Finding Success With Non-Alcoholic Options

When Bauhaus Brew Labs, located in Minneapolis, was contacted by local startup ABV Technology, a company which was developing a device to extract ethanol, COO and brewer Matt Schwandt jumped at the opportunity. This came just months after a diagnosis that prohibited him from drinking beer.

Some small runs of a non-alcoholic beer, which would later be called “Nah” did well in the taproom.

Market research illustrated that NA beers would be a big category for growth in the coming years, and some financial modeling showed how profitable Nah could be for the brewery.

People were excited to see an alternative to O’Douls, said Maura Hagerty Schwandt, Director of Marketing.

“The prioritization of personal wellness is a huge trend as of late, and cutting back on alcohol is a huge part of that,” Maura said. “Providing an option for people that are cutting back or eliminating alcohol completely from their lives is a wonderful thing to offer.”

“Nah” is for people who want to either cut back or eliminate alcohol completely, but still want to go out and enjoy the experience and kinship of sharing a pint among their friends,” she added.

“Nah” can be enjoyed by pregnant women, a designated driver, or someone who just wants to drink a good beer without the side effects. 

“Our company philosophy is built around the idea of inclusivity, so creating a welcoming environment for patrons seeking something other than an alcoholic beverage is incredibly important to us,” Maura said.

After seeing success in the taproom, Bauhaus is offering “Nah” in 6 packs, to be distributed to select retail locations in Minnesota.

“Nah” (Non-Alcoholic Helles) is based on Bauhaus’ Homeguys Helles, and there is a noticable difference between the two.

“For example, the presence of alcohol creates the perception of sweetness and contributes to a beer’s mouthfeel and body,” Matt Schwandt explained. “Without ethanol, the beverage is noticeably less sweet, and has a drier finish. But, these differences arguably make “Nah” more thirst quenching.

“In addition, and something that ABV’s process facilitates, is that many of the volatile flavors and aromas that would otherwise be lost in the ethanol removal process are retained in the finished product. So although there is less sweetness and more of a dry finish in Nah, ABV’s process allows the malt and hop profile to actually come through really nicely.”

Bauhaus has been experimenting with other NA beers, including an Amber Lager. Those one-offs will be exclusively sold at the taproom while distribution for “Nah” is scaled.

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