Welcome to the Non-Alcoholic craft cocktail movement!

We develop delicious, healthy, and (we think) beautiful craft cocktails tailored to your specific event – your tastes and your vibe – and we are excited to serve them up, together with our non-alcoholic beer and wine offerings, to all of you who are athletes, baby makers, mindful drinkers, flavor-lovers, sober-curious, sober-serious, alcohol-intolerant, or just looking for non-alcoholic beverage choices that are not sparkling water, soda, or sugar-bombs!

We are part of a worldwide and growing community of mindful drinkers, available for your wedding, baby shower, pre- or post-race party, corporate event, employee appreciation party, neighborhood block party, birthday, retirement, Dry January or Sober October celebration, you name it. We can make it happen and make it special. So very happy to see you here.

Be well – be Bene!

Upcoming Events

Sunday, January 14  ~ Second Sunday NA Cocktail Social

Bar Bene Hosts Teetotalin’ Trivia – An NA Cocktail Tasting over Three Rounds of Questions

This is not your average pub trivia event – we have designed a Sunday afternoon experience where you are guaranteed to try something new, learn something new, and meet someone new.  Might just be the best two hours of your week!  Cheers!

Be well, be Bene, & Cheers!  See you soon!

Join us for Second Sundays, or . . .

Have Bar Bene bring the bar to you!

We are available for any sort of venue, indoors or out, and for any size event. We are as excited to bring our beverages to an intimate in-home setting as we are to a large celebration. Bar Bene will

  • Collaborate to develop the perfect non-alcoholic cocktail menu for your event (we can also offer an array of non-alcoholic beer and wine).
  • Source, store, and transport all the ingredients (including the spirits).
  • Provide the glassware (plasticware or glassware).
  • Set up and take down the bar (we can bring a bar table to your event or potentially use your existing bar set-up).
  • Provide barware and bartending services.

We offer the same services for these specific festive options:

  • The Bene Brunch Cocktail Bar (NA mimosas, Bellinis, or Bloody Marys)
  • The Bene Margarita Bar (a custom selection of NA margaritas)
  • The Bar Bene Tasting Experience (cocktail tasting, presentation, Q & A)


In the spirit of delicious inclusivity, Bar Bene’s cocktails are all vegan and gluten free.

Bar Bene offers custom packages, as well, including:

Keto AF

Features our lowest carb beverages.

Half the Sky AF

Features ingredients grown and produced by women.

Great Lakes AF

Features ingredients grown and produced in MI and IL. We can get as hyper-local as you would like with this one!

0.0 Package

Features cocktails, beer and wine, that do not contain even trace amounts of alcohol. This package can be made halal.

Bar Bene is always motivated and guided by







Living Life to the Fullest



Living Life to the Fullest

Kristin Knake

Kristin Knake

Hi! I’m Kristin – Ann Arbor native, recovered lawyer, long time high school teacher, and now the founder and owner of Bar Bene. It is wonderful to be back in A2 to raise our child and reconnect with the community here. Thank you for visiting my site!


Bene’s Story

2020 – OOF! – pandemic parenting.  Being a mom of a toddler in Covid lockdown meant, for me, that the wine really started flowing.  And my glass or two a day became . . . significantly more than that in the following two years.  I contributed to the pandemic drinking statistics for sure.

In 2022, I did Dry January with a few family members for a post-holiday detox.  That “Drynuary” felt fantastic and gave me the opportunity to evaluate my relationship with alcohol.   It was clear that the amount I was consuming was incompatible with being my best self and the best parent I could be.  So I stayed dry.

Growing tired of sparkling water, however, and missing the communal, celebratory, and ritual aspects of drinking alcohol, I needed options.  I was fully prepared to be disappointed in my search, but lo’ and behold! – there are so many incredible non-alcoholic spirits now!  Just within the last few years there has been an explosion of innovation.  Assiduous research and development have always been my thing, and I geeked out and dived in deep.  I did the reading, did a whole lot of on-line ordering, mixed and experimented like crazy, pitched a lot of products and a good number of sub-par cocktails into the bin, enlisted family and friends as tasters, enrolled in Chris Marshall’s Sans Bar Academy (shout-out to the amazing Spring 2022 cohort!) and finally created what I needed.

