Mindful Drinking R-evolution!

Club Soda Mindful Drinking Festival, Sunday 13th August 2017

FitBeer was proud as punch to be part of the Club Soda ‘Mindful Drinking Festival’ in Bermondsey Square, London. It was a glorious day in the sun, surrounded by like-minded businesses sharing their wonderful, hand-crafted, products to an eager crowd.

As this was the first event of its kind EVER, we weren’t expecting miracles. So it was a pleasant shock to be hit by a never-ending stream of inquisitive, knowledgeable people as soon as the festival opened at midday. People came from all walks of life buying and tasting FitBeer all day. The atmosphere was buzzing, despite there being no alcohol. We even ran a competition to see who could row 500 metres the fastest, or guess the weight of a box of beer. The common thread was a desire to decrease or cut out alcohol completely, for whatever reason.

So what is ‘mindful drinking’? The term is being popularised by Club Soda founder, Laura Willoughby. Club Soda describes itself as a ‘movement of mindful drinkers’. It organises events like ‘mindful pub crawls’, creates guides of the best venues to drink mindfully in, offers courses, as well as promotes mindful drinking in general by encouraging consumers with ideas and showcasing brands, like FitBeer.

FitBeer and the Major of Southwark

In Laura’s Metro interview, in March 2017, she said the idea came when she decided to give up drinking five years ago. She wanted to create something that was about supporting you to reach the goal you set yourself – whether you’re doing a sober sprint, drinking more mindfully or going alcohol-free.

 Laura’s attitude of encouraging and not enforcing, is exactly what FitBeer is about. When we started FitBeer, we knew that there was a growing number of people who liked to socialise and drink beer, but didn’t want to get drunk, all the time. The problem was, there wasn’t a lot of choice or quality. The other problem was a perception that people who didn’t drink alcohol weren’t interesting or worse still, were very uncool. So we created FitBeer.

The Mindful Drinking Festival this weekend has proven beyond doubt that there is a real thirst for quality, artisan, non-alcoholic beverages. I met people who had travelled from as far north as Yorkshire, and as far south as Brighton. I met Quakers, sober ravers, hipsters from Hackney, yummy mummies from Chelsea, newly recovered alcoholics, students and gym buffs. Whether cutting out or down on alcohol, everyone who attended was ‘sober curious’. 

The reoccurring compliment we kept hearing at our stand was that FitBeer actually tasted like beer…well we certainly hope so. FitBeer did win The Great Taste Award 2017 after all.

At the end of the long and busy day, I saw Nirvana Brewery Founder, Steve Dass slumped on his chair with a great big smile…he breathlessly said something I’ll never forget…”The revolution has started my friend…now it begins…”

Becky Kean