The following is a guest post from Bev, the founder of Badass Mother Runners:
When I tell people, I’ve given up drinking I always feel the need to follow it up very quickly with ‘I’m not an alcoholic… or pregnant’. I wonder if it’s just a preconceived notion on my part that people might think that or if maybe we do live in a society where people don’t really understand why anyone who didn’t need to would voluntarily give up the booze?
Running Alcohol Free
As I write this it’s been 134 days since my last alcoholic drink (yes, I have a counter ap, I’m rock n roll like that!). Do I feel better for it? Definitely! Has it been hard? Not at all, which I find a bit strange. So why give up the drink? Two words… insomnia and anxiety, both of which I dislike very much.
I’ve gradually drunk less as I’ve got older, as a mum of two my days of partying several nights a week drinking Jack Daniels with my mates till the early hours are long gone. This evolved into a nice glass of wine or two at home, especially on a Friday night after a busy week in work. I’d drive home via the shop and pick up a couple of bottles for me and hubby to share. The routine was comfortable, it was easy and after a busy week we ‘deserved it’! White wine would be my preferred choice, dry but other than that I’m not too fussy as to which. This little habit shouldn’t really cause any issue but at a time when I was struggling with anxiety and low mood alcohol massively amplified the problem. Insomnia and a huge dose of anxiety was hardly a fair trade for 2 (large) glasses of wine on a Friday night. Something had to give and that’s how I find myself exploring the fabulous hangover free world of alcohol-free beer!
Benefits of Being Alcohol Free Runner
By stopping drinking alcohol, I’m able to keep my anxiety better in check and I haven’t had insomnia at all, which is wonderful as I love my sleep and am a grumpy arse when I don’t get enough – just ask my family! I’m less tired in the morning which really helps my Saturday morning parkruns and my energy levels to get up and go! I just feel…better… its that simple!
Do I feel like I’m missing out? Not at all! We are incredibly lucky now that there’s so many excellent alcohol-free options. 13 years ago, when I was pregnant with my eldest you could only get a lager called Kaliber and to be honest I’d rather just not bother – it really wasn’t great! But now we have an incredible selection not only from the biggest beer brands like Budweiser and Heineken (Heineken zero on draft is popping up in pubs everywhere now!) but also smaller independent breweries who are joining in this fabulous uprising of companies who understand the new consumer need for something ‘more’.
Alcohol Free Beers Review
I met Tom from Good Stuff Drinks on Instagram, and he kindly offered to send me a few beers to try… woohoo fabulous beverages delivered to my door, who could ask for more! (Thanks Tom)! I’ve never been very adventurous with my choices of lager, so I was really excited to try something new!
For those of you who like your beer with a citrus twist you definitely need to try Lowlander – It says on the label that it’s ‘refreshing and crisp with bursts of fruit and citrus flavours. It also says that it is brewed in the Netherlands with reclaimed orange and lemon zest (surplus from bars and restaurants… a zero-waste approach, very clever!). I was a little apprehensive as I’m not usually one to go for citrussy beer. However, this one I like! It has a nice ‘gentle’ flavour that’s not sour or too sharp. It tastes like summer, so if you’re looking for chilled out beers to fill the garden ice-bucket Lowlander is definitely worth a try! Another one for you would be Freestar, who’s classic brand style of the packaging had me fooled! It’s made with Bergamot and has a very distinct taste. It was also interesting to read about their natural brewing process and ethical values on their website.
COAST Farmhouse Ale was a delicious light ale (for those of you used to reading eloquent beer reviews, please excuse my amateur lack of technical terminology) as was the Drop Bear Yuzu Pale Ale which I’ve wanted to try for ages and it didn’t disappoint! I happen to know that Drop Bear Beer has been founded by two badass babes from Swansea so they definitely get a big thumbs up from this local girl!
My personal favourite though was definitely Lucky Saint – I love what it says on the label “Moderation isn’t the dirty word it once was. We’ve woken up from the hangover with a clear hear and big ambitions. To Specialise where others don’t, to innovate where others aren’t. To finally reward those who aren’t drinking with the beer they deserve”. I’ll be keeping an eye out for this one everywhere I go now (not to mention ordering more from GoodStuffDrinks!)
Trying the Wine
I also tried the Belle & Co sparkling white wine, which was delicious! I’ve not really tried many alcohol-free wines as the ones I have tried have been disappointing which makes me reluctant to try others but this one was lovely! Crisp, fresh and bubbly… pass me another glass please!
If your doing dry January, or sober October or any other alcohol free month – make the most of it and go exploring! Theres so many great options to try, you might just find a new favourite beer like I have!
Bev is the founder of Badass Mother Runners, an online community for mums to chat about running and kids and life and stuff. (No kids? no problem!… come join in anyway!). You can follow them on Instagram and Facebook.
Buy Your Alcohol-Free Drinks
Just click on the links and use the code GOODSTUFF to get 5% off at Wise Bartender.