December 09, 2022
253: How to Enjoy Delicious Non-alcoholic Beverages with Adrienne Stillman Krausz

This podcast episode features Adrienne Stillman Krausz, a former alcoholic beverage marketer-turned-nonalcoholic beverage entrepreneur, discussing the challenges and joys of navigating the non-alcoholic beverage industry. Tun...

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This podcast episode features Adrienne Stillman Krausz, a former alcoholic beverage marketer-turned-nonalcoholic beverage entrepreneur, discussing the challenges and joys of navigating the non-alcoholic beverage industry. Tune in to hear her inspiring story!

Here's what we cover in this episode: 

  • Adrienne’s background in the alcohol industry and how it led her to create a business focused on non-alcoholic drinks 
  • How small businesses create high-quality non-alcoholic alternatives
  • Why some alcoholic and non-alcoholic wines may not be vegan 


Other episodes you'll enjoy. 

About Adrienne Stillman Krausz
Adrienne Stillman Krausz is the co-founder of The Dry Goods Beverage Company, an online store for non-alcoholic wine, spirits, and cocktails. 

After a decade of working and writing about alcohol, a few years ago, Adrienne decided to cut out alcohol while trying to start a family. Inspired and impressed, she and her husband decided to create an online store to make it easier for drinkers to reduce their alcohol intake without compromising on quality and taste.  

Prior to starting Dry Goods, Adrienne worked in wine and spirits marketing in New York City and then Napa Valley. She is the author of two books: Spirited: Cocktails from Around the World, and Where Bartenders Drink, a guide to the world’s best-loved bars (Phaidon, 2020 and 2017). Adrienne is a graduate of Barnard College and the Culinary Institute of America’s Wine and Beverage Program and also a Certified Sommelier. 

Connect with Adrienne




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[00:00:00] Adrienne Stillman Krausz:On the wine side, an alcoholic or a non-alcoholic wine might not be vegan, is really related to the filtering process, and one of the ways that you can filter is using egg whites. That is the thing that would make a wine not vegan. 

[00:00:15] Maya Acosta:You have more power over your health than what you've been told. This is the Healthy Lifestyle Solutions Podcast. I'm Maya Acosta, and I'm passionate about finding healthy lifestyle solutions. To support optimal human health. If you're willing to go with me. Together we can discover how simple lifestyle choices can help improve our quality of life. And increase longevity in a big way. Let's get started. So this podcast episode features Adrienne Stillman Krausz, a former alcohol beverage marketer turned non-alcoholic beverage entrepreneur, and she discusses the challenges and the joys of navigating the non-alcoholic beverage industry.

[00:00:58] Maya Acosta:Adrienne is the co-owner of the Dry Goods Beverage company, a company that specializes in high-quality non-alcoholic wine and spirits. Adrienne is also a certified Sommelier and author of two books on cocktails and spirits. The dry goods company sells delicious non-alcoholic wine and spirits that are perfect.

[00:01:19] Maya Acosta:For those that are looking to cut back or cut out alcohol completely. Adrienne has given us a discount code. UseHLS10for 10% off your first order. Make sure that you use my affiliate link so that you can go straight to those delicious drinks that you might be interested in. And that'

[00:01:44] Maya Acosta:And let's meet Adrienne. Welcome back to another episode of the Healthy Lifestyle Solutions podcast. I'm your host, Maya Acosta. I'm very excited about this conversation that we are going to have today because it's different. I never really brought on anyone to talk about non-alcoholic wine. And we have Adrienne, who's the co-founder of the Dry Goods Beverage company and online store for non-alcoholic wine, spirits, and cocktails.

[00:02:13] Maya Acosta:And this perfect, because we're going into the holidays, I thought it'd be fun to have this conversation with Adrienne, have her tell us about the product and so many other things that we can learn, and she's gonna tell us about her background and how she knows how to work and distribute all these wonderful spirits. So welcome Adrienne. 

[00:02:33] Adrienne Stillman Krausz:Maya, thank you so much. I'm really happy to be here. 

[00:02:35] Maya Acosta:I'm happy to have you. And for those of you that are watching the video, I wanna show you some of the two bottles that Adrienne sent me if you can see that. And I just did a little video for my social media. This one that I'm holding up.

[00:02:48] Maya Acosta:It's called, um, BAX, Bax Botanics, lemon. How do you pronounce that Verbana? Vern? Verbena. Okay. This would be like a La quor or liquor, is that right? 

[00:03:01] Adrienne Stillman Krausz:Right, exactly. It's a non-alcoholic spirit, and it's, you know, you can use it as a replacement in many gin cocktails. It doesn't, definitely does not taste like gin. Really.

[00:03:12] Adrienne Stillman Krausz:Fascinating husband and wife team out of the UK who are making that rose backs is a forager. And so she has this incredible knowledge of plants and put together the, they have two flavors, Verbena, and then another one that I actually have here, which is called Sea buckthorns. And so the Verbena is really kind of citrusy, has a lot of limes, great with tonic water or with club soda.

[00:03:39] Adrienne Stillman Krausz:Again, you can substitute it for gin and, you know, many cocktails. Mm-hmm. , and it's definitely one of my top favorite non-alcoholic spirits, which is, One reason that I sent one to you. 

[00:03:50] Maya Acosta:Well, thank you so much for the gift. I appreciate it. And as a matter of fact, I will be opening up that bottle this evening. Great. Um, what I opened up so that I could have a little bit during our conversation is this other bottle, which is a tea, well, it's called a Sparkling tea. And I'll also show it here on the camera. If you can see it, it might not show as well, but I did, like I said, a video on my social media of trying to open the bottle.

[00:04:16] Maya Acosta:Adrienne, it's so funny, but when I did consume alcohol, especially bubbly, I always stepped into the next room and let my husband open it cause I was so afraid. But let me pour a glass while you tell us about the sparkling tea. 

[00:04:30] Adrienne Stillman Krausz:Yeah, absolutely. So this is called Copenhagen Sparkling Tea. It is from Denmark, created by a Danish sommelier, and it's meant to kind of take the place of wine, but it is not imitating wine. It does not taste like wine. You're not gonna take a sip of it and be confused. Think, oh, this tastes just like Chardonnay. It's not, it's its own thing. The guy who created it was inspired by all these incredible teas that have a lot of really some similarities to wine.

[00:05:03] Adrienne Stillman Krausz:There's depths of flavor. There's kind of a very nuanced flavors. You can get more citrusy flavors. You can get earthy flavors fruity flavors. There's some acidity in tea. There's tannin, which tannin is like if you think of an over-steeped black tea and you take a sip that's very drying in your mouth, that's tannin. 

[00:05:24] Adrienne Stillman Krausz:And all of those things are present in wine as well. So he kind of went, instead of making an alcoholic wine and then removing the alcohol, he went about this a different way, saying, how can we take something else entirely and create a similar experience to wine without? Having it actually be wine and this is what they came up with. You're smiling. So I hope that's a good sign that you think it's good. 

[00:05:52] Maya Acosta:I think it's genius. Oh my goodness. Excellent. This is wonderful. I just took a sip, and the flavors are incredible. It's such a beautiful experience. I was telling you about the holidays are coming up, and I wanna be able to sip on something delicious without making it so obvious that I'm not consuming alcohol and Right.

[00:06:11] Maya Acosta:You just said that the goal is not to replicate, but create a unique experience that satisfies us like the previous drinks used to. So cheers. Exactly. This is a wonderful drink. I love it. Thank you. 

[00:06:25] Adrienne Stillman Krausz:Good. I'm so glad you're enjoying it. It is one of our very top sellers, and it's also a personal favorite of mine. It's so unique, and I think really kind of hits all of the same points, the things that you might love about wine. I think this, this sparkling tea, kind of hits all of those points. 

[00:06:44] Maya Acosta:Yes, it really does. Well, let's get started, Adrienne. Okay. I'd love to learn for our listeners, we'll talk a little bit about your own story, how you got started in this business. Yeah. And then we'll answer those common questions that people may have about whether it's an, okay to drink it if you're in recovery. Mm-hmm. , or maybe you've never had an issue with alcohol, but you wanna minimize your drinking. So let's start with you. Tell us a little bit about yourself. 

[00:07:10] Adrienne Stillman Krausz:Sure. So, I got into the drinks business on the alcohol side. I worked in beverage alcohol marketing mostly for about 10 years, and I started out in living in New York City in my twenties. It was the beginning of the craft cocktail scene when that was really exploding. And I spent a, a lot of nights in bars, sampling all of these, you know, delicious drinks that were being created.

[00:07:37] Adrienne Stillman Krausz:And that was. There was a lot of fun. There were definitely, you know, over-indulgent experiences along the way and, but there is something that I still appreciate about a really well-made drink of any kind, you know, whether it's got alcohol or not. And this is sort of the same way I feel about food. So about four and a half years ago, my husband and I were decided we wanted to grow our family and started trying to have children.

[00:08:09] Adrienne Stillman Krausz:And along the way, I encountered some, some health issues related to that. And so I totally changed my diet. I gave up alcohol. I gave up dairy, sugar, wheat. Something else. I think I'm forgetting, caffeine, all of the things, you know, all at the same time. And I found that you know, I really missed having, being able to have a glass of something delicious, especially when other people were enjoying.

[00:08:38] Adrienne Stillman Krausz:Wine, it's always kind of hard to feel left out. There's a ritual about it. You know, at the end of the day, you come home, and you might enjoy a nice glass of wine or a cocktail. So there's that habitual side of it that's not necessarily related to the alcohol, but, but that's practice-oriented and the options seem to be, Very, you know, kind of limited, uh, for people, for someone who wasn't drinking alcohol.

[00:09:03] Adrienne Stillman Krausz:So, you know, there's only so much sparkling water that you wanna drink. And, you know, just because I'm not having liquor doesn't mean I want to drink, you know, apple juice. You know, I'm not, I'm not a child either. So we were, you know, I was feeling a little bit frustrated with, with. With this space and kind of, you know, this lack of options.

[00:09:27] Adrienne Stillman Krausz:And then a friend recommended that we check out some of these non-alcoholic wine and spirit alternatives that were coming to market. And at first, honestly, my husband and I were skeptical. We thought what would be the point of a non-alcoholic gin? That just sounds like a waste of time. But we went out and bought a whole bunch of things, and we were just totally blown away by what we tasted.

[00:09:49] Adrienne Stillman Krausz:We were so impressed with the quality of what we tried, and what we found is that there's a whole community of people who have a really similar story to what I just shared with you for some reason. They either wanted to or needed to give up or cut back on alcohol. They were dissatisfied with existing options.

[00:10:09] Adrienne Stillman Krausz:They decided to create their own thing so that there would be something that they wanted to drink available. So we really kind of started plugging into this, again, this community of entrepreneurs, and they're, you know, all over the United States and all over the world. This. I'm sure that many of your listeners are identifying with this story, and there's just so many people who, who feel the same way, which is great that we have, you know, that there's more awareness about it.

[00:10:35] Adrienne Stillman Krausz:There's more of a kind of a movement and acceptance of not drinking, cuz that's a whole other thing. We can talk about the peer pressure to drink alcohol, especially in social and maybe work situations. And so, My husband and I got really excited again about these products, and we saw an opportunity to create a place where we wanted to make it easy for people to find high-quality non-alcoholic drinks, cuz that is something that we often hear from customers as well.

[00:11:03] Adrienne Stillman Krausz:I tried a non-alcoholic wine, and it just wasn't any good. And I will tell you, I have tried a. Really bad non-alcoholic wine. And we don't sell it in our store, we only sell the good stuff, but it is out there, and so you kind of have to, you've gotta maybe do a little bit more work to find the quality products out there.

