Alcohol Free Bars – Sydney style

Alcohol Free Bars – a good or bad thing then ?

When I started writing my blog I never thought I would be writing about our Aussie friends as much. It seems during the lock down period sales went up for non-alcoholic beverages which backed up my theory that when the choice is there people choose differently.

So it is great to see alcohol free bars popping up post covid-19 lock down.

It was only yesterday when I got turned away from sitting outside a bar to explain I could not use hand sanitized with alcohol in. Anyhow the next bar understood and I got served  – a better choice of alcohol free beers anyway in San Miquel Zero.

It did make me feel slightly discriminated against again for avoiding alcohol but of course that is my world and not everyone understands. However, I also don’t want to start talking about my liver disease to everyone I meet at a bar just to get a drink!

The good news in brewers and advertising agencies are starting to spend time on pushing the alcohol free brands and that has to be good news for everyone who just wants a few more options when out and about regardless of any lock down within!

How is Heineken helping with social distancing ?

So we are all getting used to social distancing and it seems it is not going to go away soon. It’s that awkwardness when you go out and if asking for non-alcoholic options is not stressful enough now I have to explain why I choose an not to use a alcohol free sanitized gel. Crikey I get double the looks.

Australia seems to be setting some kind of trend and their marketing of Heineken 0.0 is on the increase it seems. The big brand Heineken has created a solution to give you and a bit more peace of mind when jumping through hoops to get more choice of zero alcohol beers. As I have written about anyhow the social sneering you get for not going with the norm is interesting anyhow so I was intrigued.

What’s the campaign?

It’s called the “As Now You Can” campaign, does it make sense? No me neither but hey I’m rolling with it.

It’s a ‘zero contact bar’ for Heineken 0.0, in response of course to COVID-19 and the way we now have to socialize which is complicated regardless. The campaign is the brainchild of Momentum Worldwide and a company called Red Havas has led the PR side of things.

So its very sc-fi if verging on a gimmick but hey I am not complaining ! A contact less robotic arm, put together by robotics students from the University of Sydney.

So Heineken 0.0 became contact less it seems, and while novel I do wonder if it has long term legs ( or arms) but I do admire their creativity and anything that helps the promotion of non-alcoholic choices is alright with me!

Heidi and Ken are here to help apparently with your alcohol free bars and choices

So imagine these two robots called Heidi and Ken and they serve you on this kind of beer train. Even they admit it has to be ice-cold to serve. Its operated via a conveyor belt that runs through the bar. If you are called Heidi or Ken what do you think about the name choices? Are you OK with it or are you feeling honored?

The bit I found funny was it’s technically a private bar allowing one person in at a time. Now that is private if not so much fun. I am presuming you can then take your drink outside that area to see humans. Anyhow it’s a four-week run so it’s great to be fair for a promotion and it gets the world talking about alcohol free choices.

“The past few months have been challenging and as we continue to adjust to physical distancing, we thought about how we could help more people try an alcohol-free beer during July, in – a safe and responsible way,” Lion brand director of premium and craft beer Malcolm Eadie says.

“Thanks to our partners at Momentum Worldwide and Red Havas, the launch of the Heineken Zero 0.0 Contact Bar, provides a great platform to champion the brand’s innovative pedigree and long-standing commitment to first-class hospitality.

It’s a unique destination for trying a great-tasting alcohol-free beer in the current environment and we look forward to welcoming people along to our ‘alcohol-free, contact-free’ bar to enjoy a brand new drinking experience.”

It is interesting that the brand was only launched in Australia in 2019 so it shows how fast the market is moving and consumer pressure is ranking up.

I love it as things like this which will wake up bars and other providers. With social pressure playing such a role the highlighting of non-alcoholic choice this can be nothing but a really good thing.

If you have never tried Heineken 0.0 you can read my review here

Are Alcohol Free Bars – a Good idea?

They have been recently celebrated in both London and Dublin with the majority of people celebrating the fact on social media. However, I shocked people a bit by saying well yes and no. Here’s the thing the biggest issue for me is not finding an alcohol free bar it’s finding any bars with increased choice, from non-alcoholic beers to gin without the alcohol. I would not want to stop my friends drinking,

Of course many people who are vegetarian and vegan said that they found it difficult eating in a restaurant that served meat. I suppose if you have a problem abstaining from alcohol it might be an excellent choice but for those of us who just can’t drink alcohol. It felt like a hammer trying to crack a nut.

Having said that I would be happy to go to a vegetarian only restaurant so I was comparing the two dilemmas if I am honest. I would love to hear your views.

Having said that I hope to visit both the London one and the Dublin offer when travel is back to normal. I will withhold my verdict till then.

Please leave your views below and I always respond. What’s life like for non-alcoholic options in Australia? Do You think these promotions are good at raising awareness? Have you ever been to alcohol free bars, what was it like? Would you have friends who drink be OK with it?

I would love to hear your review as it gets people talking and keeps the debate going! Leave your comment below.

2 thoughts on “Alcohol Free Bars – Sydney style”

  1. Hi and thanks for this interesting article. I have lived aspects of this story in a number of ways actually going back a long time. For a few years – even overlapping my college years I was alcohol-free. Strange I know there was nothing religious here, I guess it was just an individualist trip that I was on at the time. I didn’t have any underlying health issues, I hadn’t particularly had a high tolerance for alcohol but anyway there it was. I was constantly ridiculed of course. I used to drink fruit juice and lemonade but it would never have occurred to me back then that there were such things as alcohol-free bars. They did not exist. I have also been mostly vegetarian, and for many years purely vegetarian and I would and still do very much enjoy going to vegetarian restaurants. I abhor when we have house guests and my wife feels compelled to make red meat and use our cooking facilities. When I firs tread your article I had a hard time understanding why you object to hand sanitizer with alcohol, but then when I thought about it, if I could imagine a world where pigs blood was an effective or even the most effective hand sanitizer, I would not want to rub my hands in it. So I understand. Thanks again and best regards, Andy

    • Hey Andy, some excellent points to get the debate going and I can see both sides. The point of alcohol in hand gel is that because of my health condition with my liver I have to avoid alcohol totally except where it is natural in some foods. A product range for alcohol free hand gel is growing fast believe it or not. That probably was not made clear in the article and I will adjust that. Good call thanks. 

      I think every thing relates back to consumer choice and my point about alcohol free bars was that it can excuse other bars from offering options. 

      I loved your comment full of personal experience, reflective and hopefully will inspire others to comment. I really appreciate it. Phil


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