We all know that beer is an acquired taste, some love it and others don’t, and non-alcoholic beer is no different.
Over the years, the consumption of non-alcoholic beers has gained popularity due to its health benefits. If you’re a devoted non-alcoholic beer drinker or you want to give it a try, have a look at the best alcoholic beers around the world you’re sure to enjoy.
What Is The History Of Non-Alcoholic Beer?
Non-alcoholic beers date back to medieval times when alcoholic drinks with a lower percentage were served to people because their drinking water had instances of contamination. The low alcoholic brews were also much cheaper than drinks with higher alcohol content during those days.
In the United States, non-alcoholic brews were promoted during Prohibition which was a period where the production, transportation, importation, and sales of alcoholic beverages happened in the years 1920 to 1933.
Recently, concerns regarding alcoholism promoted the growing trend of breweries focusing on marketing non-alcoholic drinks.
How Much Non-Alcoholic Beer Is Consumed Around The World? Is It Rising?
Business wire states that the global non-alcoholic beer market can be expected to grow from $15.09 billion in the year 2020 to $16.65 billion in 2021 at a 10.3% compounded annual global rate. This proves that the consumption of non-alcoholic beer is rising worldwide due to reasons varying from health to road safety precautions. In 2020, North America was the largest consumer of non-alcoholic beer.
How Is Non-Alcoholic Beer Made And Does It Contain Alcohol?
Non-alcoholic beer is made with the same ingredients as alcoholic beer which are yeast, grain, water, and hops. What differentiates the two beverages is that the alcohol is removed or produced in very small amounts in non-alcoholic beers. There are different methods used by distilleries to remove the alcohol in non-alcoholic drinks.
In this process, the beverages are made the same way, however, the alcohol is removed in various ways. Steam distillation is a process of removing alcohol by heating it up since it has a lower boiling point, this process however can impact the flavour of the drink. The water vapour process uses gas equipment that carries the alcohol out of the liquid. Reverse osmosis uses high-tech equipment to carry out the alcoholic content.
Regular beer is made from the fermentation process, the longer you ferment a drink, the more potent it’ll become. When you want to limit the alcohol volume in a particular drink, the fermentation process can be limited.
Dilution is one of the most popular processes used to make non-alcoholic beer because it is simpler than the rest. Beer will be made in a similar way and after fermentation, water will be added to dilute the drink and lower its ABV (Alcohol by Volume). Afterwards, the beer will be re-carbonated to restore its fizz and flavour again.
Does Non-Alcoholic Beer Differ From Low-Alcohol Beer Or Small Beer?
Alcohol-free beer, low-alcohol beer and small beer all fall under the same category of non-alcoholic beer. They have tastes similar to regular beer but contain significantly less alcohol or in some, no alcohol at all.
Can You Feel Drunk After Non-Alcoholic Beer Consumption?
Non-alcoholic beer contains under 0.5% ABV. Theoretically speaking, consuming 10 non-alcoholic beers with 0.5% will equal 5%, however realistically speaking, the average adult cannot get drunk by this percentage. Some people might feel that they are becoming drunk when consuming alcohol-free beer because that’s how much the taste replicates the original beer taste, we can refer to this feeling as the placebo effect.
Can Children Drink Non-Alcoholic Beers?
Whilst non-alcoholic beers are safe enough to be consumed by anyone, when we are discussing the morality aspect, children shouldn’t be allowed to consume them.
Breweries state that non-alcoholic beer is strictly designed to be enjoyed by adults falling above the legal drinking age of their respective countries. Reasons pertaining to why children aren’t recommended to consume alcoholic beers is because the taste closely replicates that of beer. Children may get too familiar with the alcohol-free taste and an interest in alcoholic beer may develop as a result.
Is A Non-Alcoholic Beer Okay For Alcoholics?
Non-alcohol beer is safe to be consumed by recovering alcoholics because it doesn’t contain alcohol. However, although it may seem appealing regarding it being a safer option, it could be a powerful trigger leading to cravings that can have them relapsing. This could be extremely devastating because consuming non-alcohol beers are not worth sacrificing the sobriety someone has worked tirelessly for.
How Does Non-Alcoholic Beer Taste?
Beer taste is not for everyone because the first time you experience drinking it, it will boast a bitter flavour and though non-alcoholic beers don’t contain alcohol, they still do have the same ingredients that will give its flavour a bitter taste.
The flavour of non-alcoholic beer depends on numerous factors such as the beer brand, beer style and beer quality. Years ago, before non-alcoholic beers were popularised, they didn’t taste as good as they do today due to the manner in which they were brewed. New technological advancements have enabled breweries to significantly improve the non-alcoholic drink’s flavour and quality to closely mimic the original beer taste.
Is Non-Alcoholic Beer Healthy?
