Have you ever had to consider whether it’s safe to drive, or paused to think about what your alcohol consumption is doing to your body or your relationships?
You’re in good company – ‘mindful drinking’ is the emerging global trend of choosing low- and non-alcoholic drinks for health and social reasons – and it’s gaining serious momentum in South Africa.
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Where are they? Aisle no. 7!! Thanks for making a big effort @picknpay It's not that easy to figure this one out. Where should they go? #nonalcoholic #nohangover #af #alcoholfree #alcoholfreebeer #boozefree #sobercurious #mindfuldrinking #mindfuldrinkingfest #soberliving #capetown #southafrica
Also gaining popularity is OcSober, a great initiative that takes place every October. For 30 days people give up drinking and donate the money they would have spent on alcohol to a charity.
Alcohol-free drinks are becoming increasingly conspicuous. In South Africa, Castle Free, Heineken 0.0 and Savannah Non-Alcoholic have launched in the past 18 months, joining a growing number of other beers, non-alcoholic wines, craft ‘vir-gins’, mocktails, kombuchas, and other botanical concoctions. In a massive shift, it’s estimated that 1 in 4 beers consumed in bars in Germany is now low- or non-alcoholic.
There are several reasons cited for why younger generations are drinking less than their parents – health and fitness priorities, greater awareness of social harm caused by alcohol, and exposure to positive lifestyle trends on social media.
Alcohol-producing companies have adapted to meet this new demand. AB-Inbev, the world’s largest brewer, is aiming to make 20% of its beer low- or zero alcohol by 2025. In the UK, figures released by the Department of Health show that in 12 months, sales of non-alcoholic and low alcohol drinks sold rose by 20,5 percent. In the same period sales of high-strength beers fell by 12%.
To promote and de-stigmatise the consumption of non-alcoholic drinks, Capetonians Sean O’Connor and Barry Tyson will host the Mindful Drinking Festival at Kirstenbosch in Cape Town on Sunday 20 October 2019. The festival will bring together alcohol-free beers, wines and spirits, kombuchas and health drinks for the first time in Africa, along with healthy food and live music, giving the public a chance to try many healthy beverages in one place and at low cost.
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Hi! For those who don't know me, my name's Sean, the co-founder of Mindful Drinking South Africa. As someone who is in recovery for alcohol abuse (just over a year clean now!), the festival has become an important part of my journey. Non-alcoholic beer means that I can still partake in the powerful social rituals associated with alcohol, without any of the negative effects. I’m learning that connection is the opposite of addiction! I hope you'll have a beer with me on the 20th of October and connect to our vision of a new world where alcohol isn't necessary for a great time. Cheers! 🍻 #mindfuldrinkingsa #sober #beverage #alcoholfree #nonalcoholic #soberrevolution #zeroalcohol #soberissexy #sobermovement #health #soberfun #sobriety #localislekker #festival #sustainabledrinking #sobercurious #wellbeing #wedorecover #habits #hangoverfree #liberated #summervibes #mindfuldrinkingfestivalsa #responsible #sobercommunity #southafrica
“Our mission is to make alcohol-free drinks acceptable – even desirable – for young and old to choose in any situation,” O’Connor says. “If you’ve had a couple of drinks at a braai, switch to alcohol-free beer instead of being caught in a roadblock, or worse, having an accident that changes your life.”
“Alcohol-free drinks taste better than ever before, and there are more to choose from. The sooner we get South Africans to embrace them as a normal part of our society, the better,” he says.
At the Festival, the public will get to sample drinks directly from their producers, and participate in a blind tasting competition MC’d by comedian Nik Rabinowitz. There will even be a range of presentations explaining the new technologies behind the production of these innovative drinks.
Compiled by Gwen Sparks; Claire Badenhorst