Maritime brewers, wine makers hop on Dry January trend with non-alcoholic options
With 2021 coming to an end, some Maritimers are looking ahead to a "dry" new year, where people cut out alcohol for the month of January.
It's a growing trend that some local brewers and wine makers are trying to hop on.
"I do believe that there is definitely a place for an extraordinary sensory experience without alcohol," said Jean-Benoit Delaurier, head wine maker at Benjamin Bridge – a winery in Wolfville, N.S.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, many people have turned to non-alcoholic alternatives, and Maritime drink-makers are ready for that market.
"People are looking to consume less alcohol, whether that's through low-ABV beers or non-alcoholic options, and they're looking to integrate non-alcoholic options into their life," said Mitch Cobb, owner of Upstreet Craft Brewing. "It doesn't necessarily mean that they're going to stop drinking. It just means that they're looking for other options"
Cobb says their brand Libra is about removing the social stigma around not drinking.
"And still meet with friends and go out for dinner and they don't have to sort of, stay home and not consume alcohol. They can go out and socialize," said Cobb.
Even some restaurants are following the trend, like RustiCo., a restaurant in downtown Fredericton.
"So, we actually have a variety of mock tails on our menu. Our most popular cocktail, the tequila mockingbird, is now the 'not tequila mockingbird,'" said Stephanie Bartlett, general manager at RustiCo. "We get really creative here with infused syrups and use of juices. It feels like you're having a cocktail that's kind of our goal."
Bartlett says her restaurant is fully prepared for those who choose to participate in Dry January.
"I think it's important to have that option because you still want to have fun with your friends and you still want to go out and socialize, and this gives you an opportunity," said Bartlett. "If you have a variety of things that they'll want to drink, it makes it a little more comfortable for them while they're out."