Heineken rolls out non-alcoholic lager in Irish market

World’s second largest beer-maker looking to cash in on rising sales of alcohol-free drinks

For Heineken 0.0 two different beers were selected and then blended together to create the final product

For Heineken 0.0 two different beers were selected and then blended together to create the final product

 

Heineken is hoping the trend towards lower alcohol consumption is more than just a passing fad by betting big on a new non-alcoholic lager in Ireland.

The world’s second largest beer-maker is looking to cash in on a surge in sales of alcohol-free drinks globally, with Heineken 0.0, a bottled lager that has been double-brewed so that when the booze is removed the taste remains.

Details of the lager were first announced last May when it was unveiled at an event in Barcelona. It has since gone on sale in a number of markets, with the drinks giant planning on making it available across Europe.

According to the research group Canadean, the European non-alcoholic beer market grew roughly 5 per cent each year from 2010 to 2015.

Heineken is just one of a number of brewers looking to meet consumer demand for low and no-alcoholic drinks.

Rival AB InBev, which makes more than a quarter of the world’s beer and has about 400 brands including Budweiser and Stella Artois, has previously said it is aiming to make a fifth of its beer either low or zero alcohol by 2025. This is up from less than 10 per cent currently. Closer to home, Guinness recently introduced Pure Brew, its first non-alcoholic craft lager in Ireland.

Different brews

Willem van Waesberghe, global craft and brew master at Heineken, said the new lager, which contains half the calories of regular beer, was selling strongly in a number of countries, including the Netherlands, Spain and Russia. “We are a little bit amazed by its success.”

The recipe for the new lager was achieved by combining different brews made by four working groups within Heineken. Two different beers were selected and then blended together to create the final product.

“Unlike most alcohol-free beers which often have a malty sweet taste, ours doesn’t,” said Mr Van Waesberghe.

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