Sales of low alcohol beer are up 40% on last year as health-conscious Brits and tax-conscious brands jump on the reduced alcohol bandwagon.
Last October saw the introduction of a 50% tax break on beer containing less than 2.8% alcohol (saving an average of 35p a pint), spurring all the big names in booze to launch low-alcohol versions of their most popular products.
Now pub-goers can opt for low alcohol, low calorie versions of Guinness, Carlsberg, Carling and Sussex Stout to name a few favourite brands.
Whereas the average pint of standard-strength beer will contain over 100 calories, one pint of low-alcohol beer has only 60 calories, causing a sigh of relief from weight-conscious beer lovers across the nation.
Many veteran beer lovers however are bound to remain dubious; reduced strength often means reduced quality and reduced flavour.
Tesco’s beer buyer Chiara Nesbitt said: “More and more drinkers are prepared to buy lower-alcohol beers as long as the quality is good. The growth, particularly for non-alcohol beers, is remarkable, as they were previously frowned upon by drinkers who considered them thin and tasteless compared to the real thing.”
Due to new brewing methods that have been developed in recent years, beers can now be brewed with less malt rather than more water, allowing them to retain flavour.
Within the next few years Britain is expected to catch up with other countries like Australia, where low alcohol drinks dominate 10% of the market.
If you’re watching your weight, or trying to cut back on alcohol intake, low-alcohol beer is a great option. No more will you be forced to make a half-pint last all night or resign yourself to fizzy drinks. Beer also contains silicon, which is thought to help protect against osteoporosis.
To explore general health information, please visit our Nutrition Topics pages.
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