Would you drink alcohol-free beer? Picture: Pexels.com
You know when all your friends are having a beer and you are having juice or a soda? When they keep pressurising you to have a sip of the beer and how harmless the alcohol is? Well, those days may soon come to an end, thanks to South Africa's first locally brewed alcohol-free beer. 

Castle Free is SAB and AB InBev's answer to Europe's popular alcohol-free beers like  Estrella Damm Free, BrewDog Nanny State, Nix Zero Premium Wheat Beer and Heineken, to name a few. 

South Africa is one of the countries with highest alcohol consumption and a high accident rate caused by drunken driving. It therefore makes sense for SAB and AB InBev to have made invested more than R30 million to develop Castle Free. 
According to the brewers, this is was driven by AB InBev’s Global Smart Drinking Goals which are aimed at fostering a culture of smart drinking amongst consumers and reducing the harmful use of alcohol.
“At SAB we believe that smart drinking choices affect everyone, every day and want every experience with beer to be a positive one. As part of the Smart Drinking Gaols, we are helping empower consumers to make smart drinking choices by enabling access to no-and low-alcohol options, as well as robust health information about our products”, said Castle Lager Africa Brand Director, Vaughan Croeser.

Castle Free is said to stay true to what has made Castle Lager one of the best selling beers in the country- it's well-balanced lager without sweetness, balanced with bitterness and astringency to make it a thirst quenching beer. The brand is targeted at both men and women who are existing beer drinkers and who want more freedom and choice while enjoying beer without alcohol. 

But will people drink alcohol-free beer? Alcohol-free beers have often been accused of being bland by beer lovers. So will people give the beer a chance? We asked people on social media and we got a mixed response:

SAB and AB InBev have launched an alcohol free beer, Castle Free. This offers consumers a real beer taste but without the alcohol.

Castle Free will be available in select outlets as from the 15th of November and will be available in limited edition 250ml sampling can, a limited edition 12-pack, a 340ml non- returnable bottle and 500ml can.