0% Alcohol Beer
Not so far in the past; not a lot of people appreciate non-alcoholic beers. For this reason, there were not many brands and breweries that catered to this demand since not so many people are interested in such beer varieties.
So, it is surprising that more and more brewing companies are manufacturing and making efforts to develop their unique brews of zero alcohol lagers, IPAs, and even stouts in recent years.
What is the best 0 alcohol beer? The best one in the market is the Brooklyn Special Effects Hoppy Amber. This brew has just enough citrus with the perfect amount of hoppy bitterness to it that is sure to impress IPA fans without overwhelming those who prefer something less assertive.
The goal of this short read is to give you a rundown of the best zero alcohol beers available to you in the market today. It will also discuss zero alcohol beer and their different benefits that you might want to enjoy too!
Aside from that, you will learn how these products are brewed, which will definitely quench your curiosity.
What Is Non-Alcoholic Beer And What Are Its Benefits
It is kind of hard for anyone to argue that beer is one of the most popular drinks in the world. Although beer traditionally has alcohol content, companies have begun to give non-drinkers the perfect option with non-alcoholic beers.
Companies and breweries are also setting their sights on people who like an alcohol-free lifestyle, increasing the drink’s fame.
Non-alcoholic beers give the consumer all the excitement and taste of drinking regular beer minus the alcohol content. The name sounds straightforward enough – it’s simply beer without alcohol.
It’s fair to remember that though the name may say “alcohol-free,” you would do well to take that with a grain of salt. The fact is that non-alcoholic beers still have a tiny bit of alcohol content, but because of that, they are not 100% alcohol-free.
Non-alcoholic beer can be classified into three types – alcohol-free beer, which has a maximum of 0.05% ABV. Another one is de-alcoholized beer which has a maximum of 0.5% ABV. Lastly, the low alcohol beer which has a maximum of 1.2% ABV.
The first method is by removing the alcohol from the finished product and the second method is by making sure alcohol doesn’t form during the brewing process.
The third method is by boiling the beer to evaporate the alcohol content. The fourth and last method bypasses the beer through a filter that separates the alcohol from the beverage.
One benefit of zero alcohol beers is reducing alcohol dependency due to their shallow alcohol content. It makes a non-alcoholic beer an excellent option for those looking to reduce their alcohol intake or even try to quit altogether.
Another benefit of non-alcoholic beers is that it has much fewer calories than their regular counterpart, which helps maintain weight and caloric intake.
Lastly, non-alcoholic beers keep you from getting intoxicated, thereby providing a much safer and more enjoyable drinking experience for you and the people around you.
Top Picks For Non-Alcoholic Beers
Non-alcoholic beers have come a long way ever since it was first introduced to the market. Granted, there are still plenty of questionable brews out there, but there are also many great-tasting beers available to you in the market.
You need to find the best one out there to enjoy it to its fullest. Here are the best non-alcoholic beers that you may want to give a try:
Brooklyn Special Effects Hoppy Amber
The Brooklyn Brewery is well-loved by many craft beer drinkers in the country, but this company also appeals to people who enjoy having a Budweiser in hand.
This brewery has not been slacking off in honing its craft and now offers this fantastic non-alcoholic addition to its lineup.
According to the Brooklyn Brewery, Special Effect is made using a unique fermentation method to keep its flavor while extracting the alcohol.
The result of this unique fermentation process is a citrus-forward brew with the perfect blend of bitterness coming from the hops.
Weihenstephaner Korbinian Alkoholfrei
The Weihenstephaner, an Oktoberfest staple and classic, is based in Germany and dubs itself the world’s oldest brewery.
Now, they are offering non-alcoholic versions of their classic brews, such as their Non-Alcoholic Wheat Beer and Non-Alcoholic Original Helles.
The former of the two names is worth checking out. The beverage is a light and refreshing Hefeweizen with a slight touch of hops that gives you the overall feeling that you genuinely enjoy a beer and not simply some barley version of White Claw.
Chandelier Kolsch Style
This Kolsch style ale made and brewed by Surreal Brewing is an excellent option for those looking for a low-calorie non-alcoholic beverage.
Each serving only has as little as 17 calories but gives you all the crisp, malty flavors of a classic Kolsch. This beer is named after a protected marine reserve in California in an effort of the brand to keep its focus on the outdoors.
Fever-Tree Premium Ginger Beer
This popular and well-sought cocktail mixer is an excellent standalone beverage. The ginger beer is fermented like usual but does not include hops or gluten.
The potent ginger in this beverage provides more than its flavor – it has been shown that this drink can help settle a sour stomach and reduce inflammation and discomfort in the throat cavity.
This drink may or may not be named after what you will be able to do once you have it. Of course, Bitburger’s Drive has zero alcohol, and it is a German pilsner with a light and clean flavor. This drink is an easy beverage whether you’re in a family barbeque or simply chilling at a poolside.
