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Suffolk alcohol-free beer brand sales take off as drinks market sees big cultural shift

PUBLISHED: 11:33 31 January 2019 | UPDATED: 11:33 31 January 2019

St Peter's Without beers  Picture: LEE WHITEFORD

St Peter's Without beers Picture: LEE WHITEFORD

Lee Whiteford

A Suffolk brewery saw sales of its alcohol-free beer soar by 102% during 2018, it has revealed.

St Peter’s Brewery, near Bungay, said its Without brand now represents 29% of the brewery’s total volume, with Dry January providing another focus for pub-goers and consumers taking a break from alcohol.

The brewery, one of the first to produce 0.0% craft ale, believes there’s huge potential in the no and low drinks market and has plans for more innovation into the sector.

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The brand, launched in 2016, includes Without Original, Without Gold and Without Organic, and has a wide distribution through retail and the on-trade, as well as strong export deals across the world.

“Without has been a huge success for St Peter’s,” said boss John Hadingham, “We launched Without Original at a time when the alcohol-free market was just starting to find its feet and there really were no other bona fide alcohol-free craft beers available in the UK. This allowed us to gain a really strong foothold and build an excellent base of loyal customers, which we continue to serve today.”

According to research by Nielsen, sales of alcohol-free beer grew by 37% during 2018 to £51.8m.

“There’s still huge potential for the alcohol-free drinks sector and it continues to be the fastest growing segment of the drinks market,” said John.

“We recently launched Without on draught, which is already proving very popular and shows that consumers are now considering an alcohol-free beer a very viable choice to order in the pub.”

The brewery is looking to add launch new products into the sector in the coming months.

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