Guinness is brewing up a sober stout.
The Diageo-owned brand, known for its dark Irish stout from Dublin, is launching Guinness 0.0, the company's first alcohol-free beverage, the brewery announced Thursday.
The nonalcoholic Guinness is said to boast “the same beautifully smooth taste, perfectly balanced flavor and unique dark color of Guinness,” Diego described.
The alcohol-free beer is brewed up like a regular Guinness using the same ingredients – water, barley, hops and yeast — before alcohol is removed through a cold-filtration process. Next, brewers blend and balance the flavors to mimic the taste and texture of a traditional Guinness with creamy hints of chocolate and coffee, balanced with bitter, sweet and roasted notes.
The nonalcoholic beer joins a number of breweries leaning into sober booze. To celebrate Dry January this year, the monthlong alcohol detox that follows holiday indulging, Heineken rolled out its January Dry Packs featuring an advent calendar-like offering of 31 nonalcoholic Heineken 0.0 beers, which debuted in 2019. Anheuser-Busch InBev-owned Budweiser also launched its namesake Budweiser Zero, an alcohol-free lager made to taste like Budweiser, but with zero grams of sugar, for more health-conscious consumers.
Demand for nonalcoholic beverages in the U.S., in particular, has skyrocketed in the past few years, with hard alcohol sales declining as more consumers seek out lower-calorie beverage options to fit in with their diets, fueling the trend toward more sober-curious healthy lifestyles. And the coronavirus pandemic has only resulted in fewer people drinking.
Indeed, global alcohol consumption is not expected to bounce back to pre-pandemic levels until 2024, with the U.S. taking even longer to get back on track with booze sales, according to data from market research firm IWSR.
Diageo says Guinness 0.0 is currently available in the U.K. and Ireland with plans for a wider global release in 2021.