[00:11:26] Adrienne Stillman Krausz:And so we wanted to help make it easier for people to find high-quality drinks and also to find things that are gonna fit their specific taste, because of course everybody has a, has different tastes. Some people really love fruity things. Some people really love bitter things. Some people really love very like citrusy drinks, so everyone's got a different, different palette.

[00:11:50] Adrienne Stillman Krausz:And just because I like something doesn't mean you're gonna like it. And we wanna help match people up to something they are going to like. So those are kind of our two guiding principles if you will. So it's now been about two years ago that we started working on the Dry Goods Beverage company, and we launched our online store last summer.

[00:12:12] Maya Acosta:Wow. And how has it been? What's the feedback that you're getting from people who are enjoying your spirits? 

[00:12:19] Adrienne Stillman Krausz:Well, you know, the feedback has been really tremendous. We hear from people all the time that they're so excited to finally find a non-alcoholic wine or spirit that they enjoy that it's really helping them to navigate maybe being newly sober.

[00:12:36] Adrienne Stillman Krausz:Or helping moms who are pregnant or who have young children and helping them to still feel that they can be part of the celebration or part of the fun without the alcohol. Obviously, we have a lot of people who might have a health issue of some persuasion, and similarly, they really appreciate being able to have these kinds of products available to them.

[00:12:58] Adrienne Stillman Krausz:So it's been really, really tremendous to getting that feedback. And at the end of the day, that's really what makes it worthwhile to be in business is that I really feel that we're helping people to achieve whatever their kind of drinking-related goal is. We're helping to support them in that journey. And it can be lonely, you know, you can really feel isolated when you're not drinking alcohol.

[00:13:20] Adrienne Stillman Krausz:It's similar, I think, when, you know, for people who have celiac disease, for example, and they can't eat the same food. You know, as other folks, when you go to a party, you think, oh, that's not a big deal. Why shouldn't you be so upset about that? But when you experience it, it really is. It really can be very upsetting.

[00:13:38] Adrienne Stillman Krausz:And I think that having products like these really help alleviate that, that emotional stress for people who are going through period like that. And not to mention folks who are obviously, we're looking to either, as I said, cut back or cut out alcohol, just supporting them, you know, in that journey for whatever reason that they're on it.

[00:13:58] Maya Acosta:Absolutely. And I said to you before that I think it's genius, there's a market for this and for whatever reason, and you've just named several reasons why people have decided to move away from alcohol. I love the idea of supporting individuals who just kind of wanna put down that beverage and pick up something more delicious what you're offering here.

[00:14:18] Maya Acosta:I also would love for my listeners to know a little bit about your background as a sommelier, if I'm saying that right, because a lot of us didn't even know what that meant. Even though you are that individual that's helping to taste and discover those wonderful flavors that are found in the wine. Mm-hmm. , if you can tell us about that and also.

[00:14:38] Maya Acosta:Are you able to taste a lot of these products? How do you make a decision in terms of which company, which small business you're going to support? 

[00:14:46] Adrienne Stillman Krausz:Yeah, absolutely. So I'll talk about the sommelier part first. So I moved out, I moved to California. I live in Napa Valley with my husband. We are also still in the alcoholic wine business, so we kind of have one foot in each camp as it were.

[00:15:01] Adrienne Stillman Krausz:And when I came out here, I spent a year just studying wine at the Culinary Institute of America. They have a campus out here in Napa, so I studied with them for a year and then took the certified sommelier exam, which is administered by international body. And it was really fascinating to learn. About wine in that way.

[00:15:22] Adrienne Stillman Krausz:Everything from the, you know, the farming of the grapes to kind of what happens in the winery, and then of course how to pair it with food and how to recommend wines in a service environment. And it was, Really gave me an incredible new appreciation for wine and frankly for spirits, you know, which I had enjoyed as a consumer for many years, but you know, never had really any knowledge of it.

[00:15:47] Adrienne Stillman Krausz:And for me, I find this with many things that learning more about it really enhances my enjoyment. So that was a really great thing that I was able to do. And then I'll just mention not, it's not as a sommelier, but my other, Another part of my background was really focused on cocktails and spirits, and I've written two books focused on cocktails and spirits.

[00:16:09] Adrienne Stillman Krausz:Most recently was a book of over 600 alcoholic cocktail recipes that came out in 2020 called Spirited. I Can. For those watching on video, I can show it to you. It's a pretty hefty tone. Wow. 

[00:16:24] Maya Acosta:So . That is incredible. That's like a textbook. It's, oh my God. 

[00:16:29] Adrienne Stillman Krausz:It's, it's thick. And it was, it's actually ironic because it's when I was working on this book that I stopped drinking.

[00:16:36] Adrienne Stillman Krausz:So the fate works in mysterious ways. But the good news is, and actually when I was working on the book and I had, was cutting out alcohol, I'm thinking in my mind, what am I gonna do? I have all this knowledge about wine and spirits and cocktails, but I don't really wanna drink alcohol anymore. What am I gonna do with all of this knowledge?

[00:16:57] Adrienne Stillman Krausz:Do I just kind of throw it away and, okay, well, that's my previous life? Now I'm moving on. And then, all of a sudden, this new opportunity presented itself as a way for me to use that experience and that knowledge in this new space of non-alcoholic drinks. And that was also very exciting to me to be able to kind of bring my experience to a new place.

[00:17:18] Adrienne Stillman Krausz:And so you asked about tasting products and how we decide what to sell. So yes, I taste everything that we sell personally, and we have. We have a small selection, and part of the reason for that is that we have very high standards, and we don't wanna sell things that we can't 100% get behind. So there are other stores that sell kind of every single non-alcoholic product, possibly available, and that's great to have those things available, but we've decided to be very, very, Curated in the way in what we decide that we wanna sell.

