As summer is in full swing, an Eastern Ontario craft brewer has devised a toast-worthy product diversification strategy.
Perth Brewery launched what it calls the region’s first low-alcohol craft beer on Tuesday, just in time for Canada Day.
Dubbed PLAY, the new beer has an alcohol content of just 0.3 percent and just 80 calories per 473 milliliters high can.
âThere are now a number of consumers who really appreciate the flavor of beer but aren’t necessarily interested in alcohol,â says Jeremy Steeves, co-owner of the brewery. “I think there is definitely a market for it.”
Steeves isn’t alone in his frothy assessment of the growing demand for less potent drinks.
A 2018 study by the Conference Board of Canada found that non-alcoholic beer sales jumped 50% between 2013 and 2018, attributing the rise to changes in lifestyle and consumer preferences, especially among millennials. concerned about their health.
Although this report found that non-alcoholic beer still only accounts for 1.2 percent of all sales in Canada, some producers expect these numbers to increase dramatically in the years to come.
For example, brewing giant Anheuser-Busch InBev predicts that by 2025, non-alcoholic or low-alcohol beer will account for one-fifth of its total sales.
For his part, Steeves isn’t exactly sure how popular PLAY will be. But he is betting it will be a success, noting that the brewery produced a âgood runâ of mousse for PLAY’s debut.
The beer – which the company describes as a “pale, very carbonated, light-bodied lager with a hint of malt and hop flavor” – will initially be sold at the Perth Brewery and will also be available locally for home delivery. and in some grocery stores in the region. The company plans to start shipping cans to stores in the Ottawa area later this summer.
The 28-year-old family business, which has around two dozen employees, currently produces around 600,000 liters of beer each year.
Steeves says craft beers have grown in popularity over the past decade, as beer drinkers have become increasingly picky about the drinks they consume.
âIt’s not just the flavor,â he says. âIt’s more the appreciation of how a product is made – fresh, all-natural, local, a story behind it.
âConsumers are more interested in the products they are buying now. I think overall the industry has been doing very well in recent years. “