AL's is a brand new non-alcoholic beer that is re-thinking classic American beer and providing a much-needed revival to the NA space.
We chatted with Alban de Pury, the Founder of AL's to learn more about why he got into the NA beer space, what he loves most about the Craft NA beer community, AL's unique brand, and more.
For an in-deptch review on AL's classic, you can read that here.
Visit www.drinkals.com for more info on AL's and to try it for yourself.
Q: Tell us about yourself. How did you get into the business of making NA beer?
A: A couple of years ago I decided to see what life could be without drinking alcohol. Beer had always been my favorite drink but I just didn't enjoy the alcohol side effects anymore. After the initial buzz comes the tiredness, anxiety, hangovers etc. I just wanted to feel good and live my best life. However, despite feeling much better when I stopped, there were many challenges that came with that. I've spent my career in the music & nightlife industries and I used to lead cultural marketing for Absolut Vodka, one of the largest spirit companies in the world. Having a "drink" had always been an essential component of having fun, going out, networking and meeting friends. When I stopped drinking I was scared of not being able to enjoy and thrive during those social moments. So I started drinking NA beer because I really missed the taste of beer and because it gave me that feeling of having a real drink in hand. However another challenge emerged.....I couldn't find any in my favorite bars & restaurants in Brooklyn where I worked. That's when the AL's idea started brewing in my head. I really felt that given my personal experience being "sober curious" and with my professional background I had a good shot at transforming the narrative around NA beer into something really positive. So I started diving into the beer industry, traveling the country to talk to brewers to find a way to make the best tasting NA beer.
Q: We love the aesthetic of the brand - what was the inspiration of the can design, logo, etc.?
A: AL's was the first name that popped into my head when I decided to launch a NA beer brand. I grew up in french speaking Switzerland and my name Alban can be hard to pronounce. So sometimes people call me "Al" I wanted a name that is easy to remember. It is also an homage to my grandpa "Al" who studied in California in the late 40's coming from Europe after the war; he was a huge role model for me and he had many great stories to share about his "American Dream" I also love the aesthetic of those classic American beers from the midwest and I absolutely love the 70's / 80's can designs of some of those brands. I wanted to create a cutting edge new brand that is inspired by the aesthetic and the feeling of those beers. As a European, I grew up watching American movies from those eras and I guess the aesthetic has stayed with me. I also love an old dive bar with plenty of neon branded beer signs, something that we don't have back in Europe. I was also lucky to find the great Brooklyn based artist Tom Henry who turned my vision into a beautiful reality by drawing AL's universe.
Q: Do you have plans to release any other beer styles in the future?
A: I really wanted AL's to start with a straight up American lager. Personally it's my go to style. I know that there are plenty around from the big brands, but I felt that none of them were that good. So this is our " NA craft" version of those classic Pilsners and the brewing team in California has done a fantastic job. Yes we do have other recipes in the works. Currently thinking about an American Pale Ale and there will be others that are more hop forward. I want AL's to present NA classic beer styles that taste amazingly good. Also it's very important for me that what we release tastes as good as the best alcoholic beers. I don't like it when NA beers taste too sweet or "worty" because of the unfermented sugars.
Q: For those who don't know, what do you want NA beer drinkers to know about AL's?
A: AL's will give you the confidence to walk up to any bar counter when you feel like ordering a great tasting NA beer. AL's will allow you to cheer with your friends. AL's will be your companion when you're watching your favorite band live or sports team. AL's will be your go-to beer at all those summer bbq's before driving home. AL's is for drinkers and non-drinkers alike. My ambition for AL's is to provide an uplifting and healthy alternative for people to enjoy all of life's social and celebratory moments without alcohol.
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