Over the past few years we have seen a steady increase in low-alcohol beer offerings, not only big beer, but also there has been a massive rise in craft low-alcohol beer breweries. Don't just take my word for it check out this google trend of the search terms for Alcohol free beer. Pretty crazy to see the demand change over time.
More and more people are making a conscious effort to drink in moderation and some have given up altogether. Maybe after being stuck at home for so long, with let's face it nothing much to do other than tuck into our cellars people are more aware of how much they are consuming. We get it, Elliot & I are constantly surrounded by a pretty epic beer & wine collection and we often have to check ourselves on how much we are consuming. Since the low alcohol beer offering has gotten so good it's easy to opt for an alcohol free option without having to compromise on taste.
Is Alcohol free beer healthier for you?
It's is a healthier option for sure, as there is no alcohol in it, alcohol free beer can help rehydrate you rater than dry you out. We've all woken up feeling like it's the Sahara Desert in our mouths after a night out before. Alcohol free beer also has less calories than regular beer so actually can help you maintain a balanced diet.
How is Alcohol free beer made?
There are 4 main ways to make alcohol free beer.
- DEALCOHOLISATION: the beer is brewed as an alcoholic beer, then is stripped of alcohol either by boiling it as alcohol has a lower boiling point than water, or by using a hi-tech machine method called reverse osmosis. Often people consider these methods to impact the flavour of the beer as the process of stripping out the alcohol can also extract some of the flavour.
- LIMITED FERMENTATION: When yeast breaks down the sugar in wort during the fermentation it produces alcohol. To limit the amount of alcohol thats produced brewers can either; reduce the amount of fermentable sugars by changing the grain, or they can use a yeast strain can only produce a low level of alcohol or they can interrupt fermentation by adjusting the fermentation environment to slow or stop the production of alcohol. This method generally produces a sweeter beer.
- DILUTION: This is where a brewery brew a beer with the significantly higher amount of hops and grains to created a concentrated flavour then after fermentation they will add water to bring it back down to a lower ABV then re-carbonate it.
- FERMENTATION FREE: You guessed it the brewers don't let the beer ferment. Brewers adjust other parts of the production process to produce a fizzy and aroma beer that isnt just sweet wort.
Which Breweries are using which method?
We did some digging around to find out how some of the beers we are stocking produce their alcohol free delights!
The following breweries are using: LIMITED FERMENTATION
- Big Drop Brewing Co - state on their website that they use a special yeast.
- Mash Gang - Brew their beers on the Northern Monk brew kit and carefully manage the fermentation process while also heavily relying on oak ageing and extended conditioning times.
- Good Karma - Use low grain and low attenuation yeast to brew their beers.
- Mikkeller - Have invested heavily in finding a way to brew a beer with compromising on flavour, they found a unique food-grade yeast that only produces a small amount of alcohol. While controlling every element of the fermentation process.
The following breweries are using: DEALCOHOLISATION
- Lucky Saint - brew their unfiltered lager and condition it for 6 weeks before using a deacholisation technique to remove the alcohol.
In summary, we think its worth while to add a few low alcohol beers to your order and enjoy some guilt free treats. Check out our range below.