From Crop to Consumption

Alcohol-free brewery drops bottles to boost sustainability

Leading alcohol-free brewery Drop Bear Beer Co. has launched a range of cans, as it converts from bottles as part of its commitment to the environment.

The switch from bottles to cans further increases the brand’s drive to sustainable beer production and takes the brewery a step closer to achieving key environmental accreditation.

Already sustainability-focused, Drop Bear’s move to 330ml cans is central to becoming Wales’ first ‘B Corp’ brewery and one of less than ten in the UK, an essential goal for Drop Bear’s business ethos.

Attaining ‘B Corporation’ status is a natural transition for the award-winning company and will identify the brewery as meeting the ‘highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency and legal accountability.’

Founded by Joelle Drummond and Sarah McNena, Drop Bear is proud of its sustainability credentials. Among its initiatives, the company uses a 100% renewable energy powered vehicle, plastic-free packaging, organic cotton t-shirts, and operates a paperless office.

Through supporting numerous projects worldwide* Drop Bear has to date carbon offset 60.08 tonnes of greenhouse gasses and planted over 730 trees – an average of 12 trees per employee per month.

Joelle Drummond said: “Drop Bear is passionate about driving authentic positive change in this world. Businesses of any shape, size, or industry can and should do their part. Our transition to cans from bottles is the next natural step in Drop Bear’s sustainability journey as we continue our rapid growth.

“Aluminium has a higher recycling rate than glass. As more cans may be stacked on a pallet, food miles are saved, further reducing our carbon footprint. Drop Bear has always stood strong on sustainability from Day 1, and this is something that Sarah and I have wanted to do for a while now, so we’re really excited to finally be able to make this move.

“When it comes to the quality of the beer and sustainability, we don’t want just to meet standards; we want to set the bar higher. The rising popularity of cans amongst consumers is also a key factor to consider as we scale up, for so many different reasons - consumers want cans!”

Cans have risen in popularity, and market trends indicate continued growth. In 2019, 72% of all packaged craft beer sold via EeBria Trade was canned. The beer cans market experienced shipments of 90.2 million cans of beer globally in 2020 and is estimated to reach 110.9 million units by 2026, registering a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 3.6% for the forecast period (2021-2026).

Since Drop Bear’s formation in 2019, its Welsh and Australian founders have created a booming beer brand that’s captured the zeitgeist of the alcohol-free drinks market.

Earlier this year, the company succeeded in securing a £1.9 million equity investment to build one of the world’s first dedicated alcohol-free breweries. It is on course to open the largest UK alcohol-free brewery in spring 2022.

This was demonstrated just last month when Drop Bear’s quartet of beers each won an award at the World Beer Awards. Also, at the recent European Beer Challenge, the brewery dominated the alcohol-free category, where its prize haul included a double gold award (lager), gold (stout), silver (pale ale), and bronze (IPA) awards.

The Drop Bear range currently consists of four beers: Tropical IPA, Yuzu Pale Ale, Bonfire Stout, and New World Lager – all of which are below 0.5% ABV.

Vegan friendly, 100% natural, gluten-free, and low-calorie, the punchy attitude-packed beer has swiftly garnered a faithful and growing legion of fans and awards from judges around the world.

This recognition has made Drop Bear a leading player in the industry. In its second year of operation the company saw a growth in sales of over 650%, and projections for the end of 2021 are expected to be in triple figures.

Sarah McNena said: “We are expecting to see bumper growth in the next few years, especially with the new brewery, which will see us head and shoulders above the competition as one of only two dedicated alcohol-free breweries in the UK and less than five in the world.”