About Me – Martin Dixon

martin Dixon alcohol free world
craft beer in a stemmed snifter glass

Since I first started drinking alcohol free beer in Germany more than a decade ago, I have witnessed a period of massive change for the brewing industry and for society in general. When I stopped drinking alcohol there were very few alcohol free beers available in most places I went, so I didn’t bother. It was only my experience of working in Germany which gave me the chance to enjoy wonderful AF beers, and more importantly for me, to enjoy them in an environment with no judgement. Alcohol free beer in Germany was just beer like any other. Sometimes people chose to drink it, sometimes they didn’t, but there was never any need to justify or explain.

I started buying German alcohol free beer in bulk and taking it by car to my home in France. Rather than wait for the world to catch up with Germany, I had a stock of great beers which I carefully rationed and savoured whenever I had one. Each of these beers was a special treat. At the same time, alcohol free beer was appearing in pubs and supermarkets, but the largely big brands dipping their toes in the market were doing so with some frankly very disappointing products. Every fibre of my being wanted to shout “just look at Germany!”. I knew that better alcohol free beer existed and I was frustrated to see how many European markets didn’t reflect this.

Jumping forward to the late 2010s, the market seemed to change and alcohol free beers started to become more widely available, and craft brewing started to embrace the potential of alcohol free versions. Technologies improved, both in terms of machinery and raw materials (largely special yeasts), and know-how increased as brewers began to push boundaries and found markets keen to enjoy their products.

I could and maybe should write a book about this one day, but what has been especially fascinating for me has been to observe the development of this industry in so many different markets. I started documenting beers from all over the world on my Alcohol Free World social media properties as a way of celebrating the successes in alcohol free brewing all over the world.

As I tried more alcohol free beers I discovered vibrant and exciting AFNA brewing scenes developing all over the world. Not just the UK, but the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Poland and of course Germany where more than 800 breweries brew alcohol free beer. If there is a lofty ambition behind what I do, it is to enable people from all over the industry to be inspired by what is happening somewhere else in the world.