Freestar – A Bold Alcohol Free Beer
Freestar is an exciting new non-alcoholic beer launched in 2019 by three friends determined to create a beer that was alcohol free, but not flavor free. Over twenty months they developed a new way of brewing that gave them the complex flavours they desired. I spoke with one of the founders of Freestar, Eddy Dallas to discuss the story behind the beer.
In part 1, Eddy told me about the history of Freestar and their focus on creating an alcohol free beer packed with flavor. This week we discuss the company behind the beer looking at their brand, corporate responsibility and future.
Whilst flavour has been key to the product design, the founders also recognised that consumers will only taste those exciting flavours if they pick up a bottle and try it. For that reason, they’ve put just as much effort into their branding.
They felt existing branding tends to be watered down versions of the “real” drink or drab and apologetic, almost as if not drinking was something the consumer was having to endure.
“Too often alcohol free drinks make you feel left out of the occasion. They are eye catching for all the wrong reasons and invariably lead to questions about why you weren’t drinking.” says Eddy.
To give Freestar a different image they teamed up with two designers whose previous experience was designing record labels. The brief was simple, they wanted something clean and bold that highlighted the innovative product it contained and targeted urban 25-35 year olds who Eddy brilliantly describes as “a generation that’s realised you don’t have to drink alcohol to go out”.
The result was a resounding success. They ended up with a strong design that’s proud of the great tasting alcohol free beer within.
Since launch, their growth has been rapid. In the three months since Freestar first hit the shelves, they’ve managed to sign up 40 accounts across London along with online stores like GoodStuffDrinks.com. They are looking to grow their presence nationally over the next 12 months, with a launch into Europe in the back end of 2020.
As well as producing a great product, Freestar also highly values their role as a responsible business. They’re working towards becoming a Certified B Corporation which would make them part of a global community of businesses that meet the highest standards of social and environmental performance. Whilst they’re not yet certified (just pending), if they do pass the test they would be the youngest B Corporation in the UK.
So what’s next for Freestar? In October they’ll be releasing their drink in cans, but beyond that they’ve got far bigger plans. In Eddy’s words “In 5-10 years, we see most bar drinks being between a third and a half as alcohol free. We are here to help make that a reality. We want to deliver a whole range of complex flavoured alcohol drinks into this growing market”.
Does this mean another Freestar beer is on its way? “Not necessarily. We wanted to start with something consumers were familiar with to establish our brand, hence the beer. Once consumers know that we stand for great tasting, complex flavoured alcohol free drinks, we can start to develop a variety of more interesting drinks and play in areas less familiar.” said Eddy.
Freestar – Just What The Alcohol Free Market Needs
As more of the big breweries wake up to people not drinking, they’re each releasing dealcoholised versions of their existing brands. Sadly, too many of these feel rushed attempts to capitalise on the growing alcohol free drinks market instead of genuine attempts to produce good beers.
Freestar’s approach is refreshingly brilliant. They’ve taken their time and developed a product that’s not compromised on flavour and complimented it with a strong brand that highlights it’s alcohol free, instead of trying to apologise for it.
For me, they’ve delivered a beer that stands out for all the right reasons. It’s packed full of strong flavours that made me stop and take a moment to appreciate what I was drinking. It’s unlike any other alcohol free drink I’ve experienced and if it’s an example of the direction the market is moving, we’re all in for very exciting times ahead.
Enjoy the Good Stuff
Don’t forget, you can try it yourself here.
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