No Booze November – week 1

A blog post about not drinking?!

Yes, this is a post about not having any beer. After a holiday where we drank every day in September followed by three sessions at Indy Man Beer Con and the Independent Salford Beer Festival in October – combined with Ross doing a 10k run in a few weeks – we’ve decided to lay off the booze for November. I wouldn’t say we drink to excess, but it seemed a good idea to take some time off the booze prior to the Christmas period which always involves copious amounts of beer and Bailey’s. I thought it’d be nice to document the places we visit and the non-alcoholic options on offer so here’s how I’ve got on over week one.

Monday

When you’re not drinking, a beer tasting might not be the best event to go to. The event at Albert’s Schloss was organised before we’d decided to make our monthly vow so I went along anyway. Maybe it’s a bit of a cheat, but I did have a few mouthfuls – especially of the glass of Pilsner Urquell I poured myself – but generally, I just drank water. Oh, and I was extra awkward as not only was I laying off the beer but they were launching a new bread – made using bacon. So a non-drinker and a vegetarian – a hellish combination in a German themed bar! But everyone was very accommodating to my awkwardness and I look forward to revisiting when I am on the beer for some Paulaner. This was followed by a meeting for work – at The Magnet in Stockport. With some excellent beers on draft, the temptation was definitely there but I stuck to the lemonade!

Friday

An evening out with a friend was on the cards for Friday night. As she’s not particularly into beer, I wasn’t expecting to feel like I was missing out too much. She fancied the Northern Quarter starting with Turtle Bay for dinner. Alongside their cocktails, they have a wide range of non-alcoholic options too so there was plenty of choice. Our next stop was The Pen and Pencil. It’s not somewhere I’d been before and when we wandered in the drinks menu on the table didn’t suggest there would be too much without booze on offer. But, joyfully, when I went to the bar and asked about something without booze, the bartender made me up a concoction of raspberries, mint and soda water which looked pretty and was refreshing. He also said as it was just some fruit and soda water I could have it for free – result! Kosmonaut was our third and final port of call and with a decent beer selection (including new ones from Alphabet and one from Omnipollo), this was where I felt the most temptation. But I stuck to my guns – plus, I had the car so couldn’t have had anything anyway! – and just went for Ting.

Saturday

For Saturday night we headed down to one of our favourite places to eat – Lotus Vegetarian Kitchen in Withington. It’s great to go somewhere where you can eat every dish on the menu and they also do a veggie version of crispy hoisin ‘duck’ pancakes, mmm! It’s also a BYOB restaurant (the people who own the off licence next door must have been thrilled when they moved in!), so there are plenty of booze free choices on the menu. A good option when you’re not drinking!

That’s the first week done and dusted. Some temptations, and some periods of feeling like I was being ridiculously awkward but overall a fairly positive response from the venues I visited and a willingness to accommodate those who don’t want alcohol.

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