The freedom to choose is expanding the sober curious movement even amongst a global pandemic. While some thought that alcohol would dominate, the studies and conversations surrounding sobriety have more to do with the desire for healthier choices, the abundance of more alternative options, and the impact alcohol-free events have in shifting our culture.
The Spectrum of Sobriety During a Pandemic
Sober curiosity is a spectrum that ranges from people with addiction to those who are looking for health-focused options. Amongst the pandemic, people found reassurance in the option to stop drinking in order to reduce the chances of being sick. By reducing their chances individually, it opened the opportunity for a large portion of the population to support their communities by taking care of their own immune systems.
During the pandemic, it seemed that many had streaming services and social media quotes memorized. As shows and movies continue to portray drinking as one of the only ways for social options, the upcoming generations are proving there is another way forward.
With more availability of sober app options, there is a wide range of opportunities to get connected and learn more about how a sober lifestyle may be a choice worth pursuing.
How Isolation Impacts Sobriety
It is no secret that isolation during lockdowns have impacted individuals in negative ways. According to Dr. Joseph Volpicelli, the executive director of the Institute of Addiction Medicine in Pennsylvania, drinking crept up on people who previously did not consider themselves to have an alcohol problem. The American Psychological Association found that nearly 1 in 4 adults said they managed pandemic stress by drinking even more.
On the other hand, the pandemic gave time for reflection about social structures in society that made many people question their relationship to alcohol. Hashtags like #soberissexy and #soberisfun started appearing that served as a way to motivate people to find other alternatives to drinking within and outside the home.
As a result, more beverage companies are beginning to notice the trend of people wanting more options that are non-alcoholic.
Why Non-Alcoholic Drink Sales Are Growing
The growing sales of non-alcoholic drinks reveal how the sober curious movement is making waves not only socially, but financially for many companies.
Off-premise alcoholic drink sales increased by more than 20 percent during the pandemic, while non-alcoholic beer sales increased by nearly 38 percent. Founder Bill Shufelt of Athletic Brewing Co. discovered their sales increased by 400 percent monthly during the pandemic. The greatest increase in their sales with a trajectory that is predicted to increase beyond post-pandemic living.
Bill Shufelt found the pandemic to be an important discovery phase for those looking at other options available that reach beyond a quit drinking app and the ability to still have a drink among friends without the influence of alcohol. In part, it is due to businesses and beverage companies filling an important category of drinks created to be health-focused and a viable option for those looking for alternative drinks.
The Draw of Health and Wellness
Health and wellness are pulling a new crowd into the sober curious category. The team at Surreal Brewing Company thought that their non-alcoholic options would plummet during the pandemic, but in fact, it did the opposite. People were choosing to order non-alcoholic drinks not only for sobriety, but also to keep their bodies healthy.
Other companies like Curious Elixirs and Giesen Wines followed suit in the rise of sales for their non-alcoholic beverages. Ecommerce subscription-based models and direct-to-retail sales are now revealing a cultural shift in how we consume drinks and is also showing that not all social gatherings have to be limited to an alcohol space.
Sober Bar Options
If a person is watching their sobriety counter wondering if there are social options out there, there are increasingly more sober bar options that are becoming available in social hubs across the United States. With pandemic closures, sober bars have mostly been shut down alongside restaurants and cafes, but it has revealed how committed sober bar owners were to creating safe space in-person and online events to reach people who needed it.
Sober curious bars are normalizing the cultural idea that people can gather with their friends with a specially designed mocktail in their hands. Without in-person events across the United States in the last year, it gave owners the chance to host online events that featured creating at-home mocktails that were connected to music or game events.
Non-Alcoholic Drinks Available
Many options for a quit-drinking app available also list non-alcoholic drinks, but here are a few beverage companiesand options to check out that have alcohol-free drinks available.
- Athletic Brewing Co.
- Curious Elixirs
- Giesen Wines
- For Bitter For Worse
- Jukes 6
- Topo Chicos
- Monday Gin
- Ritual Zero-Proof Gin
- Seedlip Grove 42
- Proteau Ludlow Red
- Kin Euphorics Dream Light
- Three Spirits
Companies are no longer limited to the alcohol space, and they are increasingly finding that non-alcohol options are opening a whole new category that individuals and communities are looking and asking for.
The Benefits of Sobriety
The benefits of discovering how sobriety has space in our lives go beyond just an enjoyable evening. For many looking at sober options, there are health benefits embedded in those decisions.
When reaching for a non-alcoholic beverage for the evening, people experience more concentration during conversations, more money in their pockets, time saved, and more time to enjoy new experiences.
For the long-term, choosing to find sober options impacts life beyond just one evening. Making the choice to have a non-alcoholic drink boosts the immune system, lowers chances for serious health conditions, and provides savings that can be used for personal development or family needs.
A sober app can also help the search for benefits and provide new ways to reach toward sobriety.
The Culture Behind the Sober Curious Movement
Whether it is addiction help needed or sobriety options, there is a growing culture behind the sober curious movement. A study conducted in Sweden revealed that a large portion of alcohol users drink alcohol, even when they do not want to. Many people find it a necessity to fit in during social settings, even when a majority of those people do not want to be drinking.
The study not only showed an issue for people groups, but it also revealed the need for widespread cultural and social change around alcohol use. While the norm is drinking at social events and gatherings, there is a more inviting space that is just around the corner of a cultural shift.
The sober curious movement is about freedom of choice, the ability to explore new social spaces, and self-awareness that is beyond alcohol or drug use. It also invites those who are keeping a close eye on a sobriety counter to be included in safe settings where there is not the trigger to drink alcohol or the social anxiety that surrounds sobriety in bar settings.
Being sober allows the feeling of being in control and finding new forms for mental health help that is available online and in-person. Instead of turning to alcohol for help, there is a culture that is embracing alcohol-free choices as a new way of having fun.
Celebrating Sober Curious Living
Sober curious living is about finding what feels right for each person. The sober movement is less about depriving ourselves of alcohol, but is more about the positive influences that the lifestyle choice of sober living can bring.
Alcohol has serious effects on our bodies and minds that bring lasting impacts for ourselves and those around us. Sober curiosity allows for the safe space of exploration that gives ourselves, our communities, and our families a chance at recovery.
More Choices, More Freedom
The rise of sober curious living during a pandemic has made a positive impact on the perception of alcohol use. While some statistics show the rise in alcohol use, there is also a large percentage of the population that is turning to healthier alternatives.
If you are wondering how to join the sober curious movement, there are a few ways that you can get started in learning more about sobriety and the community surrounding it.
How to Join the Sober Curious Movement
- If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol use, the first step is to find addiction help. There are many online and in-person options available for what you may need.
- Look for like-minded people in your community or on a sober app.
- Search for non-alcoholic bar spaces and events in your area. Choosing sober bars can help alleviate the pressure to drink and provide safe social options for sober curiosity. You can search for places on the Loosid app here.
- Explore new hobbies outside of alcohol consumption. It can be anything from picking up an old hobby to choosing something new you have always wanted to try.
- Get connected with yourself to find what you need to achieve sobriety, however that looks to you.
If you are looking for other like-minded people, download the Loosid App here!