Keith Villa, Ph.D., CERIA Brewing Co-founder and Brewmaster, and Creator of Blue Moon, Promotes Benefits of Non-Alcoholic Beer

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Explains How NA Beer Promotes Health and Wellness to Participants at NBWA

“Mindful drinking among millennials – the ‘Sober Curious’ movement – and today’s more active lifestyles are also encouraging growth of the segment.”

At a time when the American public is more aware than ever of the importance of health and wellness, Keith Villa, Ph.D., the creator and former brewmaster of Blue Moon, and now co-founder of CERIA Brewing Company, makers of Grainwave and Indiewave non-alcoholic craft beers, is sharing his knowledge of the science behind non-alcoholic (NA) beer’s health benefits.

Dr. Villa, who is an expert in brewing science, speaks regularly on the science and art of brewing great tasting alcoholic and non-alcoholic beers. On Oct. 5, he presented an educational seminar at the 2020 National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA) virtual convention, the largest annual gathering of beer distributors in the country.

At the convention, Dr. Villa explained how numerous studies show plant-derived compounds such as hops and grains in beer contain important minerals and other compounds for improved health. According to numerous studies, these natural ingredients may promote cardiovascular health due to their polyphenol-rich nature, while the presence of essential oils known as “terpenes” are believed to help decrease inflammation, regulate blood pressure, and reduce stress and anxiety.

Moreover, NA beer specifically is a great “go to” beverage before and after exercise for rehydration and recovery due to its natural carbohydrates, sodium, and general fluid make-up, Dr. Villa said. That’s one reason today's Olympians have been swept up in a new trend largely emerging from Bavaria: non-alcoholic athletic recovery beers. (

Dr. Villa is recognized as one of the world’s foremost authorities on Brewing Science and Fermentation Biochemistry, with a Ph.D. from the University of Brussels, and an undergraduate degree from University of Colorado in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology. During a 32-year career at MolsonCoors Brewing Company, he created many innovative beers, with the most famous being Blue Moon.

Health Benefits Drive the NA Market

Dr. Villa believes health and wellness is driving the 13% annual growth rate of the current $728 million U.S. NA beer market, according to Intercontinental Beverage Capital research.

Globally, the non-alcoholic beer market, currently at $17 billion, is projected to reach a market value of $25 billion by the end of 2024, according to Global Market Insights/Statista.     

“Mindful drinking among millennials – the ‘Sober Curious’ movement – and today’s more active lifestyles are also encouraging growth of the segment,” he says.

In 2011, the University of Munich investigated the effects of beer, which contains around 50 polyphenols, on athletes – whose intense physical activity can compromise their immune activity. In the study, when marathon runners were instructed to drink 1.5 liters of non-alcoholic beer per day, their risk of upper respiratory infection was significantly reduced. The activity of white blood cells, a good indicator of inflammation, was lowered 20 percent. (

A 2012 German study printed in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise (January 2012) found that polyphenol-rich beverages such as NA beers may also prove to be effective in groups with chronic inflammation, such as the obese, and in the prevention of cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. (

NA Beer has “No Limits”

In 2020, Dr. Villa’s CERIA Brewing Company introduced Grainwave NA, a refreshing, medium-bodied Belgian-Style White Ale, containing only 77 calories, which is brewed with blood orange peel and coriander. It is then dealcoholized to 0.00% alcohol by volume (ABV), which eliminates the alcohol. Most NA beers today fall under the TTB guidelines of <0.5% ABV which means they are not totally alcohol free, according to Dr. Villa.

CERIA Indiewave NA, at just 99 calories, is a flavorful West Coast IPA that perfectly balances Cascade, Citra, and Amarillo hops with light caramel malts for a smooth citrusy character, then is dealcoholized also to 0.00% ABV.

Both are about half the calories of comparable alcoholic brews.

CERIA has begun to launch its new “No Limits” marketing campaign which will be executed across digital advertising, social media, PR, and point-of-sale. According to Dr. Villa, “No Limits” refers to NA as the anytime, anywhere beverage – the ability to consume a great tasting NA beer anywhere an alcoholic beverage might affect performance, such as on the golf course, the ski slope, at business lunches, or while rock climbing – or even as a replacement for other NARTD (Non-Alcohol Ready To Drink) beverages.

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Jeff Blumenfeld
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