Want is ABV?
When you decide on an alcohol free 0.0 abv lifestyle it can be very confusing as to what to drink and what’s safe for you. I’m not talking here about low alcohol and just a night when you are taking it easy on the booze front
I’m talking about the zero alcohol rule whether you can’t don’t want to or choose not to drink alcohol.
Here is just a bit of help with what to know and how to know it despite what you will be told. Be bold, be confident and as you will find out you are actually helping bars their business to give you the choice you want to have as consumer.
Don’t always assume what you given is alcohol free?
At the beginning of my alcohol free journey and in my case it was health driven and yours may not be, I was very naive.
I would go to a restaurant or a bar and to feel I was joining in, I would be very specific and politely ask for a no alcohol beer.
If I am honest I was naive and thought I’d just get one!
However, people’s interpretation of what’s alcohol free is totally different depending on the bar or restaurant. The interpretation ranged from low alcohol to low calorie and I’d be given it without a glance or thought.
To be fair I’m not blaming the people who serve me you as it’s a new area to them and no one has explained to them in their training. Even the owners of the establishment are probably not sure. I know I have written to them!
So what’s ABV?
Alcohol by volume or ABV is basically how you cross-check and its on the label you just need to look for it. Generally most beers brands have started to use this branding on the front of their bottle but the real answer can be found on the back of the bottle near the ingredients.
What you looking for is 0.0 abv which means no alcohol.
It’s the one that they will be licensed on in terms of the product. Believe it or not there is a wider range alcohol free and low alcohol products and people lump them all into one.
So low alcohol versus non-alcoholic?
So in a bar and even online check the abv alcohol by volume and we will use beer as an example. There are 0.5 abv, 0.10 abv and the people serving will just put them all together. Don’t get me wrong their is nothing wrong with them per se in terms of service this is about your choice as a consumer and that’s important especially if you choice like me is health related.
It’s always worth checking the small print as well as some beer will be 0.0 abv but will then say less than 0.05% which is very low, hardly traceable but it is your body and you should know. It might be you religious choice for example or like me health.
These listings are all down to the licensing which I will go into another time but for now get in the habit of checking 0.0 abv, I think I’ve developed a radar for it!
Also don’t depend on the drinks’ menu as they can be very general as they lump all the low alcoholic drinks’, soft drinks’ into one or sneak it in just into the normal drinks’ section. I’m not sure why they do this as it’s a USP.
Don’t afraid to ask – A Christmas Day Tale
When I started my 0.0 abv mission I was very sheepish about asking for 0.0 abv for the looks I’d get as if I was ungrateful with their offer, if indeed they did have any choice at all. Or the barman who looked at me and said what’s the point! Nice chap I’m sure.
So after day one being back out and about after bring unwell I realized for me it was life and death and I talked to people as they needed to know the importance of it.
I questioned the beer’s alcohol level and was bold in saying if it was not 0.0 abv and to be fair you could see they were learning as well. Many servers would discuss it with me and feed it up so that they ordered in some options.
My biggest breakthrough was in the Christmas of 2019. I booked a restaurant for the day and their menu had one option but it was not 0.0 abv. So I called them and explained the situation and they said they would do what they could but if I am honest I did not hold out much hope.
Well what a surprise, I turned up to the table with three of favorite 0.0 abv beers in an ice bucket nicely presented.
How fantastic is that and I told them so. If you are new to this you will realize that feedback is important so they can move with trends and trust me you are ahead of the curve.
The irony of course was the manager came to me at the end of the meal and said that it have been one of the best-sellers of the day as many people had been driving and did not want to take a chance on anything else. They effectively found a growth market in one lunchtime.
If you are on a 0.0 abv drinks’ journey you will need to double check the label on the bar, bottles etc near the ingredients and be clear what you are asking for. Avoid depending on the drink menu in my view they are full of misinformation.
Remember if you want that market to offer choice we are going to be part of that. WE are the solution not the problem. Remember it’s a growth market in excess of 25% including all low and non alcohol drinks’ so that should help increase you confidence in asking.
You are doing them and yourself a favor on the 0.0 abv journey. Enjoy.
I would love to know what you think and if you are aware of ABV , alcohol by volume and what it means for you. I always respond