Non-alcoholic beer is the fastest-growing category of beer, up 12% from last year while regular beer sales stayed flat.
Grocery Stores are Getting Onboard NA Bandwagon
I wrote an open letter to bars and grocers in August, urging them to start carrying more NA options and join the "Non-Alcoholic Beer Revolution." Safeway/Albertsons in Washington are now on board. I take full credit for that. I'm kidding. It's obviously a coincidence. The grocery giants are just following the money, and giving consumers what they want. You'll find some Athletic Brewing NA beers on their shelves, Guinness Zero, O'Douls Amber, and your Heineken Zero or Bud Zero. It's a start.
Yoke's Fresh Market carries those too, along with Clausthaler Grapefruit, which I'll talk about below.
Total Wine & More still has the best variety and selection of non-alcoholic beer, and that will never change. It's candy-land for every kind of beer, wine or spirits lover, including NA.
Bars Still Aren't Up to Speed on NA Beer Variety
Still lagging behind in this "Non-Alcoholic Beer Revolution" are the bars. You're likely to have limited to no NA options there. Hope you enjoy Lagers. Or Pepsi. One bar manager told me he liked the idea of Athletic Brewing, the undisputed champion in the NA beer category, but he just couldn't see offering customers beer from a can. "Pour it in a frosty glass, then," I'm thinking. But it's his decision.
I have heard that an Athletic Brewing distributor has been making the rounds at bars, so hopefully an NA IPA will find it's way to more local establishments soon. Why would any business want to miss out on the single most buzzed* about beer story of the year?
*No pun intended.
Why NA Beers are Important to Non-Drinkers
Non-alcoholic beers are becoming essential to non-drinkers. In many cases (which I describe in detail below) they taste as good or better than their "regular" beer cousins. And they have fewer calories than "regular" beer; fewer calories than soda.
As I mentioned in my previous article, there are many reasons people are moving to non-alcoholic beverages: diet, religious reasons, mental health (alcohol is a depressant), physical health. Best of all? No hangovers.
Let Me Help You Navigate the NA Beer Choices
The category is becoming abundant with choices. So whether you are a consumer, or a bar owner, let me give you a nudge in what I feel is the right direction.