6th January 2022
To raise a Toast to everyone reducing or their alcohol consumption (or giving it up altogether), we've added a new low-alcohol Lager to our core range.
It’s a balanced 0.5% Craft Lager with notes of citrus and spices from the addition of Lemongrass with the hops.
We first brewed a non-alcoholic beer as part of a collaboration with Nirvana Brewery back in 2018. It was a really popular with early Toast fans, so we started testing different processes and experimenting with flavours for new no/low options. A 2.8% Table Beer with Warburtons crumpets followed, and then we launched two limited-edition low alcohol beers in 2020 as part of our Rise Up campaign with fellow B Corps: a Lemongrass Lager with teapigs and a Raspberry Sour with Rubies in the Rubble.
We're now excited to launch the our new low alcohol Craft Lager, a permanent addition to the range. You can buy it in our shop.
The challenge with making a low alcohol beer is achieving a satisfying body and great-taste. The mouthfeel and flavour for beer comes from the bread and malt. However these ingredients are the source of fermentable sugars, and the more fermentable sugar there is, the more alcohol the yeast produces.
Large commercial breweries are able to produce a standard beer then use technology to remove the alcohol with techniques such as reverse osmosis. This is not feasible for most small breweries.
We had to do things differently. We reduced the fermentable sugar by using less malt and mashing it with water at a much higher temperature than usual. This meant the sugar remained 'complex' and so harder for the yeast to ferment. We also used less yeast to ensure that we kept the alcohol level at 0.5%.
In the UK, the terminology for low/no is confusing. Beers must be under 0.05% to be classed as “alcohol-free” (unlike in Europe where the limit is higher at 0.5%). If alcohol has been extracted, the beer can be called “de-alcoholised” if it’s up to 0.5%. Drinks up to under 1.2% are classed as “low-alcohol”.
It was important for us to keep a very small amount of alcohol to give the beer body and a great taste. And many of the alcohol-free craft beers you'll find on the market also contain a small amount of alcohol. But it's about the same as an overripe banana, to put it in perspective.
Enjoy a pint, responsibly.