February, March…

This year, we’re sticking close to home by supporting amazing British brewing talent. You’ll be amazed at the range of beers, ciders and non alcoholic spirits being made in the UK, often by small independent businesses.

We only sell what we love to drink ourselves, so if you need help deciding what to try, please email hello@drydrinker.com

And we’d love to hear your Dry January success stories!

36 different craft beers

If you’re a fan of craft beer, our Great British Beer Box could see you sorted for Dry January. Explore 36 different craft beers, all made by British brewers, from Scotland to Cornwall, Wales to Suffolk, and with London in between. There’s everything from stout to lager, and pale ale to IPAs.

Great British Beer Box

Join the Dry Drinker family

Subscribe to the Dry Drinker newsletter to get 10% off your first order, as well as regular exclusive offers.

Give gift boxes of experience

The Dry Drinker Alcohol Free Beer advent calendar

It’s good to give experience. Arguably, we’ve got too many ‘things’. and, however nice they are, lots of gifts become clutter.

With a Dry Drinker gift box, your loved one still gets a satisfying box to open, full of different drinks to enjoy.

Our brilliant Alcohol Free Beer Advent Calendar (pictured) gives you 24 different beers – 12 bottles and 12 cans! (£50).

Maybe it’ll be the first time they’ve tried a really good alcohol free beer or wine. They’ll discover there is much more to enjoy than the limited choice you might find (if you’re lucky) elsewhere.

Simple pleasures

You’re giving pleasure. New tastes. Something different. A door opened. A problem solved. Potentially a bit of magic! We need this right now.

And being alcohol free means it is a treat or a luxury that they won’t have to pay for later. It’s genius how something that’s low fat, low calorie, low sugar, with no additives, can seem indulgent. No hangovers. No beer goggles. A chance to pace and stay awake to the end of the movie!

And the box and the bottles can go in the recycling. Nice feelings and no clutter.

Convenience and value

We know you have to consider cost when buying gifts and so we’ve made sure our boxes are great value. And we take care of delivery, with a personalised gift tag, so they know it comes from you.

And if you think, ‘hmm… that’s a lot for drinks that don’t have duty’, think how much you are willing to spend on a coffee 😉

Beers and wines crafted with skill and care to taste fantastic, all alcohol free – what better gift is there than that?

Present buying sorted!

The gift of choice

Dry Drinker E-card
£100 to £25

Let them start shopping straight away and choose what they want with our e-card!

10% off your first order

Subscribe to the Dry Drinker newsletter to get 10% off your first order, as well as regular exclusive offers.

Spirits to calm your soul, alcohol free

Spirits are special characters. They enjoy mixing but they’re more than ready to go it alone, maybe with a chunk of ice for company.

They’ve got distinctive flavours and aromas that take charge. While mellow and relaxing, give them the right bubbles, juice or bitters, and they’ll get the party started.

So, how to make these shape shifting spirits alcohol free? Using traditional distilling methods, sourcing and matching the best natural flavours, and a lot of hard work is the answered.

And the added benefits? Alcohol free spirits are low in sugar, low in calories (none in some cases!), with no artificial flavours or additives and some natural ingredients so rare you might not have heard of them.

Dry Drinker has got an excellent range to choose from – see our spirits.

But here are a pick of spirits that are made to help you keep calm and collected, without the ‘giggle juice’.

Soothing plant power

‘Nightcap ticks a lot of boxes in terms of function and flavour… customers compare it to that whisky moment after a meal or before bed to help them unwind’

Three Spirit founder Tatiana Mercer

Three Spirit Nightcap contains Valerian, Lemon Balm and Ashwagandha, all known to reduce stress and anxiety, improve sleep and boost mood

Three Spirit also use rare, high quality herbals to make Livener – a perfect pick-me-up before a party, and Social Elixir which will keep you buzzing – with no alcohol involved. They call it alchemy. We call it delicious!

Three Spirit Livener, Social Elixir and Nightcap – £24.99 for a bottle and £74.97 for a mixed case.

Step into the garden

‘Seedlip is working with the natural world to change the way the world drinks’

Seedlip Founder Ben

Seedlip Garden 108 is a floral blend of peas and hay with garden herb distillates. A gentle drink with a strong, flavoursome finish.

Seedlip were the front runners. Ben Branson created the world’s first distilled non alcoholic spirit in his kitchen with an old copper still. Along with Garden 108, enjoy Spice 94 and Grove 42.

