Alcohol Free Beer, Running and the Good Stuff Drinks Story

I’ve loved beer since I was a student working in a pub with its own micro-brewery.  Tasting new beers and discovering thrilling flavours within a simple pint glass has been a hobby I’ve enjoyed for years.

However, for my entire adult life, I’ve struggled with keeping my weight down.  When I took up running and triathlon 10 years ago it was my biggest issue. Cutting out beer has always helped me loose weight so it became my go-to technique before a big race. This sacrifice came at the cost of not enjoying nights out as much because the only alcohol free alternatives I could find were diet cokes, sugary soft drinks or water.

Once the race was out of the way I’d inevitably relax and start drinking alcohol again.  I was trapped in a yo-yo cycle of weight gain and loss.  This always took away some of the satisfaction I’d felt from my sporting challenges.

Tom Coles Obstacle Course Racing Good Stuff Drinks Alcohol Free
Obstacle Course Racing is one of many events I've enjoyed

Going Alcohol Free

In 2018, I decided I’d had enough of this cycle so looked into what alcohol free beers I could buy. I was surprised by how many great looking alcohol free drinks were available.  Long gone are the days of there being a few flat and watery drinks.  There’s a large range all packed with complex flavours that I really enjoy drinking..

I researched the options for buying online and found a few stores, but always felt frustrated in the buying experience.  More than once I got caught out by drinks that still contained 2-3% in alcohol. I could see a gap in the market for an online experience that was more than just a shop.

Tom Coles Good Stuff Drinks First Marathon Florence 2009

Taking part in my first marathon in 2009.

Making Time For Good Stuff

The biggest challenge I’ve had to work around from day one is finding time to dedicate to Good Stuff Drinks.  Having a family with young children meant evenings and weekends have constant time pressures and my weeks are filled with a day job. 

I decided to use an old habit from training for my first marathon in 2009 – make the most of being a morning person.  With my alarm set at 4am I can fit a couple more hours in each day. It sounds extreme but works really well for me, Plus the house is quiet - a rarity in a house with kids!

Although I’m the driving force behind GoodStuffDrinks.com I couldn’t make it work without the support of my amazing family and friends. What you see on the website is a product of many people’s thoughts and suggestions.

More Than A Shop 

I want to make this site more than just an online shop and instead share the stories behind the people that are making new and exciting alcohol free drinks.  Their energy and enthusiasm for what they do is infectious and shouldn’t be hidden behind their bottles. I’ve already started with stories on Freestar and Drop Bear Beer Co and plan to add more in 2020.

One of the great perks of running this site is trying so many great drinks.  I want to share my knowledge of these and other experiences to add great value to our followers.  For example, I shared my top tips on giving up alcohol to help those doing Go Sober for October, which are all based on my experiences.

Drop Bear Beer Tropical IPA Yuzu Pale Ale Alcohol Free

The story behind Drop Bear Beer Co. is one feature from 2019.

The Future for Good Stuff Drinks

As Good Stuff Drinks continues to grow, so will its variety of drinks – everything from wines & beers to alcohol free spirits and kombuchas. I’m always looking for new drinks and enjoy listening to customers feedback to help develop the range (feel free to get in touch if you have any suggestions).  Whatever products I add will always maintain my commitment of keeping all drinks under 0.5% abv. 

Exciting Times

During 2019 was fortunate enough to talk with some fantastic people in and around the alcohol free movement.  Their energy and enthusiasm is infectious, whether they’re producing drinks or supporting people who want to avoid alcohol. With the growing social acceptance and change in drinking habits, it’s a really exciting time to be involved in the alcohol free market.  

I’m looking forward to helping more people going alcohol free during 2020.