IN A crafty collaboration the nation is thankful for, two Riverina women have worked "bloody hard" to bring their new brand of non-alcoholic beer to Australian shelves.
Rankins Springs' Jaz Wearin and Coleambally girl Sally Muntz are the co-founders of Modus Operandi Brewing, and their new NORT beer is set to fill a growing gap in the consumer market.
"It has been obvious to me, in the alcohol industry, that the younger generation are more frequently seeking out non-alcoholic alternatives," Mrs Wearin said.
"I've also started noticing my friends and family reaching for a non-alcoholic option after having a beer or wine to balance their alcohol intake so they can drive home, play sport or start the day off early, without feeling like they are missing out."
"It was these elements that inspired me to create NORT. It taste like beer, without the fuzzies."
Mrs Wearin first became interested in non-alcoholic beer during her pregnancy, while searching for a way to quench cravings.
There was also a nation-wide increase of alcohol consumption during the COVID-19 lockdown, with many people drinking to excess in a bid to pass time.
"A majority of our competitors in the non-alcoholic beer space are internationally owned which means money leaves Australian shores," Mrs Wearin explained.
"During COVID, a time when Australians are wanting to support local industries, we are proud that NORT is 100 percent Aussie owned and brewed."
Ms Muntz helped with the marketing of the new product, creating a brand and design that would appeal to the younger demographic.
The younger generation are showing more mindfulness relating to their personal health and well being, an element Mrs Wearin is hoping to capture with NORT.
"I believe this is just the tip of the iceberg. I believe the strength in this category comes down to balance," Mrs Wearin said.
"As we move into an even more connected world where it is hard to switch off, people are putting immense importance on their health and wellbeing.
"Non-alcoholic doesn't have to mean no alcohol, it just gives you the choice to have a balance on how you see fit, without missing out."
Marketing guru Ms Muntz attributed her strong work ethic to her Riverina childhood, the Coleambally girl boasting an abundance of industry experience from her time working at De Bortoli Wines.
"It's so nice to be working up here in Sydney with Jaz and a couple of others who are also from the Riverina, country people are just my kind of people and we all get along so well," Ms Muntz said.
"I definitely miss the community back in the Riverina, it will always feel like home when I travel back there."
"I feel blessed to have had the childhood that was offered in the Riverina," Mrs Wearin added.
"I miss the smell of rain on that amazing red earth, the weekends out at the river and the close knit community that you can't replicate in the city."