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Bare Beer - A non-alcoholic pale ale
Philosophy and concept:
We truly live in a golden era for beer drinkers: the vibrant independent craft beer scene in New Zealand offers a variety and access to different beer styles and riffs which seems unparalleled in our history.
There are many good reasons to enjoy these beers and also plenty of reasons to want beer this good without alcohol. Should these low- and no-alcohol beers be dominated by the multinational brewers with their greater access to resources and technology?
We decided yeah nah and gave it a go ourselves.
Leaning heavily on techniques our Brewery Manager Rory Taylor learned while brewing overseas, the challenge was to create a non-alcoholic hoppy pale ale with as much depth of flavour and character as possible, and maintain the refreshing and sessionable nature we aim for in all of our beers. So here it is: after many iterations of the recipe, a product we are particularly proud of, Bare Beer.
We have created this beer through fermentation, rather than reverse osmosis of a finished beer and subsequent pasteurization like many big brands in the market. In essence, this involves producing a poorly fermentable wort and fermenting it with our lowest-attenuating house English Ale yeast. For recipe design itself, we have chosen to use a high proportion of specialty malts to build some intensity of malt flavour and high-protein adjuncts to provide body. Kettle hopping with low alpha varieties provides a robust bitterness with hop oils contributing to mouthfeel and palate weight, whilst the dry-hopping with NZ and USA hops provides citrus, pine, and tropical characters.
This beer falls well under the legal limit of a ‘no-alcohol’ beer in New Zealand, which is <1.15% ABV. It currently sits at 0.5% ABV. Trace amounts will be present, which we realise may make this beer unsuitable for some people. We felt that producing this beer by fermentation yields a product which is much closer in overall ‘beeriness’ to a full strength pale ale.