Selling Garlic to Vampires

 I’ve designated Tuesdays & Thursdays as my “sales days” – those days when I masochistically walk into retailers cold and clumsily attempt to sell them our non-alcoholic beer. On this particular Tuesday, one of my stops is a butcher shop here in downtown Toronto.

A young fellow behind the register is chatting with a co-worker who leans on the counter from the customer side. I settle into pitch mode and explain how Harmon’s is a non-alcoholic brew that tastes just like craft beer. I watch as their expressions shift between feigned interest to shock and then horror. 

“Non-alcoholic?” the man behind the register asks with exaggerated indignation—his colleague chuckles. 

“Uh, yeah, it’s.5% alcohol,” I reply.

“But we’re all alcoholics here, man.” They both laugh. “Not interested! I mean… what’s the point?” 

This kind of response is not uncommon. Some people have an immediate, visceral reaction when you say “non-alcoholic”. They’re taken aback. It’s like saying “garlic” to a room full of vampires or “Tesla” at a monster truck rally. At one time, I might have had the same reaction.

The rain starts as I abandon the butcher shop and head to an independent health food store across the street. The owner is sitting on a milk crate, methodically adding price stickers to soup cans as I enter.

“Hi there,” I begin, “think your customers would be interested in some organic non-alcoholic craft beer brewed here in Ontario?”  That opening is a mouthful, and I make a mental note to work on that line.

The owner smiles and points to the display behind me. I turn to see a wide shelf fully stocked with non-alc beer brands from all over the world. Some I haven’t even tried yet.

“Of course,” he says, “they love the stuff. It’s almost flying off the shelves!”

That Tuesday afternoon was a microcosm for what I’ve seen over the last couple of years. Those who dismiss any non-alcoholic beverage versus those who have embraced choice. And the numbers back up my impression. In a recent article, Forbes reported that the non-alcoholic beer market is expected to grow 31% by 2024 and reach $23 Billion in sales. And it’s not just the conglomerates driving that growth. Small non-alcoholic craft brewery sales grew 278% in 2020.

It’s part of a moderation trend gaining momentum across all age groups. A movement that gathers steam in January. If you’re contemplating a dry January, we think you should try Harmon’s non-alcoholic beer. With Harmon’s, you can keep your resolutions without sacrificing taste. But don’t take our word for it. Try it yourself!   

Harmon's Store

 

Source:

Forbes

Business Insider

2 comments

Tim Lack

Tracked down your beers at the cheese shop on Lakeshore in port credit. Night all three flavours. All excellent. Thanks. My wife was equally impressed and we have tried every non alc beer we see. Yours are crisp and more tart than most. Very nice. Do you ship to Vancouver?
Note: there was sediment in the hazy ipa. No issue with the flavour. But slightly off-putting at first. You might want to warn people if this is a common occurrence. All the best.

Tim Lack

Tracked down your beers at the cheese shop on Lakeshore in port credit. Night all three flavours. All excellent. Thanks. My wife was equally impressed and we have tried every non alc beer we see. Yours are crisp and more tart than most. Very nice. Do you ship to Vancouver?
Note: there was sediment in the hazy ipa. No issue with the flavour. But slightly off-putting at first. You might want to warn people if this is a common occurrence. All the best.

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