Paradiso Citra IPA and Galactic Milk Stout are two of the top non-alcoholic beer brands on the market. They taste better than most alcoholic beers. I swung back a few with James Kindred, cofounder of Big Drop Brewing Co., during a virtual tasting this summer and haven’t stopped since. From that interview:
“We are the most awarded brewer in the U.K.,” said Kindred. “That’s not nonalcoholic brewers. That’s across any type of brewer. We’ve got the credentials. We’ll pick those awards up against full strength beer, because when you are going into a beer competition, they’re not sitting there looking at the ABV. They’re looking at the quality. They’re looking at the balance. They’re looking at the care and attention that’s going to the product, so we’ve beaten 6 percent IPAs and we’ve beaten 6.2 percent specialty stouts.”
So, it immediately caught my attention to see the NA-dedicated brewer announce a partnership with Illinois’ Destihl Brewery “to scale up production and to handle sales for Big Drop to meet the increasing demand for its beers in the USA,” said the press release. This might mean that its pervious partnership with Great Central Brewing Co. is ending as well (I’m checking). Big Drop announced its brands will be brewed at Destihl’s 47,000-sq-ft brewery in Normal, Ill., and it’s a safe assumption its distribution will increase as Destihl distributes to almost 40 States. From the release:
Destihl’s CEO and Co-Founder, Matt Potts, added: “We are very excited about partnering with Big Drop to produce and sell their great beers and entering the non-alcoholic beer space with such an internationally proven, high-quality product made by traditional means that we know so well. Adding Big Drop’s NA beers to our wide distribution footprint and sales portfolio will be a great opportunity for Destihl, Big Drop and our distribution and retail partners alike.”
Big Drop is only six years old, but the company is hitting the American market at the right time as the near and non-alcoholic beer sector continues to not only grow in sales but gain acceptance as an alcohol alternative instead of an alcoholic stigma. Consider non-alcoholic beer maker Athletic Brewing was the 27th biggest craft brewery in America in 2021, and that’s the first time an NA-only brewery has cracked the top 50 (to 27!). Consider Big Drop has only been in the U.S. market for one year.
Currently, Big Drop’s core range, which includes the amazing Paradiso and Galactic brands, is currently available to buy at retailers in six states (Illinois, Michigan, Minneapolis, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New Hampshire). It’s also available online nationwide via Better Rhodes, but man, buying beer online can get super expensive. Hopefully, soon, availability will be expanding. From the release:
Speaking about the move, Big Drop [Co]-Founder, Rob Fink, commented: “Most people recognize that demand for good quality non-alcoholic beer in the USA is growing exponentially and that offering drinkers a complete choice of brands and styles, wherever they shop, is key to feeding that demand. Big Drop is already part of the solution, and by partnering with Destihl, we’ll not only be able to continue producing the best beer possible but have the sales platform from which to expand into more States.”