Eastern Market Brewing Co. is among the latest beer makers to join in on the growing zero-alcohol movement with the launch of its own line of non-alcoholic beer. The brewery had already been experimenting with draft versions for most of last year, but with 2023 officially here, the company is releasing two n/a gose-style sours, grapefruit and tangerine, available in 12-ounce cans. Fans can pick up packs of four from several local retailer’s, including Busch’s Fresh Food Market and Total Wine, as well as at its Eastern Market taproom and sister locations — Ferndale Project and Lincoln Tap in Royal Oak.
In 2021, the brewery began testing the market by partnering with Minnesota-based ABV Technology to install a machine called the Equalizer at its production facility that, according to a news release, uses a dual-stage vacuum that can turn a regular beer into a hard seltzer or a version that maintains most of the original beer’s flavor but with less than .5 percent alcohol by volume.
“When we began contemplating the NA market and learned about ABV Technology’s machine, my first reaction was that it sounded too good to be true. We could take any of our beers, run it through the machine, and not only get an NA version of the beer, but also a hard seltzer output,” said Dayne Bartcht, managing partner of Eastern Market Brewing Co., in the news release. “So we loaded up a car with kegs, drove to Minnesota, and sure enough, it worked. It was the best NA beer I’ve tasted.”
The launch is just the latest in Eastern Market Brewing Co’s. recent spate of expansion. On Thanksgiving, the company launched an investment campaign in a series A funding round with the goal to raise $1 million to grow its distribution efforts, expand its newly-opened Lincoln Tap, and to continue to build out it flagship location. In just a few weeks, the campaign raised more than $1.2 million, according to its page on the investment platform Mainvest. The more than 400 investors who contributed to the effort own a piece of the business’s family of companies, which include the Ferndale and Royal Oak operations and Dooped Donuts and ASHE Coffee downtown.