We wrote a blog like this last year and we’re doing it again because, in the ever evolving world of alcohol-free beer, lots has changed already!
It tastes better than you think
Many people who choose to quit or moderate their drinking may find it easier to do so with alcohol-free versions of their favourite drinks. But until now we’ve had limited options with beer, and the options we did have were usually a bit of a disappointment. We’ve received awesome reviews for beers like Heineken 0.0, Big Drop Brewing Co’s Chocolate Milk Stout, Nirvana’s Kosmic Stout, St Peter’s Without and punk as f*** Mikkeller’s fruity ‘Drink’in the Sun’. The quality of alcohol-free drinks in general is undoubtedly causing a rise in sales and with all kinds of alcohol-free Pale Ales, Stouts and Lagers bursting onto the market from breweries specialising in low and no-alcohol alternatives, it’s no surprise that alcohol-free drinks are now being billed as the most exciting drinks category by the likes of Diageo’s Distill Ventures.
Alcohol-free beer is easier to buy than you realise
More and more pubs are stocking alcohol-free beers, to provide for their customers who want to drink less but without compromising on taste. Supermarkets are also improving with Tesco now having a dedicated alcohol-free section in their booze aisle and Waitrose regularly stocking Becks Blue, San Miguel, Nanny State, Bavaria and Erdinger. No doubt other supermarkets will soon follow suit and it’ll just continue to get easier. Online shops like Dry Drinker target=”_blank”>Dry Drinker and The Alcohol Free Shop are brilliant for their mixed cases, so you can sample a range of flavours without even leaving your house. And although many pubs and bars have their non-alcoholic beers nestled right at the bottom of the fridge (something we are trying to change!), all you have to do is ask.
Alcohol-free beer is actually good for you…
…and GREAT for dieting, health routines, etc etc. Alcohol is derived from sugar so once the alcohol is removed, the majority of that sugar has been removed too. So with a generally much lower calorie and sugar count than its alcoholic sister, alcohol-free beer is the healthiest drink you can order at a pub next to water – even better than juice and usually with less alcohol than OJ. Heineken 0.0 comes in at a mere 69 calories per bottle, Big Drop’s deliciously crisp, refreshing and citrusy Pale Ale is just 65 calories per bottle, whilst Fitbeer have created an authentic, smooth and crisp tasting German lager at 66 calories per bottle, also containing Vitamins B12 and folic acid. Krombacher Pils is malty but light, containing around 89 calories per bottle and contains B6, B12 and folic acid.
There are Gluten-free and Vegan versions too
Yep that’s right, you can be the most mindful badass on the planet and drink an alcohol-free, gluten-free, vegan beer. A child will probably be granted a wish when you purchase it and an abandoned puppy will immediately be rehomed. Ambar 0.0 is a full bodied, slightly sweet beer that’s gluten-free AND vegan, and Krombacher Pils is not only healthy and great tasting, it’s also gluten-free and vegan. East London wizards Square Root have created a Half Cheeky Shandy with their neighbours Pressure Drop brewery, which may not be gluten-free but it is vegan – and it’s just 57 calories per bottle.
It’s given away at the end of marathons
So we’ve discovered that alcohol-free beer tastes great, it’s low in calories, it’s low in sugar, it’s occasionally gluten-free and sometimes kind to earth’s creatures. But is that enough for you? No, probably not. There is also some evidence that beer helps your body recover quicker after physical activity, so as non-alcoholic beer doesn’t contain the alcohol, sugar content or empty calories – it’s even better. Erdinger Alkoholfrei is brewed under the strict Bavarian Purity Law, which means it is made from only high quality, natural ingredients. It is isotonic and contains Folic acid and vitamin B12, like Fitbeer and Krombacher do, which supports energy-yielding metabolism – making it perfect for a post-workout drink…which is why they dish it out at the finish line at sporting events like the Greater Manchester Marathon.
There you have it, alcohol-free is officially cool now. However, people do still struggle to buy a pack of alcohol-free drinks without tasting them first – we generally have much less trust in alcohol-free drinks than we do in alcoholic ones. I mean we’ve all grabbed an armful of that random unknown, but cheap, Polish lager from the offy en route to a house party right? So with that in mind, we’ve curated a festival that lines up the best alcohol-free drinks on the market, for you to taste before you buy. We’ll have all of the beers in this article and more, so find out what else is happening at the festival and RSVP for free entry here.
The Club Soda Mindful Drinking Festival. Bermondsey Square. Sunday 13th August 2017, 12 noon to 6pm.