17th January 2019
Amongst a backdrop of low-this-and-that diets, stop smoking pledges and promises of better habits, January very much heralds a time of abstinence. After a month of revelry and excess, people are often looking to set a tone for the year ahead by dropping vices and changing behaviours.
Alcohol is one such vice targeted by many. Following the notoriously ‘wet’ months in the lead up to Christmas, Dry January has emerged as a cornerstone of New Year resolutions across the country. In fact, this is part of a bigger trend – responsible drinking as a way of life is increasingly normalised. The no and low alcohol beer category has seen considerable growth as a result, growing by 22.7% and 24.3 % respectively in the past year*.
Improvements in the brewing process means that consumers no longer need to endure beer flavoured water when searching for a low or no alcohol alternative. One brewery that has focussed on these beers is Nirvana Brewery in Walthamstow – our latest collaboration partner.
Food waste is a global issue that excludes no one, as it represents a huge and unnecessary impact on the environment. We’ve focussed on giving people a great tasting product that empowers them to do their bit, but we know that not everyone wants to consume alcohol. Many people are looking for non-alcoholic or low alcoholic drinks. So we are continually looking for ways to reach these people and involve them in the revALEution.
In the past this has proved problematic. The role of the bread in our beer is to provide extractable sugars which are fermented with yeast to produce alcohol. If we were to remove that alcohol, the bread would become redundant. Working with Nirvana has given us the opportunity to explore alternative methods. By working at different temperatures and using a shorter fermentation period than typical beers, the result is a great tasting low alcohol beer.
That beer is called Samara, the buddhist word describing an endless cycle of life, death and rebirth. A nod to the circular economy. We sourced surplus organic bread from the Celtic Bakery to produce a small, limited-edition batch for the Mindful Drinking Festival at the Truman Brewery, and profits will go to charities working for a healthier food system. It’s been a great way of talking about the issue of food waste to people who want to reduce their alcohol intake, or go alcohol-free. Or who just want to try something a little different, because after all it is #Tryanuary as well as #DryJanuary.
*The Drinks Business, September 2018