In terms of the brew’s color, this has a golden and relatively straightforward light for a beer.
It is a lager-style beer, and its malty flavors will make themselves known through the nose. This beer is ever so slightly bitter but light which is perfect to be enjoyed in the summer.
Athletic Brewing Run Wild IPA
Connecticut’s very own Athletic Brewing does one thing, and they do it well; they make non-alcoholic beer with a craft brewery mentality.
This means that they have so many options for non-alcoholic beers available to the market. The heavy malt in the beer makes this beverage taste just like a West Coast American IPA, which is already impressive in its own right.
This drink is an excellent choice for craft beer enthusiasts who do not really enjoy alcoholic beers.
Since these beers are created with the idea that just because there isn’t alcohol does not mean you must sacrifice variety and flavor. You can enjoy it at any given time of the day and any celebration.
Clausthaler is one of the original non-alcoholic breweries out there. This brewery started in the early 1970s and focused on creating German-style beer that still adheres to the German Purity Law.
This law, in summary, dictates that only water, barley, and hops can be used to make beers.
In addition to its original flavor profile, Clausthaler also now offers new styles such as dry-hopped beers. It is made with cascade hops and the Santa Clausthaler, which blend the original and the cranberry-cinnamon drink.
Clausthaler Dry Hopped Non-Alcoholic Beer
Clausthaler is a purely alcohol-free brewery based in Germany. This particular beverage is hopped with cascade hops responsible for giving the beer its citrus flavor profile.
The drink is rich in color and finishes with a note of caramel. If you are not a big fan of hops, Clausthaler also makes different drinks, like their original and lemon blends.
This famous Dutch brand officially debuted in the non-alcoholic beer scene with the Heineken 0.0 lager release.
Avid fans of the brand will not make the mistake of taking this for a classic Heineken because the flavor profile of this particular drink is a bit on the thin side. Nevertheless, it still comes down with all the usual skunk and mouthfeel of the classic.
Regular customers who have done blind taste tests have not distinguished between this and Heineken’s classic blend.
This brew gradually became known in the non-alcoholic beer landscape since its brand is well distributed in many bars and shops. Heineken 0.0 is a non alcoholic lager type beer brew. The flavor profile of this drink is similar to its classic blend.
Furthermore, according to the Heineken website, this non-alcoholic beer is brewed with a special yeast they call “Alcohol-free.” The fermentation process this beverage goes through is the osmosis technique.
This non-alcoholic beer certainly is a thirst-quenching beer much like the original Heineken range. The only difference is that the flavor profile of this beer leaves something to be desired.
BrewDog Hazy AF
Are you down for a hazy IPA with big and juicy tropical fruit notes? The BrewDog brand may have the brew you’re looking for.
Their Hazy AF brew has a bold and assertive flavor profile but, of course, without the alcohol, so feel free to drink a few of these in succession.
The BrewDog brewery started in Scotland but now has outposts in the U.S., Germany, and Australia, effectively making its mark in the alcoholic and non-alcoholic beer.
Well-Being Brewing Intrepid Traveler Coffee Cream Stout
Just because you’re drinking non-alcoholic beer absolutely does not mean you shouldn’t be able to enjoy a hearty stout. WellBeing Brewery describes this non-alcoholic beer as a part cold brew, part latte, and part beer.
This unique beverage is brewed with Mississippi Mud coffee, oats, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and lactose, giving this beer a creamy mouthfeel with roasted coffee beans and baking spice notes upon every sip.
Gruvi Nonalcoholic IPA
Colorado’s very own Gruvi uses three different kinds of hops to create this non-alcoholic IPA: Citra, galaxy, and mosaic. It means that this non-alcoholic brew is packed with all the citrus and bitterness that you’d expect from a regular version of the same drink.
It is generally advised to have this non-alcoholic beer with tacos, spicy food, and burgers, as these types of food complement the inherent fresh hoppiness of the brew.
How Is Non-Alcoholic Beer Made
Such an obvious fact need not be said: the demand for non-alcoholic beers has increased exponentially in recent years. It is primarily the reason why a lot of people are also drinking less alcohol.
Consumers have consciously chosen to drink moderately, with some even opting not to drink at all anymore.
It isn’t only a change in drinking habits that increased the demand for low and non-alcoholic beers. Ever since its first launch to the market, the quality and choice for non-alcoholic beers have increased dramatically thanks to the innovation in how it is produced.
Beer is generally made by “mashing” malted barley or other grains with hot water to extract the sugars and to be able to create wort.
This wort is then boiled with hops and then fermented, where the yeast eats the sugars in the wort to turn the mixture into alcohol and other by-products like carbon dioxide and compounds that give beer its flavor.
All non-alcoholic beer and even alcoholic beer start the same way, and the differences lie in how the two are treated in the latter stages of the brewing process.
