How one Surrey brew company are trying to change the way we drink beer

Binary Botanical aims to appeal to people who don't like beer

Binary Botanical aims to appeal to people who don't like beer - Credit: Archant

Danielle Bekker, co-founder of 2019 Surrey Life Food & Drink finalists, Binary Botanical, wants to change the way we drink beer

With campaigns to cut back on drinking and news that millennials are turning their backs on alcohol, brands that offer lower alcohol alternatives are growing in popularity.

Looking to shake up the beer market, Binary Botanical launched in June 2018 with a low-alcohol equivalent hitting the shelves a year later.

The brand soon made it to the finals of the 2019 Surrey Life Food & Drink Awards.

Woking-based co-founder Danielle Bekker is no stranger to beer, having worked in the brewing industry for over 20 years and long harboured a desire to change the way people drink it.

“I really love beer, but I would often change to wine when having food. I then started to question why I was switching to something more alcoholic. So, I think the original inspiration was to create a beer that tasted good and was designed to go with food,” she explains.

While most beers are brewed using hop cones, Binary Botanical is infused for five days with organic leaves from Sovereign and First Gold hop bines, the name given to the stems of the hop plant.

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And while hops can impart a bitterness that isn’t for everyone, Danielle says hop bine leaves add a “unique flavour that combines the refreshment of an ice cold beer with the tropical notes of a crisp Sauvignon Blanc, the soft effervescence and tanginess of Prosecco, and finally something verdant and herbal that’s reminiscent of gin and tonic.

“It also makes use of a waste product that usually goes to compost”.

Danielle is most passionate about Binary Zero, the brand’s 0.5 ABV variety. “I think people are moderating what they drink massively now, and I find myself that it’s not the alcohol that I want, but the ritual of drinking,” she says.

“I want to sit there with a drink, but I don’t want a lime and soda. If we can make the low and no-alcohol space interesting and tasty, I think a lot of people would choose it as an alternative.”

The brand’s core customer groups are the 25-35 vegan, conscious consumer types and people 45+ who are looking to make healthier choices. She also says that women are drawn to the Binary Botanicals range more than traditional beers.

“It’s also a kind of democratising drink for couples, as it’s something that they can both enjoy,” she adds.

Binary Botanical beers can also be used instead of wine and spirits in a cocktail and Danielle plans to sell a bespoke range of cocktail ingredients to go alongside the beer, like the “Hello fresh of cocktails”, she says.

One of the biggest challenges Danielle has faced since launching the beer has been getting people to try it, but the team can frequently be found at Surrey’s farmers markets diligently trying to change the way people see beer.

Visit to find out where you can try it yourself.

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