Beer for Athletes

Andrea Henkel, of Germany, holds a large mug of Erdinger no-alcohol beer after winning the women’s sprint race last month at the biathlon World Cup in Fort Kent, Maine.

Erdinger Non-Alcoholic Beer Marketed as Athletic Drink

Bavarian brewery Erdinger is promoting its no-alcohol, or “Alkoholfrei” beer as the latest sport drink for athletes. It’s been handed out at the finish line of sporting events and promoted for its regenerative benefits.

According to an Associated Press article published in the Worcester Telegram and Gazette, European athletes, such as Andrea Henkel, of Germany enjoyed Alkoholfrei beer from ginormous mugs on the podium of the World Cup biathlons held in northern Maine.

The brew (which apparently comes in three-liter pours) is being promoted as “an isotonic, vitamin-rich, no-additive beverage with natural regenerative powers that help athletes recover from a workout.”

All beer arguably has some of these benefits, but reducing the alcohol to %0.5 to qualify as alcohol free and promoting this brew to the athletic set is great marketing. Athletes can carbo-load and recover with this beverage and safely drink a more enjoyable and healthier beverage than a syrupy, processed energy drink. Some athletes probably chase the alcohol-free brew with a standard beer or two in private, but at least this is a beer they can hold up on the podium, and maybe even enjoy in between events.

Alcohol-free beer sales have been on the decline in recent year, but maybe the Erdinger “sports” brew will turn that around.

What do you think? Will this catch on here in the US for athletes or anyone else? Are you running to the store to pick up a $10 six-pack of it now?