VK unveils first alcohol-free serve

By Rebecca Weller

- Last updated on GMT

New products: This week's round-up includes VK, Robinsons, Greene King and more
New products: This week's round-up includes VK, Robinsons, Greene King and more

Related tags Rtd Beer New Products

This week's round-up includes new products from VK, Robinsons, Greene King and more.

VK enters the alcohol-free market


Global Brands owned RTD ​brand VK has announced the launch of its first  alcohol-free product, VK Blue 0.0%.

The launch comes as market dynamics and consumer behaviours continue to shift towards the low and no​ space, with the category cited as the biggest growing segment in the on-trade in the last year, according to Neilson (NIQ) data.

In addition, to support the new serve’s development, VK commissioned research among students in key university towns across the UK in a bid to better understand evolving drinking habits within the 18-24 age demographic.

The findings revealed nearly half (49%) of students now consume less alcohol compared to the previous years, with 32% intending to further reduce their intake in the coming months.

Moreover, the primary motivation for 79% of those surveyed was a focus on mindful socialising and connecting, with only 6% driven by the ‘buzz’ of alcohol.

VK spokesperson Craig Chapman said: "We are proud to introduce our very first VK Zero available in our ‘OG’ Blue flavour.

“Our loyal VK fans are at the heart of everything we do, so recognising the changing drinking culture among 18-24s and supporting these choices through product innovation is incredibly important to us.

“With Blue being our best-performing flavour, the decision to launch it in 0.0% format was an easy one and we’ve already received strong interest from a number of customers.”

VK Blue 0.0% us available to the on-trade now direct from Good Time In at RRP £23 for 24x275ml bottles.

Adnams and Utopian produce new collaborative brew


Suffolk-based brewer Adnams ​has teamed up with Devon-based Utopian Brewing to release a new collaborative beer.

Beach Break is a 4.2% unfiltered Kellerbier-style lager, which are often served in wooden barrels, created using a variety of British hops including Fuggles and Godiva alongside East Anglian Munich malted barely and Helles Fire lager yeast.

Utopian Brewing head brewer Jeremy Swainson said “Adnams has this incredible heritage, and Dan Gooderham (Adnams head brewer) and I got chatting about some of the fantastic beers we’ve had in Germany that have essentially come out of wooden casks. The idea was we could both draw on our skill sets and come together.”

The process of serving in a wooden barrel, and the fact there is often yeast in suspension, made Gooderham, think this would be the perfect style for a cask beer.

Adnams head brewer Dan Gooderham said: “Jeremy from Utopian was schooled in Germany, so he brought the methodology, and Adnams has its history with cask - I think it’s quite a nice marriage. British brewing culture is actually quite similar to German brewing culture”.

Beach Break is available now direct from Adnams in 12x440ml can format at RRP £20.99 as well as in both keg and cask format.

Joseph Holt releases commemorative beer


Manchester-based pub operator and brewer Joseph Holt ​has produced a special commemorative beer to mark its 175th​ anniversary.

The firm joined forces with fellow independent brewers Everards and Hook Norton, who are also celebrating 175 years in business, to create the 175 Pale Ale.

Brewed at Joseph Holt’s Cheetham Hill premises, the 4.1% golden ale, which is one of a trio of limited-edition collaborative brews from the three award-winning beermakers, used a blend of ale, lager, crystal and wheat malts as well as Harlequin hops.

Joseph Holt head brewer Phil Parkinson said: “175  pale ale is a light, clean, crisp refreshing drink that has been brewed with summer in mind.

“It`s golden, fruity and so the perfect refreshing cask ale for a summer`s day.

“The use of Harlequin hops gives it a particularly distinctive character, infusing the brew with subtle hints of stone fruits, ripe damson and juicy plum.

“The bitterness is there but in a balanced way - a true collaboration of these distinctive flavours.”

Joseph Holt was established by weaver`s son Joseph Holt, who, with his wife, first opened a small brewery in Manchester 175 years ago.

In 1860, he purchased the company`s site in Cheetham, close to the city centre, where the Joseph Holt brewery has been making beer ever since.

175 ale is available now at Joseph Holt pubs and will be available in outlets owned by Hook Norton and Everards as well as some local free trade outlets later this year.

Woodford's introduces new craft range 


Award-wining brewery Woodforde’s​ has unveiled its latest craft beer range, New World, inspired by Head Brewer Aaron Taubman’s American roots.

The first two beers in the range, Tropical IPA (5% ABV) and Hazy IPA (4.5% ABV), are availble to the on-trade now in 30l keg and can format direct from the brewery.

