Know Your No-Lo
We have launched a campaign to call for more transparency in the No and Low alcohol drinks market. We believe that consumers are being misled by a minority of brands which are labelled “alcohol-free” when in fact are not.
UK Government guidelines clearly state that in order to be classified as alcohol-free a drink must contain no more than 0.05% alcohol by volume. A drink containing more than 0.05% ABV is not classified as alcohol-free and should not be labelled as such.
Great alcohol-free beers and ciders should start life as great alcoholic beers and ciders.
We pride ourselves on the quality of our SMASHED range of alcohol-free drinks, which are brewed as they should be, using time honoured methods to produce top class, full strength beer and cider. Only then do we carefully and gently remove the alcohol with our unique Cool Vacuum Distillation process.
However, some NoLo brands are being passed off as wine, spirit, or cider without actually qualifying as such, having never been through the brewing, fermentation or distillation process and are formulated without the necessary ingredients that embody these drinks.
Don’t get us wrong, there are some very good tasting No and Low alcohol beers made using methods such as reverse osmosis and stunted fermentation.
But some Low alcohol drinks across Cider, Wine and Spirit categories were never originally created as alcoholic beverages, instead being produced as imitations using alcohol flavourings; and yet they are labelled as ciders, wines or spirits.
We believe that this ‘real’ taste can best be achieved through a complete brewing, fermentation and distillation process, where the original alcohol is then reduced and removed from the drink.
There are three main ways to produce a no or low alcohol drink;
1) Stunted fermentation
This is a significantly shorter duration than normal and/or uses a "lazy" yeast. The end result is a beer that is significantly lower in alcohol.
This process does not allow the full spectrum of chemical reactions to take place during the fermentation that create complex flavour and tastes and therefore they don't taste as authentic as a product fermented to completion.
2) Reverse osmosis
This is an extraction technique which starts with an alcoholic beer.
It then puts the drink through a super filter which can selectively remove the alcohol and water in the product, thereby creating a concentrated alcohol free beer which can be rediluted.
3) Cool vacuum distillation
This process gently and quickly lifts the alcohol away from real alcoholic craft drinks in a cool vacuum.
This pioneering process results in a drink that tastes as good as its alcoholic original and is truly alcohol free at 0.05% or below.
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