FUN FACT: more than double the amount of non-alcoholic beer was purchased in the UK in 2020 than in 2019. Yet many well-known brands experienced falls in sales, with Beck’s seeing a 26% drop in 2019 and Carlsberg 11%. The media would have you believe this is a freaky ‘millennial’ trend; the end of the British drinking culture we know and love.
If it feels like Sober October and Dry January get bigger every year, it might be because breweries and distilleries around the world are making it easier for more people to get onboard with the idea. Naturally, some offerings are better than others. We think the proof is in the no-proof pudding: BBF Clear Head 0.5% IPA is currently our highest selling product online direct to consumer. There is literally an almost unquenchable thirst for Clear Head.
Here at BBF, we genuinely wanted to create a beer that was full-bodied and satisfying to even the most seasoned IPA drinker – anytime – not just during the bandwagon months of January and October. That’s why you’ll see Clear Head on draft year-round in our pubs, and why we’ve chosen to include Clear Head in some of our mixed cases.
Okay, so we’ve smashed it. But why did we, an iconic Bristol brewery at the frontier of the UK craft beer movement, decide to brew a non-alcoholic beer in the first place?
Our mantra at Bristol Beer Factory is drink with pals, and repeat; we brew sessionable beers, usually coming in around 4.0% to 5.0% ABV. For us, dropping the alcohol content even lower (albeit in a finely tuned recipe) only increases the options for the person holding the pint.
It’s not just for sober folks either, it’s also for those of us balancing that fine line between career, friends and family time – so basically, everyone? There are Clear Headers who take cans away in their campervan to enjoy alfresco beers on tour, and pals who get them in for parties to cater to absolutely every guest. The fact Clear Head is also gluten free, like all BBF canned and keg beers, is also a big win.
Let’s look at the science: an ABV of 0.5% is metabolised by your body as quick as you drink it, meaning you will never be over the limit. It opens up the possibility of having an after-work beer and driving home, or heading to the gym the morning after, feeling fresh. Many people took up new health regimes over lockdown and want to keep that up, and why not?
The flip side is that we also saw people’s physical and mental health decline as a result of lockdowns. This year, many found that boozing a little less helped them get in a better headspace. Making a decent alcohol-free option = supporting positive mental health.
We collaborated with our long-time pals, Bristol-born mental health charity Talk Club, on this literal beer for good, just as we did with Open Up last year. It isn’t only local businesses that sales of Clear Head support – we continue to donate 5% of total sales directly to Talk Club.
From your local pub, to Ashton Gate stadium, to your very own home, we make our 0.5% IPA as a year-round option to keep a Clear Head, while still drinking independent!