[00:17:55] Adrienne Stillman Krausz:And that's part of our commitment to quality and to having things that, you know, again, that we can get behind and believe in. And part of that it's not, we sell products that are made by larger companies, but a lot of what we sell is small entrepreneurs just like us. I mentioned the Bax Botanics team.

[00:18:14] Adrienne Stillman Krausz:It's a husband and wife in the UK There's a lot of husband and wife teams actually that I've found, and it's really fun to be able to work with those people and showcase their products, and all of their hard work because of course it is very hard work, you know, to go about making these things and kind and bring them to market. So that's another fun and inspiring aspect of what we do. 

[00:18:40] Maya Acosta:Well, that's fascinating. I love that you're supporting small businesses, small entrepreneurs who are interested in taking this product and really making it available for a larger group. Mm-hmm. , I wanna go back a little bit. I don't wanna skip over the fact that you had these health issues.

[00:18:55] Maya Acosta:So first of all, you stopped drinking alcohol as well as you kind of cleaned up your lifestyle. And so, did you see any improvements as a result of not drinking alcohol? Because I don't know if you're completely alcohol-free, and that's okay if you're not. That's one. And then tell us about Timothy because a blessing did arrive as a result of making your changes.

[00:19:16] Adrienne Stillman Krausz:He did. He did. So yes, I definitely big changes as a result of those diet adjustments. You know, I definitely noticed. One of the things I noticed is that after cutting all those things out if I have them, I notice that I don't feel well. And I think part of that is it's that, you know, that metaphor of like banging your head against a wall and you stop banging your head against a wall and it hurts.

[00:19:41] Adrienne Stillman Krausz:Well, it's not, you know, you've gotta kinda like take a step back before you can appreciate maybe what the damage that you were doing to yourself. So that's definitely part of it. And I now enjoy a glass of wine here and there, but I really am not. It's not even that I feel that I can't, but I just don't want to drink more than that.

[00:20:03] Adrienne Stillman Krausz:Mm-hmm. , I do enjoy a really well-made wine or a really well-made spirit, and I'll have sort of a little bit again on occasion, kind of here and there, but that's enough for me. Mm-hmm. and I kind of don't need to have any more. Mm-hmm. . So, yes. And so then, after four and a half years of waiting and hoping our son arrived in May, his name is Timothy. Hmm. And he is the greatest joy. 

[00:20:30] Maya Acosta:Oh, wonderful. Congratulations. Yeah. Thank you. Thank you. And I also assume that it's also difficult to drink when you're breastfeeding, you know, just you have all these other things. So this is a good alternative. 

[00:20:42] Adrienne Stillman Krausz:Yeah, exactly. Absolutely. Yeah. 

[00:20:44] Maya Acosta:Yeah. Cool. So you were talking about small businesses, and I was thinking of when we took a trip not long ago, I think it was last year. We have a, a camper van, and we took a trip last year to Big Ben National, um, the National Park. Mm-hmm. here on the outskirts of Texas. And we are part of this organization that, for some reason, the name just left me, but I wanna tell you about it, where you can stay at different properties, free, overnight, free of charge, as long as you sort.

[00:21:14] Maya Acosta:Whatever it may be, purchase a bottle of wine or have just, anyway, so we joined this organization that will allow you to stay at different places so you get more exposure to what's in your area or anywhere that you're traveling. And we landed at a vineyard that has a restaurant and a bar. It was just a beautiful experience and.

[00:21:35] Maya Acosta:We literally parked next to like all the grapes. It was just so beautiful. What a wonderful experience. And they opened their doors to us. So we're having a conversation with one of the owners and, and more of the people. It's a small town, and we talked about how do you support, for example, locally-grown wine in Texas.

[00:21:56] Maya Acosta:Like there's an organization or an association that helps support everyone. So I was like, I don't drink enough. At the time, I wasn't drinking enough to like sign up to purchase those. But what you're saying, I feel like something like that, but on a different scale because you do ship through our, throughout the country.

[00:22:12] Maya Acosta:So you're supporting those small individuals who also still sell regular wine. I don't know if they come from the wine industry like you did that have that experience, but they're creating a non-alcoholic wine. What do you 

[00:22:26] Adrienne Stillman Krausz:Absolutely. There are some of the folks we work with do have a wine or related kind of background. It's actually interesting, there's seems to be kind of a trend of people who have worked in the alcohol business getting into non-alcoholic drinks, and that's really fun to see. That, that influx is bringing a new, is part of what's bringing a new level of quality to the industry, frankly. And it definitely is.

[00:22:51] Adrienne Stillman Krausz:So, you know, very small business and the sort of, you know, mom and pop, if you will, entrepreneurs. And that is something that's, I believe in shopping local and shopping small. And so that's something that's personally important to me as well as conveniently it also makes business sense for us to do that.

[00:23:12] Maya Acosta:That's right. So I have a couple of questions just in case they are these curiosities that my listeners have. Like I said, not all my listeners are vegan. And it's interesting because we were doing, my husband, he's been interested in investing in small businesses as well, and we've learned, we know small vegan owners like entrepreneurs as well, who.

[00:23:35] Maya Acosta:Basically, we'll tell you that 90% of the consumers, of the people who purchase their products, are not vegan. So we've been really brainstorming on possibilities and things like that. And so I'm thinking probably the same thing in terms of your product, that not everybody have like an alcohol issue or be completely alcohol-free.

[00:23:54] Maya Acosta:But I'm getting off the topic. My question is if you could answer, cuz I asked you when we previously had a conversation if you can kind of explain to people. Vegan people. Why, in general, many of the wines may not be vegan? Because when I became vegan, this was a thing that started coming up. There's a whole website on how to purchase vegan wines, and then now I'm choosing not to drink wine at all.

[00:24:22] Maya Acosta:So, If you happen to know a little bit about that, what makes some of the wines not vegan? And then you and I had a conversation about how some of the spirits, some of the wines that you are making available, may or may not be vegan. If you could tell us a little bit about that. Yes, I can. And I did some more sleuthing after our conversations.

