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  1. Published on: 11/12/2023 06:01 PMReported by: editor
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    As we hit the ever-expanding Christmas and New Year holiday season, many of us celebrate with a tipple or two. Parties and works outings mean pubs are often heaving, which is of course great news for our pubs, brewers and other drink producers, but there is a sudden collapse in trade once the new year arrives.

    At that point, perhaps after some seasonal excesses, many people decide to go 'on the wagon' for a month or two. Nothing wrong with this, but for our pubs and bars it can be a matter of 'after the feast, the famine'. Perhaps a more nuanced approach, rather than the black-and-white options of either indulgence or total abstention, may provide an approach that is more satisfactory both for our pubs and for drinkers.

    Some drinkers find that soft drink just don't suit them, mostly being too sweet. In recent decades, some brewers have been developing alcohol-free versions of their products. One of the first alcohol-free beers was Kaliber, a 0.05 per cent lager launched by Guinness in the 1980s; it wasn’t regarded as very good. Another that I recall was White Label brewed by Whitbread to a strength on 1 per cent. While it wasn't wonderful, if I was reducing my alcohol intake for any reason, I'd sometimes buy a half of ale in a pint glass and top it up to a pint with the White Label, not too a bad compromise at that time.

    Nowadays, the choice of alcohol-free drinks is rather better. Many brewers are producing de-alcoholised versions of their popular beers. One example that I have seen is from Adnams who have produced a 0.5 per cent version of their popular Ghost Ship, which is normally 4.5 per cent. Some pubs even have such beers on tap: the Guest House in Southport has an alcohol-free lager on tap which I'm told sells well. If you Google alcohol-free beers, you'll see the range that is now available.

    Such options allow you to have a drink, support your local and at the same time cut your alcohol intake. This is worth considering rather than completely boycotting pubs for a month or two. There are also other reduced or zero alcohol drinks, such as spirits, so that being on the wagon doesn't have to mean the misery of avoiding your local and your friends. Cheers!

    Neville Grundy
    Southport & West Lancashire CAMRA

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  4. The PNP says:11/12/2023 07:20 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by editor View Post
    Such options allow you to have a drink, support your local and at the same time cut your alcohol intake. This is worth considering rather than completely boycotting pubs for a month or two. There are also other reduced or zero alcohol drinks, such as spirits, so that being on the wagon doesn't have to mean the misery of avoiding your local and your friends. Cheers!
    First sensible post I've seen from CAMRA.....Many folk drink, many folk drive - and some have a habit of doing both. At least with alcohol-free products, those who choose to do both aren't putting us all at risk when they drive home after a 'session'!


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