Seedlip £23.99 a bottle, or £77.97 for a mixed case

Vegan friendly

Comforting sweet flavours

‘It’s this absence of giggle juice that allows you to let your hair down and enjoy a social occasion, then arise in fine fettle to pursue whatever tickles your fancy the following day’


Impossible? Poppycock! That’s Lyre’s response to the claim that you can’t create spirits and liqueurs that taste just like the classics.

One to note is the Lyre’s Amaretto Non Alcoholic spirit – which gives you the yummy almond, tangy spice and vanilla while keeping it medium-sweet. Delicious.

Another to savour is Lyre’s Coffee Liqueur Non Alcoholic Spirit – rich expresso, spice and caramel flavours. Pass me the ice-cream!

Other Lyre’s flavours include: Dry London Spirit, American Malt, Italian Spritz and Italian Orange

Bottles cost £23.99 each.

Vegan friendly

10% off your first order

Subscribe to the Dry Drinker newsletter to get 10% off your first order, as well as regular exclusive offers.

Bottles and cans of vegan and gluten free beers, wine, cider and kombucha

Vegan, gluten free and alcohol free: you can have it all

Give me gluten free, you say.

Give me vegan!

And alcohol free too. Well, you’ll be pleased to hear you can have it all. 

Good news…

There is a growing choice of great alcohol free drinks that meet your dietary needs, if you know where to look.

You are part of market that’s exploding and starting to really matter to drinks makers, from craft brewers to bigger brands.

The number of vegans in Great Britain quadrupled between 2014 and 2019, to 600,000* and many more of us are taking a flexitarian approach. We want to avoid animal derived products (and the cruelty that goes with them) and think plant-based to protect the environment, in what we drink as well as what we eat.

Meanwhile, about 1 in 10 people in the UK avoid gluten, including those with coeliac disease, an auto immune disease which causes gluten to damage the gut. There are also many people who suffer from gluten sensitivity or intolerance. 

At Dry Drinker we make it clear what’s right for you – just search Vegan Friendly and Gluten Free

We have also added a ‘Vegan friendly’ logo to speed up your search when you Pick your Own Beer Boxes. (Thanks to the customer who suggested that!)

Gluten free friends

You’ve got your reasons to avoid gluten; coeliac disease, gluten intolerance, gluten allergy or gluten sensitivity. Maybe it’s a general feeling that gluten free feels better from time to time.

Let’s check out some choices to enjoy…

Gluten Free Can of Jump Ship Yardarm Lager

Jump/Ship Yardarm Low Alcohol Gluten Free Lager 0.5%

A crisp and lively lager with discretely bitter finish, and a sweet, citrus aroma.

Gluten Free Bottle of Drop Bear Tropical IPA

Drop Bear Tropical IPA Gluten Free 0.3%

Super juicy craft brew from Wales. Hoppy bitterness balanced with caramel notes.

Gluten Free Bottle of Thatchers Zero Cider sold by Dry Drinker

Thatchers Zero Cider 0.0%

Award-winning medium dry cider with body, smoothness and character. Appley aromas and crisp refreshment.

Gluten Free Fix8 Kombucha

Fix8 Kombucha

Fix8 Kombucha is for the buzz seekers. Lightly sparkling, deliciously tart and refreshing fermented tea, in 3 zingy flavours that satisfy.

Vegan values

You know why want a vegan choice; animal cruelty, the environment, health.

Let’s check out some choices to enjoy…

Vegan BrewDog Nanny State

BrewDog Nanny State 0.5%

A force to be reckoned with! A backbone of hops and malts will tantalise your taste buds and leave you wanting more.

Vegan Scavi and Ray

Scavi & Ray Prosecco 0.03%

Pop open the bottle, take in the aroma and the celebration can begin. Made with the best Glera grapes.

Vintense Syrah Rose 0%

Be seduced by the freshness. Red fruit nose with raspberry notes. Fresh taste, including hints of raspberries, red currants

Vegan Vintense Sauvignon Blanc


Vintense Sauvignon Blanc 0%

Award-winning medium dry cider with body, smoothness and character. Appley aromas and crisp refreshment.

At Dry Drinker we never stopping looking for premium alcohol free drinks to share with you.

Let us know how we can improve our gluten free and vegan offer. Email hello@drydrinker.com

*(Ipsos Mori polls for the Vegan Society).

