Low alcohol beers: stepping up the market

The average Brit is drinking less alcohol than those before them. The consumption of alcohol was the highest back in 2004. Since then, it has been steadily dropping, to almost 18% less than before. More and more young people, but also experienced drinkers, decide to look at alcohol with a little more wisdom, with a more mature way to approach drinking.

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Statistics state that as much as a fifth of the British nation does not drink alcohol at all, about a quarter of the young (16 to 24) generation does not drink, and much more choose to stay away from the pubs. Or do they? Pubs have now enlisted the aid of unexpected allies: none and low-alcohol beers. These beverages have been a taboo of pubs for a long time. It seems pubs need to think outside of the box nowadays.

An authentic alternative with the proper taste

The big brewing businesses are keeping track. For example, the European giants of brewing, Heineken and Carlsberg formed their non-alcoholic production lines and brands. They offer 0% lager and a variety of low-alcoholic beers. They expect the market to grow to almost 350 million euros in the following ten years. This will bring it to about 5% of the value of the whole beer market.

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Consumers do not want alcohol-free water that resembles beer. They want the proper taste, the sweet-bitter aroma and the colour to match. Just like big companies, craft brewers need to apply some tricks of the trade to create a beer with less kick, but with the same shtick. Now they all see a chance to bring about a couple of innovations into this growing market.

Most of the traditional ways to brew low alcohol beer revolve around removing the alcohol after the brewing process, using heat to evaporate it. It will usually compromise the taste severely. Some brewers try to remedy this by vacuum-distilling the beer, while some use reverse osmosis, a very costly procedure which demands specialized equipment. Finally, some choose to stop the fermentation process before it has a chance to start.

Consumers know how to recognize quality and brewers always have this in made. They work to develop less invasive, but more effective methods to remove or lower the alcohol content. Time will tell which brewer will come up with the best formula.