The market share is growing. Data over the last few years suggest that age-appropriate consumers are drinking less and less alcohol. This has given rise to non-alcoholic (NA) craft beer filling the gap when the occasion calls for a beverage, but the consumer is a sober-conscious, or calorie-conscious, drinker.

Some producers are staples—Brooklyn Brewery has two under its NA label, Special Effects—but most are newcomers. Canada’s Grüvi, which took home Naturally Boulder’s 2020 Pitch Slam and People’s Choice Awards, makes alcohol-free beer and sparkling wine. Connecticut’s Athletic Brewing Co. has a half-dozen NA styles, from IPA to stout. 

Those three are good and easy to find, but CERIA Brewing’s Indiewave IPA might be the best around. That shouldn’t be a surprise considering Villa’s brewing legacy. But Indiewave isn’t just dank, snappy, and refreshing; it tastes like a regular beer. NA beers, much like decaf coffee, can taste hollow and thin. Indiewave is the type of beer that you don’t know is non-alcoholic until you’ve had your second and still feel clear-headed.

This week’s Boulder Weekly Drink column, “Non-alcoholic craft,” concludes our series on the intersection of beer and cannabis with a look at NA beer, and a few words on the future of brewing.

Missed an installment? No worries, find them all here:

Aug. 12—Profiles in Brew: Keith Villa, Ph.D.

Aug. 19—Cannabis pro Omnibus // ‘Learning From the Past’

Aug. 26—Pot in Your Pint

Sept. 2—Talkin’ Terpenes // The Promise of the Plant

Sept. 9—Non-Alcoholic Craft

Keith Villa. Photos courtesy CERIA Brewing Co.

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