Celtic Marches – How low can you go?

As the free from movement seems to have firmly embedded itself into the mainstream drinks industry, Dry Drinker finds out about the producer of Holly GoLightly 0.5% Low Alcohol Cider. You might be forgiven for not immediately recognising the brand name as it would seem that Celtic Marches had been one of Herefordshire’s best kept secrets. Nestled in a quiet corner of Herefordshire, a county renowned for its cider production, this single-estate apple cider producer has been milling away peacefully for over 100 years. Wyer Croft is home to Celtic Marches. With 200 acres of cider apple orchards, developed over seven generations, they are a self-sustaining craft cider firm producing up to 3 million litres a year. The luscious lined orchards are filled with eight cider tree varieties. Each chosen for their growth and taste profiles. These are blended to create their international award-winning ciders. This rare position is a result of over 100 years and numerous generations that have dedicated themselves to the orchards and hop fields. This allows for full control over cider production from tree to glass. Production miles are low, with both the growth and production based on the family farm. Celtic Marches’ sister company, Marches Bottling and Packaging is less than 5 miles away, maintaining their aim to reduce the production impact on the environment. The bold, strong female branding stands out from the norm and is reflective of the women behind this slick operation. With large scale production abilities, the female majority team has been selected by Director, Susan Vaughan for their skills, passion for quality and consistent drive for a premium craft cider. Shaking off the traditional approach to cider branding, each of the core range has a woman’s name, all with a different character and taste. The female strength of the company and it’s branding is a far cry from what the cider industry has been used to. Offering a mix of packaging, from bottles to BIBs, kegs to cans; the strong range of ciders caters for a diverse market. Their ability to follow market trends is not compromising and maintaining traditional values and respect for our provenance will always be core. So why the release of a low alcohol cider? The craft cider market and the growth of low and no alcohol options looks set to continue. Figures from Dry January participation show a clear trend that the UK population drinking habits are changing. With around 4000 participants in 2013, the increase to over 4 million in 2018 was incredible. Our consumer habits have changed swiftly over the last decade. Younger generations are more educated in nutrition and a healthier lifestyle. The percentage of 16-24 year old non drinkers has increased, binge drinking figures have fallen and those choosing to live an alcohol-free life have risen. All of these trends indicate a long term social change. Consumers are seeking high quality alternative drink options. Support for local produce is rising and local economies are boosted as we are more willing to pay a higher price for a premium product, often in smaller volumes and lower ABVs. We are more knowledgeable on the creation of the product from the initial ingredients, the processing, right down to the brand’s ethos. We look beyond the impulse purchase and appreciate the provenance of produce. Enlightened by the knowledge, we are opting away from the cheap concentrate white ciders and reaching for a natural, authentic option. Craft does not exclude no and low alcohol options. When time, care and skill are combined, the result can be equal to the higher ABV products. Bigger brands have already tapped into the craft market, many buying up smaller producers to front a craft campaign. They are no longer resting on their laurels of their commercial presence. Consumers are demanding more natural products, less processed drinks and better qualities, often achieved by smaller batch production. With the low and no alcohol growth set to continue steadily, there will be a corresponding increase in offerings from big alcohol brands to try and fill the market. Celtic Marches are one of the UK’s largest independent craft cider producers. Having launched Holly GoLightly successfully this year, they have extended the range to include a 330ml can. It is a 0.5% ABV cider, made using cider apples from their Herefordshire Farm. Their cider ticks all the current market trends and consumer desires; low alcohol, sustainable, traceability, gluten free, vegan whilst still retaining quality. As a self-sustaining single estate cider producer with 200 acres of cider apple orchards, they have the ability to move effortlessly with the changing market trends. The latest addition of a low alcohol cider in a can will only firm their standing in the low and no alcohol market. Celtic Marches full range is gluten free and suitable for vegans.

