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I have a friend who, for one reason or another, and many in between reasons, has given up alcohol. She has no complaints but one. When going out to eat, she would love to participate in the cocktail hour with a delicious non-alcoholic beer, and no, she does not want a virgin Bloody Mary. She wants a beer – the nice malty carbonated taste of hops, sans the alcohol.

She’s on the West Coast and I’m on the East Coast. We got together recently for a mini-reunion. We stayed at a great hotel in a resort town on the beach. We went out to dinner every night, but it didn’t matter if it was upscale, or downscale, she could not score the drink of her choice. Not one restaurant stocked non-alcoholic beer. One proprietor explained because there is so little demand, he simply does not bother. We refused to drop the topic, and asked would it be that big a deal to keep one case of O’Doul’s or St. Pauli Girl on hand? He said he would consider it.

I promised her that when I got back to New York City, I would start a campaign to raise restaurant awareness that non-alcoholic beers should be included on the drinks menu.

So now whenever I go out, I ask for a non-alcoholic beer. If they do not have any, I go through my spiel about how there are non-drinkers in the world who still want the option of having an alternative to a Coca-Cola or a virgin Bloody when they dine out, and restaurants should accommodate them.

On behalf of my buddy in LA, please spread the word.