In 2021, sisters Andee Simpson and Kristin Patrick quit drinking alcohol. After doing so they unexpectedly discovered the joys of alcohol-free alternatives. In their first year of sobriety, the two stumbled across an article in Vogue titled “Booze-Free Bottle Shops are Making Dry January Easier Than Ever.”
The concept of an alcohol-free bottle shop intrigued and excited them. Simpson and Patrick realized they could put their newfound passion for non-alcoholic drinks to work in the form of a new business venture. By June 2022, Loren’s Alcohol-Free Beverages (Loren’s AF) opened in Carmel. Now, the pair runs two stores.
At Loren’s AF, the goal is to be disruptive and inclusive. Simpson and Patrick want to disrupt the narrative that alcohol is necessary for events while teaching hosts to be more inclusive. The pair works hard to source and curate the most interesting and exciting alcohol-free drinks around so customers never get bored.
The decision to open in Carmel was a no-brainer.
“We’re big believers in shopping local,” Patrick says. “I always say our ideal Saturday is jumping in a car, going to a new location, and wandering in and out of shops. That’s what we love.”
From the beginning, the local community embraced the concept.
“I thought that we were gonna have to spend six months or a year explaining what we’re trying to do, but right from the get-go, people got it,” Simpson explains.
The shop stocks something for everybody, from red and sparkling white wines to craft beers and spirits. A newer category of products offered in the shop is adaptogenic drinks, which offer functional benefits that help people adapt to stress without the negative side effects of alcohol.
As for advice for sober-curious people, Simpson encourages people to do what feels right. “If you want to be quiet about it, you can be quiet about it. If you want to be vocal about it, there’s so much support out there.”
Grapefruit Radler Mocktail
A radler is a refreshing and citrusy beer-based drink. The radler originates in Germany as a drink for cyclists, but the fruity aroma and zesty flavor makes it a popular choice worldwide.
Simpson and Patrick recommend using a blonde ale like Busty Lush She’s Golden Blonde. The duo found this recipe from Soberish Mom (@soberishmom on Instagram), and customers love it as a tasty and invigorating option for brunch.
- 3 ounces grapefruit juice
- Juice from 1/2 lemon
- 1/2 ounce simple syrup
- 8 ounces non-alcoholic wheat beer or ale
- Lemon or grapefruit for garnish
- Add grapefruit juice, lemon juice, and simple syrup to a glass. Stir.
- Add ice.
- Gently pour beer on top of ice and gently stir again.
- Garnish with lemon or grapefruit and enjoy!
Recipe Credit: https://www.soberishmom.com/post/grapefruit-radler-mocktail
The sisters also recommend A Cut Above Zero Proof Whiskey with Cherry Vanilla Olipop on ice.