The Boozeless Boom: Why NA Beer is All the Rage

Today’s beer trivia question: What’s generally considered to be the first commercially available non-alcoholic beer? If you answered “Clausthaler,” a hearty round of congratulations is in order. We’ll raise a mug of non-alcoholic beer and toast to you.

Launched by German brewery Binding-Braueri in 1979, Clausthaler was the only NA game in town for a while. Although it can still be found on US shelves, Clausthaler’s reign atop the NA beer world is long gone. These days, the low/no-alcohol beer market is topped by several multi-national mega breweries, with hundreds of smaller craft beverage producers adding flourish and option in a booming market that shows little sign of slowing.

There’s still plenty of room for growth in the NA beer and cocktail market as consumer demand continues its steep rise. According to a recent report from IWSR, low and no-alcohol volumes grew by five percent in 2023 in the world’s ten most significant markets and are now worth $13 billion. Non-alcoholic beers and ciders make up 72 percent of that volume.

There are wide-ranging reasons why the demand for non-alcoholic beer and spirits is increasing and we’ll take a brief look at those social, economic, and technological shifts below. But before we dive too deeply into examining the growing embrace of sobriety, we need to answer one of the burning questions we get from Wild Goose customers when the subject of NA beer arises: Are Wild Goose canning and bottling systems able to package NA beer? Yes, they are. Overall, the core canning process of filling and sealing for cans of NA options remains the same as all types of beers.

Wild Goose has expertise with a wide variety of craft beverages and can help you make sure that your non-alcoholic drinks meet the highest quality standards. And we can help you cash in on the NA trend – one that shows no sign of slowing.


Long before Clausthaler staked its claim as the “first” NA beer, there was a demand for non-alcoholic beers. While the first NA beer can be traced back to about 5,000 BC, NA beers started to gain larger numbers of followers in the 19th century, for instance, primarily driven by religious temperance movements and health concerns. Early examples included “near beers” with low alcohol content and “small beers” that were brewed specifically for pregnant women and children.

During World War I and II, non-alcoholic beers gained popularity with wartime restrictions on alcohol and rationing of resources. During the U.S. Prohibition Era (1920 to 1933) American brewers would brew their regular beer, and then boil off the alcohol, getting it below the .05 alcohol percentage mandated by the government. Many ingenious brewers would package and keep the boiled-off alcohol and include it in a small, hidden package along with the near-beer. Consumers simply squirted the alcohol into the NA beer with a syringe, giving rise to what was called “needle beer.”

As the 1970s arrived, not only was Clausthaler making good-tasting non-alcoholic beer, but so, too was Texas Select in San Antonio. After initial success in the Middle East, Canada, Japan, and Korea, Texas Select began selling in America in 1981. In 1990, Anheuser Busch introduced 1990 and the NA beer market has been on an upward trajectory since then.


To be frank, early versions of NA beer might have been less filling, but they certainly didn’t taste that great. Thankfully, both the quality and flavor profiles of non-alcoholic options have significantly improved, offering sophisticated and satisfying alternatives to traditional beers and cocktails.

The demand has been driven by a change in consumer behavior. With an eye toward better health, research shows almost half of all drinkers are trying to reduce their alcohol consumption, with many turning to non-alcoholic alternatives.

Many drinkers, particularly younger drinkers, are adopting a “sober curious” lifestyle, a growing movement that explores moderation and mindful drinking, leading to more interest in non-alcoholic alternatives. People want to enjoy social occasions without the effects of alcohol.

NA beer and no-alcohol cocktails can enhance social inclusion by creating a more inclusive environment for those who don’t or can’t drink alcohol, including pregnant women, recovering individuals, athletes, and religious/cultural abstainers.

And let’s not overlook the creativity of craft drink creators. Unafraid of taking bold risks to boost their businesses, many small brewers and distillers have pushed the envelope on NA tastes and products, adding inspired and great-tasting options far beyond the non-alcoholic drinks of long ago that poorly imitated the tastes of their boozy counterparts.


Grand View Research projects the global non-alcoholic beer market to more than double in the next three years, reaching $26.74 billion by 2027. There’s little indication that part of the beverage industry is slowing, with a surge in collaborations between breweries and celebrities or influencers a notable trend, leveraging their influence to promote non-alcoholic beer and attract even more audience.

Here at Wild Goose, we’ve assisted a wide range of craft beverage producers as they’ve diversified their non-alcoholic product offerings in recent years. Notably, our Gosling 2.0 canning system is the perfect addition to a smaller-scale operation that wants to expand its product offerings without a major investment in equipment.  Looking for a canning line that will grow with you? Check out our Evolution Series.

We raise a mug of non-alcoholic beer and toast to you.


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Whether you are starting from scratch with your business or ready to distribute your products worldwide, you can count on Wild Goose to help you. Our systems are known for their purpose-built capability, outstanding performance, and dependability. 

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