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Wine & beer yes, alcohol no

Non-alcoholic wine in wine country?

It's starting to become more common, and the growing trend to healthy living and moderation is fuelling the good fortunes of an Ontario company selling here.

Ten-year-old Hillstreet Beverage Company has recently expanded its zero alcohol line of beer and wine from one beer style to three and three wines to 18, including sparkling, rose, white and red varietals.

"We got into the business because we saw a lack of choice and, frankly, products that didn't taste very good," said CEO Terry Donnelly, being interviewed as he headed for a company Christmas party where zero alcohol beverages were being served, but the meal was cannabis-infused.

"The World Health Organization indicates that five per cent of all diseases are caused by alcohol, and even Canadian government figures show that 20 per cent of all violent crime, 77,000 hospital visits, $14.5 billion in health care and social costs are related to alcohol," said Donnelly. "Consumers are looking for alternatives that allow them to be social and still enjoy the complexities of a wine or beer or a mixed cocktail and fit into the festive situation."

The company is doing research work into infusing  products with CBD and THC, so potentially a wine or beer that would give you a high.

"As soon as it's legal in Canada, we will be doing this across our product line, as many medications are counter-indicated for alcohol, but might benefit from marijuana-infused products."

Hillstreet Beverages are sold online and in major retail outlets in the Okanagan including Shoppers Drug Mart, Superstore, Safeway, and Sobeys.



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