[00:24:42] Adrienne Stillman Krausz:I found some new information. So on the wine side, the reason. An alcoholic or a non-alcoholic wine might not be vegan, is really related to the filtering process. So almost all wines, after being made, are put through some kind of filtration to remove bacteria or spent yeast cells, kind of anything that might cause a problem down the line on the shelf.

[00:25:08] Adrienne Stillman Krausz:And one of the ways that you can filter is using egg whites. So that is the thing that would make a wine not vegan because wine is considered an agricultural product. There are no ingredients listed on the label, so it's difficult to know whether a wine has or has not gone through that unless the producer is specifically telling you on the label that this wine is vegan, and a lot of winemakers don't do that.

[00:25:37] Adrienne Stillman Krausz:Even if they don't use egg whites, they, they might not tell you. So it's kind of frustrating. I reached out to all of our providers and specifically asked everyone, is your wine vegan? So we've got a special page on our website that I put up, and I know you've got that, that link, Maya, so people can get to it.

[00:25:54] Adrienne Stillman Krausz:Maybe link it in your show notes, but also, it's on our FAQ's page. If you go to our website, which is, and all the products that are specifically vegan are on that page. The other reason that I came across that other could be on non-alcoholic wines, or non-alcoholic spirits would not be vegan is if they contain traditional sugar, which I had no idea, but.

[00:26:21] Adrienne Stillman Krausz:If you're vegan and Maya, you know about this, that sugar for sort of similar reasons in processing can, they can use animal byproducts there. So those are the two reasons that products might be alcoholic or non-alcoholic products might not be vegan.

[00:26:35] Maya Acosta:Well, I'll tell you what, I appreciate that extra effort that you put into this in doing the research and creating a page specifically where we can find those vegan options because there's a whole market.

[00:26:48] Maya Acosta:It's just interesting that it's a market that could be missed, and I know that most companies try to cover all, you know, all areas. Yeah, but vegans are not; it's interesting. Just because you're vegan doesn't mean you don't drink, but it doesn't mean you drink. You know? It's just everyone still making their own personal choice as to what works for them or not.

[00:27:07] Maya Acosta:But it was new to me when I became vegan that people started saying, you know, that's not vegan. And it's like, what do you mean? 

[00:27:13] Adrienne Stillman Krausz:And then why would you think that it's, it's made of grapes? What do you mean it's not vegan? You know what could be. That's. not vegan than wine? That's right. So my wanna go back, cause you know, you mentioned this, that a lot of people buy vegan products who are not strict vegans themselves. Mm-hmm. , we find that with our store and in the non-alcoholic space in general, actually, the vast majority of people who purchase from us and who purchase non-alcoholic beverages are not completely sober. They drink wine as well, you know like I do. I enjoy some alcoholic wine or alcoholic drinks sometimes, and then other days I don't want any alcohol, but I still want.

[00:27:50] Adrienne Stillman Krausz:A delicious drink. And so here's where that, you know, fits into my life. Yeah. And some people do it the other way, but my dad, for example, I sent him a bottle of non-alcoholic gin when we were getting started, and he called me and he says, Adrienne, this is great. I had one gin and tonic with regular gin, and then I had another one with half regular gin and half non-alcoholic gin.

[00:28:14] Adrienne Stillman Krausz:And then I had a third one with all non-alcoholic gin, and I'm going, dad, why are you drinking three Gin and tonics? First of all, I'm thrilled that you're enjoying these products, but it was just, that was a very, you know, funny kind of dad moment where he was really enjoying being able to have another drink.

[00:28:35] Adrienne Stillman Krausz:But not having, you know, only would've had one alcoholic drink if he was just having an alcoholic gym. But he liked being able to have another one with the non-alcoholic product. And so that's, I think, a, you know, something to point out to people that it's not only if you're sober, not only if you're taking a whole month off. You can mix and match in the same night or in the same week as well. 

[00:28:56] Maya Acosta:Yeah, I love that. I would've wanted to see that video. That would've been too funny just to see him do that. Yeah, I love that. For example, like my mother, she stopped drinking many, many years ago, and I think for her, it's more of a religious thing, you know?

[00:29:10] Maya Acosta:Mm-hmm. , she just became a hardcore Christian. Mm-hmm. the partying. I came from that host family that when people came from Mexico, they would stay with us, and all the parties and all the get-togethers were always in our home. So there was plenty of drinking. Mm-hmm. . And then at some point, my mother was like, okay, I'm done with alcohol, but she would love, plus she's diabetic as well, so I wanna hold that off so we can, you know, let's talk about that in a little while.

[00:29:36] Maya Acosta:But she did; because of her diabetes, she decided that she just didn't need to drink anymore. Right. I wanna also answer the other question that people have about how is it that you remove the alcohol. So some of your spirits, some of your wines, the alcohol was removed, and in some, they weren't. Like this beautiful tea that I'm having and Right.

[00:29:57] Maya Acosta:Let me just add that I do have tasted not a lot. because they're not as available. But I have had some non-alcoholic wine, and oh my gosh, horrible. horrible, so dear to the point that I actually didn't want, I was like, I don't even need to drink this. Why am I drinking this? No, I mean, when you're younger, and you're forcing alcohol, That's one thing, but when you're just trying to really enjoy a drink, and it tastes horrible, no, but I will tell you that I had a group of us were in South Carolina recently, and not everybody drank.

[00:30:30] Maya Acosta:It was a reunion for my husband's college friends and former college roommates, and there were a couple of people that were drinkers, and in addition to their regular alcohol and beer, they had non-alcoholic beer, which was new to me as well. I was like, oh my gosh, I never had that. And then, Another couple.

