The familiar social-hour question of “what are you drinking?” has always included an implicit assumption. Somehow many of us came to believe that the social connection wasn’t the main point, and that it’s alcohol that makes us happy.

In recent years, tastes, habits and fashions around alcohol have been changing rapidly, and contemporary research has shed new light on how alcohol affects us, and about how addiction works. As consciousness around health and wellness continues to deepen, many people are finding that alcohol is less, or not at all compatible with how they want to live. A new normal is starting to emerge, and “what are you drinking?” no longer necessarily means drinking something alcoholic.

Alcohol use is declining in the millennial and post-millennial generations, and “almost 30 percent of the country never touches alcohol, and another 30 percent do so only on special occasions”. It’s clear from the data, and from trending hashtags like #nonalcoholic and #alcoholfree, that we’ve already passed peak alcohol. Emerging communities like This Naked Mind and One Year No Beer are helping thousands of everyday drinkers change their relationship with alcohol, and entrepreneurs are taking note as well, with new non-alcoholic craft beverages and social spaces like Listen Bar and SansBar enjoying an enthusiastic response.

Moderated by Battery Creative in Residence Bowen Dwelle, What Are You Drinking? will bring together several leaders in this emerging space for a conversation about

How does alcohol affect our bodies and minds?
How much is healthy / safe / too much to drink?
Why do we celebrate with alcohol?
What is the relationship between alcohol, anxiety, and depression?
How does addiction actually work?
What is life like without alcohol?

Panelists included Karolina Rzadkowolska, a life and transformation coach and founder of Euphoric Alcohol-Free, and Donna Hockey, co-founder of Surreal Brewing Company, as well as the host, Bowen Dwelle.

Following the discussion will be an OPEN BAR — open-minded that is! We’ll have something for you whatever you’re drinking, with some special cocktails crafted just for this event as well as delicious non-alcoholic craft beer from Surreal Brewing.

Audio recording of the discussion:

Thanks to The Battery and to  Surreal Brewing for their support of What Are You Drinking!