Business is booming in the non-alcoholic beer industry as demand for booze-free drinking options reaches new highs across Australia.
Independent brewers are taking advantage of changing drinking habits driven by increased consumer awareness of health-issues related to alcohol.
Many brewers attribute the increasing popularity of booze-free drinks to the normalisation of opting for zero-alcoholic beverages and the increasing availability of the products.
Brewers Association of Australia chief executive John Preston said booze-free drinks offering a similar experience in taste and profile to their alcoholic counterparts have seen the greatest traction with consumers.
“Over the past years we have seen beer drinkers reduce their pure alcohol consumption by three million litres as lower-alcohol beer products have become more popular,” he said.
“It’s clear that our brewing industry’s innovation in this area has made a significant difference to consumption levels.”
IWSR drinks market analysis is forecasting that the low and no-alcohol drinks volume in Australia will grow by 16 per cent by 2024.
Non-alcoholic drinks currently make up about one per cent of all beer retail sales in Australia with the figure expected to double to two per cent by 2025.
Founder David Jackson, creative genius Matt Johnston and head brewer Bruce Peachey.
Beneficial Beer founder David Jackson launched his own non-alcoholic brewery with the aim of reviving classic Aussie beers and catering for customers “looking to lose the beer and not the banter”.
Mr Jackson said his foray into non-alcoholic brewing began in 2020 when he decided to complete a ‘one year no beer challenge’ with a friend after losing his father and three mates in close succession and having personally battled his relationship with booze for 30 years.
Mr Jackson said he realised it was going to be no mean feat to kick the booze for 12 months, so he set himself on a mission to convert the challenge into a passion and start his own non-alcoholic brewery.
Joined by creative partner Matt Johnson, the duo raised $300,000 in 48 hours from family and friends to kick off the business and secured the help of one of Australia’s best-known brewers, Bruce Peachey. The first of the company’s non-alcoholic beers was a Stone Cold Lager.
Mr Jackson said his focus was to create a product that tasted like a usual mid strength beer that customers could get stuck into at the pub on a Friday with mates.
He said evolutions in brewing techniques have enabled brewers to create “decent tasting non alcoholic lagers on the market that you could drink more than one and actually enjoy.”
“Lots of factors come into play but one of the big reasons non-alcoholic drinks are becoming more popular is there is technology now to enable manufacturers to make these drinks actually taste like the real thing,” he said.
“Couple this with entrepreneurs who are opening bottle shops catering for non-alcoholic drinks alone, and that the younger generation are very health conscious and you have a rapidly growing sector of the drinks market.”
Source: The Daily Telegraph
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