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Thread: Sober bars?

  1. #1

    Sober bars?

    I've caught more than one news article lately talking about the rise in "sober" bars, that is bars that do not serve alcohol. The mocktails can get very posh with all sorts of ingredients, just none of them being alcohol.

    Apparently most of this comes from a declining alcohol consumption trend among millennials. Some of the big name brewers like Heineken, always looking to be ahead of the curve, have poured (pun intended) millions into the development of lower alcohol and non-alcoholic beers like Heineken zero that just came out.

    This said, I just can't imagine bellying up to a sober bar and asking the barkeep for a ginger lemongrass spritzer.

    I don't have a moral opinion one way or the other regarding alcohol, but if a sober bar keeps an otherwise drunk driver off the road, or keeps a drunk woodworker from coming home and cutting his or her fingers off, then that would be one good thing.
    But I must say, if Newcastle Brown Ale comes out with a non-alcoholic version, I may just throw myself off a cliff. Some things are sacred.

  2. #2
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    if Newcastle Brown Ale comes out with a non-alcoholic version, I may just throw myself off a cliff. Some things are sacred.
    If they did that, would the make a non-alcoholic Guinness so we could still order a Black & Tan? (someone told me there are parts of Canada where ordering one can get you into a bit of trouble)

    BTW, during the 1970s & 80s there were juice bars where you could order non-alcoholic beverages made with all kinds of vegetables and fruits run through a juicer. My favorite was carrot with a sprig of celery.

    jtk
    Last edited by Jim Koepke; 06-09-2019 at 1:54 AM.
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
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  3. #3
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    I can see it now.....people sitting around a sober bar - sipping fruit juice (which costs ten times more than the stuff you get off the shelf at the supermarket) & eating their "special brownies" they brown bagged into the bar.... .
    My granddad always said, :As one door closes, another opens".
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    As someone who doesn’t drink alcohol, a better variety of non-alcoholic drinks at a bar would be welcome. I’m not sure a total “sober bar” would make it. There was rumor for awhile that a few craft beer folks were going to delve into NA craft beer, but have seen nothing here in the states yet. By the way, I’ve tried every NA beer out there, and to my taste Becks or St Pauli Girl are the best. Most others especially O’drouls is un-drinkable.

  5. #5
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    In my mind, "sober bars" allow those not inclined to drink alcohol and/or those who need to not drink alcohol for any reason to still have the social experience and benefits that a "bar" has held for many centuries. For some folks, the "local bar" IS their social outlet and an important part of the general community. So while I personally enjoy a glass of wine or a good micro-brew every so often with dinner, I'm all for the continued rise of so-called "sober bars".
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    I’m not sure a total “sober bar” would make it.
    Back in my high school days they were called soda fountains.

    During college we hung out at the coffee houses. In Berkeley there was the Forum and the Mediterranean on the same block as Pepe's Pizza. All three were popular places to socialize. The Forum was more for various coffee drinks, some sodas and food. The Mediterranean served Italian sodas, coffee and some food. Those old haunts are all gone now.

    Today Starbucks is the modern coffee shop everywhere you go. There are a few others. The effects of too much coffee can be nerve jangling.

    In some coffee shops they call the decaf no fat latte with artificial sweetener a "why bother."

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Koepke View Post
    Back in my high school days they were called soda fountains.

    During college we hung out at the coffee houses. In Berkeley there was the Forum and the Mediterranean on the same block as Pepe's Pizza. All three were popular places to socialize. The Forum was more for various coffee drinks, some sodas and food. The Mediterranean served Italian sodas, coffee and some food. Those old haunts are all gone now.

    Today Starbucks is the modern coffee shop everywhere you go. There are a few others. The effects of too much coffee can be nerve jangling.

    In some coffee shops they call the decaf no fat latte with artificial sweetener a "why bother."

    jtk
    I think you have the wrong impression. The sober bars I'm talking about serve and create drinks in a different stratosphere of sophistication as compared to the old soda fountains (I'm picturing a jukebox in the corner playing Chubby Checker). Nor are they anything like a coffee house, even the most beatnik boho kind let alone a Starbucks. Here is an article from a culinary blog that will give you an idea of the types of mixed NA drinks they are coming up with: http://www.bbc.com/capital/story/201...-with-no-booze

    Very interesting combinations of homemade bitters, purees, vinegars, herbs. I saw one mentioned containing pear puree, lime, rosemary and bitters.

    I agree wholeheartedly with Jim B, these types of places are great for those who can't or don't consume alcohol but who want to socialize in a comfortable environment.
    Personally I think the winning formula would be for a bar that can offer both - alcoholic drinks and a solid repertoire of creative NA drinks like the sober bars are touting. That way you cover everyone.
    Last edited by Edwin Santos; 06-09-2019 at 4:29 PM.

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    On a related note, look up “straight edge.” These are punk rockers minus the drugs and alcohol.

  9. #9
    I'm not much of a drinker so I often order a non-alcoholic drink (I just don't like the taste of alcoholic drinks). My problem is that I drink it too fast and then have to buy another one

    Mike
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  10. #10
    Only people worse to be around than drunks are people pretending to be at a much higher cost.

    I am not a socializer by any means. Places with people make me uneasy.

  11. #11
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    As someone who rarely drinks anything besides water and unsweet tea, I’d welcome a place with good food and a wider non-alcoholic beverage list. On occasion, I like a good N/A beer with dinner but so few restaurants carry them. While the lack of demand drives the scant supply maybe the non-drinking younger ones will help make a change.

  12. #12
    Apparently most of this comes from a declining alcohol consumption trend among millennials.
    With pot pert near legal and lots of fine legal drugs in the medicine cabinet, who needs a hangover?
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    I would say that a business like this would never make it in the marketplace but I said the same thing several years ago about a shop that specialized in selling coffee for $4 a cup.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Art Mann View Post
    I would say that a business like this would never make it in the marketplace but I said the same thing several years ago about a shop that specialized in selling coffee for $4 a cup.
    If you think that's humbling, I said the same thing about a company that started selling books on the internet a while back.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Kev Williams View Post
    With pot pert near legal and lots of fine legal drugs in the medicine cabinet, who needs a hangover?
    Or brain cells!
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