Have sales of NoLo beers reached the point where most publicans might consider putting one on tap?
At present this seems unlikely with a minority of pubs utilising countermounts for NoLo beers.
But the on-trade appears nevertheless to have made the decision to introduce more NoLo products into the hospitality sector.
And a growing number of major brewers are developing beers for this expanding category in response.
By contrast, the number of new mainstream beer brands entering the category has declined steadily in recent years.
Many licensed premises, restaurants and hotels now offer their customers creative and appealing NoLo alternatives to alcohol for those wishing to avoid or reduce alcohol intake.
This has been facilitated by the NoLo brand extensions from the major manufacturers prepared to offer alcohol-free alternatives to their flagship brands.
Spotting where NoLo trends are taking on-trade consumers is not easy but lighter beer styles with lower alcohol levels that can still deliver on taste is certainly emerging as one of them.
‘Health & wellness’ has become much more important to young adult consumers who now seek out drinks not only lower in alcohol but lower in calories too.
While NoLos account for just 1% of the Irish beer market, that share percentage is rising.
Thankfully, there’s a growing range of NoLo products out there that no longer taste lip-puckeringly unpleasant and the existence of a suitable range of NoLo offerings also makes for a more appealing lunchtime menu for those returning to work in the afternoon or those contemplating the prospect of being the Designated Driver for the evening.
And high-quality NoLos have come to be highly regarded alongside Premium products and craft beers.
While lager dominates this NoLo market, ales are finding their market share growing too.
Off-licences selling NoLo products are also likely to benefit as the margins can be rewarding – few consumers expect to find NoLo products on promotion.
What’s more, NoLo beer consumers remain open to Premium options which means retailers can command higher price points.
While few would deny that NoLos are becoming increasingly popular in the on-trade, there’s still plenty of potential for publicans to get further into the sector in their own premises.
A YouGov study in the UK found that while 57% of adults would consider drinking a low-alcohol beverage in a pub, only 43% of them had seen any for sale there.
Some 58% of alcohol-drinkers had tried at least one NoLo product and one in 10 18 to 24 year-olds reported that they’d switched the majority of their drinking to lower alcohol options.
Increased interest in lighter, less calorific non-alcoholic drinks is a global scale trend believes Mitsue Konishi, Senior Innovation Analyst at GlobalData, who stated, “Trends that tap into health concerns can often be long-lived as consumers feel less guilty about consuming them.”
Give draught NoLos a go
A major aim for brewers of NoLo beers is to see them established in draught format in the on-trade. Then they can feel safe that their NoLo beer baby has indeed ‘arrived’.
Draught also allows customers to try before they buy – and they can choose a NoLo beer that blends in with their ‘drinking’ friends.
Staff knowledgeable about NABLABs & NoLos
How well-trained in serving NoLos are your staff?
Do they make purchasing NoLos an adult experience?
When serving a NoLo it’s important to put as much care and attention into its pour or preparation as would be expected of a more mainstream alcoholic drinks order.
Not so long ago an article by The Financial Times’s drinks editor Alice Lascelles found that bartenders now regard it as a ‘badge of honour’ to be able to create low ABV cocktails and mocktails to the same quality and standard as their more alcoholic counterparts.
As one publican pointed out, why sell a tonic water for €2 or €3 when you could offer a well-presented non-alcoholic G&T for €5.50 and thus increase your margin considerably?
So don’t have FOMO over NoLos…
The Bavarian town of Erding exclusively produces 0.5% ABV Erdinger Alkoholfrei. It has reduced calories (107 kj/25 Kcal per 100ml) and provides longer-lasting energy quickly according to the brewery.
In the late 90s Erdinger Weissbräu revolutionised the beer market with Erdinger Alkoholfrei – the first non-alcoholic beer to be a true sports drink too. With its isotonic properties, Erdinger Alkoholfrei is the ideal regeneration drink after sports, states the distributor here, Noreast Premium Drinks, an independent family business based in Dundalk which points out that despite numerous imitators of its positioning and colour code, Erdinger has never relinquished its market leadership. Since its formation in 1995 Noreast has specialised in sourcing, importing and marketing an exclusive range of NoLo beers to the Irish drinks trade.
Erdinger NoLo Innovation: Grapefruit & Lemon
Isotonic and containing vitamins B9, B12 and C, Erdinger Grapefruit & Lemon are a new taste for a new wheat beer generation.
