Anheuser-Busch’s craft brewery, Camden Town, has launched a new beer designed to be drunk during the week.
Described on pack as any ‘any day lager’, Week Nite is dry-hopped with a slightly lower alcohol content than most mainstream lagers at 3% ABV. Camden Town’s ambition is to target midweek occasions and show consumers that it is still possible to work and drink during the week, with a beer that it said is “more like dancing in the kitchen than an all-night rave”.
It is brewed with American centennial and cascade hops for a “crisp, light and hoppy” finish with pine and citrus notes.
Camden Town Brewery founder Jasper Cuppaidge said: “Week Nite is alive – a great tasting beer in the lower-ABV category without compromising on great taste, so we’ve added this awesome new lager to our core beer range that can be enjoyed any day of the week.
“There’s so many small wins, big wins, things to celebrate and times to look forward to throughout the week, so why wait until the weekend? It’s everything I love from a great lager – crisp, hoppy and refreshing, but even with lower-ABV it’s still full of flavour.”
Its launch comes amid a raft of innovations in the low- and no-alcohol beer category – including Peroni Libera 0.0% and Heineken 0.0.
There has been an uptick in innovation, with consumers in many countries consuming less alcohol than previous generations. In Western Europe, the picture is quite consistent: all countries recorded a similar level of decline in overall alcohol consumption, ranging from 3.1 litres per person in Greece to a moderate 0.5 litres in Belgium, according to figures from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
In the UK, where Camden Town Brewery is based, consumers on average drink the equivalent of 9.5 litres of pure alcohol per person every year – only the 13th highest out of all the European Union (EU) member states, according to OECD figures from 2016.
That represents a significant decline on ten years earlier, when the average Brit was knocking back a full 11 litres of alcohol a year – 15% more than they are today.
Growing interest in healthy living, coupled with broader availability of alcohol alternatives and craft sodas, has facilitated the change in habits.
But the changing nature of the beer category has heaped pressure on traditional brewers, for whom reformulating is often not as straightforward as consumer believe.
Chris Wheeler, lead innovations brewer for Camden Town, concluded: “Brewing a lower-ABV beer is quite a challenge in terms of flavours, ingredient design and the technical details on the brewkit. The malt bill was key to making or breaking this style – to create a crisp lager that’s not too sweet, [is] refreshing but still packed full of flavour.
“Week Nite has a great balanced, refreshing flavour packed with hops that give this beer interesting zesty citrus and floral notes that’s just enough hop bitterness, flavour and aroma to make this beer super drinkable any day of the week.”
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