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The History of Non Alcoholic Beer

Non-alcoholic beer, also known as alcohol free beer, is getting popular day by day. People are preferring this beverage instead of hard liquor or regular beer. With the sober curious movement on the rise, people feel more confident to refuse an alcoholic drink and choose what is best for their health. While we’ve heard about zero alcohol beer only recently, it has been around for quite some time. Let’s look into the history of non alcoholic beer!

Low Alcohol Beer > Water

The history of non-alcoholic beer can be traced back to the mediaeval ages when it was called ‘small beer’. This low alcohol beer was frequently consumed with dinner and was given to children and adults. The small amounts of alcohol in the beer killed the bacteria and this beer was believed to be safer than drinking water. In those times, drinking water was not filtered and hence this processed low alcohol beer was preferred.Coming to the early 19th century, beer without alcohol was made for medical purposes, such as for people with liver diseases or pregnant women.

The Prohibition Years (1920 - 1933)

The production and consumption of zero alcohol beer rose significantly in the United States during the 1920s, when the country was undergoing a period of Prohibition. The Prohibition era, which lasted from 1920 to 1933, was a time when the sale, production, and transportation of alcohol was banned in the country. This was due to the passage of the 18th Amendment to the US Constitution, also known as the Volstead Act.

The Volstead Act had a significant impact on the beer industry, as the production and consumption of alcoholic beer was banned. This created a demand for non-alcoholic beer, which was still allowed to be produced and consumed. To stay in business, several breweries began producing non-alcoholic beer, and it quickly became popular among people who were looking for a substitute for alcoholic beer.

However, the production of non-alcoholic beer during this time was not without challenges. The production of beer without alcohol was a difficult process, as the beer had to retain its taste and flavour despite the absence of alcohol. To overcome this challenge, breweries used various techniques, such as the removal of alcohol through evaporation or the addition of non-alcoholic ingredients to replace the taste of alcohol. This was called the ‘near beer’ which had less than 0.5% ABV.

Some breweries sent the boiled off alcohol with the near beer which was then injected into the zero alcohol beer to make it potent. These beers came to be known as ‘needle beers’.

After the end of Prohibition in 1933, the production and consumption of alcoholic beer resumed, and the demand for non-alcoholic beer declined. However, the non-alcoholic beer market continued to exist, catering to people who wanted to enjoy the taste of beer without the effects of alcohol.

Fast forward to today, the non-alcoholic beer market has once again gained popularity, driven by various factors such as health consciousness, changing lifestyles, and increased awareness about the harmful effects of excessive alcohol consumption. The non-alcoholic beer market has been growing rapidly in recent years, with many breweries and beer brands launching their own non-alcoholic beer products.

Health & Lifestyle

The market for beer without alcohol started to grow slowly from the 1970s. Non alcoholic beer was made for middle eastern nations where alcohol was illegal. In the 1990s, O'Doul's, a famous non alcoholic beer brand was launched in the US. It was not very popular but it did introduce the concept of non alcoholic beer to the country and gave an option to the people.

In the past two decades, the sale of non alcoholic beer has been steadily rising. People are more conscious about their health and it is socially acceptable to be abstinent. Keeping this in mind, many non alcoholic beer brands are launching low alcohol or zero alcohol beers which taste as good as regular beers.

Non Alcoholic Beer Market In India

As for India, the non-alcoholic beer market is also emerging, with an increasing demand for alcohol-free beer among consumers. According to a report, the non-alcoholic beer market in India is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 8.22% between 2023 and 2027. Revenue in the Non-Alcoholic Beer segment amounts to US$2.57bn in 2023.

The increasing demand for non-alcoholic beer in India can be attributed to several factors, such as the growing health consciousness among consumers and the increasing number of young and health-conscious consumers. Additionally, the growing awareness about the harmful effects of excessive alcohol consumption and the increasing number of non-drinkers in the country are also contributing to the growth of the non-alcoholic beer market in India.


In conclusion, the history of non-alcoholic beer is a long and interesting one, marked by periods of growth and decline. Today, the non-alcoholic beer market is once again on the rise, driven by various factors such as health consciousness, changing lifestyles, and increased awareness about the harmful effects of excessive alcohol consumption. The non-alcoholic beer market in India, in particular, is expected to grow significantly in the coming years, driven by the growing demand for alcohol-free beer among consumers.

3Sisters non alcoholic beer is made so that people can take care of their health and make their own choices without being left out. The 3Sisters non alcoholic beer tastes great and has 0.0% ABV. With 6 flavours to try from, order a 3Sisters beer today!

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