I started Bar Bene to share the wealth!  It’s time to share the joy of this exciting new option and burgeoning movement with Michigan’s increasingly mindful drinkers.  It’s time to get together and engage the way we so often do – over a celebratory, complex, adult beverage.   It’s time to support the inclusivity and genuine connection that an alcohol-free event provides.   Time to take it on the road.  Time to be Bene!  Cheers!


I attended a small, in-home tasting event catered by Bar Bene last spring. I will admit I was a little skeptical at first but also very curious: how satisfying could a non-alcoholic cocktail be?? Our host, none other than Bar Bene’s founder, Kristin, mixed us several delicious and beautiful cocktails, each of which completely surpassed my expectations and forced me to abandon my skepticism.

These drinks – the Sugarbush Sour, Bene Bird, and Lafayettte were my favorites – were carefully crafted to provide amazing flavors (the ginger in the Lafayette was perfection!) and to have the mouthfeel of a cocktail. And the presentation was simply stunning. To say the drinks were “satisfying” is a gross understatement. Bar Bene sets a very high bar for what a non-alcoholic cocktail should be! Five stars!


If you love margaritas but you’re focusing on healthy living and eating, try Bar Bene’s alcohol-free Smoke and Mirrors Margarita with Mezcal. Bar Bene’s recipe and complex flavors has just the right amount of kick with the deep smoky flavor you expect from Mezcal. You can enjoy a grown-up drink, skip the hang-over, and wake up feeling like you slept like a baby.

KAIT (see full writeup)

Bar Bene added the much-needed colorful corner with bright flavors of non-alcoholic cocktails that our participants enjoyed thoroughly – several of them commending the program for taking an outside the box approach. Bar Bene made our event special in fostering social interaction among participants talking over refreshing non-alcoholic mocktails.
Dr. Supratik Rayamajhi, Director, MSU Internal Medicine Residency Program


Are Bar Bene’s drinks 100% alcohol free?

All of Bar Bene’s drinks are non-alcoholic (NA), which means they contain less than 0.5% alcohol-by-volume (Michigan Liquor Control Code of 1998 Chapter 1, 436.1105 §105)/. Most fall within the 0.1-0.3% range, which is lower than the percentage of alcohol in an American-style burger bun, roughly the same as the percentage of alcohol in a ripe banana, and way less than the percentage of alcohol in soy sauce. Bar Bene also offers completely alcohol-free (AF) drinks in every category (cocktails, beer, and wine), which means they contain 0.0% alcohol-by-volume.

Since the drinks are all non-alcoholic, can Bar Bene serve minors?
Although our drinks are all non-alcoholic, these are really adult beverages. We will serve to guests who are 18 and older.
Are the drinks okay for me if I am pregnant or on medication?
We are non-alcoholic by FDA standards, and we would be honored to cater your baby shower! However, we recommend that you consult your physician with any questions you may have before making the decision to consume our offerings.
Are the drinks okay for me if I am a designated driver?
Thank you for being DD! Our drinks are all non-alcoholic and are perfect for you in your role.
Are the drinks okay for me if I am in recovery?
Everyone has their own recovery process. Some people in the recovery community find that non-alcoholic cocktails, beer, and wine serve as triggers for them. Others say the option to drink these beverages is helpful on their path. The answer to this is so deeply personal.
I have heard the phrase “sober curious” more and more. What does it mean?

Ruby Warrington introduced the phrase in her 2018 book, Sober Curious: The Blissful Sleep, Greater Focus, Limitless Presence, and Deep Connection Awaiting Us All on the Other Side of Alcohol. It means, she said, “literally, to choose to question, or get curious about, every impulse, invitation, and expectation to drink, versus mindlessly going along with the dominant drinking culture.” On the other end of the sober spectrum are the sober serious – people who already very consciously do not drink alcohol because they are part of the recovery community, or for religious or medical reasons. Warrington really tapped into something with “sober curiosity”. The enthusiasm for her term, and the speed in which it has grown so ubiquitous really testify to the experiences of a strong and growing community of people who are rethinking why and whether to drink alcohol. Bar Bene exists to provide a complex, adult, non-alcoholic choice for everyone on the sober spectrum.

