Van Thanh Liem, Chairman of Saigon Binh Tay Beer Company, maker of the popular Saigon Red and 333, said the new beer is brewed from the same ingredients used for alcoholic beer such as barley and rice.

The alcohol is extracted, retroactively, from the finished product. “The launch of this new product is aimed at eliciting feedback from the market. If consumers like it, our company will ramp up promotions,” Liem said.

He also said the non-alcoholic beer under the Sagota brand name will cost around VND12,000 (US$0.6) a can. Non-alcoholic beers imported from other countries like the Netherlands and Germany are being sold in Vietnam at between VND80,000 ($3.8) and VND130,000 ($6) a can, according to Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper.

The newspaper quoted Nguyen Van Viet, Chairman of the Vietnam Beer-Alcohol-Beverage Association, as saying that non-alcoholic beer will be helpful for those who reluctantly drink beer at parties and meetings.

Figures from the association showed that Vietnamese people consumed nearly three billion liters of beer last year. The country’s beer consumption topped the Southeast Asia region, and ranked third in Asia after China and Japan in 2012, according to Eurowatch, a market research organization.

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