The fruity variant of Erdinger Alkoholfrei is also particularly popular with the female target group, states Noreast.
Budejovicky Budvar Non-Alcoholic
The combination of traditional Budvar brewing methods and the use of only the highest quality natural ingredients creates a beer with a delicate full flavour but a minimum content of alcohol (ABV 0.5%).
Krombacher Alkoholfrei 0.0%
Krombacher Alkoholfrei 0.0% Pils has a well-balanced malt character and light hop aromas. Full-flavoured with that famous Krombacher finish, it’s bright and golden in colour. There are plenty of snacks and dishes that work well with this beer. The malty sweetness means it pairs perfectly with garlic and olive-forward pesto and pasta dishes. It’s also harmonious with fish dishes.
Estrella Free Damm
Free Damm from Spain is the non-alcoholic member of the Estrella family. A clean sparkling transparent amber colour with shades of gold, it has a light head and lively fine bubbles. A beer with just the right amount of bitterness. Available in 330ml cans.
Mac Ivors Alcohol Free Cider
The multi-award-winning County Armagh cider producer Mac Ivors has launched a new alcohol-free and low calorie (only 76 calories per bottle).
Mac Ivors Alcohol Free Cider is also gluten-free and vegan-friendly.
Experienced cider-maker Greg MacNeice has created this drink to offer a range of benefits for those concerned about health while still maintaining an authentic and delicious cider taste.
“We’re also currently exploring opportunities in Canada, Britain and other parts of Europe for the new cider,” he says.
It has also produced extremely positive feedback in taste tests.
“Our aim has been to produce a genuine cider rather than a drink that tastes like apple juice and we’ve succeeded,” says Greg, “The new product is a response to the growing market for a ‘healthier’ product especially among those concerned about weight and overall fitness,” he adds.
In addition the new cider features labelling which lists all the ingredients and nutritional facts, reflecting the company’s strategic focus on transparency and integrity.
Mac Ivors, which has collected a host of industry awards including Blas na hEireann as well as UK Great Taste Awards, is selling its ciders to Germany, France, Russia and Scandinavia as well as Britain. The ciders, made from 100% fresh-pressed apples grown on the family farm, are cold-pressed and slow-fermented over eight months to ensure outstanding flavour. Up to 14 different varieties of apples – including Armagh Bramleys – are used in the process.
BrewDog Punk AF
No Alcohol just got punked up. And Punk AF lives up to its billing. All the flavour but none of the alcohol. Say hello to the Punkest non-alcoholic beer in town, brewed with eight different hops from North America, New Zealand and Europe.
Juicy tropical fruit mixes it up with grassy and pine notes – all sitting on a solid malt bassline. The bitter finish, rolling in at 35 International Bitterness Units, belies its ABV.
BrewDog is on a mission to prove that alcohol-free does not equate to taste-free. And now it brings a new alternative to the mainstream, a beer for those seeking a Point Of Difference at 0.5% ABV that brings all the attitude of the flagship Punk IPA.
Punk IPA was the beer that kick-started the craft beer revolution and Punk AF is the next step in BrewDog’s desire to brew beer for every taste, for every occasion.
This is Punk AF. The new saviour of alcohol-free and it’s distributed by Barry & Fitzwilliam.
The same 17 varieties of apples, the same care and dedication to the task, the same time, 18 months of fermentation, to reach perfection. Bulmers 0.0 is everything that has made Bulmers Cider great since 1935 but because it uses a non-alcohol producing yeast, it’s a 0.0 drink. That also means Bulmers doesn’t alter the taste by having to remove the alcohol after production. It’s a natural process.
It’s a choice, not a compromise. Just as many meat-eaters like to go veggie sometimes, there are also times when we want all the refreshment but less alcohol.
Bulmers 0.0 gives consumers that choice while remaining Bulmers to the core. Bulmers 0.0 4-pack is the number one-selling Zero % Cider SKU in the Irish off-trade.
Quiet Noise Brewing – Ireland’s only dedicated Alcohol-free craft beer brewery
RTM Beverages has launched Ireland’s only dedicated alcohol-free craft beer range – Quiet Noise Brewing. RTM Beverages Founder Stephen Dillon is one of Ireland’s only qualified craft beer sommeliers and has been involved in the Irish craft beer scene since 2007.