Bitters are so high proof – how can you use them and still be considered NA?
Bitters are truly the “salt and pepper” of cocktails, adding nuance and depth, and bringing out and melding flavors. But yes, traditional bitters come in at roughly 35-45% alcohol-by-volume, so even a dash or two in a drink can raise the drink’s overall abv over the 0.5% threshold. Lucky for us, there has been tremendous innovation in this area, and there are now some incredible non-alcoholic bitters out there. Our favorite NA bitters gurus use a combination of apple cider vinegar and glycerin as extraction agents. They pack in the botanicals, and the result is magic. For some of our cocktails, and if our client is on board, we do the math verrrrry carefully, use a dropper, and do include some traditional alcoholic bitters. The resulting cocktails are still non-alcoholic.
What are the health benefits of your drinks?

This is a fun one to answer. First, the obvious: the absence of ethanol means Bar Bene’s beverages avoid the long-term health risks associated with consuming alcohol. Less obvious, perhaps: our cocktails are significantly lower in calories than their alcoholic counterparts, which contain so many empty calories in the alcohol, itself. You absolutely must banish the image of a sugar-bomb Shirley Temple, a “mocktail” with a tower of whip cream, or a big-as-your-head frozen Virgin Daiquiri from your mind! We have banished them from our menu, that’s for sure. Instead, Bar Bene is all about paying homage to the golden age of American cocktails. Our beer and wine selections, too, are significantly lower-calorie than alcoholic beer and wine.

There’s more.

  • The cocktail bitters we use are packed with botanicals like dandelion root, burdock root, milk thistle seed, and holy basil, which may help with digestion, offer kidney and liver support, protect the liver, and offer other medicinal properties typical of digestive bitters.
  • Unlike alcoholic drinks, our beverages are hydrating! Google “German Olympic team and non-alcoholic beer” to see some serious hydrating.
  • Because the beer, wine and base spirits we use are all non-alcoholic, their product labeling is governed by the FDA rather than the TTC. This means all our offerings are made with ingredients that in turn are required to list their ingredients! Nutritional values, too. With Bar Bene, you can know exactly what is in your beverage. Here’s to conscious consuming!
Will you cater outside of Ann Arbor?

Sure! There is a travel fee for out-of-town events, but we love to tour our great state!

Is Bar Bene available to cater a mix of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages?
No. Bar Bene is a completely non-alcoholic option for your event.
Is Bar Bene vegan?
In the spirit of delicious inclusiveness, yes, our menu is vegan.
Is Bar Bene gluten-free?
Our cocktails and wines are gluten-free. We offer a selection of gluten-free or gluten-removed beers as well.
Doesn’t a cocktail need alcohol to be a real cocktail?
We say ‘no,’ and we are in good company! In Mindful Mixology, the incredible mixologist and thought leader Derek Brown of DC’s Columbia Room argues for a sensory definition of “cocktail.” So long as a mixed beverage has intensity of flavor, texture, piquancy, and length, he says, it’s a cocktail. Enough with the idea that it must have booze!
Okay, but they can’t really taste the same.

Yes and no. In the NA beer category, we think you’d be hard pressed to tell the difference. But with Bar Bene’s cocktails, you’re right. They do not taste exactly the same as the alcoholic cocktails they pay homage to – and that is also not exactly the point! You can taste the difference the same way you can taste the difference between a plant-based burger and a beef burger. But the flavor architects who developed the NA spirits we source for our cocktails have truly captured the essence of the traditional spirits. And our recipes are designed to showcase and further enhance the flavors and the experience. Add the proper glassware and garnishes, and NA cocktails are an immense pleasure for anyone – and a new and welcome choice!

Ready to get started?

Let’s Talk

You can also reach me at kristin.knake@barbene.org