Cap off the night with a new kind of buzz. Alcohol-free beer is the right kind of drink to make the most out of each festive moment, without the hassle of hangovers and the like.
Everything About Alcohol-free Beer
Before suggesting some awesome booze options, we’d like to share some information on what makes alcohol-free beer a big hit.
What is Alcohol-free Beer?
It may sound misleading, but while alcohol-free beer (also called non-alcoholic beer, light beer, and near beer) contains little to no alcohol content at all, these beers still offer a buzz. Imagine more bottles for you and your buddies to drink, with longer conversations to enjoy!
We can owe why such a drink was created to the 1919 U.S. alcoholic prohibition. Breweries that time had no choice but to lower or take out the alcoholic content of their beverages. Yet, even with the prohibition repealed, these alcohol-free drinks started a following. Since then, the market grew and we all now have some amazing booze to drink.
One other reason to get into alcohol-free beer is that these drinks contain lower calories than regular variants. Do make sure to check the label to see calorie and nutritional details.
Is Alcohol-free Beer Really Alcohol-free?
Typically, a beer is considered to be alcohol-free if it contains less than 0.5% ABV (alcohol by volume). The rating differs depending on the drink’s location:
- S. – the mentioned 0.5% ABV rating is followed.
- K. – a beer with a 0.05% ABV rating (drinks with ABV of over 0.05% but less than 0.5% ABV are categorised as de-alcoholised).
- Australia – beer with an ABV rating of 3.5% is categorised as light beer.
- European States – the mentioned 0.5% ABV rating is followed.
Most beers that fall into the low alcohol content category are lagers, but low alcohol ale is also produced.
Alcohol-free Beer during Pregnancy
Disclaimer: we are not doctors or medical practitioners. Please always consult with your physician or a medical expert if you are pregnant and want to drink alcohol-free beer.
For pregnant drinkers, alcohol-free beer may be a great alternative. However, is this really the case? According to a study conducted by the Canadian Family Physician (archived in the U.S. National Library of Medicine), there is no specific conclusion on whether pregnant women can drink non-alcoholic beer. The level of higher ethanol on some beers though may be of concern when it comes to pregnancy.
Is Alcohol-free Beer Halal?
Let’s clarify the terminology first. Halal means it is allowed; Haram means forbidden. When it comes to alcohol-free beer, certain factors need to be considered.
Alcohol, based on Islamic law, is considered haram, but it gets confusing. If a non-alcoholic drink has “0% alcohol”, then it is safe to say that the drink is halal. However, if the process of creating the said drink makes use of utensils that are contaminated by alcohol, then the beverage is haram. Also, some experts say that since the beer manufacturer is part of the industry that promotes a haram product, then the non-alcoholic drink should therefore be haram.
So, what’s the best way to approach this? It’s best to consult with the beer manufacturers. The process behind a “0% alcohol” drink should determine if the beverage is halal or haram. Something interesting to take into consideration too is that Islamic countries, such as Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, permit non-alcoholic drinks. So, it could be safe to assume that these beverages are halal.
Is Ginger Beer Alcohol-free?
Traditionally, ginger beer is created with no alcohol at all. Ginger beer is fermented, not brewed. Only manufacturers that brew ginger beer with alcohol label the product as an alcoholic drink.
How to Make Alcohol-free Beer
To find out how alcohol beer is made, we first need to know how typical beers are brewed:
- Sourcing ingredients: Yeast, water, grains, hops
- Malting: the grains are processed
- Mashing: processed grains are transformed into wort
- Boiling: the wort is boiled together with the hops
- Fermentation: the remaining basic components of beer are added
- Bottling: the beer is bottled and ready for consumption!
Alcohol-free beer, however, includes (or in some cases, replaces) a step to the entire process.
- Heating: alcohol content is lessened through an additional heating step
- Reverse-osmosis: distilling alcohol out of the finished product
Alcohol-free Beer in Australia
With the rising number of non-alcoholic beers in the country, you’d want to know choice options to drink. Here are some recommendations:
Straight out of Spain, this gluten-free light lager goes well with lime or lemon. Considered the first alcohol-free beer in the world, this beer has great texture and body in every sip.
