Sober curious? NZ’s first alcohol-free bottle shop has opened in Ponsonby

As the ‘sober curious’ movement shows little sign of slowing, with more and more people embracing sobriety (or simply limiting their alcohol intake), the need for a permanent space that caters to this persuasion has become evident. And after the sell-out success of its Ponsonby pop-up back in July, AF has, today, made history by opening the doors to the country’s first-ever 100% alcohol-free bottle shop.

At The Curious AF Bottle Shop, shoppers have the opportunity to try and buy an array of delicious drinks from a number of brands, including Curious AF’s own range, from its classic g&t to refreshing spritzes. The AF cocktails have been formulated to replicate the taste of alcohol and harness the power of ‘Afterglow’, a natural heat extract that produces a gentle warming feeling, essentially mimicking the taste and sensation of the real thing. Alongside the AF range, sourced especially for the shop opening, sit some of the most coveted labels in the sober alcohol-free movement, including such as alcohol-free aperitif Ghia, Vandestreek IPA, Noughty Sparkling Rose and Bella Hadid’s famed range Kin Euphorics. To keep things curious and exciting, AF will regularly change up the selection of alcohol-free drinks available in the shop.


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Lisa King.

Founder Lisa King, of Eat My Lunch fame, explains that the overwhelming success of AF Drinks’ July pop-up ensured the concept’s longevity. “Across just a few short weeks, some 2000 people walked through our beautiful art gallery-inspired installation to discover what the Curious AF movement had to offer,” she says. “And it didn’t disappoint. In the first few weeks, we sold out of many product lines and received an overwhelming number of requests to make the pop-up permanent.” Four months later, this vision has now been realised.

Off the back of Dry July, Sober October, and a slightly more ambitious No Beers November (in support of Movember), it is fair to say that many of us are looking for something that quenches the thirst without relying on the social crutch that is alcohol. As such, The Curious AF Bottle Shop’s new Crummer Road address, designed by Wonder Group, is anticipated to become a go-to spot for any alcohol-free hosting necessities too, including specialty ice moulds, garnishes, glassware and accessories.

AF Drinks range.

Through extending the notion of ‘sober curiosity’, The Curious AF Bottle Shop space is just as much about the experience, as it is about the products it offers. “It’s very much a hands-on, glasses-at-the-ready experience,” King shares. “We also want to host a series of unique AF events in the space.”

Offering a break from booze in the best way, this new bottle-o is set to become a firm favourite ahead of the upcoming festive season.

The Curious AF Bottle Shop Opening hours:
Monday — Wednesday, 10am until 5pm.
Thursday — Saturday, 10am until 6pm.
Closed Sundays.

The Curious AF Bottle Shop

5 Crummer Road,
Ponsonby, Auckland

www.af-drinks.com

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