Does it really matter what’s in the glass?

Does it really matter what’s in the glass?


Three friends walk into a pub. This isn’t the start of a joke, this is the latest in lockdown lifts across the country. It’s wonderful! A bit of beer, a bit of banter, and a growing anticipation that things might eventually be OK again.

Once seated, these three friends order a pint of cider, a pint of cask ale and a pint of coke (because who doesn’t love those soda guns behind the bar?) to sip in the sun. Years ago you may have immediately assumed the ale was for a male, the cider for a lady and the soda for the designated driver, but we’ve long past those sad stereotypes. So what clichés and labels do we need to smash next?

Sipping soda isn’t sad

At Good Karma we’re all about mindful drinking, wellness and positivity – particularly in what and how we brew. We focus on equality, diversity and inclusion in a world that wants to put us all in boxes. Sure we’re all different, but we’re all human. We all like different things, but we all deserve respect. This includes the friend who orders the soda.

While the past year has been rough (let’s not even kid), it has thrown fixed perspectives out the window and allowed us to evaluate what’s really important to us. The disruption has all given us an opportunity to redefine what “normal” looks like for ourselves. The friend sipping the soda may have gone on the lash several times a week before the pandemic. The friend chugging the cider may have done Sober October and Dry January – even during the pandemic.

Good times in the glass

I guess what we’re trying to say is, does it really matter what’s in the glass? Good times should be about catching up, having a laugh, reconnecting with friends and family (safely, of course), getting outside, reminiscing and dreaming about the future. Good times aren’t fuelled by what is in your glass or how many glasses – or even whether it’s half full or half empty.

You define the good times. Be good, do good, feel good.

Breaking the habit

Sometimes having a drink in a pub is more about having something to sip on than feeling the need to get right tanked. Here are three ways you can break the habit of drinking for the sake of drinking in an environment that is often jolly because of the drink:

  • Order a glass of water before ordering something alcoholic. You can “have something to sip while deciding what you’re doing to have”. It’s an easy excuse to start slow and you won’t lose face if that’s what you’re worried about.
  • While you’re lifting that ice cold delight to your lips, think about how you’re getting home and how you want to wake up feeling in the morning. Is it a one-pint-tidy night? Is it a many-pints-with-no-alcohol (*cough* Good Karma) kind of night?
  • Finally get what you want, not what you think others want you to want. Remember, you define what a good time means for you – this is your moment of power.

Stop staring and smile

One of the ways we’re going to collectively break the stigma and stereotype of not drinking in a pub is by affirming people’s choices. If your friend orders a soda, don’t stare. Smile, raise a glass and toast to our newfound freedom and making good choices (like wearing a mask, being sensible and occasionally ordering an alcohol-free beer).


Remember that it’s been a challenging year for everyone, so this is the perfect time to show compassion and respect everyone’s choices. Coping with socialising in the real world is daunting enough right now without the extra pressure of an interrogation from your friends. So if there was ever a time to let the whole ‘why aren’t you drinking?’ conversation drop, it’s now. We’re all emerging a bit fragile, so let’s show each other some respect!


With that in mind, we hope that you venture out again and enjoy the social spaces of beer gardens (and then pubs) this summer. And no matter what your reason is for not drinking on any given day, you should never feel excluded from enjoying an afternoon out with your friends.


In short, do what’s right for you. And if having some delicious and genuinely refreshing non-alcoholic options (forget those sugary drinks!) makes it an easier journey, we’ve done our job!
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