Non-alcoholic beers are healthier than alcoholic beers because they’re an excellent way for people to reduce their alcohol intake and still get to enjoy the taste and experience of drinking beer. Opting to drink non-alcoholic beer prevents you from consuming a toxic substance found in alcohol that increases your risk of falling victim to chronic diseases.
Non-alcoholic beers are healthy for pregnant women to drink and a great drinking alternative for recovering alcoholics.
Will Non-Alcoholic Beer Make You Fat?
Do alcoholic and non-alcoholic beers contain the same number of calories? The answer is no, non-alcoholic beers have fewer calories than standard beers. For example, a bottle of 330ml Carlsberg has 122 calories, whereas a bottle of 330ml Carlsberg 0.0% has 72 calories.
The calories found in beers don’t always come from alcohol, hence why non-alcoholic drinks contain calories too. Non-alcoholic beers tend to be higher in carbohydrates and sugar than standard beers because sugar is added to give the alcohol-free beer some increased flavour once the alcohol has been removed.
Whilst non-alcoholic beer cannot necessarily make you fat, overindulgence in anything is not good for your health because there is still some added sugar in alcohol-free beers.
Which Non-Alcoholic Beers Are Considered The Best?
In no particular order, below are some of the best non-alcoholic beers around the world.
- Heineken 0.0 0.3%: Heineken, a popular Dutch brand introduced this alcohol-free beer and the introduction had people ecstatic. Expect tasting notes of lemon, bitter hops and malt. Compared to alcoholic beer, the flavour is thinner but does contain the same mouthfeel characteristics.
- Skippers Wet Hopped Pilsner 0.5%: All the way from Germany, this lager is astonishingly good with a full malty body. The name derives from the practice of adding hops after the fermentation process.
- Guinness 0.0%: Guinness is considered as one the world’s greatest beers and they too have finally released their very own version of the non-alcoholic beer. The taste closely resembles that of the original with a hint of coffee bitterness and a sweet milky finish.
- Two Roots Enough Said Helles 0.5%: The alcohol-free beer hails from San Diego, California. Expect to taste some maltiness, hop and tang.
- Athletic Upside Dawn Golden Ale 0.5%: This non-alcoholic beer has some cereal flavours and citrus tasting notes. A crisp and hoppy beer, the Golden Ale Athletic Upside down is convincingly good.
- Brooklyn Special Effects Hoppy Amber 0.5%: A favourite of many craft beer lovers in the United States, this alcohol-free beer is a New York native with citrus, hops and bread tasting notes. The brewery states that this non-alcoholic beer is made using a special fermentation procedure to allow the beverage to retain its original flavour without any alcohol.
- Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier 0.5%: Based in Germany, Weihenstephaner is a staple during Oktoberfest, and they have dubbed themselves as the oldest brewery in the world.
- Athletic Brewing Run Wild IPA 0.5%: Another addition to the Athletic brewing company, Run Wild’s hop aroma bursts out once opened. On the palate, the non-alcoholic beer’s presence is light and bright offering a fresh, balanced, and clean taste.
- Lagunitas Hi-Fi Hops Unplugged 0.5%: This non-alcoholic brand hails from California and includes tasting notes of bananas, hops, and citrus. The brand collaborated with AbsoulteXtrcts to create non-alcoholic beers that contain levels of CBD and THC. The infusion contains just the right number of milligrams to leave you relaxed without experiencing any psychoactive experiences.
- Suntory All-Free 0.0%: From Japan, Suntory is one of their most popular non-alcoholic beers. Expect to taste notes of crisp citrus, barley and malt. It has been in existence in Japan for about a decade but is newer in the American market. The drink tastes like a mix of half beer and half sparkling water.
- BrewDog Hazy AF 0.5%: A United Kingdom brand, Brewdog has massive, juicy tropical fruit notes such as lemon and grapefruit. The brewery started in Scotland but has diversified to places such as Australia, Berlin, and Ohio.
- Bravus Oatmeal Dark 0.5%: If you are a Guinness fan, expect to enjoy Bravus as it’s described to have flavour notes ranging from chocolate, caramel, and coffee. It’s based in California and can pair well with barbeques and other savoury food.
- Lagunitas Brewing Company IPNA 0.5%: Lagunitas has been in California for decades, but this current non-alcoholic beer is fairly newer in its product ranges. The alcohol-free beer has notes of citrus, pine and just the right amount of bitterness.
Cheers! The Non-Alcoholic Beer Trend Keeps Growing
As the world moves from consuming alcoholic drinks due to various reasons such as religion, health, and wellness. One of the best motives for people’s shift from alcohol consumption is to try and play their part in limiting the high rates of accidents caused by drinking and driving.
The non-alcoholic beer culture is here to stay as the numbers of alcoholic free drinkers are rising yearly. So, whether you enjoy bitter, sour, malty, creamy, or rich beer notes, there is a non-alcoholic beer out there that you can enjoy, we’re sure of it!