Dry Season

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The Zoomer Radio Morning Show takes the Hill Street Challenge

Minimizing alcohol intake is never a bad idea, so from June 18 to July 20, Jane Brown, Sam Houston and Neil Hedley of the Zoomer Radio Morning Show are taking the Hill Street Challenge to go completely alcohol-free.

When you enjoy the taste of beer and wine, choosing to go alcohol-free for a month can certainly be a challenge. Sparkling water, soda, and other alternative beverages aren’t nearly as satisfying, and most alcohol-free beverages force you to compromise on taste.

Fortunately, there’s the Hill Street Beverage Company, which stands head and shoulders above its competition by producing alcohol-free wine and beer that actually tastes great. (And they have the awards to prove it!) With their Hill Street Craft and Designated Draft beers, their full line-up of Vin(Zero) and Vintense wines, and a beverage portfolio that continues to expand, Hill Street gives drinkers a way to consume adult beverages with 0% of the alcohol and 100% of the taste.

Jane’s reasons to switch to alcohol-free drinks focuses on the health factors. “I’m excited about taking in fewer calories and having a clear head,” she says. “Maybe I’ll even lose a pound or two!” Chances are good—Hill Street alcohol-free beverages contain fewer calories than your typical beer or wine; they’re even endorsed by Weight WatchersTM.

“I’m excited about taking in fewer calories and having a clear head.”
– Jane Brown

Sam likes the social aspects of alcohol- free wine. “(I like) having an alternative beverage choice while others are having alcoholic drinks.” You no longer have to feel like an outsider nursing a fluorescent green carrot-kale-celery smoothie while everyone else has a glass of vino.

“It’s a choice that has me blending in rather than standing out.”
– Sam Houston

Neil’s reasons for going alcohol-free are profound. “Alcohol has had an interesting place in my psyche because, growing up, plenty of people around me had issues with it. So I avoided alcohol, to avoid going down the same road they did.” In a country with long, cold winters and impassioned, hard-core sports fans, it’s likely we all know those people; roughly 5.8 million Canadians are classified as “heavy drinkers.” Alcohol-free beverages can help to diminish this statistic, while also introducing non-drinkers to the deliciousness of mashed barley and smashed grapes. “It’s like someone opened a door to a ridiculously fun world,” says Neil.

At this age, the hangovers aren’t worth it anymore. “I savour each sip, and I seldom drink too much or I have a hangover the next day. It wasn’t always like this!” Jane laughs.

“I’m into my 50s and I’ve never been drunk,” says Neil, clearly exposing himself as an alien from a distant planet. Though his reasons make sense: “Everything in my life depends on me being at the top of my game. And that gets tougher as I get more ‘seasoned.’ ” Neil’s wife is also due to give birth this summer, and non-alcoholic wine is something they can enjoy together, in solidarity.

While we may no longer desire to “shotgun beer” while dancing on a bar with a lampshade on our heads, wine and beer still have a place in our lives. Alcohol-free beverages can still enrich our meals— burgers pair well with hoppy beers, and the tannins of red wine break down the protein in your lamb chop—but without the detriments of alcohol. “I appreciate the way a glass of wine enhances the taste of food or how a frothy beer quenches my thirst,” says Sam. Wine and beer are no longer categories of alcohol, but culinary ingredients to be carefully considered when preparing and consuming meals. Alcohol-free versions offer an alternative with all of the flavour and none of the down- side – much like decaffeinated coffee.

“This is life-changing, life-enriching stuff”
– Neil Hedley

Listen live on Zoomer Radio Morning Show from June 18th to July 20th.

Learn more about the Hill Street Challenge!