GUINNESS is launching an alcohol-free version of its stout.
It follows four years of experiments to replicate the taste.
The brewer says Guinness 0.0 is a response to growing demand for non- alcohol, lower-calorie drinks.
The product was developed by an innovation team based at Guinness’s brewery in Dublin.
Aisling Ryan, one of team’s lead brewers, said hundreds and hundreds of versions were tried until they finally landed on one they were happy with.
She said: “It’s been a long time in the making. We’ve been working on this for over four years, so it’s exciting to get to this stage and finally get it out the gates.”
The brew has the same ingredients — water, barley, hops and yeast — as its standard stout. The difference is cold filtration at the end to remove alcohol.
Ms Ryan said finding a way to take out the alcohol in what she called a “gentle way” without using heat was crucial in maintaining the Guinness taste.
She added: “Removing alcohol can be quite harsh and a lot of non- alcohol beers compromise on flavour.”
Guinness says feedback from independent taste tests has exceeded expectations. Guinness 0.0 will be available in off-licences in Ireland and the UK.
However, draught Guinness 0.0 is likely to be available in pubs from the new year while a global launch is pencilled in for next summer.
Grainne Wafer, Guinness’s global brand director, called it the company’s biggest innovation in decades.
She said there had been a 30 per cent-a-year growth in demand for non-alcohol beers in Britain.