• Richie Crowley

Can I Actually Make Not Drinking Alcohol “Cool”?

This is both a question and a goal.

I ask myself this every day: Am I actually going to be able to make not drinking alcohol “cool”?

I also wrote this in an email to myself sent on January 1st, 2020 with the subject line: 2020 Goals.

It was right above pay off student loans.

I’ve studied the plant-based movement and seen how the film GameChangers introduced vegan athletes in a light that made them desirable to emulate.

Even beyond the documentary is a long line of really cool vegans.

These public adopters became natural ambassadors for the plant-based movement.

I’m 100% trying to recreate this inside the alcohol-free revolution happening right now.


I was fortunate to host a star-studded panel at SXSW online this year, I’ve been on one of the biggest alcohol-free podcasts in One Year No Beer, and even chatted with the Wall Street Journal about the rise of sober-curiosity.

My Dad used to say “It’s not what you’ve done, but what you’ve done for me lately.”

Fair. The podcast and video were from 2019.

Well, let me tell ya that Athletic Brewing and I are cookin’ up some projects together, and in a few weeks I’ll be introduced you all to a YouTube series called Off The Rocks in which I sample alcohol-free options.

If you know me, you know it’ll be…fun.

How’s that, Dad?

(Love you)

When I first started championing the alcohol-free lifestyle, I was on a soapbox. I wrote about the alarming health effects of alcohol, the oppression that alcohol consumption supports, and even shared the intimate details of my sobriety.

I do that less now.

I still identify as sober, but I found it less inviting, more preachy.

Hence the use of alcohol-free or sober curious.

My goal is to introduce the alcohol-free lifestyle to people as a true option.

As an alternative.

And yes, my ego is involved.

You might ask “Why you?”

My answer is that if a now 29-year-old former professional athlete, that can be found dancing on stages at Coachella and biking across the country, chooses not to drink, it just might invite in a few others, or at least give permission to the person who feels uncomfortable saying no.

I’m less concerned about attacking alcohol, or throwing red paint on the fur coats, and investing more time in conversations and actions that highlight the alcohol-free lifestyle.

The superpowers accessed without alcohol.

I want people to see me and ask “What the F@#& is that guy on?

Water my guy. I’m on the water.

So, can I actually make not drinking alcohol “cool”?

Stay tuned.

Richie. Human.

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