Drinks producers say they’re “astonished” at the popularity of their zero-alcohol offerings, with sales of non-alcoholic beer and gin at an all time high.

Adnams, based in Southwold, has been leading the region’s producers in the quest to provide non-drinkers with low alcohol or alcohol-free beer, said sales of their most popular offering had soared over the summer.

Thetford & Brandon Times: Adnams Ghost Ship 0.5 has seen significant sales growth (Image: Adnams)Adnams Ghost Ship 0.5 has seen significant sales growth (Image: Adnams) (Image: Adnams)

Ghost Ship 0.5, a low-alcohol pale ale, saw a 25pc rise in sales since June, which the brewers put down to its similarity to its popular Ghost Ship 4.5pc. 

And a desire to tap this growing market is inspiring others to have a go too.

Last month, Hethersett-based distillery Home Farm Gin released its first alcohol-free spirit.

Company partner Paul Dunnett said had already been snapped up by several retailers.

Thetford & Brandon Times: Paul Dunnett and Nev Leverett of Home Farm GinPaul Dunnett and Nev Leverett of Home Farm Gin (Image: Home Farm Gin)

He said: “We are astonished at how popular it’s been, sales via events have been good, but the total surprise is how many pubs want to purchase. 

“Each time I check to see how sales are going for the month, I see another few pubs added that haven’t bought our products before. 

“I had no idea the demand for alcohol-free gin would be this big.”

But while these beverages might be an easy swallow for customers, for the teams making them the process is anything but simple.

Mr Dunnett explained: “When we make alcohol-free gin we use water as a base rather than alcohol.

“It’s flavoured with botanicals, but where we struggled was creating that warming effect you’d get with regular gin.

“We had to get creative.”

The team turned to the natural world for inspiration and discovered a spicy solution.

Mr Dunnett said: “We ended up using chillies. 

“It really does the trick - not only does it taste like gin, but it gives you the same sensations too.

“I think that’s key, giving people a product that doesn’t feel like a soft drink, but that they can drink without guilt.”