• The Cabinet

The Cabinet Designer Barman: Alcohol Free Beer, what’s the point??

After a truly shocking year for the alcohol industry, it isn’t a huge stretch for the imagination that the beer and wine industry is about 9% down on its yearly growth. In fact it’s projected that it won’t recover for many years.

However, there is one part of beer industry that seems to be surviving the pandemic better than most. The no/low beer sector looks to be not only resilient but robust projecting around 6% growth every year until 2024.

One of the main reasons this has happened is due to the craft market (via e-commerce) and the current trend into wellness.

Whether it is Joe Wicks doing early morning star jumps, Great British Bake Off doing a vegan week or Boris Johnson making plans for the obesity of the nation - wellness is everywhere!

Hand in hand with this, in March nearly all of the UK’s craft brewers lost their main revenue stream (the on-trade venues) and were forced to adapt.

The most successful breweries have launched online shops catering directly to those people who are no longer in the bars but at home. This has lowered the cost for the breweries (no wholesalers acting as middleman or national supermarkets setting the prices) as well as giving them direct access to their customer base.

Not to be out done by the big guys most of the good craft breweries have been developing their low beers over the last few years. Even that big Scottish “craft” brewery has joined the party with some de-alcoholised versions of their best sellers.

So what’s the point of non-alcohol beer?

Even if you don’t like beer you can appreciate that the trend fits perfectly into the world of the home office. If you can enjoy a guilt free pint on your sofa before going back to your laptop after lunch, why not?

When the hospitality industry gets back onto its feet these beers will become even more important because every penny going into the till will count. So on your lunch break, why not sit down in a pub for a meal with an AF beer?

When the world is back to normal and our acquaintances ask us to catch up on a random Tuesday night after football, instead of swerving it because it’s a school night, why not support your local (and your friendship) with a Low Alternative?

The truth is if you are at an occasion where you would drink a full-strength beer, a good Low/No alternative should always be an option - you may have to drive, or tomorrow is an important day in the boardroom. You may go to the doctors and be told you need to stop drinking. There is honestly millions of reasons you may abstain. And if for no other reason but to give it a go, why not try one?