As more people skip out on alcohol, local businesses work to meet the moment

Posted at 8:08 AM, Feb 07, 2023
and last updated 2023-02-07 09:08:38-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Dry January has officially wrapped, but the month may have piqued your interest to skip the alcohol on a more permanent basis.

It is fair to say more and more people are becoming sober curious and questioning their relationship with alcohol. Now more businesses are offering other options when you want to grab a drink.

"In the last seven years the entire industry has shifted," Kevin Antoon with Southern Grist said.

Southern Grist currently offers three nonalcoholic beers

After quitting alcohol in 2020, Stephanie Styll found herself disappointed by the lack of options when going out. So she founded a new specialty beverage shop opening soon called Killjoy. Think of it as a liquor store for nonalcoholic drinks. It will be opening off Wedgewood near The Loading Dock.

She said people who choose not to drink are not dorks.

"These are not sad people who wish they could drink. These are people who are super happy about the decision that they’ve made," Styll said.

If you do drink, it is important to be mindful of how much, according to Mariann Piano, the Senior Associate Dean for Research at Vanderbilt's School of Nursing.

One thing she is looking into is the effect of binge drinking on cardiovascular function.

"I know for myself that one idea we had was that sort of these habits that you develop in young adulthood might set you up for future increased vulnerability to certain diseases like cardiovascular disease," Piano said.

Now there are more and more substitutions, but are there enough for businesses to really lean into this demographic?

"We are going to find out. It is a massively growing market," Styll said.