The future is here, and it’s customizable-ABV beer.
That’s according to Steve Indrehus, operations director at Tommyknocker Brewing in Idaho Springs, CO. On Saturday, Indrehus told the Colorado Sun that “Alcohol By Choice,” a new on-premise beer delivery system, could “revolutionize the beer world.”
Through a patented brewing process called BrewVo, Sustainable Beverage Technologies (SBT) has created a highly-concentrated, nonalcoholic version of Tommyknocker’s best-selling Blood Orange IPA. A proprietary tap system combines this concentrate with sparkling water and an optional dosage of neutral-flavored alcohol, allowing bar-goers to choose whether they want a sober, sessionable, or serious drink.
Technically, the beer concentrate is not brewed in the same process as a traditional beer. Still, SBT founder Patrick Tatera maintains that both the nonalcoholic and the higher ABV beer are “the exact same beer,” adding that this gives the brewer the opportunity to offer one beer at “a variety of ABVs.”
An innovation like this raises two questions: First, will consumers know enough about the typical ABV content of beer to make informed choices when ordering? And second, does Alcohol By Choice beer even taste any good?
Indrehus admits that, while the first run has been “really encouraging,” it’s not as good as the traditional stuff. Still, he considers it more flavorful than other traditional low-ABV beers on the market, and is optimistic about further quality improvements down the line.
While Alcohol By Choice is currently only served at select bars in Colorado, SBT is looking to expand. Watch this space.