Brooklyn Brewery doubles down on sober trend with new non-alcoholic beer


For anyone who loves the taste of a crisp and hoppy IPA but needs to cut back on beer, Brooklyn Brewery is ready.

The New York-based brewer is launching a new alcohol-free beer just in time for Dry January, the month when many people stop drinking alcohol for health or other reasons.

Brooklyn’s new non-alcoholic offering is Special Effects IPA, which it says “tastes exactly like a regular beer” but without alcohol.

Garrett Oliver, Brooklyn Brewery’s brewmaster, said Special Effects IPA is “a classic, West Coast IPA, with a light to moderate body, good fruit, a nice hop bite and a flora, citrus hop aroma.”

Brooklyn Brewery is launching a new alcohol-free beer just in time for Dry January

Brooklyn Brewery is launching a new alcohol-free beer just in time for Dry January
(Brooklyn Brewery)

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“During development, we held ourselves to the same quality standards as any other beer in the Brooklyn portfolio, but Special Effects IPA posed an alluring challenge; could a non-alcoholic IPA actually be delicious? People will be glad to see that Special Effects IPA tastes like IPA,” Oliver said in a press release.

More people are reportedly drinking less than in the past. Non-alcoholic “mocktails” have seen an increase in popularity among young adults. And non-alcoholic beer sales have seen a steep increase over the past year, according to market research firm IRI.

Americans have cut their drinking even further during the coronavirus pandemic, Bloomberg reported over the summer.

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More brewers have been adding alcohol-free options to their rosters in the past few years. Heineken embraced Dry January with its 0.0 beer that launched in 2019. Anheuser-Busch added Budweiser Zero over this past summer. Molson Coors is expanding out of beer and into beverages like seltzer, diet soda and a barley-based milk alternative. Even Guinness added a non-alcoholic beer this fall.

Brooklyn’s new non-alcoholic offering is Special Effects IPA, which it says “tastes exactly like a regular beer” but without alcohol.

Brooklyn’s new non-alcoholic offering is Special Effects IPA, which it says “tastes exactly like a regular beer” but without alcohol.
(Brooklyn Brewery)

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This is actually Brooklyn Brewery’s second boozeless brew. Its original non-alcoholic beer, Special Effects Hoppy Amber, launched in 2019. It’s now the brewer’s fifth-largest brand and the second-best-seller in the overall craft non-alcoholic beer market.

“Since that launch, craft non-alcoholic beers have seen triple-digit growth this past year,” Brooklyn Brewery CEO Eric Ottaway said in a press release. “In sticking with our belief that non-alcoholic beverages are for everyone, and given that IPAs are by far the most dominant category in the craft beer industry, it made natural sense to focus our attention on craft’s most popular style as we are expanding the Special Effects family.”



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