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Tap List | Could Non-Alcoholic Beer Be The Next Big Trend?

Check the Numbers

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Above image credit: Olathe’s Red Crow Brewing is one of many local breweries offering non-alcoholic beers. (Courtesy | Red Crow Brewing)

For many people, January is seen as a fresh start. They make resolutions to live a healthier lifestyle by doing things such as cutting back on eating out and joining a gym. On the booze side, it usually means starting out the year with “dry” January.

While the origins of dry January aren’t totally clear, the timing of it makes a lot of sense. Most consumers drink more during the holiday season. In addition to formal holidays, there are office parties, friendsgiving gatherings and more. This often leaves consumers ready to cut back on alcohol come January.

It’s showing up in the numbers. Information Resources Inc. (IRI) data collected at the end of the week of Jan. 8 showed the non-alcoholic beer segment achieving more than 30% dollar growth. While that’s only one week of data in 2023, it does hint at the rise in popularity of non-alcoholic options.

Breweries here in Kansas City are taking note of the changing beer climate. In fact, many are offering non-alcoholic beers and mocktails (for those breweries that have a full bar). January is a historically slow month for the hospitality industry as a whole so this quick pivot has helped local breweries still bring patrons in even if they’re opting to participate in dry January (or looking to cut back on alcohol as a whole).

While most major breweries such as Anheuser-Busch, Guinness, and others have a non-alcoholic option, it appears the most popular picks come from Athletic Brewing Co., which has focused its entire operation on brewing non-alcoholic beers that are in the same vein as popular beer styles such as hazy IPAs, stouts and more. This is often the brand you’ll find at local breweries such as Red Crow Brewing Co., Tall Trellis Brew Co., Transport Brewing, Big Rip Brewing Co. and many more. Some, such as River Market’s River Bluff Brewing, choose to carry Wellbeing, another big name in non-alcoholic beers.

One thing we haven’t seen is a local brewery brew their own non-alcoholic beer. Could that be on the way? Only time will tell, but one thing’s for sure – the trend of wanting to be healthier while cutting back on booze isn’t going away. Are you cutting back on beer and booze? Which local brewery would you like to see brew an non-alcoholic option? Let us know in the comments below!

Beer Releases

Pathlight Brewing — 11200 W. 75th St., Shawnee, Kansas — is bringing the smoke with their latest beer. They released Fireside Chats, a collaborative brew with Wichita Brewing and Blind Tiger Brewing. The beer is a 6.5% ABV smoked bock. The trio used 50% beechwood smoked malts to really impart that peaty smokiness. While it’s currently available on draft, cans won’t be released for another week or so.

Rochester Brewing Co. — 2129 Washington St., Kansas City, Missouri — is taking you to Europe with its latest creation. Rochester has released a new Belgian strong dark ale. You’ll get the classic flavors of fig and plum along with some sweetness from the malt. If you’re a fan of beers like Chimay Blue or Delirium Nocturnum you’ll enjoy this 10.7% ABV sipper.

Fresh Approach comes from Danny Eakins, who won a contest to have his beer scaled up.
The recipe for Alma Mader’s new beer Fresh Approach comes from Danny Eakins, who won a contest to have his beer scaled up. (Courtesy | Alma Mader Brewery)

Alma Mader Brewery — 2635 Southwest Blvd., Kansas City, Missouri — released Fresh Approach, a brand new 7% ABV West Coast IPA. The recipe comes from Danny Eakins of the KC Biermeisters homebrew club. The beer has notes of mandarin orange, stone fruit and lemon bitterness. While it may be a West Coast IPA, it still has plenty of juicy and tropical characteristics to help round out the flavor profile.

KC Bier Co. — 310 W. 79th St., Kansas City, Missouri — wanted to support the Kansas City Chiefs and what better way to do that than with a new brew? KC Bier Co. just released ArrowRed Lager. Sticking with their German roots, the beer is a 5.2% ABV Nuremberg-style red lager, also known as a rotbier. The beer was brewed in conjunction with the Arrowhead Addict podcast exclusively for the Chiefs playoff run.

BKS Artisan Ales — 633 E. 63rd St., Kansas City, Missouri — brewed a fresh batch of their Current Past (Blue Label), which is a 7% ABV West Coast IPA. This beer has a clean malt backbone and features big notes of pine, grapefruit and white grape. In case that’s not your thing, BKS also released a new version of their Hydromel sparkling honey wine. This particular version was fermented on blueberry and maple.        

Beer Events

Saturday, Jan. 28

Torn Label Brewing Co. — 1708 Campbell St., Kansas City, Missouri — is celebrating its 8th anniversary and throwing a party to commemorate it. The party will feature three different beer releases. Torn Label will release the newest version of their Hang ‘Em High IPA, the debut of their new 8th Wonder IPA, and a return of their double dry-hopped Alpha pale ale. DJ Jabberock will be on site spinning tunes to help keep the party lively.

East Forty Brewing — 1201 W. Main St., Blue Springs, Missouri — will be running their monthly Yoga & Brew class in their Mill Room. Neda from Trinity Wellness will run you through a series of Vinyasa flows meant to increase your strength, energy and flexibility. The cost of the class includes one free beverage after the class. You’ll have your choice of beer, wine, beer cocktails or non-alcoholic options such as kombucha or cold brew.

Servaes Brewing Co. — 10921 Johnson Drive, Shawnee, Kansas — is hosting a peanut butter beer release event. There will be four new beers released using peanut butter in some capacity. PB&K will be running a pop-up shop from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. where you can buy gourmet peanut butter. You can also participate in the “Spread The Love” campaign being put on by the Jewish Family Service of Greater Kansas City. You can get 10% off your tab by bringing in a spreadable non-perishable pantry item such as peanut butter, jelly or honey. 

Sunday, Jan. 29

Limitless Brewing — 9500 Dice Lane, Lenexa, Kansas — is running their monthly Sunday with a Pourpose event. Every month Limitless selects a different nonprofit organization to support. This month’s event will benefit the Special Olympics of Kansas. The brewery will donate $2 from every pint sold to the organization.  

Alex Andujar is a former beer sales rep turned personal trainer. When he’s not training clients you can find him trying new beers at many of Kansas City’s great local breweries.

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