December 11, 2023

"JUNO-AWARD-WINNING, platinum-selling artist Serena Ryder is used to wearing several hats (including cool, flat-brimmed ones we're very envious of). She's a singer, songwriter, guitarist, rockstar performer, mental health advocate — and now, Libra non-alcoholic craft beer's balance ambassador. The light beer is produced by Upstreet Brewing out of P.E.I.

For Ryder, an alcohol-free lifestyle isn't anything new. She's been sober for half a decade, and has sung about her journey with alcohol in her single "Better Now" off her latest record, The Art of Falling Apart. Ryder has teamed up with Libra to shed light on the importance of being social on your terms, without alcohol if you choose. She even helped develop the floral, booze-free Libra Lavender Sage cream ale. One per cent of profits from Libra go to Ryder's music incubator, ArtHaus.

Interest in cutting back on booze has been seeing some exponential growth in recent years. Some of the best bars in Toronto and the best restaurants in Toronto have introduced excellent non-alcoholic programs, and with new non-alcoholic beer, wine and spirits hitting the shelves every year, shaking up tasty mocktail recipes at home has never been easier.

I sat down with Ryder to learn more about her partnership with Libra and find out what it means to be social on her terms. Of course, I had to ask about Ryder's favourite spots to dine in the city and where to get the best cup of joe  — and in my opinion, her picks certify her as a bonafide Toronto foodie. 

What excites you most about your partnership with Libra Beverage Co.?

"My partnership with Libra is kind of amazing. I'm so proud to be a part of the Libra team. When they reached out to me, it was perfect timing because I stopped drinking alcohol myself about five years ago. At the time, I had not been drinking for a few years, and finding an amazing non-alcoholic beer was hard. They're not in most places.

I've had different people reach out to me in the past and it just didn't align with my values. Libra as a company, and the people that work there are unbelievable. They're all about balance and mental wellness. That's something that I'm all about as well. So it just felt aligned for me, and they gave me a cool title, too — balance ambassador.

And I have a Libra moon. So that's where all my emotions are, in Libra. For me, life is all about balance and the choices that I make are going towards that balance. When I got the first beer from Libra, I was looking at the edge of the can, and it said 'Find your balance.' I was like, 'Wow, this is happening.'"

How do you like to enjoy Libra?

"I enjoy it in the same way that I used to enjoy a drink. It's the same thing, except Libra tastes better to me. I'll have it when I come home from the studio or work, or around a campfire. A lot of the time I'd love to have a fire in my backyard and be able to sit with Libra with friends. If I offer my friends a drink, I can have a drink there with them.

My favourite is the pale ale. It goes with everything. It's amazing. It's delicious. I love the stout as well, especially around this time of year. The stout is really beautiful.""

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Source: Foodism Toronto