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St. Louis Loves Its Beer — And Its Growing Alcohol-Free Options, Social Scene

The first-ever Sans Bar STL event drew a large crowd to the Third Degree Art Factory, despite a conscientious lack of booze.
Meredith Marquardt

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.

From left, Tom Halaska, Nichole Dawsey and Genevieve Barlow joined Friday's talk show.
Credit Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio
From left, Tom Halaska, Nichole Dawsey and Genevieve Barlow joined Friday's talk show.

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.

Listen to the discussion:

Related Events
What: What Does Wellness Mean To You? Interactive Mural and Discussion
When: 1 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019
Where: The Monocle (4510 Manchester Ave., St. Louis, MO 63110)

What: Dry Society: A Conversation On Booze
When: 7:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 16, 2019
Where: The Heavy Anchor (5226 Gravois Ave., St. Louis, MO 63116)

St. Louis on the Air” brings you 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.

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Evie was a producer for "St. Louis on the Air" at St. Louis Public Radio.