Ten years ago, nonalcoholic beer was snubbed by craft brew fans and hops enthusiasts alike, but with changing tastes and developments in brewing technology came a surge of delicious nonalcoholic beer options to either buy from the store or get on tap. Here are eight of the best nonalcoholic beers trailblazing their way through the market that you should get your hands on.
Eight Excellent Nonalcoholic Beers to Try
Whether you're looking to cut back on your drinking or you're prepping for dry January, you can't go wrong with taking a sip out of any one of these eight different non-alcoholic beers.
1. Athletic Brewing's Run Wild IPA
If you're a ride or die IPA fan, Athletic Brewing's Run Wild IPA is the best recommended option on the market for you to try. Alongside its famous IPA, the Athletic Brewing Company also has a well-liked Upside Dawn Golden Ale and a Cerveza Aletica option. Only having seventy calories per can, and sporting notes of bitterness and citrus, anything coming from Athletic Brewing Company, and in particular their IPA, will absolutely suit even the most amateur non-alcoholic drinker.
2. Brooklyn Brewery's Special Effects
A true doozy of non-alcoholic beer, this Brooklyn-based brew exhibits an amber-red color and exudes a sweetness onto the tongue. Coming in at just under 100 calories, this is another great option for heath-conscious drinkers to buy. However, its best to finish this beer quickly according to a tasting conducted by VinePair, as it gives its most potent flavor just after opening.
3. Heineken's Heineken 0.0
One of the beer industry titans, Heineken, released its own non-alcoholic brew in 2017, and it's slowly been creeping its way higher and higher with non-alcoholic beer drinkers. Perhaps this beer's greatest appeal comes from the fact that its flavors are nearly indistinguishable to the original Heineken recipe. So, if you're a big fan of the classic Dutch formula, then you should pick up a pack of these on your next trip to the grocery store.
4. BrewDog's Punk AF
BrewDog's Punk AF - AF actually meaning alcohol free - was brewed to mirror the company's very popular Punk IPA. Brewed using eight different hops from around the world, this nonalcoholic beer is rather smooth, focusing on a more mild flavor profile than some of the competitors' formulas do, making it perfect for casual beer drinkers.
5. Bravus Brewing's Oatmeal Stout
For many years, porter and stout beer drinkers didn't have any good options in the nonalcoholic beer category. Brewers initially focused on replicating lighter brews and IPAs, but Bravus Brewing's Oatmeal Stout is rich and deep, visually mimicking Guinness in an almost indiscernible way. While it may seem like there are only quality options for light beer drinkers, dark stouts like Bravus Brewing's are here to attest to the contrary.
6. Clausthaler Original Non-Alcoholic Beer
Clausthaler's Original Non-Alcoholic Beer is an interestingly pure beer in that its flavors are only curated from barley, hops, and water as the company has been forced to comply with Germany's purity laws concerning the brewing process. Therefore, Clausthaler's brew is all about natural hops in a no-fuss formula that any committed beer-drinker would love.
7. Two Roots' Enough Said
Unfortunately, Two Roots' Enough Said THC-infused, nonalcoholic beer isn't currently sold everywhere in the United States due to varying legal precedents surrounding cannabis consumption. However, the company's brew has to be commended not only for its great flavor (of which there are seven varieties to choose from), but also for its innovation in a more cannabis-friendly environment. Unlike any of the other nonalcoholic beers on this list, Two Root's Enough Said has enough THC to give drinker's some degree of a buzz, which makes it a standout amongst the competition in the non-alcoholic beer category.
8. O'Doul's Amber
An Anheuser-Busch original, O'Dooles Amber non-alcoholic beer continues to hold its place among up-and-coming competitors as one of the most consistent nonalcoholic beers available. This convenience store staple is a milder beer with a bit of a drier finish; but its soft flavor lets it be consumed at any point of the day.
What Is Nonalcoholic Beer?
With furrowed brows and a perplexed expression, you might be wondering to yourself if nonalcoholic beer is even possible to make. While the idea may feel like a physical oxymoron, the process to create nonalcoholic beer - beer with up to 0.5% alcohol by volume - is rather fascinating. According to Hop Culture, the brewing processes changes from brewery to brewery, but there are two fundamental ways that nonalcoholic beers are crafted:
- Uncarbonated beer is heated to allow the alcohol to boil off.
- Uncarbonated beer is depressurized, allowing the alcohol to boil off at room temperature.
Enjoy a Beer Without the Buzz
Most serious beer drinkers will admit that their love of beer comes not from the alcohol-induced buzz that comes with drinking it, but from the complexity of the flavors that can come out of a rather standard brewing process, and these eight nonalcoholic beers can attest to the fact that the flavor is where the money's at. So, whether you're an IPA or a Stout kind of person, there's a non alcoholic beer out there for you.