The World Alcohol Free Awards winners - the Positive Drinks Co take

The World Alcohol Free Awards winners - the Positive Drinks Co take

Now in its second year, the World Alcohol Free Awards are already the top tier of no and low medals, showcasing the very best of the category and judged by amazing people. But in amongst the gold medals and highly commended, there's three things that really jumped out to us.

David versus Goliath 

Of all the gold medals, only two went to "big brands". That's just two of 58 medals. The big brands in question were Tanqueray 0% (owned by Diageo) and Peroni 0% (owned by Asahi). Firstly, huge respect to Diageo and Asahi for winning those when they can probably trade on the brand name with an average product and still do absolutely fine. But more than that, how highly does it speak of the sector and the awards that the bulk of the medals were given to smaller producers who are pushing the boundaries and innovating at every turn.

There are the usual suspects, like our local favourite Wiper and True with their AF Kaleidoscope beer, but there's also a Virgin Mary from the legends at Bloody Drinks, non-alc aperitifs from Italy, Amaros (a big trend on the horizon!), sparkling teas, tequilas, bitters, and a host of products so innovative there's no clear name to describe them. The innovation is breathtaking! Speaking of...

What's in a name?

In the early days of no and low, it was mainly geared around non-alc versions of existing drinks. Wines, beers, gins, etc. But now, that's all changed and we've entered a world of new things that have no precedent. A smoked oak botanical elixir that drinks a bit like an old fashioned? Yes, please! A Nordic Spritz? Go on then. A fermented red beet drink, described by the judges as "one of the most original drinks from the 2024 competition"? I've never been more intrigued. 

The point we're making is that the world of no and low has evolved away from non-alc versions of existing drinks and into a brave new world of invention. Given our purpose at Positive Drinks Co is to serve up only the best drinks, it's so exciting to see drinks with no precedent coming to the market as it shows that maybe our approach is the right one. 

Growth, growth, growth

Yes that does sound awfully capitalist of us but we mean products and innovation over money. Promise. 

What we're saying, really, is that the biggest challenge a lot of no and low brands face is that they're trading on alcoholic precedents. If you set yourself up as a non-alc gin, for example, then there's a bunch of gin drinkers who will be turned off because, well, non alc gin doesn't taste the same as alc gin. They're different drinks, after all! But lots of the gold medal winners this year are new drinks, so they're not compared to anything. No one will pour it out expecting an Aperol, only to be disappointed if it tastes different. 

When you're new, you're judged on who you are, not who you are like. 

Which, again, supports our whole thing at Positive Drinks Co. We just want you drinking something delicious!

We're re-stocking as we speak so keep an eye out for a few award-winning drinks on the horizon very soon!

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