non-alcoholic beverages

Sierra Nevada Launches Non-Alcoholic Beer After 5 Years Of Development



After five years of development, craft beer innovator Sierra Nevada has released Trail Pass, a line of non-alcoholic beers.

While the brewery launched its zero-alcohol Hop Splash sparkling water in 2022, its absence from the growing non-alcoholic beer space was notable -- particularly as competitors continued to fill store shelves. According to the brand, it wanted to ensure it got the recipe right before heading into stores.

Rather than remove alcohol after fermentation, Trail Pass undergoes traditional fermentation, but with a yeast that results in low-residual alcohol.

Trail Pass debuts with Trail Pass Golden and Trail Pass IPA, and Sierra Nevada is concurrently expanding its Hop Splash line with the release of a citrus-flavored version.

The specific timing of the launches during Dry January clearly seems strategic.



Sierra Nevada celebrated the national release of its new non-alcoholic products on its social channels this week, and is also running a sweepstakes awarding winners with a National Parks Pass.

In a separate promotion, Sierra Nevada is running something of an influencer talent search, offering “Adventurers” a chance to collaborate with the brand via social media while receiving complimentary Sierra Nevada nonalcoholic products. To apply, consumers need to share their email, social media information, and fill out a questionnaire about what makes them embody the “Nonstop Adventurer.”

A page on Sierra Nevada’s website dives deeper into the development of Trail Pass, a process it claims began in Germany around five years ago when founder Ken Grossman was impressed by the non-alcoholic brews he sampled in that country. That led to initial experimentation, but the company says it had no set intentions to market a non-alcoholic beer at that time.

After some failed initial experiments, the company says it stumbled upon a new yeast being developed by culture brewing yeast manufacturer Lallemand, which combines specific beer and wine yeast strains to reliably fermenting to below 0.5% alcohol. while avoiding off flavors.

"Our innovation brewers have been working for years to perfect a flavorful, satisfying non-alcoholic brew,” Sierra Nevada vice president of marketing Lesley Albright said in a statement. “What they've developed is truly best-in-class.”


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