Do you drink any alcohol?

I stopped drinking alcohol in January 2009. I did dry January as I had several times before, only this time I carried on. I haven’t had an alcoholic drink since, although there was a mix-up in a restaurant in Sarajevo one time…

Does 0.5% ABV beer contain alcohol?

At 0.5% ABV, the regular human body does not process alcohol in a way which leads to any of the physical effects of alcohol. There is no difference in how our bodies process 0.5% ABV to how we process 0.0% ABV. Low levels of alcohol, a natural bi-product of the ripening or fermentation process , occur in our typical every day diets. Orange juice, bread and fruit all contain levels of alcohol up to 1.0% ABV, and we can consume them without fear of the effects of the alcohol therein. I enjoy not wanting to drink alcohol so much that I set my personal high bar at 0.5% ABV. This makes it easy for me, and there is no difference between the effects felt from drinking any beverage at 0.5% ABV or lower, including those which are labelled at 0.0%.

Can we send you some beer?

Yes, of course. Brewers do send me beer to review and also to seek feedback on new brews or styles.

Drop me a line by email or via Instagram.

Will you help judge our alcohol free category for our awards?

Judging alcohol free beer is much like judging beer with alcohol, except that there is no risk of intoxication impacting the scoring. I apply my own tasting methodology to my own reviews, and this enables me to evaluate impartially the merits of a beer and to communicate how it tastes. Having done this for more than 1500 different beers my tasting skills are well-honed! I would also add that because I do not drink alcohol, I do not draw comparisons with non alcohol free beers. For me a beer without alcohol is just a beer, and everything I have learned about beer over the last decade and more, has been from beer without alcohol.

How about alcohol free cider?

I enjoy drinking cider and I spent many years living in ‘Cider Country’ in the UK. I have tried more than 50 different alcohol free ciders and I review them when I can. There are simply fewer choices available, and the cider sector is not as diverse as for alcohol free beer. You’ll find all my cider reviews on a highlights reel on my Instagram, helpfully labelled ‘ciders’.

Which is the best alcohol free beer?

Not so long ago I would have tried to answer this question, but now the choice is simply too wide. If you have heard me answer this question on podcasts then I do give a response, but there is always context. The best beer depends upon context, environment, personal preferences and of course how that beer is served.

What does the future look like for alcohol free beer?

Things, and by that I mean attitudes, products, behaviours, are changing fast. They will also probably never change this slowly again. I am a passionate advocate for the role of pubs in our social well-being, and I see alcohol free beer as the saviour of pubs. Whether your alcohol free drink is a life choice or simply what you are choosing this time, pubs will offer a wider and wider choice, including multiple draught options.

Alcohol free beer is here to stay, but I predict that before long we just won’t notice it, or those who order it, anymore.

What advice do you have for someone who wants to stop drinking alcohol?

Personal circumstances and indeed individual stories differ greatly. I have never positioned myself as an advocate of sobriety, however I do champion alcohol free beers. My work spreading positivity on this subject has helped people who needed to change their relationship with alcohol. I am very proud that my words have helped.

Not drinking alcohol is something which suits me: alcohol free beer is not triggering for me in any way, but I also didn’t drink any until several years after I stopped alcohol completely. We are all individuals, I respect what makes us different. I know some brilliant people who document their sobriety stories online, and I would advise that people look for such advocates. My work doesn’t promote sobriety, it simply promotes alcohol free beer.

Anything else?

There is so much more to the world of alcohol free beer than I can ever hope to cover on one brief website. This is really just a digital business card for me and some of what I do. So whether it is commissions, invitations, speaking or consultancy work, please dont hesitate to get in touch.