Non-alcoholic beers first hit the bar scene in the early '90s, but they didn't taste like much and were therefore left for teetotalers and designated drivers. But as CNN reports craft beer breweries in Germany have started brewing flavorful non-alcoholic brews that are (surprise, surprise) growing in popularity.
Adrian Tierney-Jones, a drinks writer based in the U.K. told the Independent, "I don't buy them out of choice, but they have become much better; the taste is much better. There is an interest in people drinking them now, especially around Christmas, because people don't want to drink and drive." In fact, according to a recent study CNN says, "it's the fastest growing part of the beer market."
"[Non-alcoholic beer] is the fastest growing part of the beer market."
Countries in Africa and the Middle East are also fueling the demand for non-alcoholic — but flavorful — brews. The Middle East alone accounts for a third of total worldwide sales of non-alcoholic beer, according to the Independent.
On the other hand, according to Statista, non-alcoholic beer consumption in the U.S. is down this year. In the Spring of 2008, at its peak, over 2 million people in the U.S. drank at least a bottle. This Spring, only 1.5 million Americans picked out a non-alcoholic brew.
Could non-alcoholic beer regain popularity in the U.S.? If craft brewers stateside pick up on the techniques German breweries are using for their non-alcoholic beers, designated drivers might actually have something to look forward to besides club soda and a slice of lime. Go, watch CNN explain the growing trend: