Episode 483 – NA Beers


Today we have Tyler. He is 37 and lives in Phoenix, AZ. He took his last drink on November 28th, 2023.


Recovery Elevator welcomes Danielle Marr to the team! She now writes the bi-monthly newsletter for RE which always has journalling prompts at the end. She taught our DTB writing course this last fall and does Instagram posts a couple days a week. She was also interviewed on episode 464.


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[03:35] Thoughts from Paul


Paul shares with us the history of NA beers and how they were created to pacify the Mothers Against Drunk Drivers campaign back in the 90’s. The companies had zero intention of scaling this segment of their business and it has been said that the purposefully made the beer tasteless and bland.


Those days are gone. Non-alcoholic beer sales have been growing every year by 30-40% since 2019. Many of the major beer brands are investing time and money into creating their own NA products and there are more breweries popping up that are 100% dedicated to making an AF craft beer.


There is no need to explore the NA beer world in the early days of your alcohol-free life because it can be triggering. There is trace amount of alcohol in many of the NA beers (usually less than 0.5%) and you would have to drink 25-30 of them to reach the legal BAC. Check out this Instagram post where someone drinks several NA beers and stills blows zeros into a breathalyzer.


What the AF beer world exploding shows is that people are waking up to the fact that alcohol is not good for you and big alcohol sales are reflecting that. The stigma around alcohol addiction is also crumbling. We as consumers decide every move a business makes – start asking for more AF options at restaurants and grocery stores. Start asking and you will receive.


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[09:58] Paul introduces Tyler:


Tyler is 37 years old and lives in Phoenix, AZ and has a six-month-old daughter. He does maintenance for a homeowners association. Tyler is also a musician and enjoys performing, writing, and recording music.


Tyler had his first drink when he was in high school as simply a fun thing to do with friends. A health scare which ended up with tumor removal drove Tyler to feel he needed to live life to the fullest. He says his drinking increased as it was associated with having fun, and he discovered his passion for being a musician. That found him romanticizing alcohol, drinking more after gigs, and acquiring DUIs. Since a lot of people he knew had DUIs, it was considered normal and wasn’t taking seriously.


When he lost a close family member to cancer, Tyler says his drinking evolved from good and bad to ugly. He and his girlfriend went out often, and his drinking became more frequent both while out and while at home. Tyler had a lot of anger that would come out while drinking. These issues eventually found Tyler and his girlfriend splitting up.


Tyler started going to therapy and discovered that the loss of his aunt affected him more than he realized. He was able to process some of his anger and cut back on his drinking. He and his girlfriend got back together and six months ago their daughter was born. Tyler began to realize that his drinking was interfering with this new life and told his girlfriend he was ready to quit. At this time, he also reached out to a supportive cousin that has over 20 years in recovery.


Tyler says AA didn’t resonate with him, but books, podcasts and other peoples’ stories have been very helpful. He believes in recovering out loud.



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