Gruvi: Non Alcholic Beverages • DENVER, CO
Meet Niki Sawni, founder of Gruvi non-alcoholic beverages. From Toronto, Niki received his bachelors degree in business at Queens University. Niki then spent several years working at Salesforce, where his career hit a plateau after about 5 years. He moved on and spent the next year traveling and considering the options for starting his own business. By the end of his travels, Niki settled on producing non-alcoholic beer and wine beverages. That is where Gruvi began.
What is Grüvi?
Broken down to its most simple definition, Niki explains, “Gruvi is Colorado’s first line of craft beer and wine without alcohol.” Although a market existed for non-alcoholic beverages, he wanted to bring something new to this space, developing an IPA, a sour beer and a Prosecco. The three products were a departure from the traditional lagers and German imports common to the non-alcoholic market.
How Non-Alcoholic Beer Becomes Non-Alcoholic
You may consider the concept of non-alcoholic beer counterintuitive, but the tastes Gruvi introduced have allowed people to enjoy the modern tastes of beer without experiencing the effects of alcohol. How does this work? Niki explains that a majority of the name brands offer de-alcoholized beer, brewed to completion then removing the alcohol using a few different methods. One method uses a de-alcoholizer, spinning the beer quickly to remove the alcohol particles. Another process combines heat and spinning to create the same effect.
Niki explains that although these processes are effective, he finds they leave the beer tasting “sweet and one dimensional.” To combat this, Niki worked with brewers to develop an arrested fermentation process, which stops the fermentation prior to it producing alcohol.
“Our beers are built exactly like an alcoholic beer would be, with a different yeast,” Niki explains.
The Birth of Gruvi
The original idea for Gruvi came to Niki during a cannabis party when marijuana had just become legalized in Canada. Not surprisingly, he explains the party turned into a bit of a mess when guests combined smoking with wine, beer and other spirits. It dawned on him that smoking weed was going to become more socially acceptable, yet in casual settings the need for a social drink was always going to be popular.
When people hear “non-alcoholic beer,” there is a negative stigma, assuming consumers have a drinking problem. On the contrary, the new driving factor for the consumption of non-alcoholic beverages is wellness. Niki explains that the growing interest in health and wellbeing is the driver for people who enjoy the taste of alcohol but would be better off without its effects. “Eventually I hope to get to a point where in the same session someone can have alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.”
The Future for Gruvi
Similar to traditional craft beer, Niki wants Gruvi to produce a few seasonal products as well as a handful of mainstream products. Other future plans for Gruvi include expansion outside of Colorado.
What You Should Know
Gruvi packaging was strategically designed to be different than standard alcoholic and non-alcoholic packaging. Niki utilizes minimalism and bright colors to add fun and excitement into the category! Niki hopes people will be surprised to find a healthy alternative to alcohol and enjoy the benefits of Gruvi.
Gruvi can be found at major liquor stores in Colorado and in more than 300 Colorado restaurants.