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Top 5 Non Alcoholic Beers According to a Bartender

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non alcoholic beers

Non-alcoholic beer, aka near-beer, has been the joke of many parties/gatherings for eons now; much akin to drinking wet cardboard pulp to avoid being a social pariah. Too many thousands of gallons of sweet nectar have been boiled or steam separated into bland, unremarkable, sober swill.

Hope for Non Alcoholic Beer

However, I write you today with a message of hope! As someone who participates in two sober months each year, I often reach for something to satisfy my mechanical habit of drinking that isn’t coffee or Soda Stream bubble water. Sometimes you just want a cold, crisp thing that tastes like beer to hang out after shift with the crew or enjoy while watching the basketball game. During about five years of this routine, I have tasted all that 0.5% has to offer: blondes, ambers, stouts, sours, IPAs, pilsners, and so forth. 

Spoiler Alert…

Most non alcoholic beers are not good; capitalizing on us teetotalers because “they won’t know the difference anyway” (evil chuckle). Or because—for what seems like forever—their only competition was Becks and O’douls.

Sober is Cool

Turns out NOT having a groggy mind, increased anxiety and body lethargy isn’t that bad. Waking up ready, clear and focused is pretty awesome once you get used to it! Companies have fully tapped into upping the ante when it comes to non alcoholic beers these days. For example, Heineken is the latest titan to embrace the sober choice with their 0.0 ads.

At most grocery stores, you should now be able to find at least 2-3 non alcoholic beer options that are of decent quality. Furthermore, local breweries across North America have hopped on the train to develop a non-alc option.

For example, here in British Columbia, Canada these are my two absolute favorites from the local scene:

non alcoholic beer can

Phillips IOTA Pilsner (355ml)

0.5% ABV – 70 Cals

iOTA Pilsner pours pale straw in color, with an easy and effervescent mouthfeel. The body is light and malt-driven. On the finish, smooth German hop notes complement this even-keeled and delicious lager.

Red Racer Street Legal IPA (500ml)

0.5% ABV – 70 Cals

iOTA Pilsner pours pale straw in color, with an easy and effervescent mouthfeel. The body is light and malt-driven. On the finish, smooth German hop notes complement this even-keeled and delicious lager.

I realize many won’t have access to these so here are my tried, tested and true international staples for non alcoholic beers:

Budweiser Prohibition (355ml)

0% ABV – 150 Cals

Using quality ingredients and the distinctive beechwood aging process. Its crisp, clean, malty taste, fresh hoppy notes, and refreshing finish are sure to satisfy beer drinkers.

Stiegl non alcoholic beer bottle

Stiegl Freibiere (330ml)

0.4% ABV – 90 Cals

The natural cloudiness provides a balanced & full-bodied flavor. Austrian Sapphire aromatic hops provide a refreshing & lime-citrusy taste. Pale yellow, naturally cloudy, smooth, well-balanced, with limey hop notes.

ANNNND, my absolute favorite value for money might surprise you…

non alcoholic beer can

President’s Choice Blonde Lager (355ml)

0.5% ABV – 40 Cals

I really don’t know how to go into detail about this one. It tastes like beer; enough cereal grain quality with a feathering of hop flavor. Best of all…It’s CHEAP. I can get 12 cans of this for 8$ at my local wholesaler. It also boasts only 40cals for those making sober breaks a weight loss project as well.

In conclusion, there are certainly some decent non-alcoholic beer options out there if you find yourself taking a break from the booze!

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Nathan Caudle

Nathan Caudle

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