Good grief, if the customer wants to buy it, then why not stock it? In ‘Dry January’ I’m having a rant about low / no alcohol beers in pubs / restaurants.

With more and more people opting to drink less and the general drive to get people to drink less alcohol, you would think that pubs, restaurants, etc would seize the opportunity to stock a good range of alcohol-free or low-alcohol beers, wouldn’t you? But instead – in my experience – they stock some of the worst varieties (and usually only one variety), if they stock low-alcohol beer or lager at all. I just don’t get it.

As we did last January, my husband and I are doing the DryAthlon in aid of Cancer Research. It’s a great way to detox after the festive excesses and we feel a heck of a lot healthier as a result. Just as good, we’ve discovered a great online store that stocks a massive range of alcohol-free / low-alcohol beers and wines. Judging from what I deposited at the bottle bank yesterday, we must be keeping them in business!

But can we get a decent alcohol-free or low-alcohol beer in a pub or restaurant? Apart from a very few exceptions, no we can’t.

Instead we’re invariably faced with a choice of one beer – usually something horrible, watery and metallic tasting, often served at room temperature, and very obviously not ‘real’ beer or lager. Meanwhile the drinkers have a great range of real and craft ales plus umpteen posh lagers, not to mention the vastly improved wine selection in pubs these days. (Long gone are the days of Hirondelle…)

And, as we discovered in Zizzis restaurant chain shortly after Christmas, some outlets don’t offer alcohol-free or low-alcohol beers / lagers at all. Ginger beer was the closest Zizzis came to ‘beer’. And, when I contacted Zizzis to suggest they add alcohol-free or low-alcohol beers to their menu in a day and age when many people prefer to drink less, not to mention car drivers, they responsed with a lack-lustre: “Whilst we can’t make any promises, we will definitely pass this on to our food team.”

Why can’t you “make any promises”, Zizzis restaurant chain, in this day and age?

So, as a result, H and I have been a little confined to home this January, partaking of the almost infinite variety of low-alcohol beers / lagers we’ve ordered in bulk from the truly wonderful Alcohol Free Shop online store, based in Manchester.

The point of this blog post?

In this day and age I imagine many customers would be delighted to buy first-rate alcohol-free or low-alcohol beers / lagers from pubs, bars and restaurants if they were made available.

So – bars, pubs, restaurants, etc – (a) why not do a little research to find out which alcohol-free or low-alcohol beers have been voted the best and serve them rather than the wishy-washy stuff you serve at the moment, and (b) if you don’t already serve alcohol-free or low-alcohol beers / lagers, then you are way, way behind the times.


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