Six months ago, a doctor told me to stop drinking alcohol.
The medical advice came after a long weekend of debauchery on a houseboat on Vancouver Island and the resurgence of a serious health issue that sent me limping sheepishly into the emergency room.
At first, the recommended abstention felt like a punitive sentence. I love alcohol in all its forms and have even welcomed it into my career as a journalist who covers food and drink. I’ve also been known to patake in the great Canadian pastime of getting good and fucked up on the occasional weeknight.
But not anymore. Now I’m all about the non-alcoholic (NA) beverages…(and ebiles, but that’s for another story). And my timing couldn’t be better, as the number of NA beer and spirit options have grown exponentially in recent years. According to Business Insider, sales of NA beverages increased 33 percent over 2021, rising alongside alcohol consumption during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The quality of the product has also increased, far eclipsing that of the old standbys like Anheuser-Busch’s O’Doul’s or Heineken Zero. Today, there are numerous tasty alcohol-free IPAs, stouts, blondes, and lagers, as well as a growing number of zero-percent spirits like gin and rum with which to mix up a convincing booze-less cocktail.
Don’t wait for your doctor to prescribe them for you. Try one of these non-alcoholic beverages available in Canada today.
The Exchange Brewery Hop Seltzer
St. Regis Secco
Big Drop Galactic Dark
Sober Carpenter Organic Session IPA
Gruvi Sour Weisse
This is a special ninth edition to the list because while it doesn’t make the cut as “Canadian-made,” it is sold widely across Canada on well.ca and is a unique option for anyone who loves a good sour. These guys are based in Denver, CO, and know what they’re doing when it comes to NA beers.