27 Jun 19
The Scottish Sun
A MUSIC executive whose non-stop party lifestyle caused serious liver damage has given up his career to launch zero-alcohol spirits.
Booze-lover Jack Horner, 43, spent 20 years touring the world and putting on events with superstar DJs including Paul Oakenfold and Pete Tong.
The father-of-two said breaking his ankle proved to be a “huge wake-up call,” as he discovered that he was suffering from serious liver damage.
But raving at hundreds of hedonistic festivals took its toll on the father-of-two’s health.
After falling and breaking his ankle in Ibiza a medical check-up revealed his liver was “battered.”
Jack worked at Warner Music before founding a music creative agency and leading campaigns for Coca Cola, Jägermeister, Heineken and Mastercard.
He told Sun Online: “When I broke my ankle, it was a huge wake-up call.
“It turned out my liver had taken a pounding over the years.
“It was easy in the music industry to stay out until 3am and fall out of Soho House or a club.
“Doctors told me sort it out – or it could become irreversible damage. So I totally quit drinking for several months.”
Quitting the pints and cocktails led Jack to set up alcohol-free spirits brand Stryyk with pal Alex Carlton, 42.
Stryyk’s rum alternative does well in taste tests
The gin alternative is also well received by taste testers
‘REIGN IT IN A BIT’
Their drinks Not Gin, Not Rum and Not Vodka have already proved a hit in trendy bars, and are selling well on Ocado and Amazon.
And earlier this month their firm received a major boost when the soft drinks firm behind Irn-Bru invested a cool £1million in a 20% minority stake in Stryyk.
AG Barr also signed up to be the exclusive UK distributor for the brand.
Jack, of Kensal Rise, Central London, added: “We’re not anti-drinking, we’re just trying to find a balance.
“Our customers still want to party. They just want to reign it in a bit.
“We wanted to make zero-proof spirits for everyone – people who have a vodka and tonic one week could simply swap for a non-alcoholic variety next week.
“The blind taste tests with our new drinks have been incredible. A majority of people say ours are better than the real thing.”
‘YOUNG PEOPLE TURNING THEIR BACKS ON BOOZE’
Recent surveys found more people are turning to low and non-alcoholic drinks when on a night out or at home.
UK sales of low and alcohol-free beers jumped 28% in the year to February.
This sales growth is replicated in Germany, where as many as one in 15 beers sold is now estimated to be alcohol-free.
Meanwhile, in Spain, which is the world’s largest consumer of alcohol-free beer – overwhelmingly in the form of ice-cold lagers – they account for 14% of all sales.
Jack worked with acts including Pete Tong – but it all went Pete Tong
Paul Oakenfold was among the artists Jack promoted
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A University College London study suggested young people are turning their backs on booze.
Researchers found almost a third of 16-to-24 year olds in 2015 said they didn’t drink, compared with around one in five in 2005.
The proportion of “lifetime abstainers” rose from nine to 17 per cent in the same period.
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