The idea for an authentic-tasting but alcohol-free lager was conceived by a Toronto company that sells a full line of alcohol-free drinks and donates a portion of net sales to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Canada.
To help develop MADD Virgin Craft-Brewed Lager, the company tapped into the expertise of the Canadian Food & Wine Institute (CFWI) Innovation Centre at Niagara College. The research team developed a unique recipe, finding a way to eliminate all alcohol, while maintaining the flavours and aromas associated with a good lager. Researchers then tested the recipe through
consumer taste-testing panels.
As a result, MADD Virgin Craft Brewed Lager was the first alcohol-free craft beer on the market. In June 2014, it was made available for purchase at more than 3,000 Walgreens stores across the United States, and has since made its way into Canadian retail chains, including Rexall pharmacies. Less than a month later, MADD Virgin Craft Brewed Lager achieved international recognition by winning the gold medal at the 2014 U.S. Open Beer Championship in the non-alcoholic category.
“Without access to Niagara College’s faculty, students, equipment, and network of co-packers, MADD Virgin Craft Brewed Lager would not have been possible, let alone become one of our best sellers in the U.S. market,” says Brian Bolshin, MADD Virgin Drinks president and CEO.