Guinness could be heading into the non-alcoholic beer market after it was revealed the company has been working on a drink for the designated driver.
Diageo – Guinness’ parent company – are reacting to a greater demand for low alcohol products and have turned their attention to creating a new stout.
Head of Innovation Michael Ward told the media there are plenty of challenges ahead for the company.
He said: “You would certainly expect that we would (launch a non-alcoholic Guinness). But it needs to be a no-compromise proposition.”
Guinness will need to find a way of perfecting the balance between maintaining the quality associated with its brand while also reducing the alcohol content.
It isn’t the first time Guinness has ventured into the non-alcoholic beer market. In 2018, the company launched a 0.5% ABV lager called ‘Open Gate Pure Brew’.
However, it was only made available in 250 Dublin pubs.
Lead brewer John Casey revealed the thought process that went into creating their non-alcoholic drinks, and how it is different from other companies.
He said: “Many non-alcoholic beers are made by taking a conventional beer and boiling away the alcohol which can impact the taste. From the start we were determined to brew a non-alcoholic beer with the same process we’ve perfected over the last 259 years.
“It has taken two years of experimentation but we’ve come up with a way to fully brew beer using a special yeast strain that only produces a very limited amount of alcohol.”
Luca Lupini, global head of research and development, said: “ There are many ways of reducing alcohol.
“In Pure Brew, we ferment it right down to 0.5%. There’s no post-processing. We don’t heat it up, we don’t evaporate it, we don’t put it through a kit. And what you end up with is a much truer representation; the hop stays fresh.”
While Pure Brew didn’t make it to mass market, Guinness have learned a lot from the process and they promise there is ‘more to come’.