There’s something to be said for going to the pub, sinking a few (and then maybe some more) pints, and then waking up the next day without a hangover
Yes people, it can be done thanks to the ever-increasing range of alcohol-free beers on offer. Though the alcohol-free movement appears to have only recently come into fashion, there is a long history of drinking low-strength beer in the UK (we’re talking way back in the Middle Ages when everyone drank beer because it wasn’t safe to drink water), which is something that Small Beer Brew Co are reviving today.
However if you want to go completely booze-free, you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to beers. Removing the booze from beer can so easily mean removing the flavour; the way non-alcoholic beers were first made was by boiling away the alcohol, which had the unfortunate side effect of also boiling away most of the flavour.
Now while there are some non-alc beers on the market that look like brown water and taste like thin squash, there are plenty of AF beers so good that you’d never be able to tell they were booze-free, and that’s all thanks to innovations in the non-alcoholic beer brewing process. So whether you’re teetotal or just experimenting with on-the-wagon life, these are the best alcohol-free beers to get in your glasses.
Beavertown’s Lazer Crush
Beavertown’s no-alc IPA Lazer Crush is brewed using a special strain of yeast that ferments the malt without adding alcohol, so you get full flavour along with hints of peach, mango and grapefruit from the hops, all at just 0.3%.
Produced in Scotland, Days Lager and Pale Ale is 100% beer with 0.0% alcohol – the brewing process doesn’t produce any alcohol at all, so none has to be burned off. Days also donates 2% of all sales (equivalent to the alcohol duty) to mental health initiatives so you’re doing good by drinking this.
If you like a fruity beer but would rather it came without the booze, then reach for a can of LOAH. By brewing them in the same way as full-strength beers but to a percentage of just 0.5%, all the hop flavour is kept in and is topped up with fruity notes of lime and peach for the two lagers and blood orange for the IPA.
Athletic Brewing Co.
Athletic Brewing Co. is the best-selling AF craft beer in the US and now it’s available in supermarkets on our shores. The Run Wild IPA is a great session beer, with malt, citrus and bitter notes, whereas the Upside Dawn Golden Ale is lighter, with a subtle floral undertone, and both are less than 0.5% ABV.
The award-winning Lucky Saint lager (at 0.5% ABV) is made with top-notch hops, high-quality malted barley and their own single-use yeast, and it’s left unfiltered to deliver the maximum amount of flavour with none of the alcohol. Seriously, you won’t even realise it doesn’t contain any booze. A bottle of beer has never felt so saintly.
Leyton-based Nirvana Brewery is the UK’s first and only dedicated alcohol-free brewery, meaning they can produce a whole range of no-alc beers, from Bavarian Helles Lager to Dark & Rich Stout. We particularly like the Classic IPA with notes of citrus, pine and spice – perfect when it’s hot outside but goes down a treat all year round.
Adnams’ Ghost Ship
Originally released as a seasonal beer at Halloween, Adnams Ghost Ship was so popular that not only did it make it to the permanent range, Adnams decided to create an alcohol-free version. The brewery uses a de-alcoholiser to reduce the ABV from 4.5% to 0.5%, meaning the alcohol can be taken out once it’s brewed, so you still get all the bold flavour from the fermentation process.
Big Drop Brewing Co’s Galactic Milk Stout
No one likes a thin tasting stout so Big Drop have created a brew with all the depth and richness you’d expect from a regular one, just minus the booze. The Galactic Milk Stout is smooth and chocolatey with the right amount of bitterness to keep you going back for more.