A small victory: I’ve not been drunk this year. 3 months without booze. I’m well on my way to achieving my goal of 12 months without alcohol.

Technically I have had alcoholic drinks, but those have never been more than 0.5% alcohol by volume. Which isn’t enough to get drunk on, and is the same level of alcohol you might find in fermented foods like kimchi and sauerkraut.

What benefits have I noticed?

  • There is a notable lack of hangovers. Hangover-free might be a better framed goal than alcohol-free.
  • I’m able to turn a drink down or only buy soft drinks. The wide availability of alcohol-free options has helped here, but my willpower and discipline has been good.
  • I’ve been to the pub and still been social. There hasn’t been a distinct lack of a pint at casual drinks things.

What’s sucked?

  • I’ve been out for lunch or dinner a couple of times and really missed wine. The taste and experience as much as the feeling.
  • The price. I know that Seedlip did some research and found that people want to pay alcohol prices for alcohol-free products, but I don’t. Not me.
  • There’s no Guinness 0.0% at the Guinness Six Nations rugby championship. It makes no sense to print the logo on the pitch and not serve it at the bar.
  • I haven’t had that mental clarity I was looking for. That said, I haven’t had the post-alcohol fug either. Seeking after phantom clarity perhaps isn’t fair.

Will I carry on? Yep, you bet. The next few months are a considerable test as we ease into sunnier days and warmer evenings. That’s when post-work pint or white wine with lunch comes into its own: the true test.