How to embrace the sober trend this Dry July

- July 4, 2023 4 MIN READ


As we’ve seen with the rise of Dry July, the sober movement is gaining momentum in Australia. Alcohol-free options have become an important inclusion at any event or hospitality venue as the number of people that are ditching the booze for non-alcoholic alternatives increases. Sobriety, teetotalism, responsible drinking– whatever you want to call it – is being embraced as the movement towards a healthier way of life grows, says Paul Legaz, co-founder of alcohol-free beverage distributor VinZero.

And it’s not just in Australia. Health is rapidly becoming more of a focus for a lot of people globally. Many of us have become increasingly aware of the dangers and negative side effects that alcohol presents, and as a result, we are seeing a real shift in drinking habits, with many leaning towards more responsible drinking consumption.

Alcohol-free beverages have come a very long way over the past five years. The Europeans were the pioneers in this space, but the rapid growth in sobriety globally has seen most continents embrace it, and great, non-alc products are emerging worldwide.

This has enabled those choosing not to drink to be able to socialise in a manner that allows them to feel included, enjoying full-flavoured options, simply without the alcohol. No longer do we need to sip water or wake up with a sugar hangover from too many soft drinks!

Australia has a long history with a heavy drinking culture, but now there is a nationwide realisation that we don’t need alcohol to have a good time.

One of my biggest challenges in beginning VinZero was that we first saw a real pushback from hospitality venues, as they didn’t believe there was reason enough to have options like this available. However, along with the rise in sobriety, we’re seeing more and more venues embracing the movement. Within the next 12 months, I believe the majority, if not all, dining venues in Australia will have a non-alcoholic drinks list because the demand is just so high.

So, if you’re looking to change your drinking habits, now is the best time to start.

Paul Legaz and Amanda Gabriel, founders of VinZero

Paul Legaz and Amanda Gabriel, founders of VinZero.

5 tips to make the change to alcohol-free

1. Begin by changing your body clock

In order to change your drinking habits and make an overall difference in your wellbeing, we need to start at the beginning.

Good sleep is very important and often goes hand in hand with switching to sobriety. Try to go to bed earlier and alcohol-free, and notice how much better you will sleep, giving you the energy to continue switching habits.

2. Start your day with something you enjoy

A tip I recommend to everyone considering switching their drinking habits is to make active changes in every part of their lives. It doesn’t have to be major, but why not start your day doing something you enjoy?

It might not make sense at first, but you’ll find that starting your day on the right foot can immediately impact your mindset and likeliness to gravitate towards something to drink that will make you feel worse in the long run.

This could be anything as little as some breathwork in the morning or a sunrise walk. Making changes to small habits will ultimately be your pathway into a lifestyle transformation. 

3. Reintroduce hobbies that alcohol may have taken away from you

Is there anything you used to enjoy that has been taken away from you because of your drinking habits? Consuming too much alcohol will make you feel rough in the morning and can strip us of our energy, time and passion for things we love.

For example, I loved surfing but neglected to head out into the water for 28 years because I found I just didn’t have the drive or energy. Once I started to notice things like this and wonder why I didn’t do it anymore, I realised that drinking had a bigger impact on me than I ever thought, which in turn inspired the creation of VinZero.

4. Surround yourself with like-minded people

Many people who consider trying their hand at being sober often struggle once they find themselves in a situation where others around them are drinking or pushing them to drink. Try your best to associate yourself with like-minded, non-judgemental friends who support your decision to change your habits.

There is no better feeling than your friends making an effort to supply a non-alcoholic option or even trying the sober life for themselves.

5. Test your options

One great thing about the non-alcoholic drinks market here in Australia is that plenty of wonderful options are available. Gone are the days of ‘alcohol-free equals boring’. Do your research and find a drink you love that will make it much easier to continue.

At Vinzero we pride ourselves on premium products, as first impressions are paramount in this space. If a consumer’s first attempt at an alcohol-free beverage is not good, it is easy for that person to pigeonhole the entire category. There are exciting times ahead in this industry, that is for certain. I believe we have only scratched at the surface.

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