BREAKING NEWS : Indiana coronavirus cases increase to 51,612; 2,567 deaths Full Story
BREAKING NEWS : Allen County reports 18 new COVID-19 cases, 1 new death Full Story

Forget craft beer. The next craze is non-alcoholic brews

When craft beer super fan Steve Dass gave up alcohol for health reasons, he went looking for a quality non-alcoholic ...

Posted: Feb 9, 2018 8:51 PM
Updated: Feb 9, 2018 8:51 PM

When craft beer super fan Steve Dass gave up alcohol for health reasons, he went looking for a quality non-alcoholic substitute.

He couldn't find one, so he started his own brewery.

"When I ... started talking about it to friends and investors, they asked whether I've bumped my head or something," said Doss.

But Dass was onto something: His Nirvana Brewery in London now brews 3,200 liters of low and alcohol-free beer a week, and he sells to stores such as Whole Foods.

It's still a very niche segment, but big brewers are scrambling to get in on the action.

That's because drinkers are turning to brews that don't come with a buzz. They're increasingly worried about the health risks associated with alcohol.

Global consumption of traditional beer dropped in 2015 and 2016. But the market for non-alcoholic beer grew 5% in 2016, according to research firm Euromonitor International.

Soda wars: The UK's tax on sugary drinks is working

Anheuser-Busch InBev, which launched non-alcoholic versions of Budweiser and Corona in 2016, predicts that low or alcohol-free beer will make up a stunning 20% of its production volume by 2025.

Heineken released a competitor -- Heineken 0.0 -- last May and Guinness owner Diageo followed suit in January with Open Gate Pure Brew.

Carlsberg, which has been producing alcohol-free beer since 2015, expects revenue for that product to grow three times faster than overall beer sales.

Brewers are responding to changing consumer tastes, but there's another powerful incentive driving the trend: Non-alcoholic beer generates 1.5 times more revenue because there's no alcohol tax to pay.

Stuart Elkington opened Dry Drinker, an online store selling non-alcoholic beer, wine and spirits, when his doctor suggested he stop drinking alcohol to improve his fitness.

He gave it a shot for six months and felt great.

"I lost a bit of weight, I started running again ... but I missed that 'ahh' moment on a Friday night, when you've had a really busy week and just wanted a beer," he said.

He thought there must be other people like him -- "forty, young kids, wanted to lose a bit of weight."

But he was surprised to find the market is much wider than that.

"Our customers are the girls getting together when they have to work in the morning, the baby shower crowds, the guys training for marathon, dinner parties when someone has to drive," he said.

His business, which launched just 18 months ago, now has five full-time employees.

Related: Is the taxman coming for your steak?

Producers still have to convince drinkers that 0% beer has its merits.

"The reputation is terrible ... but with the availability of hops we can get from around the world, there is no need for non-alcoholic beer to be boring," Dass said.

Advertising language is already becoming more positive, according to Euromonitor International. Ads tout what the beer has to offer in terms of flavors and natural ingredients, while steering away from its lack of alcohol.

Research firm Mintel said drinkers are becoming more open to the idea of non-alcoholic beer, with 33% of Spaniards and 23% of Germans already drinking it on occasion. A German brewer, Erdinger, offers every runner in the Berlin marathon an alcohol-free pint when they cross the finish line.

Heineken said the alcohol-free beer market is growing 9% a year in the U.K.

"When people taste non-alcoholic beer, the first thing they say is 'it tastes like beer!' and I have to remind them that it is a beer. They can't get their head around it," Elkington said.

-- Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated AB InBev's predictions for non-alcoholic beer.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 51079

Reported Deaths: 2756
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion12019693
Lake5588248
Elkhart353959
Allen2939134
St. Joseph210669
Hamilton1691101
Cass16449
Hendricks1454100
Johnson1340118
Porter82638
Tippecanoe7709
Vanderburgh7276
Clark69544
Madison67464
LaPorte61628
Howard59858
Bartholomew59745
Kosciusko5754
Marshall5449
Noble51328
LaGrange4849
Boone48244
Jackson4783
Delaware47152
Hancock46736
Shelby45425
Floyd40644
Morgan34231
Monroe34028
Grant31826
Dubois3046
Henry30018
Montgomery29720
Clinton2903
White27410
Dearborn25823
Decatur25632
Lawrence25225
Vigo2528
Warrick25029
Harrison21722
Greene19432
Miami1932
Jennings17912
Putnam1738
DeKalb1694
Scott1649
Wayne1546
Daviess15017
Perry14710
Orange13723
Steuben1362
Jasper1352
Ripley1307
Franklin1278
Gibson1202
Wabash1162
Carroll1142
Fayette1067
Whitley1066
Starke1043
Newton10010
Huntington942
Jefferson862
Wells821
Randolph794
Fulton731
Knox710
Jay700
Washington681
Pulaski661
Clay645
Rush613
Posey570
Spencer541
Owen521
Benton510
Sullivan501
Adams491
Brown431
Blackford402
Fountain352
Crawford330
Switzerland320
Tipton321
Parke270
Martin260
Ohio230
Vermillion200
Warren151
Union140
Pike110
Unassigned0193

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 64214

Reported Deaths: 3036
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin11724445
Cuyahoga8979393
Hamilton6781207
Lucas2952305
Marion274539
Montgomery244035
Summit2327209
Pickaway222241
Mahoning1928239
Butler182147
Columbiana137860
Stark1214114
Lorain112069
Trumbull104578
Warren97725
Clark80010
Delaware69815
Fairfield66717
Tuscarawas60410
Lake58923
Medina58232
Belmont56922
Licking56812
Miami50631
Portage49259
Wood48851
Clermont4737
Ashtabula44744
Geauga42543
Wayne37253
Richland3715
Allen35641
Greene3439
Mercer29910
Erie27122
Holmes2595
Darke25626
Huron2402
Madison2169
Ottawa17324
Sandusky16015
Washington14620
Ross1443
Coshocton1423
Athens1391
Crawford1385
Putnam13715
Hardin12312
Morrow1201
Auglaize1094
Jefferson1092
Muskingum1001
Union931
Preble901
Monroe8917
Hancock861
Lawrence830
Guernsey823
Clinton811
Hocking809
Williams762
Shelby744
Logan711
Ashland672
Carroll673
Fulton670
Scioto670
Wyandot635
Brown611
Fayette550
Defiance533
Knox531
Champaign511
Highland501
Van Wert471
Perry441
Seneca412
Henry330
Paulding300
Jackson280
Pike280
Adams261
Vinton232
Gallia201
Noble140
Harrison131
Meigs130
Morgan110
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Broken Clouds
79° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 81°
Angola
Scattered Clouds
77° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 79°
Huntington
Broken Clouds
76° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 76°
Decatur
Scattered Clouds
77° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 79°
Van Wert
Scattered Clouds
77° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 79°
Sunday starts wet, ends dry
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events