NA beer stands for non-alcoholic beer. Non-alcoholic beer provides the taste and experience of beer without the alcohol content.
There are two ways of making non-alcoholic beer. One method takes an alcoholic beer and essentially boils off the alcohol, while another method prevents alcohol from forming during the fermentation process.
Non-alcoholic beers have become more popular in the last several years, as people become more focused on health and wellness and the side effects of alcohol. Events like Dry January — where some people avoid alcohol for the first month of the new year in an effort to have a healthy start to the year — have also helped boost the non-alcoholic beer segment’s popularity. In fact, in January 2021, Forbes magazine noted that non-alcoholic beer could be “the next big thing” in craft beer.
While non-alcoholic beer isn’t new to the industry, the wellness trend is elevating its status to a trendy beverage, and large beer companies have been increasing their non-alcoholic beer offerings — examples include Heineken 0.0, Budweiser Zero, Guinness Beer Zero — (“100% Guinness but 0% alcohol”).
The low- and no-alcohol category globally is forecast to grow by +31% by 2024, according to “No-and Low-Alcohol Strategic Study 2021” from IWSR Drinks Market Analysis. The study further noted that the no/low segment in the U.S. saw more than a 30% increase in 2020. IWSR pointed out major brewers’ investment in increasing the quality of non-alcoholic beer and innovation in the segment has helped to drive customer acceptance of the product.
People who select non-alcoholic beer aren’t necessarily abstaining from beer completely. IWSR found that 58% of no/low consumers reported that they switch between no/low and full-strength alcohol products — including during the same drinking occasion — while 14% reported that they do not drink alcohol at all.