Germany's booze-free beer boom

Germany's booze-free beer boom

All the fun of the Oktoberfest, without the hangover: Germans are swapping traditional beer for non-alcoholic brews, driven by health concerns and the increasing quality of booze-free options.

Beers containing less than 0.5 percent alcohol -- the legal limit to be classed as non-alcoholic -- are no longer an uncommon sight in the country's famous beer gardens.

"I like the taste of beer, but I don't find it reasonable to always drink it with alcohol," Kathrin Achatz, 40, told AFP at the BRLO beer garden in Berlin.

According to federal statistics office Destatis, the volume of non-alcoholic beer produced in Germany has almost doubled over the past 10 years, reaching 670 million litres in 2022.

In a 2022 survey by the Allensbach Institute, non-alcoholic beer represented around seven percent of total beer purchases.

"We are seeing a strong increase in demand," said Holger Eichele, head of the German Brewers Federation, which represents the interests of the brewing industry.

BRLO, whose beer garden is located in Berlin's central Kreuzberg district but which produces most of its beer from a brewery further out in Spandau, was an early adopter.

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