Drynks Unlimited has invested £1 million to launch “the UK’s first 0% alcohol-free distill plant” in Manchester.

The cool vacuum distillation (CVD) kit is now producing its first bottles of 0% Smashed Beer and Cider. 

The company was created in 2017 by drinks industry expert, Richard Clark, with the aim to creating a range of 0% alcohol-free premium craft drinks. 

Drinks Unlimited is the first British drinks business to use this technology and there are reportedly only 20 in the world doing so at present. The company has partnered with Robinson’s Brewery in Stockport to build and connect the kit to its existing craft brewery.

The CVD process gently dealcoholises (removes alcohol) from premium craft drinks without affecting the flavour and aromas. It has the capacity to produce 75,000 bottles of drinks per day.

Clark said: “The last 0.5% of alcohol is the hardest part to remove. That is why the majority of ‘alcohol-free’ drinks on the market are low alcohol (0.5% or above), very few are truly 0%. This market-leading technology means we are the first British-based drinks company to produce alcohol-free drinks that deliver exceptional taste and an authentic experience.

“Our drinks experts have worked closely with Robinson’s brewers to install, test and run this revolutionary piece of brewing kit. It really is a UK first and we are excited to see it in action producing our range of Smashed beers and ciders.”

David Bremner, marketing director at Robinson’s Brewery, said: “We are incredibly proud to partner with Drinks Unlimited and build their innovative CVD plant in our brewery. Their stealth focus on producing the best quality alcohol-free drinks in the market perfectly complements our brewing history and expertise. Our no and low sales are up 51% this year and this trend is set to continue through innovation in flavour and dispense.”

Clark added: “Product quality in the nolo (no and low alcohol) category is mixed to say the least. Some smaller brands are great tasting while sadly some of the recent launches do not help create the right consumer perceptions of the sector. We definitely don’t ‘part-ferment’ and we never boil the original great tasting alcohol drink. We strive to have multi-dimensional drinks that deliver on taste and experience.”

Its first alcohol-free brand is Smashed and it has four in the range: Smashed Cider, Smashed Hops, Smashed Citrus and Smashed Berry (launching in 2020). These are available in bottles and cans and they are vegan-free and under 100 calories each.