BrewDog launches ‘world’s first’ booze-free beer bar

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

Doors open: the new bar is set to open next week (6 January)
Doors open: the new bar is set to open next week (6 January)

Related tags Brewdog Alcohol-free Alcohol-free beer

Scottish brewer and operator BrewDog has claimed it has launched the ‘world’s first alcohol-free beer bar’.

The BrewDog AF Bar will offer 15 taps of draft alcohol-free craft beer from 12noon on Monday 6 January in the Mews Unit of the Bower Development on Old Street, east London. It will then from open 12noon Sunday to Thursday and 12noon to 11.30pm Friday and Saturday.

The bar will offer a range of burgers, salads and buffalo wings alongside a series of healthy specials and brunch at the weekends.

BrewDog is also expanding its core range of alcohol-free beers with two new additions – Wake Up Call, which is a coffee stout, and Hazy AF, which is an alcohol-free version of its existing New England IPA Hazy Jane.

New scheme

To showcase the new booze-free brews, the Scottish business has also launched its ‘Drink All You Can Jan’ initiative that will see all its bars offering free refills of all alcohol-free beers throughout January.

BrewDog co-founder James Watt said: “Drinkers opting for low or no-alcohol are in danger of compromising on quality, taste and experience and that’s just the beer, forget about places in which to enjoy it.

“We are going to change that. We exist to be a point of difference and our first BrewDog AF Bar is just that. It is a beacon for anyone in London after an alcohol-free alternative.

“Alcohol-free does not need to be synonymous with taste-free. ‘Drink All You Can Jan’ is our anti Dry January​.

“Whether you have cut alcohol out or are cutting back we want to show alcohol-free doesn’t mean compromising on quality or taste.”

Craft beer acceleration

Meanwhile, Watt discussed his vision for the on-trade drinks market,​ how he views his company’s place within that, and what challenges he sees on the horizon.

Speaking at the inaugural Drink Tank conference in London on 27 November, Watt forecast an acceleration for craft beer in the UK and predicted IPAs could overtake lager as Britain’s best-selling beer in the next 10 to 15 years.

Describing the UK craft beer market as approaching a “tipping point”, Watt explained that he was excited by how far the beer sector had come since he and co-founder Martin Dickie launched BrewDog in 2007, with craft on course to replicate the 20% share of market value it has in the US.

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