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Good Beer Hunting

Jan 28, 2021

In this episode, I’m chatting with Will Hawkes, a London-based journalist who’s been writing about beer since 2010. Over the past decade, Will has regularly contributed to publications like The Washington Post and The Daily Telegraph, but it was only last year when he wrote his first piece for Good Beer Hunting. Part of our Mother of Invention series, made in partnership with Guinness, On the Wagon — The Innovations Behind the Non-Alcoholic Renaissance in British Brewing,” was published on our website on October 22, 2020.

Although this is his first time writing for the site, Will previously featured as a guest on the Good Beer Hunting podcast way back in 2017. For those of you who may have missed that episode, we start our conversation with a brief discussion of Will’s background in journalism, before turning our attention to his article.

Initially a skeptic of non-alcoholic beer, Will talks about how—when he pushed past his own prejudice and tried these beers—he noted a vast improvement in their quality in a very short period of time. That ultimately led him to write this piece on how they’re produced, detailing the three most common production methods used in no- and low-alcohol brewing in Britain today.

In our conversation, we discuss how these different production methods can impact the flavor of no- and low-alcohol beer, whether this sort of production information is of interest to consumers, and how accessible this information is—or isn’t—from each brewer. We also explore the expectations around these products, from things like pricing and availability to who’s consuming them now and who’s likely to in the future. Here’s Will.