Majestic has reported a 77% rise in year-on-year sales of low-alcohol beer amid vast improvements in the overall level of quality within the category.

The retailer classes anything with an abv below 2% as a low-alcohol alternative and it said sales have been surging this summer.

“The picture has changed dramatically, even in the last year or two,” said James Reed, beer buyer at Majestic. “Low or no alcohol beers used to be at the back of the pub’s fridge, stowed away for the occasional teetotaller or driver.

“The craft beer movement has changed all that. It’s meant that for the majority of consumers who are increasingly conscious of their alcohol intake, there are some genuinely tasty and interesting drinks to explore. It’s a game changer.”

The total no and low-alcohol BWS category is worth £116.6 million after growing £22.4 million over the past year (Nielsen).

It represents just 0.7% of the value for the whole of BWS, but it is growing and beer is the most buoyant part of this emerging category, worth more than £57 million.