Cutting out booze can be fun AF, right?
Well, despite commonplace thinking, there’s no doubt that Aussies are reconsidering their drinking habits in recent times, with a fifth either not drinking alcohol in the past year or limiting their intake to less than one beverage per month.
In addition, we have seen the rise of more people embracing ‘dry’ months or opting for alcohol-free alternatives.
However, regardless of these statistics, and the fact that the low-to-no alcohol beverage sector is thriving and set to hit US$1.6 trillion globally in the next few years, entrepreneur Sarah Connelly believes there is more work to be done to challenge the culture of ‘not’ drinking and ensure that people’s choice to reduce or remove alcohol, is made easier and met with less judgement.
“I created Tapped In to promote and encourage AF choice, whilst also challenging the old attitudes and negative connotations associated with quitting booze,” Sarah said in a statement.
After moving to Australia from the UK, Sarah worked in the FMCG industry for over 15 years, and after losing her father during a rapid battle with cancer, she recognised that her drinking habits had escalated.
She decided enough was enough and completed a two-week rehabilitation program.
Upon leaving the course, Sarah felt liberated and empowered…however once she got back into her daily routine, she realised choosing to go ‘alcohol-free’ wasn’t the hard part.
It was dealing with people’s response to her newfound happiness and confidence.
Understanding that there is a deeply ingrained drinking culture present in the Australian community, and little support or options available in the Alcohol-Free (AF) category, Sarah founded Tapped In, a website and community that aims to inspire, educate, and provide tools for people looking to embrace this lifestyle.
“Choosing not to drink was often seen as an annoyance to others. For the first time I felt happy and confident in myself, yet I was met with caution, cynicism, and condescension,” she said.
“I found that any time I told people I was cutting out booze, I was judged, even labelled an ‘alcoholic.’ And it’s this type of assumption that can be a significant barrier for everyday people, who might not have a serious drinking problem, but just want to live more mindfully.
“I realised very quickly that society was not going to meet me where I was, because drinking culture was, and still is, so deeply ingrained in everything – from family gatherings to business events. I decided it was time to act. People needed the freedom ‘not’ to follow and not have to explain it to others.”
After creating her first website Sober Upside, Sarah went on to work with UK mindful drinking pioneers, Club Soda, to program the Aussie consumer and brand participation in the 2020 Club Soda Mindful Drinking Festival.
Since then, she has led the AF community on social media to advocate for more AF choice in venues across Australia.
Tapped In will launch in time for dry July alongside an event sponsored by leading non-alcoholic drinks’ retailer, Sans Drinks and leading non-alcoholic beverage producer, Lyre’s Spirit Co.