Real Kombucha – all you need to know

It’s probably safe to say at this point that kombucha, once the exclusive domain of Shoreditch hipsters, has now made the leap into the mainstream. It can be found everywhere, from bars to supermarket shelves, not to mention here on the pages of your favourite non-alcoholic online shop. However, one perplexing hangover remains. The media, always keen to linger on the World of the Strange, remains infatuated with spine-shuddering pictures of scobys, and are as likely to look at gut health as a leading story. While the health aspects are undoubtedly important, they’re still convinced that this amazing drink is a peculiarity. To our minds, they’re missing the point. The real story, as far as we’re concerned, is how kombucha, when brewed well, can really change the way people drink. We don’t say that lightly, either. Spend time with the Real Kombucha team when they’re out and about in their Booch Bus and you’ll hear evidence first-hand. The Real Kombucha range is such that people often assume they’re supping alcohol, and are dumbfounded to find that they’re actually consuming a non alcoholic drink that weighs lightly in calories and sugar. As they drink more, an idea begins to germinate. “I’m so glad I found this,” they say. “This means I can cut down on the amount of wine I drink.” And that’s exactly how the founder, David Begg, reacted the first time that he tried the drink. “I first tried kombucha when a great friend of mine passed me a glass of his home brew across the table over dinner,” he recalls. “It was absolutely love at first sip. I couldn’t believe that this full flavoured brew was non-alcoholic. So, he gave me some kombucha culture to try brewing my own, and my obsession commenced. I had (almost) given up alcohol a couple of years previously, and since being off the alcohol, there was a really big hole in my foodie life. Water just doesn’t cut it with a great meal, but a well-brewed kombucha can really add something.” David and his growing team experimented with around 150 teas before deciding on the three that make up their current range. Importantly (and rarely for non-drinkers), each suits a specific drinking occasion, and each can be compared to specific kinds of alcohol that have traditionally been offered in certain situations. “We think of our Royal Flush as our full-bodied white wine or champagne,” explains David. “As it is fruity and bubbly it is a great replacement for champagne or prosecco as a celebration drink or as an aperitif. We brew it from First Flush Darjeeling, known in India as the Queen of Teas. The first two tips of the tea plant, picked as they emerge in the first bloom of spring, are dried carefully to tease out a character closer to a delicate white tea.” “Our Dry Dragon works as a really dry Sauvignon Blanc – tart with notes of grapefruit and lemon. We brew it out of Dragonwell pan-fried green tea from Zhejiang Province in China. The fresh leaves are wiped around a piping hot wok to stop the natural oxidation process early. Unlike Japanese green teas, steamed to give a distinct grassy flavour, Dragonwell reveals more complex nutty and straw-like flavours. We talk about it as our ‘all-day’ drink. You can have a bottle of this with your breakfast, or you can sup it in the way you might have a glass of wine in the evening.” “Last, but by no means least, Smoke House is our most complex brew. As I said earlier, black teas tend to ferment to give notes of apple and caramel, but we have selected a Yunnan tea that has a delicate smokiness that comes through in the final ferment. The tea is grown in the high mountains of southern China by smaller, permaculture plantations. The growers climb the ancient, fully-grown trees to pick the finest leaves. Those smokey, apple and caramel flavours give you the sense that you’re drinking a delicious, earthy cider. It’s a great end-of-a-long-day drink.” As more and more people look for an alternative to alcohol (statistics show that around 30% of Londoners between 18 and 24 say they’re teetotal), there has been a marked increase in the number of non-alcoholic options available. Most are traditional boozy drinks with the alcohol removed. In the case of kombucha, however, there’s a whole a new avenue to explore. The Real Kombucha team think of their brews in the same way that wine makers view wine: if you truly understand the ingredients and the process – where they come from, how different teas ferment, which flavours can be drawn from which leaves – and you give them the respect they deserve, then there’s no reason why kombucha shouldn’t be seen as an exquisite, high-end drink in its own right. As the Real Kombucha tagline suggests, it’s a drink “brewed for open-minds”. Perhaps it’s time you took a step off the beaten track and explored this emerging world.

3 things I learnt from a dry January

Dry Drinker Dry January Blog 3 things I learnt from Dry January
Ready for Dry January 2019 ?
  Thinking about doing Dry January 2019? Maybe I can help you decide. I ‘did’ Dry January 2018 and drank a lot less booze this year as a result. Averaged out, my drinking days went from 4 times a week to 1 or 2. So, I spent about £500 less on drinking at home. (That’s haircuts for the year paid for, or maybe a trip away). Dry January is the UK’s one-month booze-free challenge. Sign up. Save money. Feel great and reset your relationship with alcohol. Or you can take on Dryathlon and quit the booze to raise money for Cancer Research UK.

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 drinks

They 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: DrinkAwareNHS, 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): 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 rosésparkling 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).
DryDrinker is a Limited company and registered in the UK.
Company number: 09721275.
VAT registration number (VRN): 244805114.

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