Community The Very Latest Buzz on the World of Non-Alcoholic Beer

    The Very Latest Buzz on the World of Non-Alcoholic Beer


    Luc Zoratto is an alcohol-free life coach and a big fan of non-alcoholic beer, a sector that no one talked about even three years ago and today creates all the buzz. “It makes me feel like I’m still included at social events, tastes great, and gives me confidence,” says Zoratto, a sub 3-hour marathon runner whose Instagram handle is @marathon2sobriety and credits running with helping him battle substance abuse. “The non-alcoholic beers on the market today, from their marketing to their messaging to the way that they’re brewed, aren’t like your O’Doul’s or Beck’s, but something cool, even trendy. Brands like Athletic Brewing are reaching people who might want to drink less or moderate better—which feels like everybody these days.” 

    These days, Athletic Brewery is at most major races, and I just saw lineups gathered around their booth at Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend. Made in perhaps the world’s largest brewery solely dedicated to non-alcoholic beer, their Free Wave Hazy IPA, Upside Dawn Golden Ale and All Out Extra Dark Stout taste like craft beer, not punishment. “Runners like to celebrate their accomplishments with a beer at the end of a race and our view is a non-alcoholic alternative is more inclusive and lets more people celebrate together, even if they choose not to drink,” says Chris Furnari, Athletic Brewery’s communications manager, mentioning that Athletic Brewing is the official non-alcoholic beer partner of the Under Armour 10K in Toronto on June 17, the Vancouver Half Marathon on June 25 and the TCS Waterfront Marathon in October. 

    Started by John Walker and Bill Shufelt, a runner who was training for an ultra when he gave up alcohol in 2012, Athletic Brewery is even hosting a non-alcoholic beer mile on July 1. This, says Luc Zoratto, is the kind of fun event he’s working towards with his sober-minded roller skating party in Toronto this Sunday with a 2SLGBTQ+ inspired event in honour of Pride month. 

    PARTY DOWN: Luc’s rollerskating jam in honour of Pride Month puts the cool in not drinking.

    In January, the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse and Addiction stated that no amount of alcohol is safe, and that’s made many runners across the country reconsider their boozing. Chris Furnari at Athletic Brewery—ranked by the Financial Times as the fourth fastest growing company in the Americas and available across the country at more than 1,000 stores, including Sobeys, Safeway, Loblaws—says non-alcoholic beer is a lifestyle, not a trend. “Consumers are changing their attitudes toward alcohol consumption,” he says. “Runners especially seem to be cognizant of what alcohol does to the mind and body like never before.” 

    For Luc Zoratto, a leading voice in the sober movement, just like our friend Sarah Kate of Some Good Clean Fun who often shares her views on The Social, a widespread reckoning of alcohol consumption is a conversation worth having—especially if it can be healthy, sexy, cool and fun.  

    Anybody looking to drink less, meet other people in the same frame of mind or just curious about the lifestyle I think would have a great time at our event,” he says. “The national conversation has shifted with regards to drinking: you can have a fun time doing something that doesn’t involve alcohol, and it’s a good way to meet people—and remember everything the next day.” 

    To RSVP to Luc’s event this Sunday, please click here. It will also be live on Instagram with the influencer @mylessexton, so give Myles a follow. Athletic Brewery, available now in 10,000 bars in the US, has ordering information on their home site, right here.   


    1. LeBock Ale in Drummondville, Quebec gets 5 stars from me for their huge variety of non-alcoholic beers.

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