Teetotalist, Sacramento’s only alcohol-free bar, hopes to stay

Some people decide to stop drinking for the month of January in a trend called “Dry January.” There is also a growing movement called “sober curious,” fueled by some members of Generation Z, younger adults in their 20s. Studies have found this group has no interest in drinking alcohol, due to the health benefits and saving money.Two Sacramento women are banking on booze-free beverages for their new business. The Teetotalist is a zero-proof bar and the only one in Sacramento. The name is a play on the term from the 1800s where someone who abstained from alcohol is a teetotaler.”People shouldn’t have to give up their social lives because they didn’t want to drink booze,” co-owner Amanda Brincat said .Brincat dabbled in Dry January a few times, but she said she went back to her drinking habits.Meanwhile, co-owner and fiancee Kathyrn Altman has been sober off and on while competing as a powerlifter. “It’s hard when you’re sober to find spaces to hang out,” Altman said.The pair decided to nix alcohol for good but couldn’t find any local places to socialize.”When you are first entering sobriety or wanting to take a break for a short period of time, it can feel real isolating,” Brincat said. As the sober curious trend grows, more companies are creating libations without the alcohol. “All these products have gotten better and the quality increased,” Altman said.Besides serving up alcohol-free drinks, The Teetotalist also serves drinks with no judgment.”In a sober space, what you are getting are people in true authentic selves, said Jen Shaver. Shaver bartended for 10 years prior to working in an alcohol-free bar.”Inhibitions went down and ugly parts of people would come out,” Shaver said, commenting on her past bartending years. The women said not drinking brings a stigma, and they want people to feel safe in their bar.”It’s awkward to walk up to a bar and ask for a soda water and having to avoid that would be great,” Altman said.University of California at Davis psychiatrist Dr. Jagdeep Kaur said there is judgment attached to people’s decisions when it comes to alcohol.”People want to know why they’re not drinking, and this is a safe place where people will not be judged,” she said. Kaur said no drinking for a month brings health and mental benefits and can keep people from becoming addicted.”In the long term, it can make you depressed, and taking a break is good for mental health,” Kaur said.The Teetotalist is in a space near 9th and K streets until March. The owners hope they can move into a permanent space in the same building. They are banking on giving up alcohol being more than a trend.”We will have fun cocktails and give them that same experience they would get at any other bar,” Brincat said.

Some people decide to stop drinking for the month of January in a trend called “Dry January.”

There is also a growing movement called “sober curious,” fueled by some members of Generation Z, younger adults in their 20s. Studies have found this group has no interest in drinking alcohol, due to the health benefits and saving money.

Two Sacramento women are banking on booze-free beverages for their new business.

The Teetotalist is a zero-proof bar and the only one in Sacramento. The name is a play on the term from the 1800s where someone who abstained from alcohol is a teetotaler.

“People shouldn’t have to give up their social lives because they didn’t want to drink booze,” co-owner Amanda Brincat said.

Brincat dabbled in Dry January a few times, but she said she went back to her drinking habits.

Meanwhile, co-owner and fiancee Kathyrn Altman has been sober off and on while competing as a powerlifter.

“It’s hard when you’re sober to find spaces to hang out,” Altman said.

The pair decided to nix alcohol for good but couldn’t find any local places to socialize.

“When you are first entering sobriety or wanting to take a break for a short period of time, it can feel real isolating,” Brincat said.

As the sober curious trend grows, more companies are creating libations without the alcohol.

“All these products have gotten better and the quality increased,” Altman said.

Besides serving up alcohol-free drinks, The Teetotalist also serves drinks with no judgment.

“In a sober space, what you are getting are people in true authentic selves,” said Jen Shaver. Shaver bartended for 10 years prior to working in an alcohol-free bar.

“Inhibitions went down and ugly parts of people would come out,” Shaver said, commenting on her past bartending years.

The women said not drinking brings a stigma, and they want people to feel safe in their bar.

“It’s awkward to walk up to a bar and ask for a soda water and having to avoid that would be great,” Altman said.

University of California at Davis psychiatrist Dr. Jagdeep Kaur said there is judgment attached to people’s decisions when it comes to alcohol.

“People want to know why they’re not drinking, and this is a safe place where people will not be judged,” she said.

Kaur said no drinking for a month brings health and mental benefits and can keep people from becoming addicted.

“In the long term, it can make you depressed, and taking a break is good for mental health,” Kaur said.

The Teetotalist is in a space near 9th and K streets until March. The owners hope they can move into a permanent space in the same building. They are banking on giving up alcohol being more than a trend.

“We will have fun cocktails and give them that same experience they would get at any other bar,” Brincat said.

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