Taubman, who joined the team in 2023, said: “Both beers have been specially crafted in a true American style.

“These brews are punchy and full of attitude, completely different to our traditional range.

“We want to take our customers on a journey and introduce bold, new flavours that we haven’t featured before in our other beers.”

Woodforde’s Hazy IPA serve has been brewed using Citra and El Dorado hops alongside oats to deliver a citrus kick while the Tropical IPA features mange and pineapple flavours using Amarillo, Calypso and Mosaic hops.

The firm’s CEO Joe Parks added: “We are incredibly excited to unveil this new range.

“The New World Brewing range will complement our existing core offering and showcase the wealth of talent in our brewing team.

“We are already proven masters of cask ale and will continue to champion cask through our traditional range.

“We look forward to expanding our range further, waving the flag for Norfolk nationally as the home of great beer.”

Robinsons unveils new Iron Maiden Trooper Ale


Robinsons and Iron Maiden have released a new variant of Trooper beer to mark 11-years since it originally launched.

Following the success of Trooper X,​ last year’s limited-edition anniversary beer, the new brew will sit in the brand’s core range.

The 3.4% ABV session beer has been described as a “light and easy drinking pale ale” featuring Citra Hops.

Iron Maiden lead singer Bruce Dickinson said he set the brewery its “hardest challenge yet” to create a sessionable beer without “compromising on taste”.

Robinsons beer division managing director Oliver Robinson added: “We’re delighted to continue our collaboration with Bruce Dickinson and Iron Maiden after 11 years of success together. 

“Tropper Pale is an exciting new launch as we take inspiration from the beer industry’s market trends and introduce a lower ABV beer as the category of ‘low and no’ continues to grow”.

Trooper Pale Ale is available now direct from Robinsons webshop.

Mother Root launches new flavour 


Alcohol-free aperitif brand Mother Root has introduced a limited-edition new product to its range.

The brand’s Marmalade Switchel flavour, the first of several limited-edition new products set to be released in 2024, joins its Ginger Switchel serve.

A blend of blood orange, bitter Seville orange, fragrant cardamom and grassy green tea, the serve is best enjoyed as a Marmalade spritz, made by pouring 25ml into a wine glass with ice and topped with 125ml soda water.

Marmalade Switchel is available now direct from Mother Root at RRP £32 for a 20-serving size bottle.

Shepherd Neame honours 100-year-old Olympic win with new cask


Kent brewer and pub operator Shepherd Neame​ has released a cask beer to commemorate 100 years since Lieutenant General Sir Philip Neame’s gold medal success in the 1924 Paris Olympics.

The World War I hero, who was awarded the Victoria Cross in 1914 in honour of his heroic actions during a battle in Neuve Chapelle, France, took gold in the Running Deer event.

100-years later, Britain’s oldest brewer’s limited-edition golden ale, called Go For Gold (3.4% ABV), comes at a time when Paris is set to host the Olympcs from 26 July to 11 August this year.

Shepherd Neame said Go For Gold offers a “silky, full-bodied mouthfeel courtesy of a blend of Caragold malt and oats”.

It added the beer boasts spicy, floral and honey aromas from a pick of Kentish hops, Challenger and East Kent Goldings, and light citrus notes from UK Centennial dry hopping. Read more here​.

Greene King adds two new cask ales to its seasonal calendar 


Suffolk-based pub operator and brewer Greene King​ has released two new cask ales this month as part of its seasonal calendar.

The first to be unveiled was Wolfpack Sesh IPA, a 3.8% golden ale brewed in partnership with London brewer Wolf Pack using Rye and Crystal malts, boasting toffee and spiced flavours alongside Pale and Carapils malts to add sweetness.

Read more on Wolfpack here​.

Next up, was False Nine, a limited-edition brew released to celebrate the upcoming Euros ​football tournament. 

The 4% ABV hoppy golden ale has been created using a fusion of hops that are said to deliver citrus and tropical fruit notes and will be available for customers to order from now until the end of the tournament in July.

As well as the football-themed cask beer, Greene King will also be supporting free-trade customers who purchase False Nine with bespoke point of sale, including fixture posters and drip mats to drive awareness and excitement of the games.

Read more on False Nine here​.

  • I​​​​​​​f you have any new products being released to the on-trade, email the details with high resolution images for​​​​​​​ potential inclusion to ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Erorppn.jryyre@jeoz.pbz​​​
  • The Next round-up will be published on Thursday 4 July. Check out the previous round-up here​​​​​

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