One of the best aspects of the craft beer community is that brewers of all shapes and sizes can provide any type of beer people want, from deliciously crisp low-alcohol beer to full-bodied yet low-calorie ales, each with their own story behind them.
When you buy a craft beer you are directly supporting a collective and paying for the quality of beer you deserve, which is truly awesome.
However, there is one gaping misconception that tends to hover around discussions about alcohol-free and low-alcohol beers and that is the inevitable discussion about beer duty, especially as people juggle their finances in a cost-of-living crisis.
Basically, the argument is that, given that Great Britain has some of the heftiest alcohol duties in the world, an alcohol-free beer should be significantly cheaper than an alcoholic one, which is not typically the case.
It is an argument that is understandable, but also one that is incorrect, not least because most small breweries and microbreweries qualify for reduced duty rates, which can reduce the duty by as much as 50 per cent if you only make 500,000 litres of beer.
It is all frighteningly complex, but in practice, even a large brewer is only paying around 50p per pint in tax, which means that the saving would never be quite as much as people who make the tax argument think.
As well as this, making alcohol-free beer is typically more complicated and features additional steps to remove the beer.
The misconception comes in part from assumptions that alcohol-free beer is similar to mocktails, but whilst a mocktail is essentially an elaborate juice drink without adding alcohol, alcohol-free beer tends to start as an alcoholic beer that is processed to get rid of the alcohol.
There are newer techniques that simplify this somewhat, such as using limited fermentation techniques that allow for a 0.5 per cent beer without having to actively get rid of the alcohol content, but even then it is still as complex as brewing a regular beer.
In short, alcohol-free beer costs what it does because of the hard work that goes in and the exceptional quality that comes out… which we can all agree is something that’s in very clear evidence with the UNLTD. range of delicious drinks.