How we make beer that’s low in alcohol but big on taste

Here at Adnams, we’re proud to make all our beers and spirits from grain to glass. Maintaining the highest quality through every step of brewing and distilling.

So, why should brewing a low alcohol beer be any different?

Here’s a closer look at how – and why – we make Ghost Ship 0.5% , our low alcohol pale ale that tastes just as good as a regular pint.

We wanted to offer a real alternative

Our aim in making Ghost Ship 0.5% was that we wanted it to be something drinkers would actively choose. We didn’t want them to feel they were missing out, so our low alcohol beer needed to have the same flavours and aromas they enjoyed with the original Ghost Ship 4.5.%. It became clear early on that in order to achieve this, we needed to follow the usual fermentation process and remove the alcohol afterwards – because it’s the fermentation that gives Ghost Ship its unique, citrussy tones.

We invested in a fancy bit of kit

We opted to use a process called ‘reverse osmosis’, which allows us to filter out the alcohol while still retaining the full flavour and body of the beer. It meant investing in a new dealcoholisation plant (we were the first brewery in the UK and the second in Europe to do so) and restructuring the brewery packing area to accommodate this innovative bit of kit. It wasn’t the cheapest option, but with the machine running 24/7, it means we now make 12,000 litres of Ghost Ship 0.5% a day – equivalent to 75 barrels of great-tasting beer! And compared to other processes we considered like vacuum distillation, the cold temperatures used during reverse osmosis are much gentler on the character of the hops and malt – leaving the full Ghost Ship flavour intact.

Here’s how it works…

Watch this quick video for more on the process, and hear from our brewers, Fergus and Dan.

The low-alcohol movement is causing a splash

We believe there’s a big future for brews like Ghost Ship 0.5%. Here’s a look at the stats:

What’s next on our radar?

We’re excited to have introduced a new addition to our low alcohol range – Wild Wave Cider 0.5%. Just like Ghost Ship 0.5%, there’s no compromising on taste.

And don’t forget, if you’re a wine drinker we also have our Adnams 0.5% Sauvignon Blanc, 0.5% Garnacha Rosé and 0.5% Cabernet Tempranillo.

Everyone can say cheers to that!