To cope with “huge demand” the now profitable Suffolk-based brewery has launched a new bottling line, which is now in operation.
Financing for the line came from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development, and opened following the purchase of additional land to expand the brewery with the aim of quadrupling production in the coming years.
St Peter’s Without Original was launched in 2016 and has increased sales in the on- and off-trades.
The product range has increased to three variants – Without Original, Without Gold and Without Organic, making up 30% of the brewery’s overall sales and 10% of the no- and low-alcohol drinks market.
“The success of Without has been beyond our expectations,” said the brewery’s CEO Steve Magnall.
“We knew when we were developing it that the British drinks market was in dire need of a decent, flavoursome and full-bodied zero-alcohol beer, but we never expected take-up or demand to be so high.”
Magnall continued: “Without has, quite simply, turned the brewery around and taken us into profit in less than two years.
“With the new bottling line now up and running, capacity at the brewery can grow from four million bottles a year to 16m to meet growing demand.”
Not drinking alcohol
St Peter’s push comes amid an increase in the number of consumers not drinking alcohol due to lifestyle, health or religious reasons, with around a quarter of Brits claiming to forgo booze.
The brewer launched its second and third brands within the space of a few months in 2017.
At the time of both launches, Magnall predicted the alcohol-free market would grow to 10% of the overall drinks category within a decade.