By Troy Hasselman, February 28 2020 —
Village Brewery has launched a non-alcoholic craft stout, a new addition to their line of Village Local non-alcoholic beers. The brewery has been introducing new types of non-alcoholic beer to increase the options for anyone looking for a non-alcoholic drink in Calgary.
The beer is made in a process similar to how regular Village Brewery beers are made, with all of the ingredients except alcohol put into use. The low alcohol content of the beer also makes it to be a low calorie drink, using less than half the calories of a regular beer.
“Basically what we do is we keep it pretty similar to the ways we brew our beers so we’re not dealcoholizing or anything like that,” Stuart says. “We’re brewing a beer with the same core ingredients — barley, water, hops and yeast. What we’re doing is we’re making a very, very light beer essentially. You kind of back-add beer to bring it back up to a full body product and it comes out very low as far as alcohol goes but you also get a low-calorie count and a low-carb count. For our stout, we’re at 70 calories, a regular alcoholic stout would be at 150 or close to 200 calories.”
“We’ve been brewing real beer for eight years now and started into non-alcoholic beer about a year ago,” Village Brewery Events and Marketing lead Jackson Stuart says. “We were all started by five guys in Calgary that all had beer experience and wanted to make high quality craft beer and also give back a bunch of community support to arts and culture through sponsorship, donations, volunteer time and all that good stuff. We do about 300-400 events a year through sponsorship. We make a bunch of craft, approachable and well balanced beer.”
Stuart says community engagement is foundational to what Village Brewery does, with the brewery involving itself in a great deal of community events and volunteering.
“We always say ‘It takes a village,’ so that’s kind of the idea behind the whole thing from the beginning,” Stuart says. “Ten per-cent of our bottom line goes right back into the community, whether that’s through sponsorship or beer donation. We do a lot of volunteer work. It’s everything from barbecues and beer league stuff right up to accessible events. We put on our own carnival every year called Circle Carnival with several partners. There’s a lot of events on that level and it’s a big part of what we do.”
Stuart says the taste of the stout is similar to that of a regular stout, with a similar texture, to the point that some Village employees couldn’t tell the difference between the non-alcoholic and the regular drinks.
“For me, it’s pretty close,” Stuart says. “You’ll definitely get a bit of the ‘Okay, this is a non-alcoholic beer’ It doesn’t water off at the end like some of the other ones do but it’s still full-bodied, it’s still got a coffee and chocolate taste and the kind of silky, mouth-feel that you get from a regular stout. We had kind of a fun story when we first brewed it. The brewers called us upstairs and they had three stouts in front of us and one was ours, and not everybody picked out the non-alcoholic one.”
The Village Brewery Stout is available at Calgary Safeway and Sobeys grocery stores and liquor stores across the city.