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From zero to hero: the rise in popularity of non-alcoholic beers

It seems counter-intuitive for brewers to talk about non-alcoholic beers. But just as we have got used to coffee without the caffeine, milk without the cream, and fizzy drinks without the sugar, beer without the alcohol has been increasingly popular in recent years and is now becoming an established part of the market.

As with other “free from” items, the primary driver seems to be an increasing awareness of health and wellbeing. Non-alcoholic beers provide an appealing option if you’re looking to reduce your alcohol intake while still enjoying the refreshing taste of beer. There’s no risk of a hangover if you over-indulge and no impairment of the senses to make rash decisions you may later regret.

Fortunately, brewing technology has evolved to keep up with this growing trend, with many brewers developing cutting-edge methods to create alcohol-free alternatives that rival their alcoholic counterparts in flavour and complexity. Innovations such as vacuum distillation and reverse osmosis allow the alcohol to be removed without sacrificing the distinctive tastes that customers love.

Gone are the days when the options were limited to a handful of uninspiring generic choices, hidden in an obscure corner of the bar. Today, consumers can enjoy an extensive selection of non-alcoholic options that cater to their specific flavour profiles, whether it’s a hoppy IPA or a rich stout.

Our own Okell’s Zero is a case in point – we were determined create a non-alcoholic product without compromising on taste and our crisp pale ale with citrus undertones has been a big hit with customers of all ages.

Now that non-alcoholic beers are widely available in bars, restaurants and other outlets, it’s much easier for people to socialise without feeling pressured to consume alcohol. This inclusivity is reshaping the drinking culture and fostering a more diverse and welcoming environment. Surely that’s something to which we should all raise a toast!