An Ex-Drinker’s Search for a Sober Buzz

Just inside the Athletic Brewing Company’s headquarters, in Stratford, Connecticut, there is a long wooden bar with a selection of non-alcoholic craft beers on tap. When I visited the brewery and public taproom on a sunny afternoon in June, during our fleeting summer of freedom before the emergence of the Delta variant, I could smell the hops—the flowers that give beer its sour-sweet fruit flavor—while I was still outside.

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