GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A nonalcoholic bottle shop will open on Grand Rapids’ West Side at the start of the new year.
Alt City Beverage Company began in 2019 as part of the Downtown Market’s Incubator Kitchen. Since then, Chad Clark and his brother have run a small retail location out of the market that offered smoothies, teas and a small variety of spiritless cocktails.
“I refer to them as complex, adult nonalcoholic beverages,” Clark said. As the pandemic spurred a peak in nonalcoholic beverage consumption and the sober-curious movement, Clark realized the demand for alternative beverages was here to stay.
“Really after the pandemic started, we saw just a complete explosion in the amount of brands out there, the amount of different flavor profiles,” said shop co-owner Neil Demeester. Their new store located near the corner of Broadway Avenue and Leonard Street in the West Grand neighborhood offers a variety of nonalcoholic beers and wine, spiritless cocktails and even 0-proof bitters.
“It’s really important for people who want to be 100% sober to have an option for their bitters,” Demeester said.
For those who participate in dry January, dietitian Shanthi Appelo told News 8 these alternative drinks could help people transition to a healthier lifestyle.
“Alcohol does come with a lot of calories,” Appel said. “If we look at, for example, at a shot and a half — so an ounce and a half of vodka. Even though it looks clear and doesn’t have any sweetness associated with it, it comes with 100 calories.”
Appelo said by alternating alcoholic beverages with healthier alternatives or 0-proof options, party goers could decrease calorie intake significantly.
Clark and Demeester will hold a grand opening for Alt City Beverage Company on Jan. 11. They hope to soon offer their own line of nonalcoholic wines within their shop as well.
“These are wines that have been fermented and then dealcoholized,” Clark said.