Mindful Drinking SA to host first festival celebrating alcohol-free drinks in Africa


HAVE you ever been drinking alcohol and considered switching to something else? Have you had to think about whether it’s safe to drive, or paused to think about what your alcohol consumption is doing to your body, and your relationships with the people you love?

You’re in good company – “Mindful Drinking” is the emerging global trend of choosing low- and non-alcoholic drinks for health and social reasons and is now gaining serious momentum in South Africa. On Sunday, October 20, The Mindful Drinking Festival will be held at Kirstenbosch Stone Cottages in Newlands, Cape Town.

The festival will feature the widest choice of alcohol-free drinks ever assembled at one venue in South Africa including alcohol-free beers, wines, bubbly, botanicals, kombuchas and health drinks. The public will be able to sample drinks directly from their producers, participate in a blind tasting competition (hosted by MC Nik Rabinowitz) and learn from a range of free presentations explaining the new technologies behind the production of these innovative drinks. An exciting line-up of local musicians will perform, including Zolani Mahola of Freshlyground fame.

According to festival director Sean O’Connor: “Alcohol-free drinks is the fastest growing beverage sector in the South Africa and there is now a huge range of options available to the public. If you feel like at a beer or glass of wine at a social function, there are some really tasty, sexy and trendy non-alcoholic options. And people are slowly learning that it’s no bad thing to conduct yourself better, and wake up feeling fresher the next day. It’s all about being free to choose.”

Sean O’Connor and Barry Tyson

In a massive shift, it’s estimated that one in four beers consumed in bars in Germany is now low- or non-alcoholic. There are several reasons why the younger generation is drinking less than their parents – including health and fitness priorities, greater awareness of social harm caused by alcohol and exposure to positive lifestyle trends on social media. Alcohol-producing companies have adapted to meet this new demand. AB-Inbev, the world’s largest brewer, is aiming to make 20% of its beer low- or zero alcohol by 2025. In the UK, figures released by the Department of Health show that in just 12 months sales of non-alcoholic and low alcohol drinks sold rose by 20.5 per cent. In the same period sales of high-strength beers fell by 12%.

Mindful Drinking SA was started by two Capetonians, Sean O’Connor and Barry Tyson, to promote and de-stigmatise the consumption of non-alcoholic drinks. They are hosting the festival to showcase the wide range of alcoholic-free drinks already available in South Africa.

What to look forward to at the festival:

  • An exciting new range of products from more than 30 alcohol-free producers
  • An array of healthy food stalls, including vegetarian and vegan options.
  • A blind-tasting event for the public MC-ed by Nik Rabinowitz
  • Live music featuring: Zolani Mahola, The Porchlights, Hatchetman, Dax Butler, the Biscuit Mill Jazz Band and Pravda
  • A workshop programme about Mindful Drinking and alcohol-free brewing and distilling
  • A free tasting glass and free samples from suppliers
  • Wide open spaces for kids to play
  • No hangover on Monday morning

To book tickets go to Quicket.

For more about Mindful Drinking South Africa, click here.


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