The growth of the brewery portfolios in recent years has also led to an upswing in the non-alcoholic and low-alcoholic beer segment. Whether Pils, Weizen or Kölsch - many types of beer are now also available as non-alcoholic variants.
Probably the first experiments on the subject of alcohol-free or low-alcohol beers were carried out in Germany as early as around 1895. As early as the 1930s, the Swiss Gurten Bier AG produced "ex-beer" by means of vacuum distillation. The real start of low-alcohol beer production, however, was in the former DDR in 1972, when Ulrich Wappler and his team developed "AUBI", i.e. "driver’s beer". From the 1970s, such beers were also commercially available in West Germany. In the 1990s, studies were conducted on the isotonic properties of non-alcoholic wheat beer - the birth of a new sports and fitness drink!1
Alcohol-free beers in Germany include beers with an alcohol content of less than 0.5% by volume, which is also the case for our product. Alcohol-free beers can currently be found in almost every brewery's portfolio, and it is hard to imagine breweries without them. The alcohol content ranges from 0.0 to 0.5% by volume.
In the last 15 years, production has experienced a huge upswing, reaching up to 6.6 million hl in 2020. Also due to the ongoing pandemic, this trend has been able to develop further and has delivered a current market share of around 7% for alcohol-free beers.2
The low alcohol content of our non-alcoholic beer is achieved through a modified mashing process and with the help of a special yeast. This is a maltose-negative yeast, which therefore cannot ferment the main sugar (maltose) in the wort.
The name for our non-alcoholic beer - "Energize Beer" - comes from our cooperation partner MartinBauer. As mentioned above, non-alcoholic beers are often referred to as sports or fitness drinks due to their isotonic properties. In addition, we decided to enhance our non-alcoholic beer with invigorating guarana and ginseng root extracts to give it something extra special.
Usually, non-alcoholic beers are described with the following attributes: "empty, worty, too sweet, ...". Our creation stands out with notes of sweet fruits and an intense citrus note. The basis for this aroma is provided here by the combination of various hop products, such as LUPOMAX®, Mosaic®, Incognito® Mosaic® as a whirlpool addition and Spectrum Citra® & Mosaic® in combination with LUPOMAX® Ariana at the start of fermentation. The aroma is further complemented by the use of natural grapefruit and orange aroma. This overall aroma impression harmonizes excellently with the types of malt used and the fermentation aromas of the yeast.