Bend, Oregon’s Deschutes Brewery continues to innovate in the low-calorie, low-alcohol and health conscious beers with a new non-alcoholic Irish Stout. Following up the lower abv and low-cal Wowza! hazy pale ale, the Irish-style Stout harkens back to Deschutes roots and the beer that put them on the map — Black Butte Porter.
Non-Alcoholic Irish Style Stout is now available at Deschutes pubs, and via mail order for direct home shipping. The limited release is testing the waters for the public’s reception ahead of a larger roll-out of the brand later this year.
Over the last 32 years, Deschutes Brewery has continued to innovate and attempt to stay current on trends while advancing them at the same time. Last year Deschutes owner Gary Fish told the New School that the company was constantly working to stay ahead of the industry while also being wary of jumping onto fads. You can see this constant experimentation in not only Wowza! and Non-Alcoholic beer, but the Modified Theory ready-to-drink beverages in cocktail mixer friendly flavors.
Historically non-alcoholic beers have been the ugly stepchild of beer, almost all lagers produced by mass market macro breweries. Recently, new craft companies and greater push towards more healthy adult beverages has lead to a wider range of flavors. With the Non-Alcoholic Irish Stout, Deschutes attempts to put their stamp on the growing category with a light, dry, chocolatey and coffee-like experience.
“This has been a passion project for me,” said Veronica Vega, new product development director for Deschutes. “It is a way for us to connect with a growing population of people, including young people, who are looking to reap the health benefits of an alcohol reduced or alcohol-free lifestyle and still enjoy the act of drinking beer.”
Studies show that currently 22% of Millennials say they are drinking less alcohol and the majority indicate it is for health and wellness reasons and craft beer trends indicate growth in non-alcohol beer.
Deschutes partnered with Sustainable Beverage Technologies to utilize their proprietary BrewVo® process that gently manages alcohol content, while maintaining flavor and aroma. The beer fully ferments after all processing takes place, and then a proprietary technique preserves the mouth feel.
“The process we selected was based on producing the best flavor, enough to surprise our customers that the beer indeed is non-alc.” Said Vega.
The BrewVo® process was developed by Sustainable Business Technologies Founder, Patrick Tatera, who combined his passion for home brewing and expertise in engineering to create this patented brewing process that’s the most environmentally friendly and sustainable.
“While working with a consortium of breweries on various development projects, we discovered that the BrewVo® technology, while developed for production of full-strength beer, was capable of producing the best tasting NA beers on earth,” said Tatera. “Peter Bouckaert and Grady Hull, formerly of New Belgium Brewing, helped us prove our NA beer capabilities for matching the full-flavor spectrum of a full-strength beer.”
Sustainable Beverage Technologies later developed a non-alcoholic beer that took home a gold medal in the national craft beer competition, Best of Craft Beer Awards, where they competed against full strength beers in the session beer category.
Founder of The New School and most frequent contributor Ezra Johnson-Greenough has worked in the craft beer industry for almost 10 years, doing everything from illustrating beer labels to bartending at renowned beer bars and breweries like Belmont Station, Apex, Laurelwood and Upright Brewing. He has also had a hand in creating events like the Portland Fruit Beer Festival, Portland Beer Week, and the Brewing up Cocktails series. He is available for freelance consultation in marketing, events, graphic design and branding.