About Us

Meet Your Bartenders

Welcome to our new regulars and welcome back to those of you returning! Here you can find out about all the members of our community who we have featured over time. We, at The NA Happy Hour, love sharing a cold drink with new people and hearing their stories, celebrating their triumphs, and boasting their new beers! Look through and be sure to give them some love on their social media accounts.

Ian Smith

Tyler Barker

Chris Riley

Lizzette Mercado

Our Story

 

If you can cast your mind back to April 2020, the world really was in trouble. The previous weeks had seen the spreadof a global pandemic, Covid-19. This pandemic led to an almost overnight change to the way we operated. Flights and social events were cancelled, and bars and restaurants were closed for the foreseeable future. Suddenly, things we took for granted, like meeting a few mates for a chat and a drink seemed a fantasy. This major event was the key for everything to go online. I imagine it was around this time the term “Zoom call” became part of everyone’s daily vocabulary.

Suddenly, everyone had much more free time on their hands. This free time led to me scrolling through social media and interacting with just about every post related to the non-alcoholic beer market. In truth, I think I was trying to escape the reality of what was going on in the world. I’d be lying if I said I remember exactly how myself and Tyler met but there’s little doubt it involved either a comment on a post or one of us reacting to the other’s Instagram story.

Messaging back and forth led to a video call where the conversation was about current state of the world. We instantly hit it off, and one thing that struck me was Tyler’s creativity and determination. Communication continued over the following days and we both agreed there had to be more people who wanted to chat in a virtual “Happy Hour” if you will.

I remember our first call so vividly. It was me, Tyler, Jon Holloway (a great man who featured on a podcast episode and has always supported us) and two girls from New York. The calls continued and we met more and more inspiring and interesting people, Stephane, Suzi, Todd, Matt, Regan, Jonny, Hayley to name but a few. One of these people was a very witty and clever lad named Chris, an avid runner, brand ambassador and an expert in IT.

Life started to return to normal (if only for a little while) and we noticed the Happy Hour wasn’t as “happy” as it had been. This led to a conversation about starting a podcast. There was a great excitement in the air that day, and a great relief too from myself and Tyler when Chris agreed to become the editor of each episode.

Like clockwork every Friday we released a new episode. Interviewing guests from all over the world; from homebrewers to stories of sobriety. We tried to cover it all. One thing we all agreed on was, consistency was important here and it didn’t matter if one of us was sick, we couldn’t get a guest or we simply weren’t feeling up to the challenge, every Friday we would have an episode for our listeners.

As 2020 came and went, Chris, Tyler and myself agreed that there was more to do than simply produce podcasts. We had grand ideas of becoming a “platform” for non-alcoholic drinkers, providing information across a variety of media outlets. (I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t hesitant, but reluctantly agreed after a well put together presentation by the lads. Thankfully, I’m glad I went along with their new, creative vision). It was mutually agreed that 2021 would be our year. We launched the brand, changing the name to “The NA Happy Hour”, joining a number of other platforms, giving our podcasts introduction music, and becoming more creative in our posts and restart those faithful “Zoom calls”.

We’re in the early days of 2021, and the pandemic situation seems to have continued. Socialising is still a difficult task, and the “Zoom call” is still the main means of communication. If there’s one thing we have all learned throughout this is, people need a community, whether this be our community where we live, or an online community of people who are looking to meet up, chat and “forget about life for a while” as Billy Joel once said.

Thanks for reading my long winded speal and stay safe.

Ian Smith

January 2021