Goodbye Sober October, Hello Non-alcoholic November

Why I'm predicting the non alcoholic trend is sticking around

Sober October non alcoholic beer

It's October 31st and our collective obsession with sugary sweets reminds me of one of my wife's famous sayings when going out to eat,

"Why would I waste calories on a drink when I could save it for dessert?"

She isn't a teetotaler per se, like either of our presidents-to-be, but I'd say 99% of the time would spring for a cookie over a cabernet.

Unfortunately, she also doesn't love beer. So I typically sip my favorite NA brews solo. But with non-alcoholic alternatives being objectively healthier, and on the rise, I'll find her something one day...

Until then, what will the rest of us be drinking for the rest of 2020?

Sober October is over, now what?

Just take a look at the hashtag #soberoctober on Twitter and you'll see that it is likely as popular as it's ever been. This year brands like Athletic Brewing, WHOOP, Guinness, and more all took part in some way or another.

Aside from companies trying to get their share of the alcohol-free profits out there (and I don't blame them), the most interesting (and encouraging) thing to read is from every day drinkers like you and me.

Sober October na beer twitter

Nice work, Dylan

non alcoholic beer sober october

Looks like Richey might be sticking with it a little longer.

non alcoholic beer sober october

Chris got a little healthier.

non alcoholic beer sober october

Andrew is discovering some NA beers that he likes!

The above is awesome, not to mention what is happening in the UK to raise money for Cancer research.

I'm proud of everyone who participated. I personally think it's good for your body and good for the beer community as a whole.

On to November, one of the booziest months of the year

Thanksgiving, colder weather, holiday parties (on Zoom?), elections, stress. All reasons that November outsold every other month in alcohol sales last year. You heard it here first, I think this year will be different.

2020 has obviously been a roller coaster of historical proportions. For many, being at home (away from the bars) has had them reconsidering their drinking habits. And let's be fair, maybe all their habits in general.

I was at an outdoor, socially distanced networking event last week (crazy, right?) and got to talking about NA beer. The topic of non alcoholic beer came up because this event was serving beer, wine, seltzer, and to my surprise they had Lagunitas Hoppy Refresher not exactly an NA beer but delicious and definitely close enough. Honestly, it was amazing to have the option (and it helped me talk about beer without a buzz which is also a major plus).

I was interested to hear that my friends had gone a few month-long stints without alcohol before and really enjoyed it. They also were shocked by some of the stats around how much alcohol-free and low alcohol beer is taking off and why many think it's the next big thing.

"hey, this is pretty good -- I think I'll start drinking this year round"

By the sound of it, my friends left the conversation eager to try a craft NA beer when they got the chance (success!)

I also happened to speak with a friend from England this week and asked her about the UK NA beer scene. She isn't a drinker but said every time she's out with her friends, no matter where they go, there is an alcohol-free beer option available.

I wrote a bit about how the UK is leading the charge on this here: Inclusive Drinking Culture

So everyone is drinking non-alcoholic beer now?

Well, no. Plenty of people have been counting down the hours until their first sip of the "real" stuff and they won't look back until next October.

But I do think the trend is going to keep gaining speed and that just maybe NA beer sales will be up for the rest of 2020 and beyond.

Long story short, not-drinking is becoming more of a thing, and the simple fact that more and more people are choosing to either not drink at all or try a non-alcoholic beer, odds are there are going to be some people who think, "hey, this is pretty good -- I think I'll start drinking this year round".

Please consider sharing beer without a buzz with your friends and family. For more on this and other points of interest in the NA beer community, grab your favorite non-alcoholic beer and follow @beerwithoutbuzz on twitter and join the conversation.