WB’s Changes The Narrative Surrounding Alcohol-Free Drinks
Beer & Spirits
It’s no longer uncommon to see an Impossible Burger or other vegetarian options on many restaurants’ menus. Vivi Wanderley-Britt, WB’s Eatery’s co-owner with wife Amy Wanderley-Britt, says they’re trying to create a similar type of inclusivity for those who don’t drink alcohol with their boutique dry bottle shop and cocktail bar. “We want to make sure for people when they walk through the doors—whether they eat meat or not, whether they drink or not—[they are] welcome because there is something for everybody,” she says.
“It doesn’t matter if you drink or not, because who cares? Don’t want to have a drink? Have a non-alcoholic margarita, have a non-alcoholic dark and stormy, have our ‘newly’ [old] fashioned.”
Vivi says non-alcoholic spirits, beer and wine are currently experiencing a trend similar to how vegetarianism began gaining widespread popularity 10 years ago. She adds that the market for zero-proof beverages is already here: Customers are willing to pay for high-quality, non-alcoholic beverages just as vegetarians are willing to pay for good, meat-free food. The problem is that there are rarely non-alcoholic options beyond soda or water, and people who choose not to drink can face social stigma. “In a lot of cases, if you don’t drink and you go to a party or you go to a bar, you feel left out and you feel like you are an alien because everybody is questioning whether you drink or not—why you’re not drinking,” says Vivi, who became familiar with this feeling after she stopped drinking.
However, Vivi says WB’s is trying to change this narrative by normalizing not drinking in a social setting and helping people have more access to alcohol-free beverages through events that serve alcohol-free drinks, providing all beverages in the same glasses and having a diverse array of zero-proof options. Name a drink, and you can probably find the non-alcoholic version at the dry bottle shop or on the cocktail menu at WB’s Eatery—whether you’re looking for classic drinks like wine, beer, tequila, whiskey and rum or specialties such as absinthe and mezcal. They also sell these drinks on their online bottle shop and at their other restaurants, Pig & a Jelly Jar in Salt Lake and Ogden and Pig Kitchen Venue in Holladay, as well as wholesale to bars and restaurants in Utah.
“Non-alcoholic spirits, beer and wine are currently experiencing a trend similar to how vegetarianism began gaining widespread popularity 10 years ago.”
Vivi adds that they don’t sell products “that [we would] not have at our house.” Unless you’re a connoisseur of drinks like whiskey or tequila, she says you would never be able to tell the difference between the alcoholic and non-alcoholic versions. In fact, many people’s first response is, “‘Oh wow. The tequila has the burn, the rum has the burn,’” she says. This is because the non-alcoholic spirits are made with similar ingredients as regular alcoholic beverages. For example, the Ritual Tequila Alternative in their margarita box is made with agave flowers to help maintain the same flavor profile found in alcoholic tequila, whereas non-alcoholic beers and wines undergo a special process to remove the alcohol.
While people might think Utah is the perfect place for a zero-proof bottle shop because of The Church of Jesus Christ and Latter-day Saints, Vivi says it’s not the specific community they are trying to reach. Instead, they’re aiming to serve people who don’t drink or want to drink less for myriad reasons—including pregnant people, people training for a marathon, people who don’t drink for health reasons, etc. She emphasizes that they’re not targeting those recovering from alcohol addiction because the realistic smell and taste of the drinks could be triggering. However, they won’t turn anyone away who wants to try them.
In the end, WB’s is trying to normalize not drinking and create more inclusivity because—akin to how it doesn’t matter if you eat meat or not—“it doesn’t matter if you drink or not, because who cares? Don’t want to have a drink? Have a non-alcoholic margarita, have a non-alcoholic dark and stormy, have our ‘newly’ [old] fashioned,” she says.
Visit wbseatery.com to find the online bottle shop and wholesale information or visit in person at 455 25th Street in Ogden.
For more stories about craft cocktails:
Simplicity Cocktails: Experimentation Distilled
Cocktails from your Kitchen: Become Your Own Mixologist with The Bar Project
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