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HEINEKEN announces multi-million pound launch of Heineken® 0.0 Draught in UK pubs

22 November 2021

‘THAT’S ONE SMALL PULL FOR A BARTENDER, ONE GIANT LEAP FOR PUB-KIND’

  • By 2025, the company predicts there will be as many Heineken 0.0 taps as there are Heineken Original
  • Millions of Brits will be able enjoy a freshly poured pint of the UK’s favourite alcohol free beer
  • Game-changing technology sees the nation’s favourite alcohol free beer sitting alongside regular beer – something that will revolutionise British pubs
  • Dazzling roster of celebrities, beer industry experts and luminaries assembled to aid launch – including TV stars Denise Van Outen and Mark Wright

In what is a seminal moment for the British beer and pub industry, one of the world’s biggest brewers, HEINEKEN, has announced the launch of the nation’s favourite alcohol free beer, Heineken 0.0, on draught, which will be rolled out to hundreds of pubs next year. It will be the first alcohol free draught beer to sit alongside regular beer taps in any pub – allowing millions of Brits to enjoy a freshly poured pint of alcohol free beer.

The introduction of Heineken 0.0 Draught will give people even more choice and be crucial to normalising and accelerating the uptake of No and Low alcohol beer in the UK – something increasing numbers of people are exploring as drinking habits and attitudes toward drinking change. It is expected that the launch will help to make ordering alcohol free beer more acceptable, accessible and even a ‘cool’ choice for consumers.

Heineken 0.0 Draught will be available in pubs in 2022 following a successful 12-week summer trial in a cohort of pubs across the Midlands and the North of England. Next year, Heineken 0.0 Draught will be rolled out across hundreds of pubs in the UK, and the company are determined that by 2025 there will be as many Heineken 0.0 Draught taps in British pubs and bars as there are  Heineken Original taps.

The development of the product has been a labour of love for the brewer. Since 2017 scores of beer experts from HEINEKEN innovation breweries in four countries have worked collaboratively under the stewardship of HEINEKEN Global Master Brewer Willem Van Waesberghe, to bring Heineken 0.0 Draught to market. To date, millions of pounds has been spent on the project with further investment set to be injected into the roll-out.  

Willem Van Waesberghe, HEINEKEN Global Master Brewer commented: “I’m incredibly proud of what we’ve achieved here. Once again we’re leading the way when it comes to innovating and moving the beer category forward. Without a doubt, the best way to enjoy a beer is a freshly poured pint in a pub and Heineken 0.0 Draught is going to play a big part in changing the way people drink. It took the best brains in the business a long time to do it, and a lot of trial and error.

“For me and my team, one of the primary areas of focus, as always, is taste. The Draught beer tastes great – it’s the distinctive famous Heineken flavour – and it has all the sensory aspects beer drinkers look for – a mouth-watering aroma, bright white head and lively carbonation”.

In recent years drinking habits in the UK have changed with more people choosing to moderate, adding No and Low alcohol drinks to their repertoire when they’re at the pub. At present the No and Low alcohol beer category is worth £90 million per year in the UK, but as more and more people moderate their drinking, abstain – temporarily or for the long-term – and drink more mindfully, the value of the category is set to increase.

However, and despite positive predictions for the growth of the market, there are still stigmas attached to No and Low alcohol beer among certain sections of society, whether that be taste, being part of the round, or simply the visibility of it in pubs. With Heineken 0.0 Draught sitting front and centre alongside other beer taps in pubs, and widely available in hundreds of establishments, the notion that you’re ordering something ‘different’ when opting for an alcohol free beer should become a thing of the past.

James Crampton, Corporate Affairs Director for Heineken UK, said: “This move aligns with our ‘Always a Choice’ promise. It’s all about providing a choice at the point of purchase and normalising the experience. In light of people’s evolving lifestyles and changes to their relationships with alcohol, we’ve done a lot to forward No and Low alcohol beer in recent years. We launched Heineken 0.0 in bottles and cans in 2017 and followed it up with Heineken 0.0 Draught on the counter-top BLADE system in 2019. Both were great innovations and are great products, but this is different, this is a game-changer.

“Heineken 0.0 Draught brings No and Low alcohol beer from the periphery into the mainstream. We’re confident it will, over time, change pubs to accommodate more occasions. And by that, I mean it won’t be unusual for people to pop down to their local for an alcohol free pint or two. That might sound strange now, but we’re confident in the very near future it’ll become the norm.”

A dazzling list of drinks industry experts, celebrity ambassadors and social commentors has been assembled to support the initial launch period, including 90s socialite turned ‘dry curious’ drinker Denise Van Outen and ex-Towie star turned TV presenter and fitness influencer Mark Wright.

Denise Van Outen said: “I drink No and Low alcohol beer from time to time, as and when it suits. I know there are millions of other people out there just like me, people who lead busy lives, who have commitments and responsibilities, and it’s great for us to have the choice. Even though we’ve come a long way over the past 30 years in terms of attitudes to alcohol, you still get the sense sometimes that when you order alcohol free you’re going off menu that you’re ordering something unusual. We need to get over that. Me and Eddie love going to the pub to meet our mates, and now we can still have a pint with or without the alcohol.

Mark Wright commented: “Fair play to HEINEKEN. For me, the launch of Heineken 0.0 Draught is a game-changer because it gets rid of this outdated idea that to keep up with the lads on a night out you have to drink alcoholic beer. It’s nonsense. It’s cool to have a non-alcoholic beer. The fact that Heineken 0.0 Draught will be on the bar where everyone can see it means ordering that is no different to ordering anything else.”

James Crampton concludes: “Back in July at one of our five trial pubs, a barperson pulled the first ever pint of Heineken 0.0 Draught and handed it to a customer. The significance of that moment may or may not have dawned on them, but makes no bones about it – it was one small pull for a bartender, but a giant leap for pub-kind.”