A DRINKS company has partnered with a major brewer to pioneer the UK’s first zero per cent alcohol-free distillery plant and range.

Drynks Unlimited in Bolton has spent seven months installing their cool vacuum distillation (CVD) equipment at Robinsons’ craft brewery.

And the first of the Bridgeman Street outfit’s resulting Smashed Cider, Hops, Citrus and newcomer Berry are poised to hit the shelves soon.

Under the CVD system, which has cost the company £1million to perfect, premium craft drinks are gently de-alcoholised but without the brews’ original flavours and aromas of their ciders and beers being lost in the process.

While the process may take slightly longer, at around 10 days for a bottle of their Smashed range, bosses at Drynks Unlimited maintain it results in quality products.

And with the system capable of delivering 75,000 bottles per day the Bolton company is hoping, as the first British outfit to adopt the technology, it will pay dividends.

Richard Clark, the firm's founder and managing director, said: "The last 0.5% of alcohol is the hardest part to remove.

"That's why the majority of 'alcohol-free’ drinks on the market are low alcohol (0.5% or above), very few are truly 0%.

"This market-leading technology means we are the first British-based drinks company to produce alcohol-free drinks that deliver exceptional taste and an authentic experience.

"Our drinks experts have worked closely with Robinson's brewers to install, test and run this revolutionary piece of brewing kit

"It really is a UK first and we’re excited to see it in action producing our range of Smashed beers and ciders."

Mr Clark and his team are banking on an emerging trend among Millennials and 'Gen Zers' to calorie-conscious beverages which don't result in unwanted consequences at the end of the night.

He says that Drynks never 'part-ferment' or boil their creations, unlike some of their competitors.

"Product quality in the nolo (no and low alcohol) category is mixed to say the least. Some smaller brands are great tasting whilst sadly some of the recent launches do not help create the right consumer perceptions of the sector," added Mr Clark.

David Bremner, Robinson's marketing director, said: "We are incredibly proud to partner with Drynks Unlimited and build their innovative CVD plant in our brewery.

"Their stealth focus on producing the best quality alcohol-free drinks in the market perfectly complements our brewing history and expertise.

"Our no and low sales are up 51 per cent this year and this trend is set to continue through innovation in flavour and dispense."