#NAbeer Archives – PorchDrinking.com
Even the most avid craft beer fans get tired of beer after a while. Sometimes you want to change things. Maybe you decide to stick to spirits, Light Beers or Hard Seltzers, or you choose to refrain from alcohol altogether, One appealing option that continues to grow in popularity and variety is Non-Alcoholic (NA) beer, a rapidly expanding segment that continues to draw new buzz and more eyeballs – and tastebuds. NA-brewer Athletic Brewing is widely considered the giant of NA beer, taking big swings at releasing NA-versions of Hazy IPAs, Sours, Stouts and Witbiers. Their release focus on complex flavors and style gave them an appealing niche to sell to beer’d-out beer drinkers. Now, they’re leaning into the largest category of beer drinkers – Light Beer lovers, with the debut of Athletic Lite. Here’s why.
The world of craft beverages seems to expand every day as more and more producers pump out products ranging from pre-mixed cocktails to Seltzers.
There is likely one area of the industry, though, that you have probably skimmed over when it comes to shopping coolers or shelves at your local bottle shop. No, don’t think about the newest candy-inspired Sour Ale or adjunct-loaded Barrel-Aged Stout. You should be thinking about your next non-alcoholic beer purchase.
Year over year, non-alcoholic (NA) beers continue to carve out a bigger chunk of the craft beer market, in no small part due to the NA beer produced by powerhouse Athletic Brewing Company. The NA brewer continues to brew up a bevy of different NA beers from Golden Ales to Hazy IPAs but it’s their mission to welcome a larger part of the adult population into the craft beer community through NA offerings that continue to resonate with consumers. This focus on welcoming continues to manifest in different ways for the brewer, including through their latest collaboration with prominent LGBTQI+ activist and advocate Alex Johnson, a competitive climber with two World Cup Gold medals and five US National titles, on the limited release of Rainbow Wall Blood-Orange IPA. It will debut in June during Pride Month.
The non-alcoholic (NA) beverage and beer segment continues to eat up market share thanks to its ability to offer younger buying groups a palatable and fulfilling NA option that takes the place of the typical beer, hard seltzer or hard cider. For many, NA beverages have become an addition to their overall alcohol-consuming habits while others have used NA beers to stop drinking altogether. I, like many others in the U.S., fall somewhere in the middle. According to Lagunitas, 45% of American adults have now purchased an NA beer. Data from Nielsen shows that 47% of Americans are making an effort to “cut back or abstain from” alcohol altogether.
While December is often filled with excess drinking, January is typically viewed through the lens of constriction, where you either consume less alcoholic drinks or participate in dry January, a month-long pledge to stop drinking alcoholic beverages entirely. If you’re a beer drinker curious about new NA beer options available on the market or participating in dry January, below is a list of five options we’re excited about.
The pandemic has had a drastic impact on the drinking habits of many Americans, myself included. While I still indulge on the weekends, I’ve also developed a new craving for lighter, better-for-you options that can be consumed guilt-free throughout the week. Spiked kombucha from the likes of Luna Bay Booch and Jiant Kombucha are frequently found in my fridge, along with some new non-alcoholic offerings. While California’s Athletic Brewing might draw the most headlines for their non-alcoholic (NA) beer lineup, Californian counterpart Surreal Brewing has generated plaudits of its own thanks to the likes of Juicy Mavs NA Hazy IPA.
Non-alcoholic beers were an emerging category of beer at the 2019 Great American Beer Festival with several breweries participating in both the festival and the competition. While they played a small part in the overall event, their addition to the competition this year may be a harbinger of things to come if this trends continue in the right direction.