DENMARK – Chr. Hansen, a Denmark based bioscience company, has unveiled two new strains for non-alcoholic brewing to enable brewers offer an even greater variety of flavors to consumers who are seeking non-alcoholic options. 

The first strain, the NEER Poly is said to be ideal for those who prefer a more neutral impact of the yeast, allowing the malt and hops to shine in the beer’s flavor profile.  

According to the bioscience company, NEER Poly is an excellent choice for pilsner, stout, and ale beers. 

Meanwhile, NEER Punch is best suited for a fruit-forward beer and is an ideal yeast for IPAs, wheat, and fruit beers. 

 “This strain rolls out full ester characters, adding depth and complexity to the flavor,” Chr.Hansen said. 

The new strains are part of the Chr. Hansen’s SmartBev NEER maltose-negative yeast technology that creates the full beer experience without the alcohol.  

The NEER yeast is unique as it can only metabolize monosaccharides and is gram negative. When given oxygen, the yeast will respire and be metabolically active without producing any ethanol. These two features are what enable NEER to brew alcohol-free beer (0.0% ABV).   

“We believe that every consumer deserves a great-tasting beer, regardless of their choice to consume alcohol or not. Our new strains, NEER Poly and NEER Punch, are a testament to our commitment to pushing the boundaries of flavour in the non-alcoholic beer market,” said Chr. Hansen.

Chr. Hansen says it sourced the new strains from the VIB-KULeuven Center for Microbiology, known for its extensive collection of yeast and a longstanding experience in yeast fermentation. 

With the addition of NEER Poly and NEER Punch, the SmartBev NEER technology range now comprises three distinct Pichia kluyveri yeast strains. 

Each of the new strains are said to be thoroughly selected to bring the full beer experience without the alcohol. 

Growth in non-alcoholic beer market 

The unveiling comes in time when consumers are increasingly becoming motivated to explore low/no alcohol beverages due to health and wellness concerns, as well as the diminishing stigma around non-drinkers. 

In fact, recent data from Euromonitor indicates the global non-alcoholic beer market has seen a 5% compound annual growth rate from 2018-22 and is forecasted to grow by 7% over the next five years (2023-27). 

Chr. Hansen notes that flavor and taste remain crucial factors in consumer acceptance of these beverages, highlighting the importance of offering diverse flavor options to meet market demand.