[00:30:49] Maya Acosta:They don't drink. She doesn't have that enzyme that allows her to process or handle alcohol. So with a small sip of wine, she will literally pass out. Mm-hmm. . And so she sampled my wine. It wasn't the best wine, but we found it at a store. Mm-hmm. . And the fact that she was able to drink it and enjoy it with me was a tester for me because I said, well, you haven't passed out so that probably means it doesn't have alcohol. Right. So talk to us about how that whole process happens. 

[00:31:17] Adrienne Stillman Krausz:Yes, definitely. Okay, so there's kind of two main camps in the non-alcoholic beverage world. There's the products that are made to imitate alcohol, and some, but not all, of those are what we say. We call them alcohol removed. So at one point, there was alcohol, and then it got taken out, and then I'll talk a little bit more about that.

[00:31:41] Adrienne Stillman Krausz:That's like one camp, and those are the things that are gonna be okay. That's a non-alcoholic Chardonnay or a non-alcoholic gin. They're made to imitate their alcoholic counterparts. And then on the other side, you have products that are. Non-alcoholic. They're kind of, they're just their own thing. They're not trying to imitate wine like the sparkling tea is; as we discussed, it's imitating some of the aspects of wine, but you're not gonna ever drink that and be confused that it doesn't taste like wine.

[00:32:14] Adrienne Stillman Krausz:And there are some non-alcoholic spirits that fit that category as well. Like the Baxbotanics is a great example of that. And, So when you getting a little bit more technical onto the wine side when we have an alcohol removed wine, which there are delicious ones, and I enjoy them too. What the way that you make those is that you make an alcoholic wine.

[00:32:35] Adrienne Stillman Krausz:So you make wine just like you would if you were making a regular alcoholic wine. And then use something called vacuum distillation to remove the alcohol. And what that allows you to do is to remove the alcohol at a much lower temperature. Then if you boil alcohol or an alcoholic beverage, you will evaporate the alcohol.

[00:32:55] Adrienne Stillman Krausz:But if you boil wine, it doesn't taste very good afterwards. Yeah. So vacuum distillation allows you to remove the alcohol without kind of ruining the rest of the wine, right? That is pretty cool. And so those products you'll see on the label often, it will say less than 0.5% alcohol by volume. And that's the legal definition in the United States of a non-alcoholic beverage.

[00:33:22] Adrienne Stillman Krausz:Just to put it in context, there are similar amounts of alcohol in fruit juices, in ripe fruit, even in like fresh bread. So that amount of alcohol is extraordinarily small. It would really not be physically possible for you to drink fast enough to have an impact from the amount of alcohol in the liquid.

[00:33:47] Adrienne Stillman Krausz:That being. Everyone's body is different, and some people may not be comfortable even with a small trace amount of alcohol. Because they have a physical reaction or because they just feel too risky. I just don't wanna do it. And that's just a personal choice and a personal preference. But from a like chemistry perspective, you're really down near the very, very zero as a reference point.

[00:34:12] Adrienne Stillman Krausz:A regular alcoholic gin, for example, is gonna be about 40% alcohol by volume. Uh, table wine is gonna be usually between 12 and 15% alcohol by volume. And we're talking about 0.5%. And then there are some products that just don't have, that are absolutely 0, 0, 0 alcohol because they're not, nothing's being fermented to make them in the first place. And if that's a concern for anybody listening, we do have a specific page on our website. You can also find that in the FAQs that links you to products that absolutely have 0.0% alcohol by volume. 

[00:34:53] Maya Acosta:Wonderful. I was just thinking as you're going through the explaining the process that in the amount of alcohol found, and it's very, very little like you said, I started to transition away from drinking by basically bringing in like kombucha for example, because of the fishiness and the sweet and all of that.

[00:35:12] Maya Acosta:But I do feel like even kombucha is a little too sweet, but this thing is even more gratifying, I think, and probably not as much sugar that like what you would find in kombu. As we're talking about that, I was wondering if we could address some of those concerns that people may have. Right. Since we're talking about some of those other concerns that people may have, if they have limitations or, for example, one of the things that we spoke about, so we're not necessarily focusing on sobriety.

[00:35:41] Maya Acosta:Mm-hmm. , although you didn't listen to my interview with Janet Gourand from Tribe Sober, who basically is like a sobriety coach. She offers this wonderful support group for people that are really feeling they need that support. And I know that often she recommends some of her new members, you know, find those beautiful drinks that can support them in making the transition away from alcohol.

[00:36:03] Maya Acosta:So we're not necessarily saying that everybody has to go sober or anything like that, but if you're interested in just moving away or making a transition, your products are a wonderful way to do so. So one of 'em. Is this a good replacement? Like I was just saying, a good way to transition towards sobriety if that's one. And also, I'm wondering, some of these products, are they okay for diabetics? 

[00:36:28] Adrienne Stillman Krausz:Sure. So in terms of transitioning to sobriety, I think part of that, I'll say yes. Part of that is gonna depend on why you're transitioning to sobriety and for those who identify as alcoholics and who identify as being in recovery, I think.

[00:36:45] Adrienne Stillman Krausz:Which is not an experience that I have had, but I have spoken to people who, where that is their experience. And there is a little bit of where the tricky part can be is that if that is a concern for you, obviously we've talked about some of these products are made to imitate the taste of alcohol.

[00:37:02] Adrienne Stillman Krausz:That's supposed to taste just like alcoholic wine or alcoholic spirits, and that could be triggering to somebody who might be struggling with addiction, and so that is something that you should consider for yourself. It's something you could talk to your, your sponsor or your friends, or maybe other people who have, have gone through that experience to get their perspective.

[00:37:27] Adrienne Stillman Krausz:It's gonna be a deeply personal choice, I would say that. I said that's a concern for you or for someone that you know; maybe a better choice would be some of these products that are not imitating the flavors of alcohol. They're delicious drinks that happen to not have alcohol in them. And again, that's something that they can enjoy instead of the glass of wine.

