There’s a revolution afoot.

Or should I say, abrew.

Piping hot coffee is becoming oh-so five minutes ago.  

Apparently, Gen Z likes their cup of joe cold. Stone cold. Over ice. Year round. In fact, according to the Coffee Science Foundation – they’re the research arm of the Specialty Coffee Association – cold coffee consumption will overtake hot coffee by 2030. Starbucks says that for one quarter of 2022, 75 percent of its beverage sales were for cold beverages. In fact, Starbucks attributes their record profits in 2022 to their dominance in the cold beverage market, a market driven largely by frappé-loving fillies and fledgling. Apparently, Gen Zers are making delicious deliberations between Starbucks Vanilla Sweet Cream Nitro Cold Brew and Starbucks Reserve Iced Hazelnut Bianco Latte. According to Starbucks’ founder, Howard Schultz, young customers get a kick out of customizing their beverages then uploading photos of their drinks onto social media.  

… cold coffee consumption will overtake hot coffee by 2030.

It turns out that social media also plays a part in the uptick in sales of mocktails.  Reports from the alcohol industry indicate that Gen Z lives in fear of drunken misbehaviour being immortalised on the internet. The best way to avoid becoming an accidental TikTok legend is to stay sober so that means making other consumption choices. That potential rebuke alone isn’t what’s driving the growth in the non-alcoholic beverage sector. Young people are – and you’d better sit down for this – making ‘better choices’. A significant percentage of young people are favouring ‘values driven consumption’ based on transparency and authenticity. Those sober second thoughts are reshaping the beverage industry.

Photo by Nate Johnston

Uber owns an e-commerce alcohol delivery platform called Drizly. They operate without a liquor licence as they don’t take a commission on the products on their platform and, instead, get paid by charging companies to list products on their website. A proprietary identity document verification ensures that they’re not delivering booze to the underaged. But I digress …. The biggest expansion Drizly has seen has been in their non-alcoholic selections, which is up by 166 percent from 2019. According to various drinks market analyses, sales of no-alcohol and low-alcohol beverages grew by more than seven percent in volume across ten key global markets, surpassing $11 billion in market value. It’s worth noting that this doesn’t include the soft drinks beverage market. According to Statista, an online consumer market insights provider, that sector anticipates annual growth of 4.56 percent and is valued at $1.45 trillion globally.

Those sober second thoughts are reshaping the beverage industry.

Photo by Kobby Mendez

Statistics Canada just released the findings from their inquiry into Canadian drinking habits. The surprising discovery was that the volume of beer sales per person reached the lowest level since StatsCan started keeping tabs on this data in 1949. The general trend is that we’ve been buying less beer since the 1970s and that we hit an all time low last year, with a sharp dip of 2.8 percent between April 2021 and March 2022. Wine sales also decreased in 2022, dropping 4.0 percent between 2021 and 2022.

Check out VIVo

So, the trend across the spectrum is for icy, complicated coffees, or maybe an alcohol-free Phony Negroni or NKD LDY gin and tonic. I’ve been toying with some old-timey berry vinegar beverages. My mom used to set aside a bucket of summer raspberries to make this delicious concoction of berries, vinegar and sugar which was served diluted with water, sparkling or tap. (I’ll include a recipe at the end of this column.) I stumbled upon something similar – a fantastic lambrusco wine infused vinegar called VIVO that you can certainly use in a salad dressing, but that I’ve served diluted over ice to rave reviews. The especially nice thing is that you can have two or three VIVOs and not need an Iced Brown Sugar Oat Shaken Espresso to deal with your hangover the next morning.


This week’s question for readers:


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Submissions to last week’s question:

Are you waiting to be abducted by aliens or do you think we’re it, when it comes to intelligent life in the universe?

The vast majority of UFO sightings come from people who hardly ever look further upward than the next stoplight, suddenly see the planet Venus as a really bright light in the sky (as it is right now in the SW after sunset), and suddenly we’re in UFO-land. “I don’t know…therefore Aliens!” 

As a long-time weather-junkie, hard-core birder and off-and-on amateur astronomer (I was on the Kitsilano seawall one summer evening and noticed the constellation Cygnus had acquired an extra star which turned out the next day to be Nova Cygni 1975). I’ve spent over ten thousand hours seeing what’s in the sky, day and night. I have yet to see a UFO. Don’t get me wrong – I’ve seen lots of stuff I couldn’t explain at first. But when I applied the old principle of ‘if you’re in Texas and you see hoofprints in the sand, think horses, not zebras’, invariably the mundane explanation sufficed. Sadly, I have yet to see a genuine UFO. And I really want to. All that 1950s and 1960s SciFi prepared us for various empires, polities, commonwealths, alliances etc. So where (pace Fermi) were they? And what the hell was taking them so long? I’ve been waiting for sixty years and all I got was this lousy T-shirt with a crop-circle on the front? 

Michael Price

Something often overlooked is the beneficial role that Jupiter plays in absorbing many of these wayward, celestial bodies. Its gravitational effects operate as a giant cleanser for our solar system. Life forms on other planets might begin but they might not last that long without such a defender. Life also would require it to reside in that special Goldilocks zone. It would also require a molten core and a strong enough magnetic field to protect itself from the sun’s radiation. Furthermore, it would require not only large bodies of water but also a moon in orbit. Those tidal effects would be vital to supercharge the evolutions of life. The moon and its tidal effects are like a catalyst, vital to move or encourage life from the sea and onto the land. The five vitals are: a defender, the right zone, a magnetic field, lots of water, and a moon. There are planets with far less intelligent life than we think.


As a kid growing up during WWII in the Fraser Valley, I knew about those ‘nefarious balloons’ overhead.  We all did. We didn’t have all the distractions of today so watching the sky was something everybody did.  We also didn’t have to be told to keep their discovery on the down low.  Everybody knew that ‘loose lips sink ships’.  We kept an eye out and we kept quiet. The trouble is that we were too good about it!  It’s like it never happened! People think you’re making it up when you tell them that weaponized balloons can – and did! – cross the Pacific. I feel a bit vindicated by your story – thank you!

Name withheld

People think you’re a bit nuts if you tell them what you’ve seen in the night sky, but as someone who’s spent a lot of time in wilderness settings or in the middle of the ocean, there have been many things that I’ve never been able to find answers for. The universe is a pretty big place.  It’s vanity to think that we’re alone. Just sign me,

“Grizzly Adams”

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