Three trends changing the UK craft beer sector in 2019

No and Low growth accelerates

Low ABV specialists Big Drop launched their own sour beer in 2018. (Photo: Big Drop)

No and low-alcohol beer has been cropping up in drinks awards and the media for some time, but now, its growth has given way to a new gap in the market for “lower” ABV drinks. Nearly 3% of beers bought, so far in 2019, have been 2.8% ABV or lower, and 1.2% of all craft beer being no more than 0.5% in strength.

As big brewers such as Heineken reworked their own alcohol-free beer recipes, the movement quickly caught on in supermarkets. Sales of beers with 0.5% ABVs or lower rose to more than £7.6 million last Christmas in the UK’s retail sector, and sales have increased by a staggering 381% since 2017, according to EeBria Trade.

While some large independent breweries such as Adnams and Thornbridge have developed low ABV versions of their core range products, other breweries have cropped up that focus almost exclusively on producing low-strength and booze-free beers. The craft beer retailer’s researchers said the low ABV category will “continue to expand.”

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