[00:37:49] Adrienne Stillman Krausz:So that would be the only kind of caveat that I would put on that. But in general, absolutely these products can be a great thing in your toolkit to move towards sobriety or even just partial, like less drinking because I mentioned that part of the enjoyment of having a drink for me, and I know this is true of many other people, is the ritual of it.

[00:38:10] Adrienne Stillman Krausz:Mm-hmm. . And quite frankly, it's the habit. You come home, and you're used to opening a bottle of wine or pouring a cocktail, and if you decide that you don't wanna have, if you don't wanna do that anymore, sometimes it can feel a little bit sad when you get home, and you go, oh. Now, what am I gonna do? ? And frankly, there are many also unhealthy things that you could fill that void with, whether it's sugar or chips or something that meets that like craving that you're having.

[00:38:40] Adrienne Stillman Krausz:And I would argue that most of the products that we sell are. Better for you than many of those other options, which may not have alcohol in them, but still like aren't great for your health. Mm-hmm. and so on. You know, for the diabetics' question, when we're looking at non-alcoholic products, one thing that I will point out is that I said the percentage, the alcohol by volume percentages earlier, so a standard bottle of alcoholic gin, 40% alcohol, that is a lot.

[00:39:08] Adrienne Stillman Krausz:When you remove 40% of what's in the bottle, that's a lot to remove. So you have to put something else in the drinks to make them taste interesting and delicious. One of the things that you can use is sugar, and so that is something to kind of just watch out for because especially the lower quality, non-alcoholic drinks often just kind of.

[00:39:31] Adrienne Stillman Krausz:Oh, we'll take out the alcohol, and we'll just replace it with sugar. Great. Well, you know, not so great if you're concerned about your health, or certainly if you're a diabetic, right? So the higher quality products are not going to do that. And certainly, the things that we sell are not totally packed with sugar.

[00:39:49] Adrienne Stillman Krausz:But there's still a range. You know, there's things that definitely have that are sweeter, and then there's things that. Much less sweet. And that's something we put all of the nutritional information on the product pages on our website. We also have a specific page. Again, you can find it in our FAQs that have no and low-sugar products.

[00:40:09] Adrienne Stillman Krausz:So if that's something that's concerning to you, you can, you can find that there. Mm-hmm. , one of the things just sort of pay attention to is a lot of the non-alcoholic spirits have very, very little, or maybe no sugar, but you're gonna wanna mix them with something. , which is I think is an important actually conversation to have because I do wanna point out that the non-alcohol spirits are made to be enjoyed in a mixed drink.

[00:40:32] Adrienne Stillman Krausz:They are not. Made to be enjoyed straight. So if you're someone who really enjoys a whiskey neat in the evening, it's gonna be hard. I would not recommend doing that with a non-alcoholic whiskey. I haven't found one yet, and I. If I do, I'll let you know. I haven't found one yet. That is delicious. Kind of just like that they do, but they make a really good whiskey sour.

[00:40:58] Adrienne Stillman Krausz:They make a really good highball with ginger beer, for example. So you definitely wanna mix these. Non-alcoholic spirits with other things, and that's often where the sugar gets introduced, of course. But again, you're gonna mix things that work for you. You can use lower glycemic sweeteners, or you can opt for using club soda, for example, instead of tonic water, which tonic water has a shockingly high amount of sugar, which is not something you necessarily.

[00:41:27] Adrienne Stillman Krausz:People necessarily think about and pay attention to, but there are things that you can do on that side to kind of tweak, tweak the sugar content. 

[00:41:34] Maya Acosta:Hmm. That's a great information that you just gave us there to take that into consideration. Even individuals who do not have necessarily those sort of restrictions because of health issues sometimes we don't think about the amount of sugar and other things that are added to our foods, our drinks.

[00:41:52] Maya Acosta:So there's a cute little spot here in the Dallas area that. A perfect place for date night for couples. It's a very discreet place, so you don't know what you're going into. It's one of those spots where they make these amazing drinks and pair them with something, a piece of chocolate, a little something.

[00:42:09] Maya Acosta:My mouth is watering. Just thinking about it, it was a little difficult for us because they don't have a nice vegan selection. Sometimes our drinks will have like egg white, but it's sort of like what you're saying. The liquor itself, the spirit, is not always by itself because now the way that drinks are made, they're nicely mixed with something else and then paired with something bite-size to kind of just really give you that wonderful, gratifying feeling.

[00:42:36] Maya Acosta:And so, Your website has a lot of recipes and recommendations as to how one can replicate, kind of like that favorite drink using the spirits, and then something else that they add at home, like mint or a fruit or something like that. Mm-hmm. . 

[00:42:51] Adrienne Stillman Krausz:Yeah, absolutely. And those are all. I took my experience testing alcoholic recipes, brought it to non-alcohol, and I've personally tested every single recipe that we have on our website.

[00:43:05] Maya Acosta:Great job. I'm so excited about your company. I'm so excited to share this information, and I'm also thinking we're going into the holidays. I plan on taking a bottle to our staff holiday party dinner that we plan on having. Everyone else is probably gonna be drinking. We'll have our bottle. I won't feel so left out, but I'm also thinking this would be a great gift idea too for anyone.

[00:43:28] Adrienne Stillman Krausz:Absolutely, and I'll just say about the holiday gatherings too. One thing that I have found as I have been going on my own personal journey is that whenever I bring up the fact that I'm not drinking alcohol and that my husband and I have this company, and here's a non-alcoholic wine, I have had fascinating conversations with all kinds of people and it really is a conversation starter.

[00:43:51] Adrienne Stillman Krausz:And I think there are many more people out there who either. Maybe don't wanna drink so much or are trying to cut back. And because it's often not kind of that socially acceptable, especially in a party context, they're not gonna bring it up to you proactively. But if you bring it up, all of a sudden, you're having conversations with all kinds of people and I would imagine that there'll be other folks there who are interested in trying what you're bringing.

