Since I was a teenager I have had sustained periods of regular drinking, in both good but largely challenging times, with some occasional but rare breaks from the amber nectar.
From weekend bingeing in the UK and the horrendous days that followed a session, to more social, but sustained boozing here in Australia and the anxiety it spiked in me, I never once felt close to an addiction, but started to become self-aware that when I felt some strain in my life, I drank more, simple as that.
And then I asked myself one day, tired after a hectic weekend as is custom with my young boys (and thinking about the third lad on the way), “Is any of this good for my general health, mental or otherwise? Even 1%? Do I really need it?” You can guess the answer.
Some may assume my uneasiness spawns from my dad’s passing from the effects of alcoholism, but truly, it has emerged more from a positive, proactive lifestyle reflection.
So in 2021 I vowed to go “dry” in January, and then if I could get over that hill, I would continue for as long as I could.
So far so good, and it was not until my birthday in late January that I decided to have an alternative beer, a non-alcoholic one. Previously even drinking a mid-strength beer could see you teased in these “manly” shores, but thankfully we have come a long way these past few years, both in attitudes and drink quality.
Here are three beers I recommend you check out if you are thinking of cutting down, or going dry completely:
With an Instagram-friendly brand, this felt that it was always going to be a hit. It also happens to be my personal favourite, with a smooth, tropical flavour that tasted similar to one of my favourite mid-strength pale ales from a brewer local to me.
In November 2020 they snared $1.2million in investment which will no doubt mean you will be seeing more of this tipple in a café, bar, pub or even nightclub near you.
Gold-coast based and indigenous-owned, Sobah packs a punch before you even drink it, with some striking can artwork and vibrant, colourful designs.
Preservative and chemical-free, they also boast a range of 7 different types containing flavours including wild ginger, lemon, lime, aniseed and plum!
Pine Trail Pale Ale by Big Drop Brewing Co.
This UK-based brewing targeted Australia in 2020, and arrived full of promise and stacked with alcohol-free and low-alcohol beers.
Its signature Pine Trail Pale Ale has been said to be as refreshing and crisp as it sounds, leaving a next-day feeling the direct opposite of headache like a pine tree crashing onto your head.