... non-alcohol and alcohol-free beers actually do often contain a wee bit of alcohol in them.
Primed for individuals chasing a New Year's resolution, those pregnant, or anyone on antibiotics, non-alcoholic beers—long disdained for their bland taste—have evolved over the years so much so that now some brews are commanding respect from the craft community. Believe it or not, the booze-free beers of today include different flavors and styles with balance and a point of view.
But beware, the term non-alcoholic beer (or NA for short) is a bit of a misnomer, since non-alcohol and alcohol-free beers actually do often contain a wee bit of alcohol. But, if the amount of alcohol by volume is less than half a percent, the beverage can be labeled non-alcoholic or alcohol-free.
five non-alcoholic beers to Try:
Bitburger Drive 0,0%
Bitburger Brauerei, Bitburg, Germany
This German pilsner-style beer is the lightest alcohol by volume option listed, with actually no booze at all. Bitburger Drive 0,0% is a crisp, clean, and surprisingly full-flavored effervescent sparkler. The brewery advertises as a post-workout libation because ... why not? It’s got light bready notes, with some grassy bitter hops on the finish.
Aslan Brewing Company, Bellingham, WA
Going dry in the state of Washington just got a lot easier with the release of Don's Non-Alcoholic, an organic craft NA beer. This one is brewed with roasted barley, sweet chocolate, Vienna malts, plus a little bit of citrusy Cascade and earthy Hallertau hops. Expect a nicely balanced, medium-bodied amber beer that doesn't lack for its no-alcohol status.
Clausthaler Amber Dry Hopped
Binding-Brauerie, Frankfurt, Germany
Claiming to be the world's first dry-hopped, non-alcoholic beer, Clausthaler adds American Cascade hops from Yakima, Washington during the dry-hopping process (when hops are added after fermentation). The result is a beer with fresh citrusy and spicy aromatics that complement sweet toasty, caramel flavors. Thanks to the hops, this one finishes pretty dry for a NA beer.
Drink'in The Snow
Mikkeller, Copenhagan, Denmark
This uniquely spicy brew is refreshing in that it is an NA beer which Mikkeller took seriously when crafting. A winter seasonal counterpart to Drink'in The Sun, Drink'in The Snow is an intense, medium-bodied dark amber sparkler. Look for notes of clove, caramel apples, licorice, coriander and orange.
Guinness Ltd., Dublin, Ireland
Kaliber is a deep golden amber that's quite dense for an NA beer. Light aromatics of cereal and toast are followed by herbal grassy and peppery notes. This medium-bodied brew is lightly hopped and earthy, with wafts of nutty caramel and a clean, dry finish.