Today, the craft beer movement is for ALL the people. That's right, the non-alcoholic beer trend is a big thing, and it's not going anywhere. Gone are the days of the designated driver who is designated to kid's drinks.
And it's not just beer.
At large, the non-alcoholic beverage market is predicted to grow by as much as six percent over the next 10 years, and this trend is driven by N/A options ranging from coffee to "mocktails" to low and non-alcoholic beer.
According to Anheuser-Busch InBev, the low or alcohol-free beer segment is going to account for a stunningly high 20 percent of the company's entire production volume by 2025. From Bud to Corona to Heineken to Guinness, there are now N/A options for just about every mass-produced beer variety.
But this trend is certainly not limited to mass production. The craft beer world is seeing the potential in this once niche segment, as well. N/A styles are now just as wide and varied as any other cooler at the liquor store, with low to no-alcohol options including IPAs, ambers, porters, and stouts.
Credit: @nacraftbeer on Instagram
It seems obvious that the trend is catching on with brewers because it's profitable, but the reasons why aren't as apparent.
This is the real obvious one. One of the first things people look to eliminate when living a healthier lifestyle is alcohol. N/A beer advocates say the low-alcohol beers make them feel better, and now they taste better.
The N/A beer trend has inspired lifestyle movements like #mindfuldrinking on social media. N/A and low-alcohol beers are a great choice for pregnant mothers, baby showers, people who are driving home, and even people training for sporting events such as the IronMan or a marathon. N/A beer advocates say lifestyle choices shouldn't eliminate the desire for quality flavors. Religious groups also tout N/A beer when their religions preclude them from drinking.
This is a big one because, traditionally, there has been a bad rap to zero percent beers. The stigma was they were boring and tasteless, and a big part of that perception was due to marketing. Now N/A beers are becoming more popular, and as their consumption gains public acceptance, more and more people are drinking them. In fact, 33 percent of Spaniards claim to drink N/A beer, and 23 percent of Germans do. Erdinger, a popular German brewer, even hands out a free N/A pint for finishers of the Berlin marathon.