I can divide my experience with alcohol over four sections of my life. When I was a child, during my university studies, as a graduate and a professional.
My relationship with alcohol started when I was young, so young I can’t remember. As I grew up with my sister, we both saw how happy and considerate people would turn into impatient and inconsiderate people. These were our parents’ friends, colleagues or relatives and at a young age, there was not a lot we could do. However, what we could control was our own behaviour and agreed we wouldn’t hang around those people when we grew up and certainly didn’t want to be them.
For most of my university studies, I avoided big parties – the type of parties that have way to much booze and end in vomit all over the floor. However, in my third year of studies, I attended more social events because I got told that’s the way you secure a graduate job. Up to this point, I never tasted beer in my life and I had a lager for the first time at one social event. It was awful - I hadn’t missed much at all. Luckily for me, I quickly secured a job in the public service.
It was exciting to finally apply my studies as a Treasury graduate. One of my colleagues, introduced me to the world of boardgames (no, not monopoly!) and craft beer. It was only then did I realise that not all beer was made equal. Slowly, I moved away from soda water and started enjoying craft beer in social settings.
The pace and frequency of my drinking accelerated when I moved into the private sector as a consultant. It was heaven, until it turned to hell. The complimentary bar fridge stocked with delicious craft beer and the frequent social settings with drinks paid for were too tempting to drink less. However, this point isn’t to make my employer sound like the villain. At the end of the day, I am an adult and it was my choice to drink alcohol. After months and months of waking up and losing half of my Saturdays, the lightbulb moment finally hit me. Drinking should increase our experience, not take away from it.
That’s what I want to bring to the Aussie drinking culture – proof that you can have a great experience drinking sophisticated alcohol-free drinks!