Main menu


What the no-alcohol boom means for our drinking habits and health | by heidi


IT IS Thursday lunchtime, and I am already on my third beer. I have also got a G&T under my belt and there is rosé in the fridge. Once I have glugged some of that, I may treat myself to a negroni. After that, I had better stop, because my cat has an appointment at the vet and I need to drive him there.

Don’t worry, we will be perfectly safe. If the police stop me and ask “have you been drinking, sir?”, I will tell them the truth: I haven’t. Unless you count the tenth of a unit of alcohol in one of the beers.

All the drinks in my session were zero or low alcohol, a rapidly growing sector known in the business as “no and low” or just “nolo”. Once something to be endured rather than enjoyed, they are undergoing a revolution in quality and a surge in popularity as people sober up to the impacts of alcohol consumption on their health and waistlines.

Before, I had never seen the point of a pint with no punch. Now, I am attempting a dryish January, propped up by my new drinking buddies no and lo. But I have questions. Can low and zero-alcohol drinks really help me cut down, or will they ultimately reinforce my drinking habits? Are they healthier than the real thing? And can they ever taste as good?