The Next Round: What happens after you change your drinking?

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Mark Wong of Impossibrew on redefining alcohol-free options

On this week’s podcast, the wonderful Yasmin Spark interviews Mark Wong, founder of the most relaxing of alcohol-free options, Impossibrew. You’ll remember Club Soda friend Yasmin from her takeover of the Club Soda podcast for Black History Month last October. She interviewed so many amazing people that we couldn’t fit them all into our schedule, but this one was too good to miss out.

Mark Wong is the founder of Impossibrew, a beer that’s sure to make you relax without using alcohol. With active herbs to keep you on track while also giving you that ‘aah’ feeling, Mark has created a range of alcohol-free options that begin to redefine alcohol-free options as not something less than alcohol, but something better than alcohol.

Adaptogenic alcohol-free options

Mark’s idea for Impossibrew stemmed from having a bad reaction to alcohol early on in his drinking days. At 22, Mark started showing signs of early liver damage and decided to stop drinking. Mark began to look at healthful, adaptogenic ingredients that would allow him to still have great alcohol-free options and feel relaxed at the same time.

I went back to Hong Kong and things started connecting together. I started realizing that there were a lot of medicinal practices that people would use using different sorts of active herbs and active plants that they would just use for a specific purpose, right? Like you brew a tea with specific ingredients just to get that either the medicinal benefit of relieving stress or an ailment or in some ways for relaxation. And I thought, Oh, that’d be pretty cool if you can merge the two of that together. But the problems were that it was just so foul tasting, the herbs are very bitter, they’re very strong flavored, and not characteristics you will find in beer. So that became the biggest challenge: how to match these amazing herbs with beer and not taste the difference.

Mark Wong, Impossibrew

Changing the language around alcohol-free options

The most fascinating element of Impossibrew’s creation might not be its delicious, rich taste and mood-enhancing ingredients, though. Mark’s outlook on the low and no industry is something we can really get behind at Club Soda; alcohol-free options are not about being less than alcohol, but being better, healthier, and more interesting options than alcohol.

Alcohol-free or non-alcoholic has always been seen as a trade-down. It is the existing alcoholic version but is now a stripped-away version of it, and you’re paying the same for the honor of that. So it’s very hard to bring mass adoption to this idea (of alcohol-free) when you’re just getting people to buy a trade-down version of a product. And it’s not a trade-down. In some ways, it’s just the exact same thing, but just better or healthier for you or just a better product all around.

Mark Wong, Impossibrew

More from the Club Soda podcast

If you enjoyed this conversation between Mark and Yasmin as much as we did, then why not take a peek back through some other great conversations on the Club Soda podcast? We’ve got chats with brands, real-life stories, tips, advice, and information that we know is important to our audience. It’s all the inspiration you need to live a happy and sustainable life, whether you’re cutting down or quitting drinking.

The Club Soda podcast is available wherever you subscribe to podcasts. Find your platform here.

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