Black Pineapple Co’s Frankie Walker Reveals Why He Quit Drinking

Way of life

Frankie Walker has been in the alcohol business for years. Photo / Provided

There aren’t many companies where it’s okay to drink on the job.

The man behind Auckland’s Black Pineapple Co cocktail company, Frankie Walker spends his days surrounded by premium booze.

But after 12 years in the drinks business – he worked for beer giant Lion for 10 years before starting his own company – the British native realized he had a problem with his own drinking. alcohol.

“Growing up in the ’70s, the culture of the ’80s was different, and working in hospitality, you drink in a way that’s definitely detrimental,” Walker told the Herald.

“Drinking at work is so trivialized. When you work in bars, you serve people six nights a week, you watch them have a good time and then, of course, on your one night off a week, you want to go out The trigger is such a deep pattern that goes back years.”

Walker decided he wanted to get to a place where he had more conscious control over his drinking.

“When you stop drinking, you realize all the triggers, and there’s a lot more than I thought: a good day, a bad day, going to a particular restaurant, dating a particular person.”

One of the hardest parts of quitting alcohol is explaining it to your friends — it can be “triggering” for them to hear, he says.

“Personally, I’ve found that by not drinking myself, there are times when it’s just easier not to say anything – but I become more confident to be able to talk about it. People just have to deal with it. A lot of people who quit drinking, one very common thing they all say is that you’re going to lose friends because you don’t drink.

Walker wants to bring more premium soft drink options to Kiwis.  Photo / Provided
Walker wants to bring more premium soft drink options to Kiwis. Photo / Provided

“But if someone is really your mate and you’re honest with them, they’ll understand.”

One of the reasons Walker started Black Pineapple Co was that he was “disappointed” with the range of soft drinks offered at events.

“If you’re lucky, you’ll get orange juice or sparkling water with a little lemon in it.”

With non-alcoholic versions of its signature home cocktail kits available, it wants to give more Kiwis the chance to enjoy a quality non-alcoholic drink – but it has banned the use of the word “mocktail”.

“We’re not talking about anything ‘pristine’ or ‘mock’ – they’re all cocktails, some contain alcohol and some don’t.”

He hopes that if more options become available, more people will feel encouraged to try and cut down on their alcohol consumption. It’s about “drinking less, drinking better”, he says – “not just being a means to an end, just being fucked”.

“We still have a way to go, I would like to see it more normalized. It must be a good thing for people to drink more responsibly.”

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