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Lowdown: Top low and no alcohol drinks on the market

By Ed Bedington

- Last updated on GMT

Alcohol free drinks in the UK

Related tags: low2no, Alcohol-free, Cleanco, Lucky Saint, Warners, Mockingbird Spirit, Thatchers cider, Amplify, Adnams, Big drop brewing co

The low and no category is one that has seen increased interest from consumers and rapid expansion from manufacturers in recent months, and with the ongoing political scene, it’s likely to see a further boost.

With governments in both England and Scotland appearing to target wet-led pubs and even in some cases banning the sale of alcohol to promote soft drinks and food, the alcohol-free sector is something pubs can tap into to boost sales.

The market itself has moved considerably in recent years, driven by changing consumer habits, a focus on health among younger customers, and savvy manufacturers spotting an opportunity to innovate and drive a nascent marketplace.

The days of terrible tasting alcohol free drinks, or the only non-alcoholic choice for adults being a lime and soda are behind us, and we’ve seen a huge range of but operators need to work hard to drive and promote the products.

Laura Willoughby, founder of Club Soda, said it was important for operators to maintain momentum on their non-alcoholic offer. “Whilst boosting your list of alcohol-free drinks may not be top of your priority list right now, they can be strategically used to help you diversify your offer.

“An alcohol-free beer or zero proof gin upgrades your pub desk lunch deal for those wanting to stay alert for the afternoon. You can create a memorable experience for customers driving to you for an early evening meal and by making an expanded alcohol-free range a feature of your social media you can attract locals who want to come out but want to keep control of distance or keep on top of their health efforts.

“Customers are really showing loyalty to venues that are making everyone feel welcome and safe. Alcohol-free drinks can be a key part of the mix.”

Here to help you curate your alcohol free offer, we provide a round-up of some of the products on the market.

CleanCo
CleanCo

CleanCo produces low and no alcohol spirits. We provide drinks for consumers who are looking to moderate their alcohol consumption, but not compromise on the taste that they love.

Our first product, CleanGin, when mixed traditionally, delivers everything that a G&T does. Our second, CleanRum, tastes like popular rums.

The ambition is to have a CleanCo spirit in each key category to satisfy the increasing demand in this sector, both in developed and developing markets.

These liquids can act as replacements to hard alcohol without the compromise on taste.

Based in the UK, the brand launched at the end of 2019 and is available in Sainsbury's or via www.clean.co​.

Lucky Saint

Industry Firsts and Award Wins

Lucky Saint 0.5% Superior Unfiltered Lager was the first independent alcohol-free lager to launch on draught in the UK and is now available on draught and in 330ml bottles nationwide. Lucky Saint was recently awarded Best Alcohol Free Lager in the Imbibe Taste Awards as well as receiving their first Great Taste Award last month.

Four Quality, Natural Ingredients - No Flavourings or Additives

Made with just four high quality natural ingredients; Pilsner Malt, Hallertau Hops, Bavarian Spring Water and their own single-use yeast Lucky Saint has flavours of biscuity malts and a smooth, citrus hop finish. Lucky Saint is brewed in Bavaria following German Purity Laws and is left unfiltered for maximum flavour, without the alcohol.

Proven Success and Great Reviews

Lucky Saint

On-trade outlets that switched from stocking Lucky Saint in bottles to draught saw their rate of sale increase six-fold when the brand launched on draught last January. Recently reviewed in The Independent as an ‘easy drinking lager from a 400 year old brewing background that has all the characteristics of a boozy craft beer’, Lucky Saint is transforming people’s experience of alcohol-free beer in the on-trade and at home - finally rewarding those who aren’t drinking with the beer they deserve.

Lucky Saint is a 0.5% Pilsner-style lager with just 91 calories a pint, it is 100% vegan.

For more information visit www.luckysaint.co​ or email uryyb@yhpxlfnvag.pb

Warner’s

At Warner’s we believe that real tastes better. We’ve hand-crafted our NEW 0% Botanic Garden Spirits to be a non-alcoholic alternative to our extraordinary farm-grown gins, so that everyone can enjoy a taste of the countryside at sundown, together.

