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!