After the main alcohol rehabilitation process is through, many people in recovery find that trying to re-enter social circles is tricky business. Thankfully, the availability of non-alcoholic drinks is one facet of socialization that doesn’t have to be difficult. For a number of reasons, there is an upswing of non-alcoholic drinks available to all sectors of the public.
Declining Alcohol Sales
According to the Wall Street Journal, non-alcoholic beer sales have risen by nearly 4% in the last five years and continue to be the fastest growing segment of the industry. Meanwhile, regular beer sales remain stagnant. The sales of non-alcoholic cocktails are also climbing.
Non-Alcoholic Drinkers: Who
Current trends report that it is not just recovering addicts who seek a non-alcoholic drink option. This makes an easier transition for those in recovery as they try to re-establish social connections. They are in good company and have many allies: there are many people who drink but still welcome the choice to have an alcohol free beverage. Thirty percent of American adults don’t drink at all. And yet another thirty percent report having less than two alcoholic drinks per week. Generationally speaking, millennials and “Generation Z” are drinking far less. According to an article in Business Insider, the newer generations are drinking 20% less than their older counterparts.
Why Non-Alcoholic Drinks are Trending
Outside of the generational factor, people lean toward the non-alcoholic option for three main reasons:
Health and conscious living is the main factor; social media has increased the popularity of health and fitness routines and normalized the idea of meal preparation, lower calorie intake and reduced reliance on sugar products. These main talking points heavily factor into the decision to drink and what type of drink to ingest.
The Role of Social Media
Those who seek non-alcoholic beverages do so in large part because of social media. This is a new “surveillance culture” and as such, many millennials are wary of drinking alcohol, becoming out of control, and having their behavior immortalized in videos and photos. Many are aware that one seemingly innocuous photo now has the potential to be uploaded onto various social media platforms and broadcasted around the world in a matter of seconds. A bad image can ruin reputations and come with educational, personal and professional repercussions. Millennials are a very image-conscious group.
Spirits and Cocktails
As part of this new trend, bartenders work to improve their non-alcoholic cocktail game. Many bartenders contend that alcohol is not what it takes to make a good cocktail– the flavor is. To this end, they experiment with herbs, spices, and fruits from farms. They look to complex flavors from European locales like Italy, Spain, and France to mimic popular drinks but without the alcoholic component. They toil in search of distinct flavor with zero-proof.
Where: Sober Bars
A sober bar offers a different environment than a typical restaurant/bar. Many patrons of sober pars are looking to keep an active nightlife and an outlet for all their energy that doesn’t have to involve alcohol. These establishments offer karaoke, dancing, and loud music. Billiards, ping-pong and even indoor smoking rooms are also available. Sober bars are actually a re-emerging trend and not a new concept. The existence of sober bars can be traced as far back as the late 19th century when the temperance movement was in full swing. During this time, complete abstinence from alcohol was promoted and as such, there were so-called temperance zones; many of these bars lied within those zones, namely Fitzpatrick’s Temperance Bar, founded in 1890. Root beer is still one of their most popular drinks. In the present day, sober bars continue to gain traction on a global scale and find homes in vibrant locales like:
- London, UK
- Dublin, Ireland
The London location is named “Redemption” and actually has three locations within the city. In Dublin, “The Virgin Mary” is a sober bar that just opened in January. Within Arizona, “The Yard” is a sober bar with locations in both Tempe and Phoenix.
The good news is that whatever route your recovery takes, you have plenty of options and allies when it comes to regaining and maintaining a social life; you don’t have to live life as a hostage to addiction and can be free to embrace rehabilitation. If rehabilitation is your path, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us here at SpringBoard Recovery.