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Not-So-Boozy Bars

A group of women at a popular bar in Los Angeles were socializing and enjoying alcohol-free drinks. NPR interviewed them as part of their piece “Breaking The Booze Habit, Even Briefly, Has Its Benefits”. These women reported they lost weight and were more creative once they stopped drinking. They are part of a movement called “sober curious”.

Over the past few years, there have been versions of the sober curious movement under different names like Dry January and Sober September. People who want to experiment abstaining from drinking for a certain amount of time are part of this sober curious trend. Dry January challenges people to stay sober for the first month of the year and is especially popular because it fits into New Year's wellness resolutions. What better time to take a fresh start and be healthier than at the start of a New Year?

To be clear, the sober curious movement is different from someone with alcohol dependence seeking sobriety- sober curious applies to people who drink moderately but want to experiment with an alcohol-free lifestyle. In a study conducted by Nielsen, about 50% of people who were part of this sober curious movement said they did it for health reasons, 28% to lose weight, and 26% to save money.

Alcohol-free spirits and bars exist all over the United States and are growing as the sober curious movement gains traction, especially among millennials. These spaces can have a number of benefits for people who want to live alcohol-free permanently or just experiment with it. Not only does this allow people to have a place to socialize without relying on alcoholic beverages, but it also allows for bartenders and chefs to craft more creative drinks independent of boozy ingredients.

Seed Lip is a UK-based business that has made the world’s first alcohol-free spirits. They have 3 flavors: Garden 108, Grove 42, and Spice 94. These spirits are wonderful just mixed with sparkling water or crafted into more elaborate mocktails (alcohol-free cocktails). Recently, Diageo bought a majority stake in Seed Lip. Diageo is the parent company of Smirnoff, Guinness, and many other big alcohol brands. This is an indicator of the direction the industry is going in. As demand for alcoholic beverages stagnates, bars and industry companies are looking for alternatives to cater to a new kind of demand.

At Tea By C, we’re eager to see how tea will fit into these trends. With such diversity and complex flavor profiles, it seems that tea would fit right in beside its other alcohol-free cousins on the shelf at your local bar.

Sources: NielsenNPR, and Seed Lip

Featured image is of Ben Branson, Founder of Seed Lip. Image from Seed Lip website.

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