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Mindful Drinking Festival to challenge perceptions on alcohol free drinks in Glasgow

Club Soda, the mindful drinking movement that helps people to change their drinking habits, is bringing its popular Mindful Drinking Festival to Glasgow this weekend.

Published: October 13, 2018
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Heading to The Briggait from 12 noon to 6pm this Saturday, 13th October, the Mindful Drinking Festival will give Scots the opportunity to taste more than 30 low and no-alcohol drinks and provide food for thought around the nation’s ongoing love affair with alcohol.

There will be discussions, mixology demonstrations, entertainment and much more.

According to recent reports, one in five drinkers in Scotland are looking to reduce the amount of alcohol they drink and there are a million Scots who don’t drink at all.

Club Soda co-founder, Laura Willoughby, hopes the festival will showcase the new wave of alcohol-free drinks available and inspire Glasgow’s bars and restaurants to meet the needs of this untapped market.

She said: “When we launched our first festival in London last year, we immediately got requests from Club Soda members and organisations in Glasgow to bring the event to Scotland.

“You get a sense that there’s a shift in attitudes up here with our movement tapping in to growing demand for alternatives to alcohol from young people, parents-to-be, responsible drivers, foodies and fitness fanatics, to name but a few. It’s an exciting time to be coming to Scotland and we’re delighted to be playing our part in shaking up the alcohol debate.”

Public Health Minister Joe FitzPatrick added, “It’s no secret Scotland has a troubled relationship with alcohol, with nearly 700 hospital admissions and an average of 22 deaths per week from alcohol misuse.

“A key milestone in tackling this was the introduction of minimum unit pricing earlier this year, which will save lives, reduce hospital admissions and, ultimately, have positive impacts across our communities. Our refreshed AlcoholPreventative Framework will also be published in the autumn.

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“Initiatives such as the Mindful Drinking Festival are always welcome, providing people with the opportunity to have a good time in a friendly, sociable environment while enjoying an alternative to alcoholic drinks.”

The potential for the festival to help reduce alcohol harm is not lost on the Glasgow-based, National Lottery funded programme, Drink Wise, Age Well.

Drinking above the government’s guidelines for weekly alcohol consumption is declining in every other age group bar the over 50s.

Drink Wise, Age Well helps the over 50s to make healthier choices about alcohol and is running workshops at the event to provide people with information and inspiration if they are looking to cut back.

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Drink Wise, Age Well Glasgow locality manager, Graeme Callander added: People aged over 50 are likely to have grown up in a culture of drinking and may increasingly look to alcohol to help them cope with stressful situations whether at work, or in later life transitions such as retirement and bereavement. Scotland’s relationship with alcohol is deep-rooted. That’s why events like this are so important to help bring about cultural change.”

• There’s more information on this weekend’s Mindful Drinking Festival at

Driven by a passion for all things drinks-related, Sean writes for The Scotsman extensively on the subject. He can also sometimes be found behind the bar at the world famous Potstill bar in Glasgow where he continues to enhance his whisky knowledge built up over 10 years advising customers from all over the world on the wonders of our national drink. Recently, his first book was published. Dubbed Gin Galore, it explores Scotland's best gins and the stories behind those that make them.

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