Food Scientist for Hire

0.0% ALCOHOL AND LOW ALCOHOLIC DRINKS FORMULATION & DEVELOPMENT

THE RISE OF LOW ALCOHOL AND ALCOHOL FREE DRINKS

The past decade has seen increased innovation in the creation of alcohol-free and low alcohol drinks. Craft breweries and distilleries have started producing high-quality, flavorful, non-alcoholic alternatives, catering to consumers seeking a more sophisticated drinking experience without alcohol. The alcohol-free movement gained momentum, with “Dry January” and other alcohol-free challenges encouraging people to explore and embrace a sober lifestyle. This shift prompted more companies to invest in the development of alcohol-free options.

ALCOHOL FREE DRINKS DEVELOPMENT AND FORMULATION

Alcohol-free or low-alcoholic beer can be made several ways. Some brewers use a mixture of these techniques. In all the scenarios, brewers use standard beer ingredients to maintain that familiar hoppy beer taste without the punch of alcohol.

  1. The classic way is to remove the alcohol after fermentation by heating it (alcohol has a lower boiling point than water – 78°C vs 100°C). However, this can affect the flavors, and can even end up removing them entirely.  Commonly, brewers do this under vacuum, which heats the beer under low pressure. Sometimes the flavors are added back in once it’s all been de-alcoholised.
  2. Another way is using reverse osmosis to create a concentrated version of the beer and then re-add water. High pressure is used to force the beer through a membrane which captures large molecules, whilst allowing water and alcohol to pass through. Ultimately, this leaves a beer concentrate, where water is added back in. This process can lower the alcohol content by over 85% which can make low alcohol beverages lower than 0.5% vol. The original flavor of the beer is maintained this way. 
  3. Some brewers use yeasts and grains that don’t produce much alcohol when the yeast works on the fermentable sugars, leaving a low ABV beer.
  4. Some brewers halt fermentation early, before the yeast has had a chance to work on any or all the sugars, leaving a low ABV beer.
  5. It’s also possible to use ingredients like hop extract, malt extract and natural flavorings to produce a kind of soft drink designed to taste like beer. The mixture is then carbonated, bottled and pasteurized. 

Along with the selected recipe, these various approaches determine what the beer will look, smell, and taste like.

FOOD SCIENTIST FOR HIRE AND 0.0% ALCOHOL DRINKS DEVELOPMENT

In the present day, the market for alcohol-free drinks continues to expand rapidly. Non-alcoholic beers, alcohol-free wines, and crafted alcohol-free spirits are readily available. The demand for these options reflects a broader cultural shift towards moderation and well-being in social settings. Do you have a great idea for a low-or-no-alcohol beverage and you want us to develop the recipe and process for you? Do not hesitate to contact us!

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