Metro-East News

St. Louis loves its beer — and its growing alcohol-free options, social scene

How to tell when someone has had too much to drink.

One of the responsibilities that Jacob Alvarez, has as bartender at Publico, is to ensure that customers are not over served.
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One of the responsibilities that Jacob Alvarez, has as bartender at Publico, is to ensure that customers are not over served.

From its early Lemp Brewery days to the Schlafly era and beyond, St. Louis has earned its reputation as a drinking town. But lately the city is also seeing a nightlife trend that doesn’t involve alcohol at all.

Among other beverage and restaurant industry professionals, the people behind WellBeing Brewing, a locally based company that exclusively makes non-alcoholic craft beer, have helped to catalyze the movement. So has the Wellness Council of St. Louis, which is affiliated with the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse and oversees Sans Bar STL.

The inaugural Sans Bar STL event early this year drew about 300 people to Third Degree Glass Factory for a night of music, glassblowing, tarot card readings and handcrafted alcohol-free drinks.

On Friday’s “St. Louis on the Air,” host Sarah Fenske discussed St. Louis’ growing sobriety scene with Genevieve Barlow, co-founder of WellBeing Brewing; restaurant industry veteran Tom Halaska; and Nichole Dawsey, executive director of NCADA.

The conversation also included comments from local musician Kenny DeShields, whose band performed at the first Sans Bar STL event. Planning for the organization’s next big bash is underway, although the final details have yet to be announced. It will take place sometime this fall.

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St. Louis on the Air” brings people the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. The show is hosted by Sarah Fenske and produced by Alex Heuer, Emily Woodbury, Evie Hemphill, Lara Hamdan and Alexis Moore. The engineer is Aaron Doerr, and production assistance is provided by Charlie McDonald. Send questions and comments about this story to feedback@stlpublicradio.org.

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The BND and St. Louis Public Radio now have a content-sharing partnership. Under the agreement, if we see a KWMU article that we believe would be of interest to our readers, we post it at bnd.com, and vice versa. The result is that both of our audiences get a richer menu of regional journalism.

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