Demand for non-alcoholic beer, wine, and spirits is soaring

Originally published at: Demand for non-alcoholic beer, wine, and spirits is soaring - Boing Boing


No mention of hop water huh?

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gotta rattle the old brain-pan over “non-alcoholic …spirits”


From late 14c. in alchemy as “volatile substance; distillate” (and from c. 1500 as “substance capable of uniting the fixed and the volatile elements of the philosopher’s stone”). Hence spirits “volatile substance;” the sense of which narrowed to “strong alcoholic liquor” by 1670s.


vs the spirits that are capable of making me volatiley philosophize…


Ourobouros was a powerful alchemical symbol, so I guess it’s on brand.


I’m loving this trend. I enjoy a good drink, but I’m increasingly happy not drinking. Being able to get a good tasting non-alc beer or even something with a low alcohol content is really appreciated.


The nice thing about non-alcoholic spirits is that they try to compensate for the lack of alcoholic bite with a blast of flavors, and that’s very much my jam. Pathfinder is like getting punched in the face. Gnista with a splash of liquid smoke and habenero bitters is a delightful winter cocktail.

I’m not specifically doing Dry January, but my partner and I were looking at our habits for the past few years and decided that it was time to significantly curtail our consumption.


“Beer, by LaCroix” as I tend to think of it.


For reasons related to the health of my partner I’ve been interested in this. Athletic brewing is by far the best NA beers I’ve had. I guess it helps that is their focus only product? I dropped some money on a “Free Spirit” bundle to see if NA hard liquor is any good. I was skeptical and still am. The bourbon is meh, the Gin is decent as a mixer in gin and soda/tonic. I have yet to crack open the Tequila. Unfortunately it all costs as much as the real deal. Fortunately they all have way fewer calories.

I never bought whiteclaw so I don’t see any reason to try the NA whiteclaw but I would hope it tastes different than say a la croix.


I just drink water or a soda if i’m not drinking alcohol when socializing


I like the Athletic Brewing offerings, but I think my favorite NA beers are the ones from Brewdog, which manage to avoid the unfermented wort sweetness.


I think one of the soda choices I liked the most was something I found at Bevmo. It was a lemon and bitters soda. Of course, it’s pretty easy to replicate by just buying a bottle of bitters and picking your own favorite sugared or diet soda. Loading the drink with bitters makes it less like a Big Gulp situation, and more like a sipping cocktails cadence.


Was it anything like bitter lemon? I love that stuff, but it’s hard to find in stores where I live.



Also put a vote in for Athletic Brewing.
My other go-to is kombucha - which is possibly superior to zero alcohol beer.
I’m really liking the rise of low % offerings - in the 2-3.5% range. I have a friend who runs a microbrewery - he mentioned it’s quite difficult to make a tasty low alc beer - but also sees the important niche it fills.
Till then - 15 more days of DryJan to go…


Non-alcoholic beer can be quite good. Unfortunately, at least around here the best ones (in terms of tasting most like normal beer) are the big industrial beers. 0.0 Heineken or corona (hah, redundant) taste pretty much exactly like the real thing - they can just afford the equipment/process, I guess.

Non-alcoholic wine? I would love to have some, but the ones I’ve tried have been super fucking terrible. Like, shitty wine made worse. I think there’s a market for it, but not if they are only de-alcoholizing the worst possible cooking wine.

I like drinking wine, but am aiming for moderation. If I could get a decent non-alcoholic red to have with mid-week lunch and dinner, I’d be super happy.

I recently sampled an alcohol-free apple cider. I wish it had booze in it because, wow, that stuff was foul.

To be fair so is most cider.

(Ducks and runs)


Not just USians.

And if you are in the UK I have just three words for you. Small Beer Company. Their stuff is great and they have a brewing method that wastes 90% less water than trad brewers, and they are a certified B corp.


I’m fine with this as an option and welcome non-drinkers (or limited drinkers) to the table with me. More variety is a good thing. Even old school options like N/A beer have improved greatly in the past decades.

That said… why are mocktails so expensive? Like, sometimes more expensive than an actual alcohol drink. Is it a trendiness thing at the places that call them mocktails? Ingredient quality (you can throw cheap booze at a lot of things and mask it)? Something I’m missing?


Alcohol carries a HUGE markup. For a lot of places, it’s the primary revenue generator, even if they serve food. Mocktails are an opportunity to get an even higher markup, as they’re a boutique request.