That begs the question: what are the different ways non-alcoholic beer is made? Research tells us that there are generally four commonly used methods to produce non-alcoholic beer. These are:
- Limited fermentation
- Fermentation free
Breweries sometimes use two methods on one beer to get different flavors and textures, which provides them with a wide variety of flavors that can appeal to some consumers.
Here are some of the steps many brewers are going into. Depending on the availability, they follow the generic and particular procedure.
With the dealcoholization technique, any alcoholic beer is brewed the traditional way, and it is among the most common ways to deliver a flavorful non-alcoholic drink.
After the process, the alcohol is removed using steam distillation, water vapor or gas stripping, and reverse osmosis.
Alcohol’s boiling point is lower than water, making it possible to remove the alcohol from any given mixture by heating the solution.
The issue with this process is that much of the flavor is removed when the alcohol is forcibly extracted. Heating the beer mixture can also “cook” it, which affects the flavors left behind in the beer after the heating process.
Breweries can reduce this effect on the flavor of a beer mixture by using equipment that heats the solution under low pressure, thereby making the alcohol and water evaporate at a lower temperature.
This method is known as vacuum distillation. Breweries also use equipment like a spinning cone column system to separate the flavor compounds from the distilled alcohol and add those back to the dealcoholized beer.
Water Vapour And Gas Stripping
This particular technique in creating dealcoholized beer involves hi-tech equipment to gently heat the solution in a vacuum and then pass water vapor or a gas such as nitrogen through it. This is done so that the water vapor or gas carries the alcohol away from the beer.
In the same case with steam distillation, the flavor profile of the mixture may be affected by this process. But breweries can separate the flavors from the alcohol and introduce it back to the dealcoholized mixture.
This technique also requires hi-tech equipment but uses high pressure to force the beer through a membrane. The goal is to get the membrane to capture the larger molecules – including those containing the flavor profile – and allow the smaller molecules to pass through along with the water and alcohol.
This process leaves a concentrated version of the beer. The water and alcohol are then separated, with the water being introduced back into the beer mixture.
The alcohol content of beer is produced during fermentation when the yeast breaks down the sugar in the wort. If you can limit the amount of alcohol produced during fermentation to under 0.5% ABV, you will have successfully produced low alcohol “non-alcoholic” beer.
There are three standard methods used to limit the alcohol product of fermentation to achieve a beer with lower than 0.5% alcohol content. Beer is made during the traditional method in all of the methods applied.
Limiting Fermentable Sugars
One effective method of producing low alcohol beer from the get-go is to reduce fermentable sugar in the wort. It is mainly that less sugar in the yeast can ferment means less alcohol is produced during the process.
Breweries achieve this by using grains that produce less sugar like rice or maize or techniques that extract less fermentable sugar from the grains during the mashing stage of brewing.
Using Special Yeast Strains
Another method to limit fermentation is to use particular yeast strains. A sample would be using a strain that can only produce alcohol in low amounts or a yeast strain that cannot ferment maltose, one of the sugars produced by malted grains.
One downside to this method is that more sugar survives during this process, yielding a sweeter end product.
It works well in some styles of beer but can be an undesirable flavor in some styles. Yeast strains used during this method may also produce a high amount of lactic acid, which gives the beer its sour flavor.
Fermentation is a process completed only when temperature, humidity, and other factors are suitable. Having said that, brewers can slow or even stop the fermentation process by tweaking the environment the yeast is working in
For example, heating or cooling the fermenting wort mixture can either slow the process or stop it in its tracks entirely. The same goes for fermentation in a pressurized environment.
Adjusting the wort’s acidity can also halt the fermentation process. The downside to this is that the beer produced using this technique may end up tasting rather sweet, “worthy,” or unfinished.
This method allows brewers to produce a full-bodied beer using the traditional method by utilizing many hops and grains to create a full-bodied beer with a strong flavor and body.
After the fermentation process, they can dilute the concentrated beer with water until the alcohol level is under 0.5% ABV and then carbonate the completed mixture.
Fermentation doesn’t just give the beer mixture its signature fizz and alcohol content, and fermentation also contributes to the flavors and aroma present in the mixture. Fermentation is what makes a beer a beer – without the process, and it’s just sweet wort.
But that doesn’t mean every beer in the market has to be fermented. Some breweries opt to avoid the fermentation process altogether in general. Substituting the process of fermentation and tweaking around it to still create a beverage that looks and tastes like beer.
In conclusion, non-alcoholic beer has become popular in its own right due to the recent advent of making healthier choices and maintaining a fit lifestyle.
Non-alcoholic beers might not mean they contain zero alcohol, but their significantly low alcohol content allows them to provide most of the health benefits of beer.
It is essential what processes are involved in making these products and whatever brand of beer you choose. Ultimately, making this decision can help you enjoy a happier and alcohol-free lifestyle.