3 Bar Hacks Episodes for Sober October
by David Klemt
We’re just two weeks away from Sober October so here are three Bar Hacks podcast episodes to get you ready for this important month.
Over the course of 100-plus episodes we’ve spoken with a handful of non-alcohol brands. These, along with other alcohol-free brands, should be on your radar.
In fact, they deserve spots on your backbar and placement on your menus. The latest estimate is that around 40 percent of Americans don’t consume alcohol. In Canada that number is roughly 33 percent.
However, those numbers don’t paint a complete picture. Over the past few years there has been increasing interest in “sober curiosity.” In this movement, people abstain from drinking alcohol from time to time rather than abstaining permanently.
Now, we tend to associate the month of January with sobriety, either permanent or temporary. Clearly, however, October is also a month where people choose to not imbibe.
The Sober Guest Experience
The following should go without saying but let’s cover it anyway. Some sober people do, in fact, spend time in bars and nightclubs.
Just as that should go without saying, so should this: Your sober guests deserve every bit as great an experience as guests who are drinking alcohol.
Moreover, sober guests deserve a guest experience free of discomfort or isolation. In short, you should seamlessly provide the same level of service at the bar to sober guests as those who enjoy alcohol.
No, it’s not enough to menu water, sugary sodas, lemonade, and tea. Sober guests should be comfortable coming to your bar. Like guests who consume alcohol, sober guests should be able to order a drink that doesn’t make them feel different or singled out.
So, put quality non-alcohol beers on your menu. Create a number of signature zero-proof cocktails. Serve both with the same attention to detail as presentation as their full-alcohol counterparts.
“I’m a professional, I want to create,” says Paul Mathew, founder of alcohol-free aperitif brand Everleaf and Bar Hacks guest. “I want to do something I’m proud of.”
Approach your alcohol-free program the same way as Mathew, a bartender and operator himself. Be professional, be creative, and be mindful of your sober guests’ experience.
Episode 28 with Tim Rita
Lyre’s Spirits crafts alcohol-free spirits that masterfully mimic their full-proof counterparts. Host David Klemt sits down with Lyre’s brand ambassador, bartender, and buddy Tim Rita to chat about the brand. In this episode you’ll learn about one of the fastest-growing brands in one of the fastest-growing beverage categories. For the alcohol-free Mai Tai mentioned on the podcast, click here.
Episode 31 with Ted Fleming
Ted Fleming, entrepreneur and CEO and founder of Partake Brewing, stops by the Bar Hacks podcast to talk with host David Klemt. The two discuss the founding of Partake Brewing and the importance and growth of the non-alcohol beer category. Also, how operators can succeed with non-alc, advice for entrepreneurs, and more. Visit the Partake Brewing website to learn more. Connect with Partake on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.
Episode 81 with Paul Mathew
Paul Mathew, bartender, bar owner, and founder of Everleaf, sits down with Bar Hacks podcast co-host David Klemt. In this fun and informative episode, Paul shares his journey through bartending and bar ownership, and his entry into the drinks business. Non-alcoholic aperitif brand Everleaf is the culmination of Paul’s many years as a conservationist botanist, knowledge of plants, and nearly 30 years in the bar business.
The Everleaf portfolio consists of three unique expressions and a new RTD line. Shortly, Everleaf will begin distribution throughout the United States, and there are plans for Canada and Australia in the future. To learn more, vist the Everleaf website and follow Everleaf on Instagram and Facebook.