DENVER AND ARVADA, Colo. — If you’re taking a break from alcohol for “Dry January,” Colorado’s craft beers and social bar experiences are still in reach. As this health trend grows in popularity, businesses on the Front Range are finding ways to offer familiar tastes and festivities without alcohol.
For Keith Villa, the creator of Coors’ Blue Moon, brewing a zero-alcohol beer has taken years of experimentation in a pilot brewery behind his home in Arvada.
"I really was one of those guys who thought, 'You know, the more alcohol the better, the more flavor,'” Villa said. “But as you learn more about the process and about the effects on health, you say, ‘well wait a minute, maybe there's a better way.’”
“This is a healthy state. People get outside, hike, and at the end of that hike, we're seeing more and more young people turn to non-alcoholic and alcohol-free products to enjoy themselves and relax,” Villa said.
While the craft brewing industry in the United States “has run into some hard times recently because people aren't drinking as much,” Villa said "with alcohol-free beers, that market is growing double digits, typically 20 to 30% every year.”