Dallas startup Beyond Booze Beverage Co. is ready to serve your cocktail AF
There's a new startup in Dallas that's taking an annual New Year's tradition and running with it all year long. Called Beyond Booze Beverage Co., it's a pop-up vendor that will stage itself at events and offer a menu of drinks that are alcohol-free (AF).
The startup is a collaboration from Reid Robinson and Julie Wade Robinson, who previously owned The Forum and Brizo, two side-by-side bars in Richardson; and Andrea Benningfield and Jennifer Benningfield, who is general manager at Brewed, the coffee shop at Novel Bishop Arts.
Cutting back on alcohol in January after the holidays is a common trend, but there's also a growing alcohol-free movement year-round: An analysis by beverage research firm IWSR forecasts a 25.4 percent growth in non-alcoholic offerings in the U.S. through 2026, as well as a 5.9 percent growth in the low-alcohol segment during the same period — spurring beverage companies to develop no/low alcohol versions of beer, wines, and spirits.
"We'll be presenting about two dozen AF spirits and botanical elixirs including Athletic Brewing Co. AF beer (that's all they make), Seedlip Spirits, and Dallas' own Community NADA IPA, which has become a personal favorite," says Reid Robinson.
Robinson says that he became inspired to step away from alcohol after COVID, which was an especially interesting journey since he co-owned the two bars. Brizo is now closed, and The Forum was bought by two regulars.
"Owning a bar, you feel like you've gotta be like Dean Martin, and I felt like it was affecting my health," he says. "There's an exciting alcohol-free movement in the world. Gen Z and younger millennials are not drinking like we did when we were young. For example, my son is 14 and he has no interest."
"I'm not anti-alcohol — I love the flavor of an IPA — I just don’t enjoy the effects like I used to," he says. "There are plenty of people who still like to go to bars for the social experience, and it's nice to have something else besides a Diet Coke."
They became inspired by the Instagram page of their partner, Andrea, called Zero Proof Dallas.
"It really helped motivate us to act seeing other friends on the same path," he says. "Andrea and Jennifer helped close the loop on what we had been thinking about for awhile, and they're really learning the AF spirits. There's so much to learn, it's fascinating. It felt like it might be a passing trend five years ago but the product, distillation methods, and industry have gotten their acts together."
They'll launch BBBC on January 14 with an event at Zounds Sounds at 10050 Shoreview Rd. #A, a "casual but sophisticated AF event to celebrate Dry January," with entertainment by The Charming Gardeners, Moonflower Noodle Shop by Chef Parvin Sisomphou, Scoop N' Buns "Mexipino" desserts, raffle prizes, and adult zero-proof cocktails and unique NA beverages with little to no alcohol content. There's a $5 cover, and tickets can be purchased online.
"We'll be doing pop-ups and social events around town, and we're also working on becoming a vendor at events where we could provide a non-alcoholic and healthful alternative, not unlike a vegetarian having the option to order a veggie burger," Robinson says. "Wouldn't it be nice to be able to go a ball game or an event at American Airlines Center and have an option that’s non-alcoholic?"