Living a sober lifestyle is cooler than ever. Brands like Kin Euphorics, Ghia, Seedlip and more are working to make not drinking an enjoyable and socially acceptable thing to do. But with category's quick growth, it's become a challenge to keep track of all the options, and there aren't many stores that stock a wide array of non-alcoholic drinks. Thankfully, Better Rhodes is changing that.
Launched mid-pandemic, the online store stocks over 200 non-alcoholic beverages, more than any one place on the internet.
"One of the great things about the burgeoning alcohol-free space is the growth in types of beverage flavors and formats — single serve, bottles or cans, combinations," Better Rhodes co-founder Chris Becker says. "Things have developed to the point where you can see and celebrate most of the same types of experiences as you do with alcoholic beverages."
At Better Rhodes, one can find anything from alcohol-free beers to a variety of mixable alcohol-free spirits. And it's more than regular drinkers trying to cut the booze; with more people cooped up at home and less oversight to monitor their drinking, alcohol abuse has been on the rise since COVID-19 was declared a pandemic. Becker says that he has seen customers turning to his website to look for booze-free alternatives to help moderate their drinking.
Becker, a former drinker, founded the e-tailer to offer a curated selection of delicious beverages that can replicate the feeling of drinking alcohol minus the alcohol. From the process that goes into mixing a drink to just cracking open a can, there's a lot that goes into drinking beyond the drinking itself. And drinking certainly doesn't require a buzz, which is what Becker hopes to share with the sober-curious community, or those who are exploring what a life without alcohol can be.
What was once mainly comprised of former alcoholics or pregnant mothers, those who make up the sober community are simply people who just don't feel like drinking but don't want to be put down by their booze-hound friends.
"I think the biggest thing is seeing how many different directions people come from when wanting to share their stories and interest in alcohol-free. It’s definitely grown and become more open and multi-faceted whereas earlier it was more focused on a few groups and topics."
Becker hopes that with Better Rhodes he can give people "more choice and a positive channel where they can feel comfortable to share and see that they aren’t alone." So often, those who choose not to drink are forced to justify their position. But the rise of alcohol-free options correlates to a rise in people trying to drink less (at least before the pandemic), and with it, a greater understanding for those who choose to be sober.
So what's next for Better Rhodes on the road to de-stigmatizing sobriety? Becker says it's "to see a day when people will not feel like they are ‘missing out’ by having an alcohol-free adult beverage."