For a long time Australia's approach to alcohol could be summed up in a simple binary, you either drank or you didn't. The expectation was that you were either all in, all of the time or abstained from drinking because you were puritanical or a reformed-alcoholic. This kind of mindset is a telltale sign of our countries pernicious relationship with alcohol.
More recently, as a society we've recognised there is a third, more fluid option. That is the concept of mindful drinking. While it may be familiar to some and a revelation for others, being a mindful drinker simply means you bring awareness to your instinct to drink. Whether that be socially, the glass of wine after your work day or a reflex for hard times. And since we've fostered mindfulness in all other facets of our life, like our beauty routines and fashion purchases, it makes perfect sense then for this line of thought to drift over to our relationship with alcohol.
Luckily for us, the land of alcohol-free has come a long way from the sad, flat and sweet bottles touted at Woolies. There is no lolly-water masquerading as wine here, we promise. So for those among us curious to what else is out there, we've compiled a list of our favourite alcohol-free beverages.
Based in Canberra, the boys behind Heaps Normal brew one thing and brew it well (this has since changed). Their Quiet XPA is undoubtedly the most beer-like of all the non alcoholic options out there. Crisp, citrusy and fresh, it will fill the tinny shaped hole in your heart.
I'll level with you, the vast majority of alcohol-free wine is not good. I tend to steer clear of it completely and content myself with a Heaps Normal. French Bloom on the other hand is delightful. It's fully organic, 100% natural, and undergoes a manual de-alcoholization process in order to achieve its 0.0% alcohol content.
There's something about an Espresso Martini that sends the RUSSH team into a tizzy. The creaminess of the coffee foam is one of life's simplest pleasures, and thankfully, CAPI has given us a non-alcoholic alternative with its Industry Beans Cold Brew Martini, that conveniently tastes just as good as its alcoholic counterpart. Using the naturally sweet cold brew coffee from Australian coffee roasters Industry Beans, balanced with a hint of orange and vanilla for depth, you will find it hard to want to drink anything else when catching up with friends this autumn.
Owned and helmed by Gamilaroi man Clinton Schultz and his wife Lozen. The couple ethically source native Australian ingredients like lemon aspen, pepperberry and finger lime to incorporate into their alcohol-free range.
Hair of the dog anyone? Heaps Normal's new limited-edition breakfast beer is a non-alcoholic coffee-stout hybrid, a lighthearted play on the flavour combo that feels appropriate for any time of day.
Monceau is here to bottle the juicy, fruity, fizzy qualities we adore in our Pet Nat's sans the alcohol.
It's no secret that FELLR's seltzer range has been our drink of choice for some time now, so when the brand announced its latest alcohol-free range, FELLR FREE, we basically ran to get our hands on a four pack. The new range has all the best parts of the brand's beloved seltzer range (sans the hangover) and is available in two different flavours – the well-known and loved Watermelon, and a new addition, Mango. All natural, gluten free, sugar free and carb free, what's not to love?
PS Soda is the love child of Michael Chiem and Thor Bergquist, owners of one of our favourite Sydney haunts, PS40. The range sports a Myrtle Soda, Bush Tonic and a Wattle Cola, the latter of which is an absolute kitchen staple.
So good they had to give us another one. Heaps Normal continue their reign in the non-alcoholic beer realm with Another Lager, the easy drinking alternative to an Aussie pub favourite. Crack one open and enjoy!
A veteran in the alcohol-free world, Seedlip has built a cult following among those looking to redefine their relationship with booze. Enjoy all three options as you would a spirit and add it to your favourite mixer.
Parc Pilsner is Monceau's foray into non-alcoholic beer. Immediately refreshing thanks to its bitterness and the simple fact that it won't leave a headache in its wake.
For the salty, savoury, umami thrill you seek from a bloody mary or michelada, this is your pal. Melbourne-based project, NON, reimagines the drinking experience for those seeking a break from alcohol without trying to replicate wine or any other spirit for that matter. It's a drink in its own league.
When the heat demands a refreshing drink, Punchy is a thoughtful alternative to lukewarm Coronas or sickly sweet seltzers.
This German brewery has long been on the scene with a history that dates back to 1040. Loved for their banana-y wheat beers, Weihenstephaner earn their place in our hearts and modern history with their alcohol-free take on this classic style.
As the name would suggest, Wise Craic began in jest after the hard-seltzer boom of summer 2020. Their Pickle Juice Tang is the less chaotic, although equally satisfying, equivalent to downing a jar of Westmont pickle brine.
Another cousin in the kombucha-wine family, Mailer McGuire is the alcohol free alternative with a penchant for tea. Earl gray, oolong and jasmine tea are all flavour options from this operation in St Peters.
And for the days when only wine will do, here are our favourite wine delivery services.