No Alcohol, No Problem: Brewing and Evaluating Low-and-No Alcohol Beers

So you’ve mastered how to make great beer, but what about those times you or your friends crave a handcrafted brew yet don’t want to consume alcohol? Consumers purchasing alcohol-free adult beverages are now spending more per household than households that drink exclusively alcohol-containing products. Despite non-alcohol’s (NA) staggering growth in the market, most people don’t realize that NA beers must be evaluated on their own merits—and of course brewed differently—as they’re missing the key ingredient of ethanol.

How does an NA IPA differ from a “regular” IPA? And how do you brew one that will make people not just reach for another, but also exclaim, “No way! I would never know this doesn’t have alcohol?” In this session, you’ll hear the history of the non-alcoholic movement, taste various styles of NA beer and compare them with their alcoholic equivalents, and follow along with a visual instruction of how to brew your own.

Alcohol-free for more than 1,000 days, Certified Cicerone and former Boston Beer education manager Meagen Anderson has partnered with Blue Moon creator Keith Villa to launch (AF)icionado, the world’s first sensory training and certification program for non-alcoholic beer, wine, and spirits. Be among the first to learn how to brew low- and no-alcohol beers at home and understand how and why their sensory profiles differ from their full-strength counterparts.

Learning Objectives

  • Hear an overview of the NA category, incluuding its history and position today
  • dentify sensory differences and expectations for NA beer
  • Master how to produce non-alcohol beer at home

About the Speaker

Meagen Anderson is the founder of Hop Forward Consulting/(AF)ionado in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Meagen Anderson hails from the Midwest and has had the pleasure of being part of the incredible evolution of the craft beer movement in the United States for the past 17 years. Her professional portfolio includes commercial roles for The Boston Beer Company and the revered New Zealand based hop co-operative, NZ Hops Ltd. In 2018 she discovered an ancient meditation technique to reduce stress and burnout. Soon after implementing this meditation, Meagen recovered her health and began to experience the benefits of being more resilient, balanced, and intentional. She was drawn to the functional application of the technologies of consciousness in communities and organizations.

In 2022, after celebrating 1,000 days of an alcohol-free lifestyle, Meagen founded the (AF)icionado Certification Program, which focuses on training and certification for beverage professionals in the fast-growing alcohol free and non-alcoholic beverage segment. She also co-founded Transcending Trauma in 2022, a program created to support survivors and supporters of the #metoo movement by offering meditation training and consciousness programs to breweries and individuals.

Meagen is pursuing an MBA in sustainable business in combination with Consciousness Consultant training with the esteemed Dr. Tony Nader, MD, PHD, MARR. She currently resides in Portage, Michigan, as well as Franklin Grove, Illinois. Meagen loves spending time with her children and her high school sweetheart. Meagen now finds bliss in sharing how meditation can help people develop their consciousness and nurture their own creative expression, personal development, and wellbeing.

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