I’m not one to watch Dragon’s Den these days, but I watched one evening this year when a brewery called Impossibrew presented an alcohol-free beer to obtain investors.
What seemed to be the point of difference for their beers in what is now a crowded marketplace is that their beers contain a mix of herbs and spices, which is designed to boost social engagement, much like the way alcohol can do.
Although there were positive responses from the Dragons about the taste, they did not ultimately invest. However, it likely proved to be welcome publicity for Impossibrew, who already sold their beers online with a decent, modern website.
I decided to try it for myself, so I ordered the lager and the pale ale, the only two styles available then, to see if this so-called ‘social blend’ worked.
I cannot say if this would operate as a placebo, but the beers were pleasant and seemingly well-made. The additions were quite subtle and not overpowering in flavour, and I would say the pale ale was the best of the two.
An actual test would likely be needed – like a party and drinking 6 of them one after the other. Please leave a comment if you noticed anything different.
I always feel like additional hops can somewhat mask the lack of alcohol, but with the lager style, I think it needs the added body that alcohol provides.
The can artwork is very clean and gives a scientific feel to the branding, but perhaps it is a little sterile. Still, I am sure Impossibrew will find a section of the market that will like this. But at a relatively high price compared to the rest of the market, it remains to be seen if they can grow significantly.
Perhaps these beers will earn a place in specialist health food shops or other trendy places with affluent clientele.