Asahi Dry Zero
A crisp Japanese beer, the Asahi Dry Zero is low in gluten. A great drink to enhance gastronomic Japanese cuisine, this drink is made without wort and offers the crisp, clean taste of dry beer without the calories!
Bakalář Dry Hopped NA Lager
Possibly the pride of the Czech Republic, the full taste of this non-alcoholic lager is mainly thanks to the expert techniques of said country. A cold hopped lager, the unique flavour makes this one of the most demanded drinks among non-alcoholic beer lovers.
Becks Blue Non-Alcoholic
As mentioned above, fermentation plays a big part when brewing beer. Beck’s has mastered the entire beer process by formulating a unique and satisfying taste before stopping the fermentation part. As such, this barley malt beer has a satisfying and full-bodied taste.
BrewDog Nanny State – Pale Ale
Made by fans to be enjoyed by other fans, BrewDog strives to make some of the best drinks that non-alcoholic drinkers can truly enjoy. Packed with specialty malts, this ale is a diamond in the rough among alcohol-free drinks.
BrewDog Raspberry Blitz
For a sweet escape in non-alcoholic beers, you may want to try this drink. Oozing in fruity delight, the taste and aroma this beer exudes is a keeper among those who want something different.
Budejovicky Budvar – Original Budweiser
Budweiser worked hard to achieve a great-tasting beer, and they succeeded. Using Moravian barley, the master brewers from this group made sure that this drink will leave a lasting and positive impression among beer aficionados.
Clausthaler Lemon Radler
A burst of flavour and colour in a beer could be the best drink to enjoy during a sunny day. Liquid gold in colour, this thirst-quenching drink is exemplified with the sweet mix of lemonade.
Clausthaler Premium NA Lager
As one of the most popular non-alcoholic drinks in Europe, you can only expect the best among Clausthaler drinks. This particular beer has a spicy taste to it, with a fresh and satisfying aroma as well.
Clausthaler Unfiltered NA Lager
A mix of craft beer and traditional brewing techniques, Clausthaler definitely pushed the envelope on creating amazing non-alcoholic drinks. Full in flavour, this golden drink is the perfect reward after a long and hard day.
Erdinger Alkoholfrei Wheat Beer
Satisfy your thirst and energize yourself with this amazing alcohol-free beer. Packed with B12 vitamins and polyphenols, this wheat beer gives you a delicious reason to keep on drinking. Make sure to do yourself a favour and have one today.
Gerstel Non-alcoholic Classic Mild
As the first non-alcoholic drink to come out of Germany, this milestone of a beer contains a malt flavour that will astound the senses. This beer is also produced by a legendary brewery with a 350 history to back it up!
Heineken made a 0.0% alcoholic drink that still tastes amazing. The impossible made possible, which should be the case considering the expertise from this industry giant, the all-natural ingredients and the Heineken mark of quality will surely make you appreciate this great tasting drink!
Include caramel flavour among your non-alcoholic favourite beers today with this drink. Made by German brewery masters, this tasty drink is also a healthy one! This all-natural malt beer will bring much joy into your drinking sessions.
Krombacher Non-Alcoholic Pils
Probably the most popular non-alcoholic pilsner ever, this is one refreshing and healthy drink. The Krombacher Non-Alcoholic Pils integrates the reverse-osmosis step in taking out the alcohol—a process that proves that a master brewery is behind this beer!
Maisel’s Weisse Alkoholfrei
Wheat beer is originally brewed only for aristocrats in Germany. Consider yourself lucky that you’d be able to enjoy some fine non-alcoholic beer with this brand today!
The Alcofree Mixed Beer Case – 24 Bottles/Cans
If you’re on the fence about which non-alcoholic beer in this list to drink, then go for this option. Featuring a fine collection of only the best alcohol-free, you will truly end up as a fan with this case!
ü.NN IPA (India Pale Ale)
Another alcohol-free beer landmark, this drink is the first non-alcoholic IPA to come out from Germany. With a great taste, this is one amazing beer to enjoy.
Shame Australia made non-alcoholic craft beer Sobah isn’t mentioned in this article.
Heineken 0.0 really is a success for them, and you should check out the range from Danish brewer Mikkeller.