Alcohol-free beer is one of the fastest growing types of beer, so it is no surprise that Belgian brewing giant AB InBev is investing millions in new technology to take the alcohol out of beer. In total, the group is pouring 31 million euros into its Belgian breweries.
Less taste difference
The beneficiaries are breweries in Hoegaarden, Leuven and Sint-Pieters-Leeuw: a significant part of the money will flow to the production of non-alcoholic beer, as the world’s largest brewing group believes that to be one of the fastest-growing categories. 6.1 % of the group’s total sales today come from beers with less than 3.5 % alcohol.
The investments help expand the portfolio of non-alcoholic beers, improve bottling capacity and optimise a new non-alcoholic system used to make Corona Cero, a non-alcoholic variant that made its debut in ten European markets last year.
Many of the alcohol-free brewing techniques AB InBev developed itself at its Global Innovation and Technology Centre (GITEC) in Leuven, the company said. For example, the brewing giant discovered a process to extract alcohol from regular beer. Previously, brewers stopped fermentation before alcohol formation, but that caused a bigger taste disparity.