Warners

Our 0% ABV Botanic Garden Spirits use only 100% natural botanicals, with 90% of ingredients sourced straight from our farm. They are packed full of real ingredients and crafted to perfection by our expert team to deliver real flavour, for real moments.

After almost three years of extensive experimentation at our farm, we meticulously combine four craft methods of flavour extraction, united by a secret modern twist to capture the best flavour experience for you.

These are Farm-grown drinks, packed with real flavour. Created by nature to be enjoyed by everyone.

Our 0% Pink Berry is a delicious non-alcoholic alternative to a fruity or pink gin: fragrant & tangy, combining raspberries and blackcurrant sage with a kick from chilli, ginger and Szechuan pepper.

For our signature serve, fill a glass with ice, add 50ml Warner’s 0& Pink Berry and top with Mediterranean Tonic or alternatively for something a little different with a bit of a kick add Ginger ale.

Our 0% Juniper Double Dry is the perfect twin to a tonic: herby, aromatic & zesty, pairing spicy cinnamon and cardamom with fresh lemon verbena and lemon thyme.

For our signature serve, fill a glass with ice, add 50ml Warner’s 0% Double Dry and top with Mediterranean Tonic. Garnish with a slice of orange, then sit back, relax and enjoy!

For more information, visit: www.warnersdistillery.com

Mockingbird Spirit

Mockingbird Spirit is a brand-new, alcohol free, Tequila inspired, Agave based spirit. This unique addition to the mocktail scene is from a Bristol company who are setting out to bring inclusivity to anyone who’s off the booze throughout Sober October and beyond.

Made using functional, versatile, authentic, vegan & gluten free ingredients, you can expect ‘Earthy Blue Weber Agave, sweet vanilla & cinnamon with a healthy hint of habanero – evocative & moreish!’​. Passionately produced with the adaptogen Ashwagandha as well to support health and happiness. Designed to be treated as a traditional Tequila, the perfect pour: In a margarita – naturally!

Mockingbird

Developed and launched during Covid-19 this year, it is currently the only non-alcoholic Agave based spirit on the market in the UK. Their ethos is to embody the spirit of the mockingbird by humbly mimicking the taste of Tequila in the same way a mockingbird mimics the calls of other birds.

Fern McCoy, company founder, said: ‘It’s extremely exciting to bring Mockingbird Spirit to life, using our authentic Mexican ingredients with the added functionality of the adaptogen Ashwagandha. Whilst currently a very unique product, we hope it brings a sense of inclusivity to drinkers and non-drinkers alike. Everyone deserves to have all the margaritas with none of the migraines, whether you’re cutting back, cutting out, pregnant, driving or just wanting to sample something a little bit different. Hopefully Mockingbird Spirit can tick some boxes that until now have been left unticked’.

Available in both 50cl & 5cl bottles. Visit www.mockingbirdspirit.com​ for more details, or email: rawbl@zbpxvatoveqfcvevg.pbz​.

Thatchers Zero

Thatchers Zero is the new, alcohol-free cider from Thatchers. With its fruity aroma, beautifully bright, golden appearance, and crisp, medium dry taste, this is a drink that looks like cider and tastes like cider but without the alcohol. 

An essential for your low & no drinks selection, Thatchers Zero is for the growing number of  drinkers looking to moderate, yet importantly for those who don’t want to compromise on taste and enjoyment.

Thatchers

Thatchers Zero makes a refreshing change for those who want an alcohol-free apple cider that really offers the premium taste experience.

Using our favourite bittersweet apple varieties from our West Country orchards, this is a 0% abv cider that’s created to be full of taste from the start. Crafted at Myrtle Farm in Somerset, Thatchers Zero has all the depth of character that people expect from the Thatchers range. 

There’s no more important time to make sure your low & no drinks range includes an apple cider that will work hard for you. The British public has re-ignited its love of cider with brands they have enjoyed during their lockdown home experience.

Keen to find these again when cherishing their time in the pub, ensure your cider list features the brands customers are asking for, British brands they trust where great taste is assured.

Join the Thatchers family and make Thatchers Zero the alcohol-free cider you serve your customers as they appreciate the experience in your pub.

Like all other ciders in our range, Thatchers Zero is gluten free and is suitable for vegetarians and vegans.

For more information, visit https://www.thatcherscider.co.uk/brands-to-stock/​ or contact us for more information at 01934 822862

Amplify
Amplify

Amplify is a distilled non-alcoholic spirit, made for those young at heart drinkers who are thirsty for new experiences and want to make the very best of every moment. The team at Amplify believe making healthier choices doesn’t mean less fun, so their aim was to create a tasty, fresh alternative for the mindful drinker. A product which still offers a sense of ritual while swerving the fuzzy head.

Amplify was recently awarded a silver medal at the 2020 International Wine & Spirits Competition after scoring 92 points out of 100. Expect beautifully bright scents of sweet orange on the nose mixed with lemon and bittersweet orange on the palate. A hint of ginseng persists throughout the finish alerting the senses to the complimentary notes of earthy juniper and lemongrass that provide a slight bitter edge.

Crafted on an iStill, one of the latest and most advanced stills on the market, this non-alcoholic spirit is vegan friendly, gluten free and blends perfectly to created mixed drinks with finesse. Gone are the days of lime and sodas or elderflower cordials, Amplify is here to welcome a new era of mindful drinking with exciting new flavour experiences.

The label artwork was specially created by artist Sophie Abbott inspired directly by her experience of drinking Amplify. Sophie used all her senses for inspiration with the painting reflecting the sight and tastes of citrus and juniper.

For more information, visit https://www.drinkamplify.co.uk/

Adnams

It’s Adnams much loved Ghost Ship pale ale, but not as you know it... Ghost Ship 0.5% has the taste and aroma of Ghost Ship 4.5%, but with almost all the alcohol removed. Same experience, no compromise – pretty spooky…

Adnams’ investment in a reverse osmosis plant allows the team to brew Ghost Ship 4.5% as normal but then take out the alcohol after the fermentation process. In other words, Ghost Ship 0.5% starts its life as a real beer.

That means no sacrificing of its original flavours and aromas, just the same great taste. So you’ll still get to experience that hauntingly refreshing citrus kick with aromas of lemon and lime and a hoppy bite, when occasion or preference dictate less alcohol.

Adnams

Gold Winner of the 2019 World Beer Awards and available nationally through various wholesalers, Ghost Ship 0.5% is available in 30L keg, 500ml bottle and 330ml cans. As seen is Men’s Health and BBC Goodfood.

Adnams aims to offer a full range of low and no alternatives that deliver the same great experience they are famous for. Ghost Ship 0.5% is accompanied by Adnams’ range of three 0.5% abv wines, and a 0.5% abv version of its Wild Wave English apple cider. 

For more information, visit: https://www.adnams.co.uk/beer/shop-by-taste_1/ale/adnams-ghost-ship-0-5-bottles.htm

Big Drop
Big Drop

Big Drop was launched in October 2016 as the world’s first company dedicated to brewing AF beer and remains firmly at the forefront of the LoNo trend.

Having perfected techniques to make a range of naturally-brewed 0.5% abv beers - crucially without the need for alcohol extraction - it has been judged ‘World’s Best’ at the World Beer Awards no less than four times. 

What’s arguably more impressive, though, is that Big Drop has won awards when blind-tasted against full-strength beers. For example, its ‘Paradiso’ Citra IPA was UK Winner in the Specialty IPA category at this year’s World Beer Awards, beating 6% abv rivals into second and third place.

Other beers in its core range include a ‘Galactic’ Milk Stout, ‘Pine Trail’ Pale Ale and ‘Uptown’ Craft Lager, with plenty of innovation going into collaborations between other leading breweries and its seasonal specials. It’s not often you’ll find a Double Dry Hopped IPA and a Black Forest Gateau Stout from the same brewer, let alone AF ones!?

Its mission is simply to give drinkers the choice of having a decent AF version of any style of beer they fancy. And to be as inclusive as possible, it’s also made a big effort to be Gluten-free and Vegan-friendly whenever possible.

Big Drop estimates its distribution to be around 10,000 venues worldwide, with Mitchells & Butlers and Youngs among the 5,000 stocking its products here in the UK. You’ll find it listed with most wholesalers - available nationwide in bottle, can and even draft format.

For more information, visit: www.bigdropbrew.com

Related topics: Soft & Hot Drinks

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