Here are a few interesting head-scratchers for you. Is it possible to drown your sorrows in a bottle of non-alcoholic gin? How do you approach the ritual of after-work drinks without a pint in front of you? Is it possible to meet a non-alcoholic binge drinker? How does Tinder Night work in an alcohol-free bar?
Welcome to this week’s Real Podcast – episode 16, no less. A couple of weeks ago, we headed off to The Understudy, a bar on London’s Southbank that really knows its non-alcoholic drinks, to chat to someone who has helped to plant a very visible flag in the sober curious world, and most definitely has the answers to all of those questions.
Over a few glasses of Real Kombucha, we chatted to Anna Walsh, the manager of the now world-famous Virgin Mary bar in Dublin. Why’s it world famous, you may ask? Well, it’s entirely unique in that it’s Ireland’s first ever alcohol-free pub. And rather than being something to scoff at, as you might imagine in a town synonymous with a pint of the black stuff, it’s a place that Dubliners have taken to their hearts.
So, let’s get stuck in. Answering the eternal question, “Can we lose the booze but keep the craic?”, here’s Anna Walsh.
“Can we lose the booze but keep the craic?”
Click below for a podcast interview with Anna Walsh of Dublin’s Virgin Mary.
Quotes from Anna Walsh in this interview
“The word ‘sober’ sounds so serious. But you can be sober and still have a laugh.”
“Ireland is known for pints, the craic and Guinness… but it turns out that 25% of Irish don’t drink. The ones that are drinking tend to make a lot of noise. We’re Irish! But I think we can do that without alcohol. People who travel to Ireland for the first time will say how friendly we are, how helpful. We enjoy connecting with other people. And we’re realising now that we can do that without alcohol.”
“A lot of people come into our bar and get quite emotional that they’ve got so much choice… They’ve always felt like the odd one out, so suddenly they can come in and have all this choice in such nice glassware… they can feel like they can treat themselves.”