Spirited Ones Spotlight: Brian Anderson
My name is Brian Anderson.
I live in League City, Texas, a suburb of Houston. I’ve worked in the space community for 34 years. I started as a Space Shuttle Flight Controller in the Mission Control Center, and worked as a NASA civil servant for 23 years before I left to work as a NASA contractor. Space has been my profession since college and I don’t see that changing before I retire. I’ve been married for 37 years and have a 33 year old daughter and a 31 year old son. We have 2 grandson’s that consume a great deal of our time in a very good way.
I quit drinking alcohol in March 2015 because it had become more important in life than my family. That had to change if I wanted to see my grandkids grow up and be a part of my family. I struggled with removing alcohol from my life from September 2013 until March 2015, but when I finally decided I was done, I was done.
For many years, I didn’t drink anything alcohol related. My work required that I socialize quite a bit and I found that being the only sober person in a bar full of competitors was actually advantageous. Folks tend to get a bit verbose and loose when they drink. They tend to forget what they said the night before, and being sober, I didn’t. I know some folks have a difficult time being around alcohol when they don’t drink, but for me, it’s not been an issue. I didn’t ever really crave the alcohol, but one evening in the summer of 2019, in an outside bar in Burbank California, I thought that it would be nice to have a cold beer. They happened to have Buckler NA on their menu, so I decided, on a whim to give it a shot. It scratched that itch for a cold beer on a hot evening and in reality started my NA journey. It did not result in any craving for alcohol, but it opened my eyes to the fact that there were alternatives to sodas and tea.
After my first NA beer, I started to research the NA market to see what was out there. I was surprised how many NA beer options there were and I also saw that there was an emerging NA spirits world. What I could not find was much in the way of independent reviews of the products online. I decided that since I was going to work my way through the NA market for my own personal pleasure, I may as well document my journey. I created “The Sober Barkeep” YouTube Channel and posted the first episode August 11, 2020.
When I started The Sober Barkeep, I had no idea if anyone would be interested in what I said, but I thought it would be nice to document my thoughts in a way that I could go back and remember what I thought about any given drink. I honestly thought I might get 30 episodes before I ran out of NA options. What I didn’t know at the time was that the NA drinks market was about to explode. Since I started the channel, numerous companies have released NA beers, wine and spirits, to the point that I have more options than episode slots. At this writing, I have posted 186 episodes and have a ton more in the cue.
My first exposure to Monday was through Facebook. Because of my channel and associated Facebook page for The Sober Barkeep, I would frequently get ads for NA drinks. The ones that kept showing up that really caught my attention was the ads for Monday Gin. They were slick and professional and didn’t promise the world. I decided to order a bottle and was amazed at how close it tasted to the real thing. I was impressed from the start with the attention to detail, the personal note from the owner and the packaging. It was all top notch. I was also impressed by the fact that they did not try to market several NA varieties right from the start. They perfected one before they expanded to the next. To me that was a great way to approach what could be a very volatile market. To me, Monday is one of the top manufactures of NA spirits. Both their Gin and Whiskey NA’s are in the top of the class. I look forward to each new offering that they put out, while continuing to enjoy the Gin and Whiskey. They are both staples in my NA bar. When mixing NA cocktails, if I’m looking for a drink with a juniper forward flavor, I always grab the Monday bottle.
As the NA Spirit markets continues to grow, it’s great to know that companies like Monday are there to anchor the market and provide a stable, proven product for growth. I’m looking forward to the next years as the market expands and am excited about what Monday has to offer for the future.
A funny thing happens when you explain the non-alc movement to someone who isn’t aware of it. Often, things start off with a puzzled facial expression. ‘Why would someone want a non-alcoholic spirit?’ A fair question... but what’s really interesting is how quickly that puzzled expression turns into an “ahhh ok, I get it!” That bridge, from curious skepticism to supportive understanding happens strikingly fast and it happens when you answer with examples of people’s unique stories.
Here at Monday, we believe that each personal story explains why we exist at all. That’s why we’ve created the Spirited Ones Spotlight as a place to showcase these unique stories, showing how individuals thrive within the non-alc movement and its various branches of health and wellness.
Your story is indispensable and we’d love for you to share it with us. Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org to take the Spotlight as a Spirited One.