Club AF, a new venture promoting the fast-developing world of alcohol-free drinks, is launching with a celebration to mark the start of Sober October.
The pop-up event will be held on 25th September at Jersey’s Liberty Wharf and will present a range of alcohol-free beers, wines, spirits, and ciders with tasting sessions available during the day.
Explaining to Channel Eye about the drive behind setting up Club AF, Co-founder Charmaine Delaney said: “After having my daughter 11 years ago, my desire to drink alcohol reduced greatly. Yes, I still enjoyed the occasional night out, but I didn’t want to endure a hangover with a very active toddler, or miss out on my daughter growing up. I’ve never been a big drinker at home but enjoyed a glass of wine or a cheeky G&T on a Friday night now & again.
“When Andy (Charmaine’s husband) decided to go completely alcohol-free, we found the selection of AF drinks available locally was limited, so we looked further afield and discovered a whole new world. We found some great AF drinks, but many suppliers would not ship to Jersey, directly or through Amazon. We realised there was a gap in the market and Club AF was born in January this year. There are so many good AF products available for anyone who is interested in trying.”
Commenting on the new venture, Jo Ferbrache of Sober Jo said: “Macmillan’s Sober October has been hugely successful in Britain but in Jersey the options for replacing alcohol are dominated by soft drinks, despite the excellent range now available to be shipped to Jersey. Whilst this is very costly to do for a consumer, there is clearly a gap for a wholesaler approach.
“It’s great to see more quality no, and low, alcohol choices available in Jersey. Hopefully, the hospitality industry will take note and begin to stock more of a range to meet the growing demand.”
Going alcohol-free has been something of a personal journey for Co-founder Andy Delaney: “In 2017 & 2018, I challenged myself to complete the Marmotte cycle ride over the Alps. When 2019 came around, I decided the challenge would be to give up alcohol. I was not a big drinker, but had noticed my tolerance level diminish, while my suffering increased. Friday night drinks would leave me feeling rough all weekend and resulted in inflammation in my body.
“Initially, I replaced alcohol with sparkling water and fizzy soft drinks but a bit of research showed a fair selection of AF drinks available. The search for alternatives began in our local supermarkets and wine shops. This provided a few options to get started and set me off on a journey to discover more.
“I wanted to have a grown up AF drink. So, with my wife on board too, we joined forces on our adventure to bring Club AF to fruition and provide more choice to the island. There are now so many AF drinks available and we have only scratched the surface. We are learning very day.”