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The Summer of Non-Alcoholic Beverages

There has been a movement in the past few years that we simply can’t ignore–the tide is turning on alcohol consumption (pun 100% intended). We’re not alone; the decrease in alcohol consumption and, in some cases, the complete movement away from booze has been showing serious staying power in recent years, and that may play a part in consumers’ beverage choice for their ‘drink of the summer’.

It’s a touchy subject, and by no means do we want to sound preachy. After all, a large chunk of our professional careers at HighTide centered around drinking and creating alcohol. We’d be hypocritical to say we’re anti-alcohol. It’s also strange to connote cannabis and sobriety together. Rather, we’re against some of the caveats that alcohol brings to the table. Younger generations, especially, are trending towards a healthier, alcohol-free lifestyle, and cannabis-infused beverages and non-alcoholic mocktails are primed to fill this new gap in the market. 


The Decline in Alcohol Enthusiasm 

You might have experienced this in your own life. Whether it be a friend, a family member, or yourself. It’s a fact that the percentage of Americans that drink alcohol has dropped 5% since 2019. Given the fact that two years of this timeframe included a global pandemic, there seems to be a clear trend that alcohol is being used less and less as a dependent. 

Here are some stats centered around American alcohol and non-alcoholic consumption to throw at you. Courtesy of Gallup.

  • 40% of drinking-age adults said they’re drinking less than they were five years ago, and 43% of the public doesn’t drink.
  • 46% have purchased a non-alcoholic beer or cocktail, led not by teetotalers but by drinking adults.
  • The breakdown of why alcohol was being cut out leads to desiring a healthier lifestyle (67%), wanting to save money (55%), and losing weight (44%) were the top reasons people have started to drink less.

The next generation of alcohol consumers also sheds light on the future of the industry and consumption levels:  

  • The number of kids aged 12-17 who have used alcohol in the last month is declining. In 2002, around 18% had drunk alcohol, but in 2019, that number shrunk to 9.4%. 

You can see, somewhere down the line, the notion of not drinking alcohol went from a thing that was reserved for those suffering from alcoholism or those that were unable to practice moderation. While it’s anecdotal, you may have found yourself in a situation where turning down a drink grouped you into those two categories, even if you were able to handle your alcohol and simply didn’t want a drink at that moment. Maybe, that peer pressure pursued you to have the drink against your better judgment, showing the social reliance alcohol plays in society. 

Now, things are changing. Whereas before, those looking to consume a non-alcoholic beverage had to turn to Odouls, now, one of the fastest growing categories in the food & beverage industry leans towards the non-alcoholic market. The market is creating a demand that companies are now beginning to address, and finding alcohol-alternate ways to relax and socialize is entering the center stage. 

Why the Shift Away from Alcohol?

As the times change, so do people’s habits and preferences. The numbers don’t lie–in recent years, there has been a decline in alcohol consumption. 


The reasons for this shift are numerous and complex. For starters, people are becoming more aware of their mental health and the negative impact that alcohol can have on them. Additionally, individuals are looking to live longer, healthier lives and many studies indicate that little or no alcohol consumption is simply better for you.

Another factor contributing to this decline is the younger generation’s perception of alcohol. They have seen firsthand what alcohol can do to people and are choosing to avoid it altogether. Instead, they’re filling their buckets with other activities that don’t involve just sitting at a bar. These activities range from hiking, meditation, yoga, and getting involved politically or through non-profits (all of which pair quite well with a touch of THC).

The Rising Tide of Cannabis

As you can see, there are plenty of reasons to attribute to the decline in alcohol consumption and an uptick in alcohol alternatives–whether that be mocktails or our trusty canned friend, cannabis. 

Take this with a grain of salt, of course, but overall, cannabis-based beverages CAN be a promising alternative. Cannabis beverages offer a healthier and more natural alternative to traditional alcoholic beverages, and they can provide a similar sense of relaxation and stress relief without the negative effects. 

To make the health comparisons between the two a little more crystal-clear, the CDC estimates that 95,000 people will die from excessive drinking every year–a number that continues to climb with our total global population.

On the other hand, it has been nearly impossible to determine a lethal dose of THC in humans.  The National Cancer Institute states that “because cannabinoid receptors, unlike opioid receptors, are not located in the brainstem areas controlling respiration, lethal overdoses from Cannabis and cannabinoids do not occur.”

In other words, it is believed that it is nearly impossible for a person to die from consuming too much THC alone. However, there have been deaths related to how humans react to THC and the decisions they make–primarily from driving under the influence. It’s important to remember that, although safer, cannabis is a mind-altering substance that impairs motor control–please drink responsibly. 

In the end, we want to make sure you, the reader, understand that we’re not here to push our narrative solely because of our (tasty as hell) product. Cannabis isn’t for everyone, and we wholeheartedly understand that. For some, the effects aren’t as beneficial as they are for others. Some would rather live a clean, substance-free lifestyle–and we’re here for it. But for those looking to find an alternative to alcohol that provides some relief while adding to a healthier lifestyle, cannabis-infused beverages may be a perfect sweet spot to fill your summer with. Need some recommendations? We’ve got you. 

Our Top 5 Alcohol Alternative Summer Drinks  


  1. Phony Negroni
  2. Curious Elixirs
  3. Seedslip
  4. Fresca
  5. Athletic Brewing Co. Downwinder


  1. Athletic Brewing Co. Run Wild 
  2. Polar Seltzer (with a splash of Zing Zang margarita mix)
  3. Diet Coke
  4. Fresca
  5. Sam Adams Just the Haze

The tide’s coming in… Ready?

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