Beverage continues to grow with reinvention. Customers like new things, and companies want new things to sell. Right now, in beverage alcohol, the ready-to-drink category (think packaged cocktails) is apparently the next big thing. The craft beer market, always dynamic, has its own internal category trends that have evolved from IPAs to sours to haze to CBD and THC variants and beyond. One of the biggest and most interesting movements over the last few years has been low- or non-alcohol beer products, as moderation and wellness trends continue to resonate with consumers.
The success of non-alcoholic beer beyond its buzz has yet to be proven, but there is still certainly buzz and some cool indie brewers helping create it. Hairless Dog Brewing Co. is a brand out of Minneapolis focused on the burgeoning sober curious cultural movement, which means January should be an ideal time to sell its NA beer brands like Black Ale and Citra Lager. I noticed the company was doing this cool Dry January Survival Kit ($50), which is a great way to push its NA products during the pandemic. Each kit includes:
- Three 6-packs (one each NA IPA, Black Ale, and Citra Lager)
- Two Hairless Dog branded beer can koozies
- One Hairless Dog branded flagship tee shirt.
From the press release:
Hairless Dog COO and co-founder Paul Pirner commented, “The COVID-19 pandemic has forced a lot of people to reevaluate their alcohol intake. Once we can return to in-person gatherings, Hairless Dog will transition perfectly as consumers prioritize mindful hosting and sociability among friends and family members.”
Hairless Dog Brewing also brings a differentiator with its brand. It notes it uses a unique technique to ensure no alcohol is introduced into the brewing process. From the press release:
Consumers who want to avoid alcohol without compromising flavor seek out nonalcoholic beers, but some brews contain as much as 0.5% alcohol. Unlike category competitors who brew their NA beers with alcohol and then boil it off (a process which leaves some alcohol behind but also changes the flavor of the beer in the process), Hairless Dog Brewing Company invented an innovative brewing process in which alcohol is never introduced, making them the first 0.0% ABV craft NA beer in the county.