Meet Bruce Peachey, our very first Real People & Their Inbeertweener interview in the series. In the beer brewing world, this guy is a legend and his reputation precedes him. In the beer lover’s world, he’s just a guy enjoying a balanced lifestyle, which now includes non-alcoholic beer. Read his story below!
When did you first fall in love with beer and why are you into it?
I fell for beer (hard) when I started working in the industry in 1978. My career actually started off as what I now think of as a happy accident. I had studied science and wasn’t entirely sure which branch I would go into, but ended up being successful in a brewer job application after I graduated. Fast-forward to today and I have over four decades of experience!
I’m into beer because it’s a big part of socialisation and enjoy a cold beer with friends while catching up. I also really enjoy the flavour of beer and the variety; that’s a big part of the love for me.
Where did the attraction to non-alcoholic beer begin and why make this transition?
Non-alcoholic beer is growing in popularity and demand. In fact, I’ve been following the trend for some time, and first trialled alcohol-free beer brewing technology years ago when working as a brewery research scientist.
Since then, I have seen demand increase across a wide range of age groups and demographics, and there is an incline each year in both Australia and overseas for non-alcoholic beer.
It’s pretty clear that alcohol-free beer is not just a temporary trend or fad, but a viable, tasty and refreshing option for people who want a low calorie option that doesn’t have the (sometimes not-so-nice) side effects full strength beer or alternative alcoholic drinks can bring. It’s going to be a good full-time or inbeertweener option for a lot of people when it comes to drinking beer.
What are the key differences between brewing alcoholic and non-alcoholic beer? Is one more of a challenge than the other?
It really depends on the technology being used, but generally the process for brewing non-alcoholic beer is different and can in some cases be more time involved and challenging. I suspect this will change over time and as technology continues to develop, just as it did for regular beer.
What do you feel are the biggest benefits of drinking non-alcoholic beer for you?
I think the biggest benefit is it really is just beer without the alcohol related side effects. Beneficial Beer Co beer, that I am responsible for brewing, has a similar mouth feel and taste and flavours as your real beer would, so it’s a no brainer for me if I want non-alcoholic.
What do you look for in a beer/what’s your idea of a perfect beer?
I actually have a history of judging beer competitions nationally and abroad and the main categories we look at are:
A perfect balance of these attributes is what separates the great from the good (or not so good – you know, sometimes it happens).
Beer is also quite an acquired taste for some and subjective, which is why variety is so important. One person’s lager love is another’s pale ale perfection.
Is non-alcoholic beer a full-time choice or a more flexible “sometimes” option for you?
I enjoy a mix of both so it’s a sometimes option for me depending on what I have on my schedule and the time of day/week. It’s nice to have that choice available and still feel like it’s beer.
Where does alcoholic free beer come in most handy for your lifestyle?
By far alcohol-free beer is most handy and helpful for me when I drive. It can be hard to keep track of how many standard drinks you’ve had, so non-alcoholic beer just gives me that peace of mind and is a stress-free alternative.
Have you found anyone else in your immediate circle has taken an interest in alcohol free too?
Yes, I have some friends who also needed an alternative, and they have made the switch to non-alcoholic beer for these occasions.
Finally, if you could enjoy a non-alcoholic cold one anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
I’m pretty into my golf and I usually drive to the course, but enjoy a little celebratory (or more often commissary) drink after a round, so at that point a few cold non-alcoholic beers are a viable option.