Hey there, beer lovers! Are you ready to raise a glass to the latest trend in the brewing world? That’s right, we’re talking about low and non-alcoholic craft beer! Don’t let the lack of alcohol fool you, these brews are packed with flavour and satisfaction. And the best part? You can enjoy them without the dreaded hangover. So, grab your favourite glass and let’s dive into the world of delicious and innovative brewing!
In the last five years, the beer industry has been bubbling with a new trend – the rise of low-alcohol and zero-alcohol beers. These refreshing beverages have become the new favourites among beer enthusiasts, and for a good reason.
So get ready to sip on some non-alcoholic craft beer! Believe it or not, it’s brewed using the same base ingredients as traditional beer – malted barley, hops, water, and yeast. The only difference? The alcohol content is either brewed to a lower level or completely removed after the brewing process. But don’t worry, the brewers have got you covered. They use various methods such as vacuum distillation, reverse osmosis, low alcohol producing yeast, or filtration to keep all the delicious flavours and aromas intact.
Picture this: a fancy process that takes your favourite brew and turns it into a non-alcoholic masterpiece. That’s right, we’re talking about vacuum distillation – the method used by larger breweries to create non-alcoholic craft beer! Vacuum distillation involves boiling the beer under reduced pressure, which lowers the boiling point of the liquid and allows the alcohol to evaporate. The vapours are then condensed and collected, leaving behind a beer with a lower alcohol content. The advantage of vacuum distillation is that it is a gentle process that preserves the flavour and aroma of the beer, while removing the alcohol. This is a relatively expensive process used by larger sized breweries, and often seen in simpler styles like pilsners and lagers.
An alternative approach is using low alcohol producing yeast. This method is a favourite of smaller breweries, and it results in a beer with a lower alcohol content, while still keeping the delicious flavour and body of traditional beer intact.
Some notable examples of these brews in New Zealand include McLeod’s Northern Light Lager, Garage Project Fugazi, Good George Small Wonder Pale Ale, Urbanaut Rose Bay Lager, and Bach ALL DAY Non-Alcoholic IPA. And if you’re looking for even more options, “State of Play” has recently arrived on the scene as New Zealand’s first and only zero-alcohol brewery.
But it’s not just New Zealand that’s jumping on the alcohol-free trend. Brands in Australia are also getting in on the action, with offerings like Bridge Road Free Time, Heaps Normal Quiet XPA, and Hop Nation Mind ya Head.
One of the pioneers in this trend was Garage Project, a small craft brewery based in Wellington, who introduced their low-alcohol IPA, Fugazi, in 2016 and more recently they’ve gone even further and developed a zero-alcohol IPA called ‘Tiny.’
Big things sometimes come in little packages. Say hi to Tiny: Brewed with pilsner malt, golden naked oats, Mosaic, Strata and Simcoe, Tiny is specially fermented to give you all the big, juicy hop character you’ve come to expect from a Hazy IPA – just without the alcohol. Yup that’s right. Big flavour, without the booze so you can enjoy your hazy anytime. Tiny, but mighty.
Instead of relying on the alcohol content to provide flavour, Garage Project has expertly blended pilsner malt, Simcoe, Strata, and Mosaic to create a mouth-watering combination of juicy hops and tropical aromas. The bright golden colour of the Tiny IPA sets the stage for a flavour experience like no other, with zesty lemon sherbet, citrus, pineapple, and pine hop character.
Another example of beautiful craftsmanship is “Fill Ya Boots”. This hazy style beer is made using natural fermentation techniques to ensure that the flavour remains full-bodied and satisfying, while the alcohol content remains at zero. Dosed heavily with Nelson Sauvin and Simcoe hops, “Fill Ya Boots” is bursting with tropical and fruity notes.
So, to sum it up, low and non-alcoholic craft beers are the latest trend to hit the brewing scene, and they’re not going anywhere anytime soon! Thanks to new brewing processes like the use of low alcohol producing yeast, breweries are able to create beer that’s packed with flavour and satisfying to the taste buds, all without the hangover.
So go ahead and raise a toast to innovation in brewing! With more and more people opting for low and non-alcoholic options, the brewing industry is taking notice and rising to the challenge, creating delicious and satisfying beers that are perfect for any occasion. Cheers to that!