Is non-alcoholic beer really alcohol-free?

When the first German breweries started  bringing alcohol-free beer  onto the market about 20 years ago, they were well ahead of their time. They followed a trend that was just beginning to emerge at the time: the desire to stay physically and mentally fit.

Large selection

Beer drinkers can now choose between around 70 different brands. Whether pils and wheat beer or regional specialties such as Kölsch or Alt. Non-alcoholic beer is also so varied that everyone can find something to their  liking  . So it’s no wonder that alcohol-free beer has firmly established itself in the market. Annual consumption is around 2.5 million hectoliters.

But how do you get the alcohol out of beer?

Like any other beer, the non-alcoholic beer is also brewed according to the German Purity Law: from hops, malt, yeast and water. During the brewing process, these raw materials ferment and alcohol is formed naturally, which is then extracted again using two different processes. 

A tiny residue of alcohol remains in the alcohol-free beer to round off the taste. According to legal requirements, a drink may be described as “non-alcoholic” if the alcohol content does not exceed 0.5 percent.

According to this specification, even fruit juices may contain traces of alcohol. However, they must be so small that they have no demonstrable influence on consumers, not even on particularly sensitive people such as sick people or children.

This has been scientifically proven for beers below 0.5% ABV, and most brands are between 0.35% and 0.48% ABV.

 

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