From beer to spirits, plenty of non-alcoholic options are on the market, with even major brands signing on, as research shows the “curious” movement is picking up steam in America.
For Joe Chura, it started with his own health problems, as he felt he drank too much during the epidemic.
“My husband and I were putting on a lot of weight, we weren’t feeling well,” Chura said.
Chura cut out alcohol completely for 75 days and lost weight. Suppress alcohol cravings by drinking non-alcoholic beer.
Then NA started making beer, first in the garage, and now in the company he started, called Go Brewing, which opened a taproom in Naperville late last year.
“I realized there was nowhere I could go that didn’t revolve around alcohol, so I wanted to create a space and develop a great non-alcoholic beer,” Chura said.
With about a dozen beers on tap, including two sours, a hazy IPA and a pilsner, Chura is able to sell “Go Brewing” varieties online through retailers like Amazon.
“We are at 150 locations in just seven months,” Chura said.
“I think the change has been brewing for some time,” says Helen Jambunathan, associate director of insights at Canvas8, a global consulting firm.
“In short, what we do is help brands better understand why people think, feel and spend,” says Jambunathan.
A Canvas8 study found that curiosity is on the rise, especially among Americans under 35.
“We are seeing young people giving up alcohol and going out in droves. Drinking is certainly much less, with many opting out of drinking altogether,” Jambunathan said.
Registered dietitian and nutritionist Christine Palumbo applauded the move.
“I honestly don’t see any downsides to cutting alcohol out of your diet,” says Palumbo.
According to Palumbo, alcohol is a known carcinogen and all the calories from alcohol can add up.
“You have options to cut back or not,” Palumbo said.
Non-alcoholic beers have a fraction of the calories compared to alcoholic versions.
But if you’re switching from cocktails to mocktails using non-alcoholic spirits, Palumbo says, be sure to count the calories in the mix.
“Tonic water, fruit juices — look at the label. Look at the portion size, not just the calories and grams of sugar,” Palumbo said.
Matt Byrne switched to alcoholic beer about a year ago.
“I had an epiphany. I’ve had enough of the drinking culture. It’s all just, the cycle,” Byrne said.
It traded in higher ABV microbrews for non-alcoholic versions like Go Brewing and lost weight and gained focus in the process.
“It’s easier than you think and the benefits come faster than you think,” says Breen.