business news in context, analysis with attitude

Interesting piece in The New Yorker about the booming market for non-alcoholic beverages, entitled, "An Ex-Drinker’s Search for a Sober Buzz."

An excerpt:

"For the North American non-alcoholic-beer drinker, who was until recently shut out of the craft-beer revolution of the past twenty years, these are hoppy times. Back in 2016, you’d be lucky to find an O’Doul’s—the non-alcoholic swill brewed by Anheuser-Busch—in the far back corner of the deli beer fridge. Five years later, the Total Wine & More chain of superstores carries biscuity stouts and hops-forward I.P.A.s from more than a dozen N.A. craft brewers across the continent, including Athletic, Partake, Bravus, Surreal, WellBeing, and Brooklyn’s Special Effects.

"Although the N.A.-beer market in the U.S. is still tiny, at around two hundred and seventy million dollars, compared with Europe’s multibillion-dollar industry, it has grown by a third in the past year. American disdain for the liquid called “near-beer”—a derisive tag that is a hangover from Prohibition days, when non-alcoholic beer, defined by the 1919 Volstead Act as beer containing up to 0.5 per cent alcohol by volume (A.B.V.), was the only beer Americans could legally drink—appears to be finally lifting. (That 1919 definition of non-alcoholic beer remains the standard today.)"

You can read the entire story here.