Guinness is doing something that would make many an Irishman cringe – selling non-alcoholic versions of the iconic stout.
Parent company Diageo has begun rolling out non-alcoholic Guinness Zero ABV in Indonesia, reports the Belfast Telegraph. According to Diageo, the move to test a non-alcoholic Guinness was inspired by demand in Asia in the non-alcoholic beer category.
Indonesia especially has a market for non-alcoholic beer, as the country passed legislation earlier this year to ban small retail chains such as convenience stores from selling even beverages with low alcohol content, like beer. In response to the legislation, coffee shops and 7-Elevens have boosted their non-alcoholic offerings, such as Ashahi Dry Zero and Tiger Maxx. Even without legislation, if Diageo's success in Indonesia depends on the non-drinking market, as a survey in 2014 found that only 2.2 percent of Indonesians older than 20 reported having consumed alcohol in the previous year.
This isn't Guinness's first non-alcoholic beer. The company's best known non-alcoholic beverage is Kaliber, which contains 0.5 percent ABV – a negligible amount of alcohol that is still higher than the absolute 0 ABV promised by Guinness Zero.
While non-alcoholic beer is a growing market, especially internationally, don't expect Guinness Zero to take Ireland by storm. According to the Belfast Telegraph, the company currently has no plans on launch the product in Guinness's country of origin.