Updated at: 16-07-2023 - By: John Lau

Are you a fan of beers and coolers but looking for something unique to sip on?

Then it’s about time you discovered Zima, the clear malt beverage that rose to popularity in the 90s.

This blog post will take you through an exciting journey straight into the heart of this lightly carbonated, citrus-flavored alcoholic drink once hailed as a game-changer by Coors Brewing Company.

Ready for a blast from the past? Dive right in!

History of Zima

What Is Zima (1)

Coors Brewing Company created and introduced Zima, a clear malt beverage, in 1993, which quickly gained popularity as an alternative to beer.

Creation and introduction by Coors Brewing Company

The birth of Zima, a flavored malt beverage, happened in 1993 at the adept hands of Coors Brewing Company. Driven by innovation and market demands for an alternative to beer, they launched what was one of the first beverages of its kind in the United States.

clear malt beverage with slight carbonation and citrus flavor captured the attention of drinkers, earning it rapid success. The name “Zima,” which translates to “winter” in Slavic languages, showcased Coor’s expert combination of creativity and branding.

This new product boasted an alcohol content between 4.7-5.4% by volume making it a comparable but distinct competitor within the alcoholic drink arena known as “Zima Clearmalt“. Truly a windswept change for traditional consumers from Coors Brewing Company!

Popularity in the 90s

Zima reached the peak of its popularity in the 90s, becoming a go-to drink for many people looking for a refreshing alternative to beer. With its clear appearance and lightly carbonated texture, Zima quickly gained a reputation as the perfect summer beverage.

Its citrus flavor made it stand out from other drinks on the market, appealing to those who preferred something different from traditional beers. In fact, Zima’s success was so significant that it paved the way for other flavored malt beverages that followed suit.

People embraced this trend, enjoying the unique taste and lighter alcohol content offered by Zima during this time of resurgence in alternative alcoholic beverages.


Zima had a good run, but sadly, it didn’t last forever. Coors Brewing Company made the decision to discontinue Zima in the United States back in 2008. After its introduction in 1993 and gaining popularity as an alternative to beer, it seemed like this citrus-flavored malt beverage was here to stay.

However, changing consumer tastes and competition from other drinks led to its demise. Despite its clear alcoholic drink status and low alcohol content range of 4.7-5.4% by volume, Zima’s time came to an end.

It may have been filtered as a flavored malt beverage, filling an empty space in the market at that time but eventually fell out of favor with consumers.

Flavor Profile of Zima

What Is Zima (2)

Zima’s flavor profile is unique, with a refreshing taste that combines citrus notes and a hint of sweetness.

Taste and ingredients

Zima is known for its unique taste and refreshing flavor profile. It is a clear, lightly carbonated drink that offers a delightful alternative to traditional beers.

The beverage is typically citrus flavored, giving it a zesty and tangy essence that appeals to many drinkers.

As for the ingredients, Zima contains malted barley, water, sugar, natural flavors, and various other additives. It boasts an alcohol content ranging from 4.7% to 5.4% by volume, making it an enjoyable choice for those seeking a lighter alcoholic option.

Whether you’re looking for something crisp and invigorating or simply want to try something different from your usual drink selection, Zima’s distinct taste and carefully crafted ingredients offer a thirst-quenching experience worth savoring.

Comparison to other beverages

Zima provides a unique experience that sets it apart from many other common alcoholic drinks, its lightly carbonated, citrus flavors distinguishes itself from typical beers or cocktails.

Beverage Taste Alcohol Content
Zima Citrus flavored, lightly carbonated 4.7-5.4% by volume
Beer Varies, typically bitter or malty Generally between 4-6% by volume
Cocktail Highly variable, depending on ingredients Usually above 10% by volume
Wine Vary from dry to sweet, depending on type Typically between 12-15% by volume

The comparison table clearly shows the distinctive qualities of Zima. Coors marketed Zima as an alternative to beer, a direction evident in its lighter taste and comparatively low alcohol content.

While cocktails might offer a similar variety of flavors as Zima, they typically have a significantly higher alcohol content.

Zima’s light, citrus flavor sets it apart from the heavier, often bitter or sweet flavors found in beers, wines, or cocktails.

The Resurgence of Zima

What Is Zima (3)

Zima has made a comeback, returning to the market and gaining current popularity as drinkers seek out this refreshing and unique drink once again.

Reintroduction to the market

Zima, the beloved flavored malt beverage that captured hearts in the 90s, has made a triumphant return to the market. After being discontinued in 2008, Zima is filling an empty space in the world of alcoholic drinks.

This clear and lightly carbonated drink offers a refreshing alternative to beer with its citrus flavor profile. With a catchy name that translates to “winter” in Slavic languages, Zima is back and better than ever.

Filtering out low-quality beer, this summer cooler boasts an alcohol content ranging from 4.7% to 5.4% by volume. The resurgence of Zima proves that sometimes even old favorites can find their place again on store shelves and in our hearts.

Current popularity

Zima, the iconic 90s drink, has made a surprising comeback in recent years. After its discontinuation in 2008, Zima seemed like a distant memory for many.

However, fueled by nostalgia and a desire for something different, this clear malt beverage found its way back onto store shelves.

The resurgence of Zima can be attributed to its unique flavor profile and refreshing taste. With its light carbonation and citrusy goodness, it has become the go-to summer drink for those looking for an alternative to beer or other flavored malt beverages.

Despite being labeled as a “low-quality beer” by some critics, Zima has managed to carve out a niche market for itself once again. So if you’re feeling nostalgic or just want to try something new, give Zima a shot – you might be pleasantly surprised!


In conclusion, Zima is a clear malt beverage that was introduced in 1993 by Coors Brewing Company. It gained popularity as a refreshing alternative to beer in the 90s but was discontinued in 2008.

However, with its recent resurgence, Zima continues to fill an empty space in the market and delight its fans with its unique flavor profile.

Whether you’re nostalgic for the past or looking for a new summer drink, give Zima a try and see why it’s making a comeback.