Everyone knows what alcohol is, but have you heard about Palcohol? Palcohol is the latest craze from Mark Phillips. It’s an alcohol powder that is available in a wide array of flavors and can be added to water to make a beverage. We’ve already seen many non-alcoholic powdered drink pouches on the grocery store shelves for many years now. Palcohol will be marketed only to those of legal age to consume alcoholic beverages and is a creation that could be a great space saver, as well as a money saver for businesses.

Phillips Company, Lipsmark LLC originally announced that wanted to start selling Palcohol by the fall of 2014 and there has been a lot of controversy surrounding the product. The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau has approved Palcohol to be marketed to the public after denying it in 2014. Since the 1970’s there have been many companies who have tried to produce powdered alcohol. In the Netherlands in 2007, a product named “Booz2go” was marketed and did well in the beginning but it soon fizzled out. Another powdered alcohol pouch, Subyou, marketed in Germany has been available through internet sales since 2010 and has caused concern due to how the marketing seems to be geared more towards teenagers than adults legally old enough to drink. Palcohol won’t be marketed toward teens and will only be sold to adults of legal drinking age with proper identification just as with bottled alcohol.

Some critics of the product are concerned that people may snort Palcohol as they have done with other pseudo drugs and herbal remedies. Mark Phillips tried to alleviate those fears by stating, “It burns when snorted. A lot. It hurts.” Phillips said it would take someone close to an hour to snort the entire contents of a pouch and even if they were able to, they would only have the equivalent of one alcoholic drink in their system. That’s a lot of work just to get one drink. The controversy surrounding Palcohol was backed by New York Senator Charles Schumer, who asked the FDA to ban Palcohol completely. Some of the concerns from those criticizing pouched alcohol run anywhere from people snorting it, as they would with other substances, to people slipping it inside of a club or bar and not buying while inside. They’re also concerned with people being able to slip the pouches into non-alcohol venues like ball games or movie theatres where alcohol is not allowed. According to Phillips, that would be difficult because the pouches are larger than a small bottle of liquor and not easily concealable. Of course, those determined to have a drink regardless of where they go will always find a way to slip the beverage of choice in with them, whether it’s in a bottle or a pouch.

Phillips has no intention of giving up even with the controversy surrounding Palcohol. A statement on the Palcohol website claims that they plan to have the pouches for sale by this summer. A hotel chain in Hawaii has already contacted him to see about being supplied with Palcohol as it would help cut cost, as well as inventory room, by supplying the pouches instead of having to store bottled liquors. Within the next year, we may start seeing Palcohol replace the decorative bottles, lining the walls behind our favorite night spots, or possibly see someone pulling out a pouch of Palcohol emergency fuel for their car. The many uses could be a great benefit for many people, but presently many states in the U.S. are already banning the powdered alcohol before it even hits the market.