AB InBev has announced it is to introduce the alcohol-free version of Budweiser in the UK as part of the group’s expansion of its range of low-alcohol and no-alcohol beers.
Budweiser Prohibition is brewed to the same recipe, with the same ageing process with beechwood and quality standards as the core beer, just without the alcohol.
AB InBev said it would be introduced “later this year” in both the on-trade and retail. During the launch period, Budweiser Prohibition will be available in 330ml cans, with additional formats planned for next year.
The name is inspired by the first batches of Budweiser being produced during US Prohibition in the 1920s.
The announcement was made today as AB InBev celebrates its eighth annual Global Be(er) Responsible Day, which promotes smart drinking among the brewer’s staff and their consumers.
In the UK, AB InBev’s portfolio already includes the market-leading alcohol-free beer Beck’s Blue and the lower-alcohol Bud Light, which arrived in the UK in March this year, brewed to 3.5% ABV.
The expansion of this portfolio is part of AB InBev’s Global Smart Drinking Goals, where the brewer has pledged that 20% of all its beer volumes produced globally by 2025 will be low to no alcohol.
As part of these goals, AB InBev also works closely with partners such as Drinkaware, the alcohol education charity, to promote responsible drinking.
Low- and no-alcohol beer has become a major drinking trend in recent years, with figures released by research group Nielsen last month revealing that Britons consumed a record 18.2 million litres of low- and no-alcohol beer in the past year. Sales in the past 12 months across the category are up by 20% in value and 17% in volume.
Jason Warner, president of AB InBev North Europe, said: “The no-alcohol beer category has been waiting for a major player to come in with something new and innovative and what better day to announce we’re bringing the King of Beers’ brother, Budweiser Prohibition, to the party than Global Be(er) Responsible Day?
“As well as a great-tasting beer and iconic brand, it is a clear signal of our commitment to smart drinking. As part of our Global Smart Drinking Goals, we’re bringing great products to market so consumers can have more choice.”
Rowan Chidgey, marketing manager at Budweiser UK, said: “Budweiser Prohibition is for those who love beer, who will never sacrifice on quality or taste and want to enjoy freely. After all, beer isn’t about alcohol; it’s about using the best, natural ingredients and brewing with passion. We can’t wait for the UK to try it later this year.”