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October 21, 2019

Sober revolution and the rise of non-alcoholic drinks

Alcohol free and low alcohol products like beer, cocktails, wine, and more, are becoming more popular across the world. In fact, GlobalData found that non-alcoholic beer was the fastest growing segment of the beer market worldwide last year. 

South African Breweries (SAB) confirms that people are also taking up this global trend here in South Africa. And it’s not just designated drivers, pregnant women and people who don’t think for religious reasons – people are looking to moderate or cut down on their alcohol consumption for primarily health concerns. Low alcohol or alcohol free variants of popular alcoholic drinks are seen as a healthier alternative to the hard stuff.

In the past, there were limited options for people not wanting to drink. You could have a hydrating (and frankly boring) water or a can of cooldrink and feel like a child. But recent innovations by breweries, winemakers and other companies have resulted in a plethora of new sophisticated low or alcohol-free products. These trendy and tasty alternatives seem to look and taste pretty close to the real thing. Many of South Africa’s favourite brands have released non- or low-alcohol variants of their much loved products. Some of them include: 

  • Savanna Non-alcoholic Lemon: The first nonalcoholic cider in SA has an alcohol content of less than 0.3%
  • Castle Free: South Africa’s first de-alcoholised beer
  • Leopards Leap: Have release dealcoholised red and white wine, with an alcohol content of only 0.5%. Apparently, you would need to drink estimated 9 bottles to reach the legal limit!

Image result for leopards leap alcohol free wine

In Cape Town this weekend, Mindful Drinking, South Africa’s first alcohol-free drinking festival was held. Distillers, brewers and wine-makers showcased their low alcohol and alcohol-free offerings and promoted responsible drinking. 

Even if you’re not participating in Oct-Sober or Dry January, these exciting new products and slowly changing drinking culture will make it easier to still enjoy the social aspect of drinking. You can still share a drink with a friend, or have one for the road, and not worry about driving home or a hangover the next day. 

We’re currently ranked as the unhealthiest country in the world. South Africa’s alcohol use is one of the major factors contributing to our poor state of health, so this sober-curious movement couldn’t have come sooner.