The MADD brand is, yes, related to the Mothers Against Drunk Driving advocacy organization and five per cent of sales go to that charity.
Non-alcoholic beverages are “a category (of the market) that has been underserved,” Donnelly said.
Hill Street is out to first, bolster product for that market, and second, improve the quality of non-alcoholic beverages, which have been on grocery shelves for years.
“Most of the product that has been historically on the market is really dissatisfying from a taste standpoint,” Donnelly said.
“So our goal is to provide consumers with a delicious alternative to drinking something with alcohol.”
The wine comes from a 150-year-old family run vineyard in France, which produces a “world class array of varietals,” Donnelly said.
The product is then transferred to Belgium where Hill Street uses a centrifugal and gravity process to eliminate the alcohol.
“Alcohol is heavier than water,” he said.
Not only does the process produce a wine comparable to its alcohol counterpart but it’s also a lot healthier from a calorie point of view.
“If you have a glass of regular wine that's about the same amount of calories as an entire bottle of our wine.”
Alcohol is also toxic so many people with health problems are prohibited by their doctors from drinking it.
“It attacks your liver and is carcinogenic,” he said.
Donnelly said about 25 per cent of the population fits into that category.
Meanwhile, Hill Street’s beer placed first for two years in a row in the US Open Beer Championship “against 5000 other non-alcoholic beers,” Donnelly said.
“Retailers are happy because it fits with their corporate responsibility to be able to offer products that not only are good and healthy and good for you but also do something good for society.”
The company’s craft beer is produced in Ontario and the draft beer is made in Rochester, New York.
“We're focussed on building the brands and developing the products and then we have manufacturers that can produce the product for us through our specifications and follow our unique recipe.”
Can the brand be found at the LCBO?
That’s a source of irritation for the company.
“We think it's a serious issue, and we would do anything we possibly can to have the LCBO kind of wake up to the fact that they actually promote non-alcoholic cocktails but they won't carry non-alcoholic beer and wine,” Donnelly said.
Christine Bujold, spokeswoman for LCBO, says the government agency indeed promotes responsible drinking, as per its associated website AlwaysTakinjgCare.ca.
“It starts a conversation about moderation,” she said.
Says the site, “Take your occasion to the next level by giving your guests plenty of alcohol-free options.”
As for carrying non-alcoholic products in its stores, Bujold did not immediately respond to a follow-up request for information.
(As of 4 pm Jan 13 Bujold had not returned the request for additional information.)