IS NIRVANA *REALLY* THE UK’S ONLY ALCOHOL-FREE BREWERY?DATE:
Let’s start with the short answer. Yes! Almost 5 years into our journey, we’re still the only alcohol-free beer brand with our very own brewery. If you’re satisfied, feel free to head on and browse our other blog posts. For the long answer, read on…
Here at Nirvana, we’re the UK’s only physical brewery dedicated to alcohol-free beer. By ‘physical’, we mean that we have our own premises where we only brew Nirvana beers. In 2016, we took an empty industrial unit, and we worked hard to create our brewery just the way we wanted it; from tanks to mash tun, to our mezzanine office and tap room, we created a brewery from scratch to craft our very own Nirvana. Back then, many people said opening a brewery solely dedicated to alcohol-free beer couldn’t be done - no-one was focussing on alcohol-free beer, let alone building their own brewery! But here we are, coming up to 5 years later and still brewing beer we love so that anyone can feel included, no matter what they're drinking.
Why did we want to build a brewery if no one else was?
Because we’re committed to producing alcohol-free beers on our terms. We like to go our own way, and for us that meant pursuing the dream of our very own brewery, ensuring that we have full control over our recipes, our production processes and timescales, and the flexibility to tweak, create new brews and more.
We wanted to change the game in no-alcohol beer, and that meant having a space where we could experiment, learn, and perfect the craft in our own space. But aren’t there other breweries dedicated to alcohol-free beer?
While there are other brands dedicated to alcohol-free beer, no-one else brewing only under 0.5% currently has their own brewery. Other brands use existing alcoholic breweries to create their beers for them (known as a contract brew), re-label an existing alcohol-free product with their branding (white label) or, less commonly, they may have their own brewing team who use other breweries facilities to brew their beer (gypsy brewing).
When the Nirvana team, including Co-founder Becky and her family, were setting out to pursue our dream of creating a range of craft alcohol-free beers, we quickly realised that by white-labelling or contract brewing, it often means that the brand doesn’t actually own the recipe for the beer – the brewery do.
We realised that if at some point in the future we decided to brew beer elsewhere or build a brewery, the recipes would have to be recreated from scratch! This was a problem for us, as we wanted to make sure we owned our recipes and had the flexibility to adapt, improve and change as we saw fit.
Why do other brands call themselves a brewery if they don’t have one? Well, some would argue that if you make beer in any capacity, you are a brewery. But it doesn’t necessarily mean you *have* a brewery. Does having your own brewery matter? No! We’re not here to criticise how other people make their beers – it’s not important to us.
We’re proud to be at the forefront of the alcohol-free beer community watching it grow and seeing new styles and tastes appearing. We simply took a chance on going our own way when there was no market and no alcohol-free options, because we wanted to create a world where there was. It took the early innovators like Nirvana Brewery to demonstrate that there really *is* a market for craft alcohol-free beer!
That attitude of going our own way has brought us to where we are today. And choosing to go your own way? Well, that's what we like to call Nirvana. We can’t invite you inside just yet, but you can watch a virtual brewery tour on our YouTube channel. Or, if you’re ready to try our beers for yourself, head to our online shop.
Beer Yoga at the brewery!