Soft drink: why twenties choose to be sober

Three in their twenties explain why they chose to stay sober amid a growing trend to give up alcohol.

Drinking is so intertwined with Australian culture that it seems nearly impossible to separate the two, yet more and more young people are choosing to skip alcohol and stay sober.

The non-alcoholic beer market really started in 2020 and, with a rate of 62% year-on-year, it is now the fastest growing segment within the beer category.

The alcohol-free craft beers have been brewed with the same love and care as the regular and even kind XXXX – arguably one of the lousiest Australian beer companies on the market – has teamed up. Now you can pretty much take any of your favorite alcoholic beverages, minus the alcohol.

So why do so many in their twenties decide to join the movement?

“I loved going to the pub, I was a bit of a party animal,” explains Jack Burton, 28, “but last year I just got out of it a little, so I took a month off for the first time. absolutely “.

“Then we went into the block again and I didn’t want to do it like I did the first time, having a few drinks every night. So I didn’t drink during the lockdown. After that I started loving it: energy, and waking up feeling good, feeling fitter ”.

“I think I’ll move on, I’m happy enough not to drink.”

It’s a trend that has seen an increasing number of peers choose the same path, noting that in her group chat, four out of five of her friends have stopped drinking.

“I think the blockade has changed a lot of people’s behaviors,” he said. “We stopped going out because we couldn’t, but that broke the back of the habit of going out every weekend. You started looking for other things to do ”.

Even for him the exit from the lockdown did not prove to be a problem, although he can return to socializing in a group.

“It was all good socially, I actually love all non-alcoholic beer. I don’t think people care anymore, I don’t feel any pressure to drink. In June it will be 12 months without drinking “.

Will Mulhollando, 27, agrees, although his motives for giving up alcohol were a little more personal.

“My father is dead,” he shared. “He had a long history with alcohol and was suffering from dementia. Seeing what happened to him scared me. I didn’t want him to happen to me ”.

“I also did an assessment of my relationship with alcohol and wanted to experience what life was like without needing a drink to have a good weekend or socialize.

“I thought I’d try to be sober for a month and see how it goes. When I was over two months old, I knew I absolutely wanted to do a year.

“I had a drink to celebrate at the end of the year, which was nice, but now I’m not drinking again.”

Mr. Mulhollando also began to love the hangover-free lifestyle, which motivated him to keep a sober path.

“I noticed that my life was becoming more coherent and I felt like I was growing more. It allowed me to focus on what I wanted to achieve in my life, ”she said.

Matt Richards, 32, also chose to get sober back two years ago after moving to Sydney from London.

“I tried a few month-long challenges in London, but I never managed to get any advantage,” he explained. “Moving a country really gave me the space to really try it out.”

For Richards, the catalyst was really starting to feel longer and stronger hangovers as he made his way into his late 20s.

“As we get older, the negative effects of drinking get worse,” he said. “You have been feeling it for a number of days.”

What has held him back is the moment he comes back into the day to be productive, a change he described as “wild”.

“There hasn’t been a weekend in London that wasn’t spent drinking or recovering from alcohol,” he explained.

“Then last Sunday I went surfing twice, I went for a run, I cleaned the house and then it was only 4pm. I was like, what should I do now? “.

“It’s fun, a small change can impact virtually every part of your life in a small way. Your sleep improves, your diet improves, your exercise improves. Will your relationships improve? Probably because you are more present and less anxious.

“It was a truly all-encompassing positive change.”

Originally published as Why twentysomethings choose not to drink