Alcohol consumption shifts for some RRC Polytech students

By: Eric Ducharme

Drinking is an ancient social habit, but some studies show millennials and Gen Z are leaving drinking in the past.

Red River College Students’ Association celebrated Battle of the Brews earlier this month in The Cave Lounge at the college’s Notre Dame Campus. Students sampled craft beers from Winnipeg breweries and voted on their favourite types.

Wyatt Sutherland, an RRC Polytech student, sampled beer at Battle of the Brews. He said he has noticed a shift in people’s drinking habits.

“I have definitely seen a decrease in drinking,” said Sutherland. “I think it’s a cultural shift too.”

Sutherland said he’s been drinking less alcohol since beginning the Business Administration program at RRC Polytech because he has been focusing on his classes.

Sutherland also said the cost of alcohol has become too much for his student budget.

“I’m only drinking because it’s free,” said Sutherland.

The 2019-2020 Canadian Postsecondary Education Alcohol and Drug Use Survey showed that 23 per cent of Canadian postsecondary students who took the survey did not drink alcohol in the past 30 days.

Sutherland works at Shrugging Doctor Beverage Company and said recently customers have asked for more non-alcoholic wines. 

“We’ve had people ask for non-alcoholic wine, but the equipment needed to make it costs too much at this time,” said Sutherland.

A Torque Brewing bartender pours a sample of their craft beer at RRCSA’s Battle of the Brews on March 10. (Eric Ducharme)

Andrea Guimond attended Battle of the Brews too. She said she would like more options for non-alcoholic beverages.

“There should be more,” she said.

Matthew Thwaites also attended Battle of the Brews and said he stopped drinking alcohol because he didn’t like how he acted when he consumed it. 

He said he still occasionally drinks alcohol, like when it’s free.

Little Brown Jug, Torque Brewing, Fort Garry Brewing, and One Great City Brewing Company offered students samples of their craft beer at Battle of the Brews.  

The beer with the most votes from Battle of the Brews was sold at RRCSA’s St. Patrick’s Day Beer Garden on March 17.