Over the last few years of my time in the drinks business, I've specifically focused on building the alcohol free segment in the worlds biggest beer markets. In conversation with leadership teams and brewers alike, the discussion often lands on the question of how to make the best tasting alcohol free beers.
The common wisdom is that without alcohol, you cannot make a great tasting beer. But time and a whole lot of focus by talented brewers and creators is quickly proving that wrong. Low alcohol, maltose intolerant yeasts are being improved all the time, creating wonderful full flavored tastes, with loads of estery goodness remaining in the brews despite such brief fermentation. More focus and enthusiasm is quickly transforming the alcohol free taste landscape. And when people realize they no longer have to compromise on taste to enjoy alcohol free alternatives, they'll choose to drink more often, in more occasions!
In the world of 0.5% stopped-fermentation, there are many excellent examples of world class brewing and mastery of flavors. Well crafted alcohol free beers are booming. Germany has the biggest low & no alcohol beer segment in the world and offers some great inspiration for brewing and drinks industry leaders. Here is one example that combines some interesting elements worth considering in premium innovation.
Introducing Insel Brauerei from the northern German coastal town of Rambin-on-Rugen. They have created a world-class range of alcohol free beers which includes:
Skippers - Wet Hopped Pilsner
Swimmers - Saison
Snorkellers - Sea Salt IPA
Surfers - Summer Ale
The bottles are clad in premium paper wrapping which attention grabbing and super-premium. Perhaps this attracted the attention of judges at the various world beer awards they've won (four wins in total)! The brews are complex, and with high extract liquids, deeply satisfying. Besides the Pilsner, they all combine barley and wheat in the brews so have a beautiful thick head and fullness. The entire range is bottle conditioned which adds a whole other level of taste complexity. I encourage all no & low drinkers to try them out. This includes all you marketers as this brand combines a bunch of traditional brewing methods to create something truly unique.
These beers are no doubt expensive to brew and are gloriously wrapped in premium packaging so hats off to the team at Insel Brauerei for their commitment to creating such stand out alcohol free brews. I'm definitely ending the week with a Sea Salt IPA!
Cheers & happy Friday!