July 9, 2019 By BECKY WHITE 1 minute read


Whilst I personally love a chilled gin and tonic in the sun, there are many out there who don’t.

The warmer weather often heralds more drinking for those who do dabble, while those who don’t can feel a bit out-of-place surrounded by drinkers a few pints down.

Fear not though, supermarket chain Sainsbury’s has come to the rescue. People who drink little or no alcohol can finally relax in the company of like-minded individuals in The Clean Vic, a pop-up ‘no & low alcohol pub’ that’s set to take pride of place in central London on 24th July, for 2 days.

I know what you’re thinking. That name sounds familiar. Once a solid EastEnders fan, it didn’t take Poirot levels of detective work to realise the new mock-pub is a play on ‘Queen Vic’, of Albert Square fame. A pub which, although touted as a bona fide pint provider, actually, somewhat ironically, probably served non-alcoholic pints anyway. You can’t be having actors tanked to high heaven on set, after all, otherwise Peggy Mitchell would soon be shouting, ‘Get outta my pub!’ for real.

Back to Sainsbury’s though, this ‘no & low alcohol’ version has come to the fore at a time when alcohol consumption is at an all-time low (no pun intended), perhaps being due to everyone supposedly living healthier lifestyles – an attitude that’s become more of a long-standing trend rather than a fad.

Whilst Diet Coke and lemonade are, arguably, two of the most popular soft drinks, The Clean Vic trumps the average pub with its soft drinks offering. From non-alcoholic spirits, such as Seedlip, and alcohol-free beers, to a wide selection of mocktails, punters can still enjoy an alcohol-free beverage with taste akin to that of its calorific, boozy counterpart.

Whilst the average London pub charges £5 for one pint, visitors to The Clean Vic can enjoy two drinks and bar snacks for the same cost, in addition to ‘beer’ tasting and mocktail-making masterclasses.

Personally, whilst I do enjoy a well-earned glass of rosé on a Friday night, I’m certainly not a heavy drinker and am excited about the fact that more alcohol-free options are being promoted and put on the market. This is, frankly, a very smart move by Sainsbury’s, which is pulling off a stunt that not only falls in line with today’s healthy living trends, but which also targets a demographic that’s been bypassed by the rise in veganism marketing.

So here’s a non-alcoholic toast to you, Sainsbury’s. Cheers!

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