The story behind the great name (and even better taste) of Drop Bear Beer Co.
With a name inspired by the popular Australian folklore ‘Drop Bear’, this quintessential UK-Aussie hybrid is here to surprise you with bold flavour profiles from its unique craft alcohol-free beer offering. We spoke with Sarah one half of Drop Bear Beer Co. team to uncover the ‘how and why’ behind their non-alcoholic beer venture, and when best to enjoy it (spoiler – anytime!).
Give us some background on yourself:
Hi, I'm Sarah, one of the co-founders of Drop Bear Beer Co. Drop Bear is an award-winning specialist brewer of alcohol free craft beers, and I'm in charge of the operations and finance...you know all that fun stuff!
Originally from Melbourne, I moved to the UK in 2017 and now live by the sea with my partner and our tiny dog. Some of my earliest memories with beer are of adults in my family drinking VB tinnies.
I hated that first sip, but it grew on me and I drank plenty of it during my time at Monash Uni! I reckon Melbourne is such an awesome place to explore craft beer, from indie rooftop bars to some potent home brew in the kitchen.
It wasn't really until I moved to the UK that I even started thinking about alcohol free beer. I now have a strange accent that is a combination of Australian and Welsh, and I'm not really sure what to think about it!
Why have you decided to move to alcohol-free beers?
In October 2018 I decided to take a break from drinking. I didn't have a huge issue with alcohol, I just found that it started affecting me a bit negatively so thought I'd look for some other options.
What were the benefits you gained from lowering your alcohol intake?
There were so many more benefits than I could have imagined actually! I had more time and energy on the weekends and was able to understand myself better (as cheesy as that sounds). I also find that it helps me keep more in shape – it's crazy how the calories can add up!
Do you still drink alcohol sometimes?
Yes, and as the owner of an alcohol-free beer company that tends to shock people! Here at Drop Bear we're not about preaching, we're about options. I don't drink much these days, I tend to just go for beers that flavour-wise I'm super interested in.
It may surprise you, but I genuinely believe that moderating my intake and entering the world of non-alcoholic beer has allowed me to enjoy beer of all ABVs so much more. I pay more attention to the craft, the story, the elements that make that brew so unique.
How have people reacted when you decided to drink alcohol-free beer?
I think initially people found it a bit off putting; everyone knew I didn't have a toxic relationship with alcohol, I just thought it could be better and addressing my relationship. Although I think that can make some people uncomfortable, it ended up helping those close to me take a look at their relationship with alcohol too.
It's the norm now and no one bats an eyelid when I alternate between alcoholic and non-alcoholic bevvies or just take a night, week, or month off!
Do you have a partner in sobriety? Who?
Well, I consider myself a moderate drinker rather than sober, however, when I take breaks from alcohol, I'm joined by my partner and Drop Bear's other co-founder, Joelle.
Jo really supported me when I decided to take that initial break from alcohol, so much so that we ended up creating what is soon to become the UK's biggest dedicated alcohol free brewery!
Like me, Joelle is super passionate about flavours, so whether it's AF or not, we spend a lot of time analysing and generally chatting about beer.
What is your favourite alcohol-free craft beer?
Alcohol-free beer has come a long way, and I am so proud of our award winning range, so it's hard to pick a favourite. Saying that, I reckon the Drop Bear Yuzu Pale Ale takes top spot for me. It's the perfect balance between complex and ‘sessionable’, and is super refreshing.
Every time I drink it, I'm taken back to the really warm summer of 2019 when we launched Drop Bear and we worked long days at events and drunk an unholy amount of Yuzu Pale Ale...great times! It also took bronze at the world beer awards last year...just saying!
Where do you usually enjoy your alcohol-free craft beers?
Absolutely anywhere! There's a beer for every occasion and location in my opinion, and brews with a view are always enjoyed. For example, Jo and I love a nice cold Drop Bear when we're on a hike and we make it to the top of a mountain. We can kick back, open a few stubbies, and just take it all in. There is something really special though about sitting in a cosy pub or bar and being surrounded by people having a great time (and I think we all appreciate it so much more after the year we've all had). Sometimes it's the simple things, you know?
Finally, to whom would you recommend making this choice?
I think non-alcoholic beer is for everyone, whether you don't drink, want to cut back, or just can't drink on a particular occasion. Having an alcohol-free beer just feels so much more satisfying than a coke or juice at a bar when your mates are there with their super hoppy IPAs! Drop Bear really champions bold flavour profiles so if you like a craft beer, give us a try for sure.