Have you heard the news? As more and more people commit to a healthier, alcohol-free lifestyle, (approximately 30% of American adults don’t drink at all, and another 30% consume less than one drink per week), a new trend has begun to take the world by storm: dry bars. Non-alcoholic bars, alcohol-free bars, or better known by their more affectionate name, “dry bars,” are just that: bars which do not serve alcohol.
What began as a small trend among a few has grown over the last few years, to become an increasingly popular trend among adults of all ages. If you’re interested in living alcohol-free, or if you simply want to step outside your comfort zone and try something new, here’s everything you need to know about dry bars.
No matter where you live, chances are dry bars have already begun popping up in your area. Although dry bars originated as an alternative option for a “night out” for those recovering from alcohol abuse, they’ve become progressively more favored among younger generations. According to Streetbees, as of April 2018, half of people under the age of 35 changed their drinking habits within the previous year. Of those, 29% of respondents said they decreased their alcohol intake.
Why? Medium says, “...the main reason is a healthier lifestyle. These are social drinkers, with most of their consumption coming when out with friends and family, or on special occasions. More than 1 in 3 don’t keep any alcohol in their home.” With the new wave of wellness and healthy lifestyles, more people are giving up alcohol in exchange for better alternatives.
From this recent shift in consumer behavior, more dry bars have opened their doors to present a new nightlife experience, sans alcohol. These include bars such as the Listen Bar in Brooklyn, New York; The Other Side in Crystal Lake, Illinois; even the Redemption Bar in London, U.K.
Now, you might think: “That’s great. But what exactly do dry bars even serve?” Needless to say (but we’ll say it anyways), they serve more than just water. In fact, dry bars often offer mocktails, wines, spirits and beers similar to what you might already drink...only this time, without alcohol. Oftentimes, dry bars can be even more creative than their alcoholic counterparts, particularly because they want to demonstrate the appeal and potential for alcohol-free beverages. No matter what your favorite drink is, you can feel confident that a dry bar will provide its friendly alcohol-free alternative for you to try.
Dry bars also provide an excellent alternative for people who live alcohol-free, or simply want to try something new on a night out. After a while—whether you drink alcohol or don’t—the same old regular patterns of going to the same old regular places can get boring. As someone who doesn’t drink, the founder of The Other Side bar stated, “You can only go to the movie theater and bowling alley so many times.” For people who do regularly attend alcoholic bars, dry bars provide the opportunity for genuine, intentional conversations with peers, without the shroud of alcohol. Either way, the new trends give you something original to try out, and shake up your regular routine.
With the shift in consumer patterns and more dry bars popping up into existence, some people have even suggested that dry bars could be the future for our culture. In a recent article by Refinery29, Jess, a 35-year old architect, states: “I think people are sick of having alcohol being tied to social life. People want to go out and they want to go places, but they don’t necessarily want to drink alcohol.”
While historically, the concept of “not drinking” has been linked to those who struggle with alcohol abuse, more often nowadays, “not drinking,” simply refers to a personal health decision. And as more and more people desire the option of choosing alcohol or not, dry bars will continue to expand.
If you want to try going alcohol-free, then give dry bars a chance. Or, see what other products you can find that correspond with your favorite alcoholic beverages. You might just be surprised at how much you enjoy life without alcohol.