At the end of another dry January, I still find myself asking the question what it is all about and is it really worth it?
Personally, I have never taken part and it still confuses me as to why many people so! Wouldn’t it be a better idea to teach the consistent idea of ‘drinking responsibly’ for twelve months of the year?
Sadly, many people are unaware of the lower strength alternatives that are available to them when going out to the local ‘watering hole’ but they are out there – all you need to do is ask. And the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) has launched a campaign to help make people more aware of the benefits of lower and even non-alcoholic beer.
Non-alcoholic and lower percentage beer is slowly but surely making its way into contention as a viable contender in a number of shops, bars and restaurants. There is a common misconception, especially with men, that these drinks do not look or taste the same as ordinary lager and by ordering one, it makes them feel emasculated. This is unfoundedly not true – beer is one of the few drinks where is possible to reduce the alcoholic content without impacting on the myriad flavours.
For those that have tried the likes of Becks Blue, Foster’s Radler and Sole Star, they will know that not only do the bottles look like standard beer, but they can also taste very similar to the local favourites. These can offer an appropriate drink for those who are out and have to drive, or don’t want to wake up with dry mouth and the inevitable pounding headache; that comes with drinking full strength alcohol all night.
For many, it is simply habit to just order a pint of larger or a large glass of wine without even thinking about it. But next time you are ordering, why not try asking what low alcoholic drinks they offer and give one of them a try. Who knows, you might just like it.
By Matt Vowles