Being 22 years old and being involved in the craft beer industry you’d think that my passion would be around the new beer trends like hazy DIPA’s and pastry stouts, right? You’re wrong. My favourite styles are good old fashioned clean lager, an American Pale ale or face scrunching sour beer. I’ll always make sure I have a bottle or can available in the beer fridge at all times yet the funny thing is, I don’t really drink alcohol Monday to Friday, especially at home.
This is where what I’m writing about actually comes in to play, the reason I don’t drink beer at home typically is not because I’m overtly health conscious or I can’t hack it on a weeknight* it’s down to the old chestnut that is mental health. I’ve suffered with anxiety and depression since being 13 years old and whilst it’s a lot better than it used to be it can still rear its ugly head. I find the slightest bit of alcohol in my blood stream can often affect my mood completely so I just stay away a lot of the time.
I did a month dry in September 2017 and drank plenty of soft drinks and low/no alcohol beers and while they were good, they didn’t really taste like the beers I thought they would, so I was put off from having other variants. I wondered if the reducing the alcohol to 0.5% or even 0% really took the flavour away that drastically?
Two defining moments changed my mind, the first was when I tasted Big Drop Brewery’s pale ale in a meeting in February, it was fantastic, full of tropical fruit notes and still tasted like beer! The second was when in a production planning meeting in May it was confirmed by Rob Lovatt our Brewmaster that we’d be giving it a whirl and be entering the 0.5% beer game with a pale ale, we’d call it Big Easy. All of a sudden the beer I was most excited to drink was 0.5%, how had this happened!?
Rob explained that the process was to actually brew the beer at 0.5% straight away as appose to brewing at a higher alcohol % and stripping it back or de-alcoholising. Big Easy has to be brewed every time at 0.5% and being something we’d never done before; the difficult process saw us pour the equivalent of 60,000 bottles away to get it perfect. Packed full of Amarillo and Cascade hops and malt grist of Pale, Crystal and Munich the beer represents a classic American Pale ale in taste and deep amber colour, with flavours of peach, lemon and grapefruit, this is everything I needed and more!
Part of the furniture since June 2018, sales and customer feedback has been fantastic and we struggle to keep it in stock such is the demand, I never thought the beer we are now always asked about has the lowest amount of alcohol in our whole range.
It’s changed the way I view low and no alcohol beers all together and whilst I’ll still be tempted by a bottle of Tzara every now and again as a midweek treat most of the time I like to take it easy.
*I can’t hack it on a weeknight.
George Tims, Sales Manager