So incredibly an alcohol free pub is planned for Dublin. It’s opening up in February. Amazing news. They have a couple of alcohol free pubs in England, but this is the very first time in Ireland that a whole pub is dedicated to being alcohol free.
It’s a real alcohol free pub
Apparently it will look like a real bar and have a real pub atmosphere. It won’t be just another coffee shop. Unlike a normal bar, they don’t need a security guard and closing time is a strict 11pm.
They’ll have beers, wines, and cocktails which are all alcohol free.
Cocktails will include
Made from tomato juice, a Dublin made hot sauce, de alcoholised white wine, lime, celery pickle, Virgin Mary spice mix.
Made from pomegranate molasses, hibiscus, de-alcoholised red wine, allspice, vanilla, lime black cardamom,
Made from seedlip spice, date, tahini, rose, oat milk, dark chocolate.
These look really interesting and not your usual boring old mineral waters or fizzy drinks.
The name is a problem
Maybe it’s just me as a lapsed Catholic, who has also worked with a service for survivors of clerical abuse, but I really hate the name of this alcohol free pub. It’s called the Virgin Mary. This country has suffered so much from a church with distorted toxic attitudes to sexuality. A church which praised virginity while married women after childbirth had to be “cleansed” before going back to Mass. And if you were not married and became a parent you were sent to what was an effective prison. (If you were a woman, of course- nothing happened to men)
So while the founders may think the name is catchy and attention grabbing, (which it is) it is very insensitive to women and blind to our sad and tragic history.
Price of drinks
Apparently the price of drinks will be the same as alcohol drinks. It will be interesting to see whether this will put people off. Recently in the Irish Times Nollaig O’Ceallaigh, complained about a pint of smithwicks being €4.90, while a small bottle of non-alcoholic heineken was €5.90! We’ve also had people emailing us on this price issue.
Alcohol free pubs everywhere?
So last year we talked to the Vintners Federation of Ireland asking why there were not cheaper and more alcohol free drink options available for people. They said people expect non-alcoholic drinks to be cheaper than alcoholic drinks. Also pubs will only stock drink where there is huge demand. As we know huge demand is driven by big marketing and advertising campaigns and these are only starting to happen. So at the moment your regular pubs are not interested in stocking a wide range of alcohol free drinks.
So will this alcohol free pub be successful?
It’s being led by one of the founders of Funky Seomra, the alcohol free pop up nightclub so they certainly have the right experience. They are also good at getting the news out there. But ultimately it will come down to getting enough paying customers in the door so hopefully this will happen. We’ll certainly be trying it out and we’ll report back.
We wish this alcohol free pub the very best of Irish luck. Hopefully this is just the start of a new drinking culture in Ireland which will make it easier for us all not to drink as much.
If you’d like to read more about this pub we found out about it here in the Sunday Business Post. (Subscription needed)