When, about 20 years ago, the first German breweries started to market non-alcoholic beer, 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.
Meanwhile, beer drinkers can choose between around 70 different brands. Whether pils and wheat beer or regional specialties such as Kölsch or Alt. Alcohol-free beer is so versatile that everyone gets their taste. Therefore, it is no wonder that alcohol-free beer has conquered its place in the market. The annual consumption is about 2.5 million hectoliters.
But how do you get the alcohol from the beer?
Like any other beer, non-alcoholic beer is brewed according to the German Purity Law: from hops, malt, yeast and water. In the brewing process, these raw materials ferment, and alcohol is naturally formed, which is then withdrawn by two different processes.
A tiny remnant of alcohol remains in the alcohol-free beer to round off the flavor. By law, a beverage may be termed "non-alcoholic" if the alcohol content does not exceed 0.5 percent.
Even fruit juices may contain traces of alcohol according to this specification. However, they must be so low that they have no demonstrable influence on consumers, not even on particularly sensitive people such as the sick or children.
This is scientifically proven for beers of less than 0.5% by volume, and for most brands the alcohol content is between 0.35 and 0.48% vol.