With people doing more of their drinking at home during the pandemic, demand for low- and no-alcohol drinks has increased. A marquee beer is going that route, with the debut of Guinness 0.0 next week in Britain and Ireland, the Guardian reports. Calling it "an exceptional day for Guinness," an executive said the brewer has created "an alcohol-free beer that is 100% Guinness but 0% alcohol." The 0.0 cans will be sold in stores starting Monday but won't be in available in pubs till spring. Later in the year, Diageo, the parent company, plans to roll it out in markets in other nations. A low-alcohol lager, Pure Brew, has been tested in 250 Irish pubs. A standard—albeit iconic—can of Guiness packs about 4.2% alcohol by volume, per Health magazine.
There's a caloric savings, too: 70 calories in 0.0 compared with 177, per MarketWatch. The new beer was four years in the making at St James’s Gate in Dublin. It was made in full accordance with the usual 261-year-old recipe, then the alcohol was taken out, using cold filtration. The brewer has sold beers with little or no alcohol before, but never one with the Guinness label. The market is growing quickly. The UK had no alcohol-free liquors in 2014, per the Guardian, and has about 70 brands now. Early reviews on Twitter for 0.0 were positive. At first sip, many thought the two tasted equally good. One tweeter who thought that still doesn't plan to change, saying he'll "stick to a proper Guinness but it's there." Many see advantages to the new brew. "You're telling me I can drink @GuinnessIreland for breakfast??" one post said. (Read more Guinness stories.)