Quite often when I crack open an non alcoholic beer around my friends I have to field a bunch of questions about who makes it, what it tastes like, and then the most common question is “how much does that stuff cost?”
I usually get the follow up question of…but it doesn’t have booze in it…how can it cost so much to make?
The answer is simple: it costs about the same as regular beer.
Why Does it Cost the Same?
There is a few reasons but without dissecting special recipe secrets and tricks of the trade the brewing process of non alcoholic beer is the same as regular beer. Non alcoholic breweries start with the same high quality ingredients, finest hops, great tasting water and also often very specialized yeasts.
The result is a great tasting product that rivals flavours if not surpasses the flavour of regular beer. The flavour of regular beer can be masked with the flavour of ethanol and in turn easier the manufacturer.
We all know that in Canada there are two guarantees in life: Death and Taxes. This is true with the Non Alcoholic brewers and how they have to pay the same taxes when producing their products. Until the recent change in excise tax the non alcoholic breweries have been challenged with higher taxes than other beverage manufacturers.
I’m assuming some lobbying has done by the massive breweries that are now producing NA beer. Hence the new tax changes in Ottawa.
Same ingredients, and also same processing and canning. Non alcoholic breweries have to buy the same type of labels, cans and here is the biggest challenge that NA brewers face in manufacturing.
IT IS REALLY EASY TO MAKE BEER WITH ALCOHOL BUT IT IS VERY DIFFICULT TO MAKE BEER WITHOUT ALCOHOL AND STILL HAVE IT TASTE GREAT
This is the single biggest reason that non alcoholic beer is basically the same price of a regular 6 pack.
There can also be an added step to Remove the alcohol which also raises the price during manufacturing. Depending on the brew, secondary boil or fine filtering needs to be done to remove the ethanol.
Not Yellow Water
It seems like every week another brewery comes knocking on Designated Drinks door with a new NA beer. The brewing process is difficult and time consuming and the days of producing yellow water and slapping a beer label on a can are over. This is the new beginning in non alcoholic brewing and we are able to get a front row seat!!