The non-alcoholic and de-alcoholized drinks market has come a long way.
Whether you’re sober, sober-curious, or just too deathly hungover to even look at another martini for at least a week, you’ve got so many more options to choose from these days than just water, pop, or sparkling apple juice. From craft beers to negroni-esque mocktails—all coming in beautiful cans and bottles that look no different from their boozy counterparts—the “low-to-no” future is bright. And headache-free.
Here are some great options to start with, as well as a few ideas for where to find them.
This might be the best non-alcoholic beer currently available (in fact, it won a gold medal at the Canada Beer Cup). Created by East Van’s Strange Fellows, Nevertheless Pale Ale is beautiful hoppy boldness in both flavour and aroma. With floral and fruity notes that rival an alcoholic pale ale, Nevertheless won’t have you missing a thing.
Find it: For dine-in at Strange Fellows’ tasting room (on tap!) and Brewhall (by the can); for takeaway at Strange Fellows’ tasting room and The Drive Canteen
Fans of bitter cocktails like negronis will find love in Bibi. Made with premium natural flavours sourced from Italy, this sparkling soda has soothing herbaceous aromatics and notes of bittersweet roots, spices, and fruit rinds.
Find it: For dine-in at Ask for Luigi; for takeaway at The Gourmet Warehouse, The Drive Canteen, and Brewery Creek Liquor Store
American zero-proof brand Ghia has finally made it to Vancouver, and it was well worth the wait. Boasting “all of the spirit, none of the booze,” Ghia creates herb-forward aperitivo-style mixes and spritzes with zero added sugars or artificial flavours. The Ghia Soda is a bitter-forward sparkling drink with notes of rosemary, yuzu, lemon, and ginger for a highly drinkable party sipper.
Find it: For takeaway at Coco et Olive and Sunja Link Body Shoppe
Hailing from South Africa, Lautus De-Alcoholized Wines use traditional winemaking procedures to ferment the grapes and then remove the alcohol at low temperatures, helping retain the complexity of flavour. The brand’s Rosé is everything a good skin-contact wine should taste like: crisp, layered, and not too sweet.
Find it: For takeaway at The Drive Canteen
Vancouver-based non-alcoholic brewery Nonny has a selection of great natural and preservative-free options. For something on the lighter side, opt for the Czech Pilsner: it’s refreshing, light, and approachable.
Find it: For dine-in at Savio Volpe, Nuba Gastown, Via Tevere, and Tacofino Ocho; for takeaway at The Drive Canteen, Famous Foods, Mah Milk Bar, and Jimmy’s Liquor Store (plus a lot more)
If you’re craving Guinness, the only thing that will do is, well, Guinness. The iconic Irish brand’s non-alcoholic 0.0 tastes wildly close to the boozy version, delicious thick head and all. The can even has the white nitrogen-filled ball for that signature rattling sound (and smooth taste).
Victoria craft brewery Moon Underwater’s non-alcoholic IPA is as hoppy, floral, and bitter (in the best way) as they come. Called Dry Side of the Moon, it uses cascade, citra, and amarillo hops to create a layered drink with subtle notes of peach and mango.
Find it: For dine-in at Batch; for takeaway at The Drive Canteen
If you want to browse
Unsure what you want and need guidance from an expert? Visit The Drive Canteen on Commercial, which has an impressive and ever-rotating selection of local and international options, plus extremely friendly and knowledgeable staff.
There’s also Sansorium, a local company that curates a beautiful assortment of non-alcoholic wines and beers; they’re available online, as well as in a mini shop-in-shop inside The Juice Truck’s Main Street location.
Here’s to having a good time—followed by a good night’s sleep.