When going out for a few beers with the guys, or enjoying a backyard gathering with family and friends, there are some drinkers who prefer the taste of beer without the alcoholic properties that are typically associated with this popular beverage product. Such beer options that are classified as non-alcohol may contain no more than 0.5 percent alcohol, at least according to the liquor laws laid out among nations such as Canada and USA. There are a variety of methods brewers may exercise to filter the alcohol from the beer in their best attempt to preserve as much of the taste and quality as possible. With the alcohol removed, in order to prevent the beer from going completely flat, carbon dioxide will be applied in the same manner as it's added to sodas. Another feature non-alcoholic beers share among them is the lower calorie content, which for fans of beer, makes a decent alternative to keep drinking a type of beverage they enjoy and not worry so much about compromising their diet.
Like regular beer, there are a number of brands that offer low-alcoholic and non-alcoholic beer products on the market for consumers to pick and choose from. For beer fans who may be the designated driver of a group, this is a convenient option. It's also been favored among consumers who like the taste of beer but don't care for the inebriating effects that come with the varieties that typically contain four percent or more alcohol brew volume (ABV). Just like any other product that comes from different brands and varieties, there are also different levels of quality. Some breweries seem to have a knack to make non-alcoholic beer an alternative so deceptively close to the production of regular beer that if a drinker didn't know any better would have a tough time telling the two apart.
10. BrewDog Nanny State
This pale ale from BrewDog contains 0.48% APV, which is just under the maximum legal amount to label this particular beer product as non-alcoholic. This ruby-colored ale owes its light taste and aroma to the five varieties of hop as well as eight different malts. It is a decent head, and its nose has hints of caramel, molasses, and orange.
9. Two Roots Enough Said
This non-alcoholic beer is special. Graded at 0.5% APV, Enough Said also possesses five milligrams of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the main psychoactive compound in cannabis responsible for producing the high sensation commonly found by smoking cannabis. Classified by Two Roots as a "cannabinier," Enough Said is a cannabis-infused beer, which is the finished product after the use of nano-emulsion technology as a micro-dosing brew. The brewing method follows German's Helle-style formula, which gives Enough Said the yellow and thin head look. The sweet grassy aroma with a dry finish adds to the appeal of this non-alcoholic pilsner-style malt.
8. Bravus Oatmeal Stout
This Californian-based company is the first North American brewery to strictly produce non-alcoholic beer to the consumer market. While there are many pale non-alcoholic beers on the market offered by a growing number of brands, only a few have been able to successfully bring forth a stout option. Bravus has this taken care of, coming as close to the infamous Guinness stout beers as possible with their version. At the 2019 Great American Beer Festival, the Bravus Oatmeal Stout won silver recognition for its non-alcoholic beer entry. This intensely smooth and creamy beer offers hints of caramel, cocoa, and coffee in its malty body. Its 0.5% ABV rating may not be as frothy as Guinness, but as a mostly alcohol-free option, it's as good as it gets.
7. O'Doul's Premium Golden Non-Alcoholic Brew
At a global level, when the topic of non-alcoholic beers comes up, O'Doul's is likely to find its way into the conversation. Brewed almost identically as its regular beer lineup, O'Doul's Golden Non-Alcoholic Brew, as its first fermented, is then aged until it reaches maturity. The difference between the two is the non-alcoholic version goes through the removal of its alcohol through a low-temperature process with low-pressure distillation so that the brew can maintain its flavor without running into the risk of overcooking it. The appeal of this non-alcoholic beer from O'Doul's lineup is its ability to serve as a large crowd pleaser.
6. Big Drop Pine Trail Ale
It has won twice in the non-alcoholic Pale Ale Class with the World Beer Awards on two separate occasions. The first was in 2017 and the second in 2020. The Big Drop Brewing Company has won a number of other awards in non-alcoholic beer categories for other beer products within their lineup, which is impressive for a brewing company that has only been around since 2016. The company's founders, James Kindred and Rob Fink pour full dedication into producing non-alcoholic beers to a market they agreed suffered a lack in variety and quality. The Pine Trail Ale has been among the company's highest award-winning and globally favored beer products to date. This artisan pale ale has a rosy nose and milky base, featuring a brewing mix of barley, wheat, hops, and yeast.
5. Weinstephaner Hefeweisbeer
Being able to celebrate Germany's infamous Oktoberfest without losing control due to alchol-related inebriation is something this 0.5% APV beer is able to provide at optimal quality. As a monastery brewery, Weinstephaner has officially been in business since 1040 AD but has its roots dating as far back as 725 AD when it first catered to the Benedictine monks. Nowadays, the brewery is now under the control of the Bavarian Government. Weinstephaner is the oldest still brewery in the world that's still operating today. This particular beer has received numerous brewing awards since 2014. There is a notable taste of lemon, hey, and cloves featured in this non-alcoholic beer at a level of quality that has consistently been top-notch.
4. Bitburger Drive
This German non-alcoholic beer earns the name Bitburger Drive due to its 0.05% ABV rating in accordance with Germany's regulations as set by its government. Even after a few bottles, the drinker is still able to get behind the wheel and drive about without issue. It's a bright, bottom-fermented beer that gets its highlight from the perfectly balanced mix of honey, gingerbread, ripe grains, and bitter-sweet herbs.
3. Brooklyn Brewery Special Effects Hoppy Amber Non-Alcoholic Brew
At a 0.4% ABV rating, the brewery from New York brings forth this crisp, citric, bitter, and bready lager. The zesty aroma of this non-alcoholic beer is met with the bready sweetness of blended specialty malts and citrus-forward hops. The techniques used by Brooklyn Brewery consistently bring forth quality craft beer that is able to maintain the taste and quality of regular beers but without so much of the alcoholic content.
2. Athletic Brewing Company Run Wild IPA
Founded by Bill Shufelt in 2018, the Athletic Brewing Company has dedicated the entire focus of the company to producing non-alcoholic craft beer to the consumer market. Out of the chosen location of Stratford, Connecticut, this microbrewery has what critics rave is the best of the company's lineup, namely the Run Wild IPA. While it isn't completely non-alcoholic as it contains 0.5% ABV, the five Northwest brew hops that make up the overall taste of this beer as a perfectly balanced bitterness and specialized malt body.
1. Heineken 0.0%
Fans of Heineken's beer product often find this non-alcoholic beverage to be a nice, bold alternative to the regular lineup that comes from this Dutch-based brewery. This lager features a flavorful taste quality that has a nice hint of malt and hops, despite the fact this particular beer product truly is completely alcohol-free. Heineken first introduced its 0.0% lineup to the consumer market in January 2019. In December of 2019, as the year was drawing to a close, Heineken promoted 31-can beer packs as a part of an annual campaign called Dry January. The campaign itself began in 2013 by a British nonprofit organization that later public health campaigns backed by the government.
Written by Lily Wordsmith
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