Now’s Your Last Chance to Try Zima, Before It (Probably) Goes Away Forever

The original ‘clear beer’ is only going to stick around until Labor Day

Zima was first introduced in 1993.

Zima, one of the most notorious alcoholic beverages in the history of alcoholic beverages, briefly returned to shelves this summer for the first time in nine years. The sweet, lemon-lime flavored drink, which is today categorized as a “cooler,” is a relic of a very different time in beverage history, and you should absolutely seek one out before it’s gone for good after Labor Day.

A little history: Zima was released by the Coors Brewing Company (now MillerCoors) at the height of the “clear craze” of the 1990s, when everything from Pepsi to gasoline, calculators, phones, Game Boys, and wrist watches went transparent for no reason whatsoever. It first rolled out of the bottling plant in 1993, backed up by a massive marketing blitz, and it sold like hotcakes; nearly half of all American alcohol drinkers tried it, and in 1994, 1.2 million barrels of the stuff were sold. But it was all downhill from there, sadly; it never really caught on with men, and after a handful of extensions (like Zima Gold, with a “taste of bourbon”) and new flavors failed, it was retired for good in October 2008.

But if you haven’t noticed, the ’90s are back, baby, and just like Crystal Pepsi, Zima is once again available at a convenience store near you. We, of course, picked up a six-pack and sampled it, and while yes, it’s very sweet, it’s actually not bad. It has a bright lemon-lime flavor and is quite refreshing when cold, it goes down easy, and it doesn’t have the strange aftertaste of other “alcopops” like Smirnoff Ice.


But even if it was completely unpalatable, we’d still be suggesting that you pick up a sixer before Labor Day. Zima isn’t just a ’90s relic, it’s legitimately historical, and something that you’ll (maybe) be proud to tell your grandkids you used to drink, like Coca-Cola back when it still had cocaine in it. You can track down the nearest Zima-selling shop on its awesome ‘90s website.