[00:44:16] Adrienne Stillman Krausz:Absolutely. I, I also, We'll often take, we have some products that come in, really nice little single serve cans, for example, or even in like little teeny bottles. And those are great for putting in your purse or in your pocket and taking with you to a party or a dinner, and that way, you can have. Maybe a little more unobtrusively. You can have your single-serving treat alongside everybody else. 

[00:44:44] Maya Acosta:That's cute. I love that idea too. Oh my God. So much to try out. Very excited. Is there anything else you'd like to tell my listeners? 

[00:44:53] Adrienne Stillman Krausz:Oh my goodness. Well, I think we've covered a lot of ground. If anybody has questions about products or wants a personalized recommendation, we love talking about this stuff.

[00:45:03] Adrienne Stillman Krausz:So, Check out our website and send us an email. I know you'll link this. The website is, and there's an easy way to contact us through the website. And we also created a special discount code for your listeners to use so they can get 10% off their first order, which is HLS10. And would love to connect with anyone who is looking to, again, cut out or reduce alcohol in their life for whatever reason and help you to do that. 

[00:45:33] Maya Acosta:Yeah. This has been wonderful. I wanna thank you so much for being on the show, and I just remember the name of the organization I was trying to tell you. Have you ever heard of Harvest Host?

[00:45:44] Adrienne Stillman Krausz:No, but it sounds fascinating. 

[00:45:46] Maya Acosta:They're trying to get more and more companies to sign up, and the organization, their new CEO just started a podcast, and what they do is you don't have to have a vineyard or, or winery or anything like that, but I mean, if you have a distillery, they even have sometimes small museums join.

[00:46:04] Maya Acosta:We've stayed at a hangar area for airplanes. And it's a wonderful way of saying we have some property available. We can host one or two different camper vans or some motor homes, probably smaller vehicles, and you can stay there as long as the individual; the agreement is patronize my business. Mm-hmm.

[00:46:23] Maya Acosta:Leave me a nice review, and you can stay at the property free of charge, and most of the time, it's boondocking kind of thing. So we are not necessarily always plugged into power or using a water source from them. It's whatever space is available. And it's a wonderful way of, as you're traveling and you're on the road, to kind of try out the small businesses in the area that you're traveling.

[00:46:45] Maya Acosta:It's a great way for businesses to bring business into their area because people will sometimes detour, go off the road to come and check out a local business. So I don't know if that could ever be helpful to you and what you're doing, but this is one way that local winery or wine companies can get more exposure as well.

[00:47:06] Adrienne Stillman Krausz:I will definitely check that out. It sounds like a lot of fun. 

[00:47:08] Maya Acosta:Anyway, it's been such a blast speaking with you. I wanna thank you so much. And also, your social media is by the same name, the Dry Goods?

[00:47:16] Adrienne Stillman Krausz:That's right. We're at Dry Goods Drinks on Instagram.

[00:47:18] Maya Acosta:Wonderful. Thank you again, Adrienne, for your time.

[00:47:21] Adrienne Stillman Krausz:Great, Maya. Thank you so much for having me. This was really fun.

[00:47:23] Maya Acosta:Adrienne Stillman Krausz worked in the alcohol industry for 10 years before she and her husband decided to start a family when she encountered some pregnancy-related health issues. She gave up alcohol and started exploring the world of non-alcoholic drinks.

[00:47:39] Maya Acosta:She was impressed by the quality of many other products. She tried and decided to start the Dry Goods Beverage company. This company specializes in high-quality, non-alcoholic wine and spirits. The company has been a success and Adrienne. To be able to offer products that help people navigate sobriety, pregnancy, and other situations in which they may not want to drink alcohol.

[00:48:03] Maya Acosta:If you're ready to change your relationship with alcohol or are considering making changes, make sure to visit my previous conversations. First with Janet Gourand, a Tribe Sober. That'll be episode 225 and my most recent episode with Mary Wagstaff, and that's episode 252. The Dry Goods Beverage company sells delicious non-alcoholic wine and spirits that are perfect for those looking to cut back or cut out alcohol.

[00:48:30] Maya Acosta:Adriannene again has given us a discount code. Make sure to use HLS10 for 10% off your first order, and make sure to use my affiliate link. And that's I would love to hear about your journey towards reducing your alcohol intake. Feel free to leave me a comment. And as always, my friends, thank you for being a listener.

[00:48:56] Maya Acosta:You've been listening to the Healthy Lifestyle Solutions Podcast with your host Maya Acosta. If you've enjoyed this podcast, do us a favor and share with one friend who can benefit from this episode. Feel free to leave us an honest review on Apple Podcast that helps us to spread our message. Thanks for listening.

Adrienne Stillman KrauszProfile Photo

Adrienne Stillman Krausz

Author, Entrepreneur & Mom

Adrienne is co-founder of The Dry Goods Beverage Company, an online store for non-alcoholic wine, spirits, and cocktails.

After a decade of working and writing about alcohol, a few years ago, Adrienne decided to cut out alcohol while trying to start a family. Initially skeptical of alcohol-free alternatives, she was excited to discover an incredible array of delicious beverages created by a vibrant group of entrepreneurs around the world. Inspired and impressed, she and her husband decided to create an online store to make it easier for drinkers to reduce their alcohol intake without compromising on quality and taste.

Prior to starting Dry Goods, Adrienne worked in wine and spirits marketing in New York City and then Napa Valley. She is the author of two books: Spirited: Cocktails from Around the World, a collection of 600+ recipes from 60 countries across 500 years, and Where Bartenders Drink, a guide to the world’s best-loved bars (Phaidon, 2020 and 2017). Adrienne began her career in New York City, working in finance by day and as an avid barfly by night, exploring the burgeoning craft cocktail scene of the early 2000s.

Adrienne is a graduate of Barnard College and the Culinary Institute of America’s Wine and Beverage Program. She is also a Certified Sommelier. She and her husband Jake welcomed their first child in May 2022 and live in Napa Valley.

HLS custom discount code for 10% off your first order: HSL10