Yes is Less: Getting to Know Richard Loud
When we were asked recently who epitomizes the phrase, Less is Yes, the first person who sprang to mind was Richard Loud.
Brimming with energy and full-hearted enthusiasm, Richard has been a Spiritless customer since the very beginning. Over the past several years, we’ve been lucky to get to know him and the story behind his Kentucky 74.
“I think I got one of the first bottles because I remember posting a photo when it arrived and a few other people who had pre-ordered were jealous, because they hadn’t gotten theirs, yet,” Richard says with a laugh.
We had a chance to catch up with Richard to learn more about what Yes is Less means to him and his journey to becoming Spiritless. Here’s what he had to say.
One of the things we love most about Richard is that his story is relatable to that of many of our customers. He gave up drinking because, well, it just made him feel like 💩.
“Before the pandemic, I’d go for a workout after the office and then I’d come home and make dinner, hang out with the family, and crack open a beer while I was making dinner,” he explains. “It was the ritual, the anticipation of a drink; I felt good because I had a bubbly beer in my hand.”
Then, like the rest of the world, Richard’s routines and rituals were interrupted by COVID-19. He found that he was more willing to start happy hour at, say, 3 p.m. than he’d been before. He quickly realized how easily one drink becomes two drinks, two drinks become three, and so on.
“My brain would say, ‘Well, one made you feel this good, two will make you feel even better!’ So I’d have a second beer during dinner,” he shares. “But in reality… I felt kinda crappy afterward.”
He bought a six-pack of non-alcoholic beer one day on a whim, and never looked back. Today, Richard has been alcohol-free for over two years.
“I'm having more fun drinking now that I stopped drinking than I ever had drinking while I was drinking,” Richard says.
One of the reasons for Richard’s giddiness: saying yes to less has actually broadened his horizons. Enjoying alcohol-free spirits has opened up a whole new world of experimentation for the once-avid home brewer.
“I have a background in beer tasting and I also enjoyed wine occasionally. But as far as spirits were concerned, I rarely made cocktails,” he explains. “I’d never heard of a Boulevardier. I’d never heard of a Negroni. I don’t think I actually ever had an Old Fashioned, to be honest. [If I was drinking bourbon] I’d basically just pour it in the glass and drink it.”
Now, he says, “There are so many different cocktails to try! I make alcohol-free whiskey sours, margaritas, gimlets, Old Fashioneds, Manhattans, Negronis, whatever. And the ones I make without alcohol are every bit as enjoyable.”
You can follow Richard’s AF adventures one cocktail at a time on his Instagram @rich_loud. He also shared with us a bonus tip: Jazz up your Old Fashioned by subbing simple syrup for a half-slice of orange muddled with a teaspoon of brown sugar.
On the Future
“I think. at least, I really hope, that it’s here to stay,” Richard says of the no-and-low lifestyle that has become his new ritual, his new normal. “I think there’s a critical mass of people who are saying, ‘I’m done. I don’t want to drink anymore.’ Then they find this incredibly supportive and accessible community online, this critical mass of people who are NA, and they stay.”
Richard attributes some of the explosive growth in the intentionally alcohol-free movement to the fact that there are now a host of beverages designed to appeal to non-drinkers. When he first started his AF journey, for instance, there wasn’t the same variety and range of products to satisfy the masses.
Today, he says, “The universe is infinite and it’s constantly expanding. It’s hard to keep up. However, “I will always have a backup bottle of Kentucky 74,” he laughs. “I can’t run out!”
You, too, can live like Loud by picking up a two-pack today. Use the code LiveLikeLoud to score 10% off. (Thanks, Richard!)