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Non-alcoholic beers and small breweries

Key information

2nd of June, from 12:00 to 13:00 C.E.T

Session description

Alcohol-free beers are more varied and exciting than ever before. Normally production beer with very little or no alcohol demands costly and technical installations. However, this is beginning to change as more smaller breweries are now producing this type of beer. Rudolph Michel presents the latest and upcoming market trends for the non and low-alcohol segment in selected European countries. Martina, a researcher from the Technical University Munich-Weihenstephan, describes which techniques are available and what exciting possibilities exist to retain flavour whilst getting rid of ethanol. Manuel and Angel, two Spanish micro brewers share their experience of developing an alcohol-free IPA, in a market where the share of no/low alcoholic beers is above 10% of the beer market.

Speakers information

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NAME: Dr. Rudolph Michel

TITLE: Head of Application Development, Brewing & Beverage Technology, GEA Brewery Systems GmbH

BIOGRAPHY: Rudolf Michel finalized an apprenticeship as brewer & maltster and studied at the Technical University of Munich at Weihenstephan. Here he graduated as engineer and did his PhD. He worked with Prof. Dr. Karl Sommer for several years on the mechanisms of hot break separation and on hygienic design of armatures and pipework systems. After different positions he joint Huppmann in June 2000 and being involved in major brewhouse projects. After a takeover by GEA in 2006 the new entity GEA Brewery Systems was built in 2009. Currently he is leading the research & development team focusing on brewing technology and environmental aspects and the product management team. He is a member of DBMB (Deutscher Brauer- und Malzmeister Bund, Dortmund) and VeW (Verein ehemaliger Weihenstephaner e.V., Freising) and has published more than 100 papers.

TITLE OF THE PRESENTATION: Dealcoholization of Beer with GEA AromaPlus Membrane Technology

PRESENTATION DESCRIPTION: The market of alcohol-free beer is constantly outperforming in the last 10 years. Breweries are reacting to market demands by integrating alcohol-free products into their portfolio. Some aspects of the market drivers are discussed as well as some engineering criteria for de-alcoholization technologies.

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NAME: Manuel Fuentes Ramajo

TITLE: Founder and Brewmaster, Compañía Cervecera Zeta S.L.


Educated as an Industrial Mechanical Engineer, Manuel became Founder and Brewmaster of Zeta Beer in 2013 when he joined Carlos, his friend and classmate at University to start up Zeta Beer in Valencia. They are one of the pioneers of the craft beer scene in Spain and they rapidly become one of the references thanks to the lager beers they brewed, who became the main difference factor from other craft breweries in the country. Zeta Beer sold 1.500 HL in 2020 across Spain and they have distributors in most important European countries.


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NAME: Angel Cózar

TITLE: Cervezas Majara

BIOGRAPHY: Angel graduated as a Telecommunication Engineer (2003) and then improved his education with a MsC in Brewing Science and Technology (2014). He founded Cervezas Majara since 2019 where he serves as the brewmaster. His brewery does contract brewing, gipsy brewing and is now producing low alcohol beers only (legally defined as <3% ABV in Spain). Three beers in its portfolio respectively label 2.3%, 2.5% and 0.65% ABV so far and an increase focus on <1% ABV is currently being developed.

TITLE OF THE PRESENTATION:  BELOW – a low alcohol IPA from a craft brewery without removing alcohol

PRESENTATION DESCRIPTION: –Manuel and Angel will explain how to brew a low alcohol beer in a craft brewery without removing alcohol: what are the technical challenges and methods of production, what are the Key advices to learn from their experience.

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NAME: Dr Martina Gastl

TITLE: Head of the research group Raw Materials based Brewing and Beverage Technology at the ‘Lehrstuhl für Brau- und Getränketechnologie’ in Weihenstephan, Germany

BIOGRAPHY: Martina Gastl apprenticed as a brewer and maltster from 1994 to 1996. She studied brewing and beverage technology at the Technische Universität München-Weihenstephan, Germany. She graduated as an engineer at 2002. From 2002 until 2006 she completed her phD concerning ‘Technological influence on lipid degradation in terms of improvement of beer flavor stability’. She is currently head of the research group Raw Materials based Brewing and Beverage Technology at the ‘Lehrstuhl für Brau- und Getränketechnologie’ in Weihenstephan.

TITLE OF THE PRESENTATION: Different technologies for de-alcoholising beer – an overview

PRESENTATION DESCRIPTION: The production methods for non-alcoholic beers can be divided into two main groups: physical and biological methods. With physical methods, the alcohol produced must be removed from the beer after fermentation, while the formation of alcohol is suppressed or limited to certain concentrations with biological methods. The choice of a particular method has a significant influence on the characteristics of the finished product as well as on the cost of production.


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NAME : Frits Dunnink

BIOGRAPHY : Beersommelier Frits Dunnink (1971) works as content creator and author on the subject of mankind’s oldest alcoholic beverage. Seemingly a simple product made of only four natural ingredients, beer holds a vast universe of colours, flavours and tastes, not to mention the opulence of fascinating stories of brewing and craftsmanship. That never ceases to fascinate Frits. In December last year he published a book about non-alcoholic beer in the Lower Countries. Probably the world’s first ever published, dedicated to this subject. #drinklessdrinkbetter

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