“As founder of The Beer Club, Ireland’s leading online craft beer store and having previously launched my own craft beer, I’m very excited to take my experience and passion for great beer into the alcohol-free beer category,” he says.
“As we all now know the demand for alcohol-free drinks is in rapid growth. Having successfully launched our range of alcohol-free G&T’s and our ‘Juniper Edition’ alcohol-free spirit (www.Nokidrinks.com) we’ve been pioneers in this growth category.
As a craft beer-lover I’m very proud to launch Quiet Noise and what I believe are the best-tasting alcohol-free beers available,” he continued, “Cutting back on alcohol shouldn’t mean compromising on taste!’
The name ‘Quiet Noise’ refers to the quiet revolution that’s taking place as more people look to reduce their alcohol intake for a wide variety of reasons. The Quiet Noise range comes in three initial styles – a crisp and refreshing craft lager, a more full-bodied and flavoursome Pilsner and a hoppy pale ale.
Quiet Noise Brewing is set to launch in time for ‘Dry January’ 2022 and will also be available online.
For sales enquiries contact RTM Beverages (01 9618922) or e-mail Info@RTMBeverages.com
Gordon’s is launching its new alcohol-free alternative just in time for Christmas.
Just like Gordon’s London Dry Gin, new Gordon’s 0.0% provides the bold, juniper-led character you know and expect from the brand, making it the perfect alcohol-free alternative to your customers’ usual choice of Gordon’s and tonic.
The botanicals used in Gordon’s 0.0% are individually immersed in water, heated and then distilled before being expertly blended together to capture the essence of Gordon’s. As social calendars fill up during the Festive Season why not recommend this Gordon’s alcohol-free option to your customers?
Gordon’s 0.0% is also only 24 calories per serve, perfect for accompanying Festive nibbles.
“We’ve an ongoing commitment to offer choice to consumers but want to ensure they’re not compromising on taste or experience,” says Anna Sablovscaia, Senior Brand Manager for Gordon’s Gin, “Gordon’s 0.0% has been created to ensure that consumers still get to enjoy the delicious taste of Gordon’s, even if they’re opting not to drink alcohol.”
Lyre’s extends portfolio
Lyre’s, the Premium non-alcoholic spirit brand, is expanding its portfolio with five new drinks including an on-trend Pink London Spirit and four new non-alcoholic RTDs: A classic G&T, an Amalfi Spritz, American Malt & Cola and Dark ‘n Spicy.
The brand, which continues to lead strong growth and awareness of the non-alcoholic spirits category globally, is capitalising on the increasing popularity of alcohol-like beverages with a selection of drinks to suit all tastes.
Lyre’s Pink London Spirit, an alcohol-free homage to pink gin and four new RTDs:
Lyre’s Pink London Spirit has been developed exclusively for the mindful drinker. It appeals to those who already love pink gin but may want to enjoy their favourite tipple without the alcohol and without compromising on taste or serve.
Serve simply with a splash of tonic water, a fragrant garnish and some ice or take Lyre’s Pink London Spirit to the next level by creating a Lyre’s Pink Spritz.
Combining two new launches from the brand, this cocktail is perfect to whip-up for a group. Just add equal parts Lyre’s Pink London Sprit and Lyre’s Classico, a dash of your favourite tonic, soda water or lemonade poured over ice and stirred. Add a garnish of berries and two slices of Lemon.
Lyre’s pre-mixed RTD collection is redefining the ready-to-pour cocktail experience with four elegant new party accompaniments, cocktail additions or celebratory toasts. These signature drinks contain the perfect ratio of ingredients to deliver a great-tasting non-alcoholic cocktail.
All RTD’s are also low in calories, vegan, gluten- and nut-free.
The RTD range, which also includes Classico, a light and bubbly Prosecco alternative, was launched earlier this year and has been a huge hit with Irish consumers, sitting alongside an already extensive range of non-alcoholic spirit offerings from the brand, states the company.
“Following the huge demand for pink gin, we created Pink London Spirit to bolster the Lyre’s collection and provide even more options for the sophisticated drinker to enjoy their favourite drink or cocktail of choice without the alcohol,” said Mark Livings, Lyre’s CEO and Co-Founder.
Lyre’s London Pink Spirit joins 13 other non-alcoholic spirits from Lyre’s, adding to the most diverse and awarded portfolio of non-alcoholic spirits ever seen.
The range is distributed by Richmond Marketing.