Have you heard? The non-alcoholic beer revolution is here! Maybe you've read about it online, or seen it on the national news. I'm an enthusiastic participant, myself. And yet... Your bars, restaurants, and grocery stores are woefully under-prepared.
The Same Old, Same Old
Oh, maybe you have that old standby, O'Douls, the "Kleenex" of non-alcoholic beers. That's fine. But it's not exciting. At least have the option of O'Douls Amber available - it's pretty good.
Even when you do offer a selection - it's just the same style brew from different brands: Bud Zero, Heneiken Zero, O'Douls... They're all lagers. Just pick one. I know you must be getting pressure - or perks - from the distributors, but how does that help your customers?
We're Sober, Not Dead
What makes you think the people who stopped drinking during the golden age of craft brewing want anything less than a variety of sophisticated and flavorful n/a options? And they exist!
Try stocking an IPNA from Lagunitas. Or Athletic Brewing's Run Wild IPA. Or Bravus Brewing's Raspberry Gose. They're all delicious.
Advertise Your Non-Alcoholic Beers
"Nobody ever orders them," is a thing I hear from bars and restaurants who don't even bother to put their n/a offerings on the menu. You have to promote the n/a beer, the same way you promote anything else in your establishment. Do that many people order something that's not on the menu?
Does Your Staff Know What You Sell?
Another thing I've noticed is that the staff are often under-informed. I've had to inform servers more than once that Heineken Zero is, indeed, a non-alcoholic beer.
Do You Listen to Your Customers?
How many times does someone have to ask if you carry any non-alcoholic beers before you consider carrying some? Do your servers tell you what customers are saying? Are you in touch with your customers?
The Growing Market for Non-Alcoholic Beers
No and low alcoholic beer are the fastest growing segment of the beer market. According to Forbes, "just 5% of Dry January participants drank non-alcoholic beers in 2019, that number jumped to 29% in 2022."
There are many reasons people are moving to non-alcoholic beverages.
- Diet friendly (fewer calories than regular beer and sugary sodas)
- No hangovers
- Religious reasons
- Mental health (alcohol is a depressant)
- Physical health (better cardiovascular, lower risk of osteoporosis, reduces stress)
Millennials and Generation Z drink less than previous generations. They're health-conscious. But they enjoy a good n/a beer.
I hope you'll take this message to heart. We non-alcoholic beer drinkers really are out here. In growing numbers. And to those already serving premium craft n/a beers: cheers! And Viva la revolución!
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