SoCIAL Lite: A Sin-free (and Tasteful) Cooler

SoCIAL Lite: taking a solid shot at the lucrative cooler business

SoCIAL Lite: taking a solid shot at the lucrative cooler business

I’ve never been a cooler fan. I can’t really say why, except that I don’t like sweet drinks. It wasn’t always like that. When I was a kid, my parents used to take us kids to the pub after church. (Nice balance of priorities…) We’d sit in the car outside with bottles of CherryAde (non alcoholic) and Smith’s Crisps. Somewhere along the way I graduated to drier tastes, like Scrumpy cider and English Bitter. But I digress.

Most coolers are styled to deliver booze to unsuspecting young drinkers whose tastes have already been shaped on colas and the like; and often tend more towards saccharine than actual flavour.

In fact, the extent to which the cooler market has exploited those tastes is quite staggering. According to BC Liquor Branch numbers, in 2014, coolers and ciders (the commercial ones might just as well be coolers) added up to a 12.4 percent equivalent of all beer sales. And it’s a segment that continues to gain ground.

Now comes a Canadian cooler, launched last year in Alberta in response to a growing demand for less calories, aimed at a ‘healthy lifestyle’ drinker.

SoCIAL Lite is a new, entirely unsweetened cooler with just 80 calories per can, recently arrived on BC shelves. I sipped these low calorie, all natural, unsweetened vodka based sodas and was duly impressed as they use neither sugar nor sweetener.

I like the subtlety of the Lemon, Cucumber, Mint, and the quiet kick of the Lime – Ginger.

Overall, these coolers are really quaffable and refreshing drops, and, at 4 percent alcohol by volume (ABV), with just the right amount of a kick.

Take your pick. Launched with the not too shabby assistance of Dragon’s Den. Find them at private stores, around $11 for four cans.

SoCIAL Lite says: “The response has been fantastic”… “and would like to expand to the rest of Canada in 2016.”

My hunch is they should do well.

By | 2018-01-21T15:05:10+00:00 July 21st, 2015|Beer|2 Comments

About the Author:

Tim has been covering the food and wine revolution for about 20 kilos. Count 15 kg alone thanks to the blossoming cuisine and wine culture of British Columbia, Canada. Tim’s hallmark is seeking out and recommending value wines from BC and around the world that offer quality at every level. He also scopes out noteworthy restaurants that live up to their promises—and often over deliver. Readers depend on the Hired Belly for his “Belly’s Best” and “Belly’s Budget Best” picks to help them find the right wine for the occasion. He writes, tweets and shoots his own images for columns in the Vancouver Courier and North Shore News. He also contributes to WHERE Vancouver magazine, as well as to several other publications. They include Taste magazine, Tidings Magazine, and Montecristo. His columns are frequently picked up by major newspapers across Canada. Tim is a frequent judge for wine competitions, such as Vancouver Magazine International Wine Awards. He is a founding judge of The BC Lieutenant Governor’s Awards for Excellence in Wine. He is frequently invited to judge at The BC Wine Awards, and others. Tim has traveled to taste in many of the world’s leading wine regions, most recently in Burgundy, Argentina and Chile.


  1. Mary gay July 27, 2015 at 12:03 am

    Hi. I spotted your review on the SoCIAL coolers recently. Yesterday I was at my independent wine store and spotted them on the shelf. I figured I was the perfect target consumer, being a wine drinker (never beer), and fond of good imported cider and coolers. And that they were low cal seemed a plus. Well, I hated them. I tried two flavours, can’t say much good about either, except the cans were small. And that the stuff didn’t cost an arm and a leg. Nope, I won’t be tempted to try them again, ever. (My wine store asked me for my opinion too). Whatever weak taste that was there was thin and bitter. I’d recommend the brewers head back to the mixing table. Sorry, just not a good product to my taste.
    Mary g

  2. Tim July 27, 2015 at 12:41 am

    Hi Mary,
    Thanks for the feedback. Yup, they are pretty subtle flavours. As for bitter? That’s tough. I think they’ll do well with a certain kind of customer. but I would agree that they’re not your typical cooler. Thanks for the feedback. I’m sure they’ll be interested. And thanks for reading. Sorry you were disappointed.

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