At the beginning of the decade, it seemed like the biggest trends in drinking were about extremes: Craft breweries competed to create the bitterest, hoppiest double IPAs; mixologists with mustaches poured stiff negronis and turned their noses up at anything that didn’t taste like straight liquor. Meanwhile, college kids scoured bodega aisles for cans of Four Loko that would get them the drunkest while keeping them awake enough to party the longest.
2019 was different. Phrases like “sober curious” and “low ABV,” a descriptor referring to a lower alcohol-by-volume than other beverages of its kind, were everywhere. Hard seltzer, which has less alcohol than beer and even fewer calories, was the hottest drink of summer. Multiple alcohol-free bars opened around the country. In the face of declining beer sales among millennials, beer started to look and taste more like juice. We saw the rise of sober influencers.
Written by Rebecca Jennings, with Vox