Calling all alcohol-free ale fans everywhere! St Peter’s Brewery in Suffolk has just released a brand new brew to give even the most critical of ale drinkers something to think about. Their new ale, Without, is intense, full-bodied and malty, allowing it to reach the same quality standards as your favourite craft ale, but with an ABV of less than 0.05%, a lower alcohol content than a glass of orange juice.
The aim of St Peter’s Brewery was to create a brew that tasted just as good as the real thing, while also making a long-term investment in the rapidly expanding alcohol-free market. CEO Steve Magnall says that “pubs and bars are crying out for an excellent quality, full-bodied alcohol-free beer that drinkers will take seriously.” Rather than just stripping away the alcohol from the beer, the brewery have spent three years perfecting the taste, texture and aesthetic of their product, so the quality matches its best alcoholic brews. At a 25% lower calorie count than standard beer, Without is also a fantastic alternative to sugary or bland soft drinks in the pub!
The launch of Without comes at just the right time to help non-drinkers out before the arrival of Halloween, Christmas and, for many, the challenge of Dry January. According to the St Peter’s Brewery, the alcohol-free trend is on the rise; Steve believes that the alcohol-free beer market will form 10% of the total UK beer market within the next 10 years. His huge financial investment as well as time and energy spent continues to put pressure on rural pubs who are failing to adapt to a changing market of drinkers. In an article for The Telegraph, Steve acknowledges that younger drinkers today have “a completely different attitude to alcohol”, requiring the drinks industry to respond to a new class of pub-goers. Huge UK pub chains like Wetherspoons and Stonegate seem to have recognised this, and have both consequently signed supply deals to begin trialling Without in the next few weeks. And, if you aren’t a fan of your local, don’t worry – Tesco will also be stocking Without later this year.
The brewery very kindly sent Club Soda some samples of St. Peter’s Without alcohol-free beer for our members to try. Reports were mostly positive: Jussi said it had a “really interesting taste: rye bread, very malty, strong flavours. Could be the Marmite of non-alcoholic beers!” Janet agreed that she would “definitely buy it”, and that the beer had a “light malty taste” that “went well with a ploughman’s lunch”. Finally, Ilse said “St Peter’s Without is a good option for anyone like me who enjoys ale, but doesn’t want to have the ale drinker’s physique. It has a distinctive, but pleasant malt flavour and a satisfying depth to the taste – this is a beer that tastes like a heavyweight, but at only 88 calories it won’t break your scales.” Overall, it was definitely something that members would like to see in their local pub!