The Brussels Beer Project (BBP) has launched Pico Bello, the first non-alcoholic Belgian craft beer on Thursday 14 November.
“We did not want to de-alcoholise an existing recipe. Instead, we started from scratch, and created an alcohol-free beer that we would like to drink ourselves,” said Olivier de Brauwere, one of the founders of BBP, to the Brussels times, adding that the goal was to not compromise between alcohol-free and taste. “It was a challenge to create a craft beer without alcohol, but we are very happy with the result,” he added.
BBP created more than 30 beers under 5% alcohol, gradually reducing alcohol levels to 4% then 3% and 1.5%, and now Pico Bello, which contains 0.3% alcohol.
“The beer has a fruity, citrusy aroma, with a touch of bitterness and the acidity break with the sweeter alcohol-free beers produced by traditional brewers,” the brewers said. The Pico Bello beer will only be sold in cans, as they are lighter and preserve the aromas of the beer better.
Pico Bello has not been created with the industrial process of de-alcoholisation, as that process leads to the disappearance of many flavour profiles, according to the brewers.
BBP has worked with The Proef Brewery, which it also collaborated with for their ‘Juice Junky’ beer, on alternative fermentation using special yeast strains which create fruity esters and minimal alcohol. “The goal was to take away the alcohol, but not the fun,” said de Brauwere.
It will be launched on Thursday 14 November in several cafés in Brussels and Antwerp, and it will be available in Delhaize supermarkets from December.
The Brussels Times