Non-alcoholic beer

2008-08-29

in Daily updates

For various reasons, I have lately found myself investigating non-alcoholic beers: basically looking for one as tasty as the better alcoholic offerings. So far, my success has been limited. I find this a bit odd, given that the only people likely to buy non-alcoholic beer are those who (a) have a considerable fondness for beer but (b) don’t want to drink the alcoholic form, for whatever reason. As such, you would expect the de-alcoholized offerings to be of a premium variety; those I have found so far have been largely sub-par.

Of the three I have tried so far, unambiguously the worst is Kaliber, which is produced by the St. James’s Gate Brewery. The makers of Guiness certainly have not distinguished themselves with this tasteless, watery offering. Much better than Kaliber, though still somewhat lacking, is the de-alcoholized version of Beck’s. It definitely lacks something of the original, but it is passable. Quite possibly, my familiarity with the normal version of this brew makes the de-alcoholozed version seem worse in comparison.

The best option I have found so far is the President’s Choice ‘Red Brew.’ It is both the cheapest and the tastiest de-alcoholized beer I’ve tried, costing just $7 for 12 cans. The Beck’s, which tastes significantly worse than the PC brew, costs about $12 for 6 bottles – as much as the highly taxed liquor store version. Served cold, the PC brew has a pretty strong and pleasing flavour, suitable for summer work-night barbecues, and the like. It cannot touch quality alcoholic beers – like the Unibroue and McAuslan offerings – but it is at least a respectable beverage.

Are there any other varieties people would recommend? I am not bothered about whether they are actually 0% alcohol (like the Beck’s) or 0.5% (like the PC Red).

[Update: 5 November 2009] Thanks to everyone who provided additional information below. It’s good to see that so many other people are interested in finding tasty non-alcoholic beers. Please keep the suggestions coming.

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{ 136 comments… read them below or add one }

. August 29, 2008 at 11:27 am

Dealcoholized Beer May Have Cardiovascular Benefit

May 24, 2004 — Dealcoholized beer may have cardiovascular benefits, according to the results of a study published in the May issue of Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.

“Some research suggests that the positive effects of alcoholic beverages on cardiovascular disorders is not due to alcohol alone but also, at least in part, to other so-called confounding factors such as resveratrol, a compound present in red wine,” lead author Steffen Bassus, from the Deutsche Klinik fuer Diagnostik in Wiesbaden, Germany, says in a news release. “The mechanisms which underlie the protective effects of wine and beer consumption on coronary heart disease (CHD) risk are not fully understood, but there is substantial evidence that the effects on hemostasis play a key role.”

The investigators studied the hemostatic effects of three liters of beer, dealcoholized beer, and ethanol/water (v/v 4%), consumed over a period of three hours, in 12 young healthy male volunteers. Age range was 19 to 36 years.

Emily August 29, 2008 at 2:14 pm

O’douls is supposed to be really good: http://www.odouls.com/

I think all of their beer is non-alcoholized

Milan August 29, 2008 at 6:06 pm

I have read mixed reviews of O’Douls, but will give it a try.

Hilary August 29, 2008 at 10:47 pm

PC stuff consistently impresses me

Milan August 30, 2008 at 11:58 am

They do seem to make the finest macaroni and cheese, though I only ever eat it while camping.

Mica August 31, 2008 at 2:16 am

don’t forget their decadent Ice cream…..yummmmm

Chris Berry September 2, 2008 at 10:36 am

I am not bothered about whether they are actually 0% alcohol (like the Beck’s) or 0.5% (like the PC Red).

I have a close friend who is a recovering alcoholic who drinks non-alcoholic beer in social settings as a way to blend-in. To people like him, the difference between 0% and 0.5% is a big deal.

Milan September 2, 2008 at 10:53 am

I certainly recognize that the difference could be significant for some people – those with medical conditions, past troubles with alcohol, religious prohibitions, etc. All I meant to say is that I am personally equally happy with 0.5% or 0% options.

AndrewInScotland September 2, 2008 at 5:35 pm

Here’s my recipe:

Get a few cans of full strength beer. Open them. You might want to taste one, to be sure it’s not gone off. For the hell of it, taste the others as well – you never know.

Now, leave the opened cans (they have to be cans) on various corners of your writing desk, just out of reach, perhaps even camouflaged with old playboy magazines, or whatever you yourself might have hanging about. They need to sit for a bit.

In the meantime, get yourself a good night’s sleep. Scotch helps.

First thing in the morning, grab the nearest one and drink the whole shebang. Retch if you need to. Keep at it until it’s done.

Now you might notice that familiar morning beer-buzz – don’t let that worry you. Carry on with your day.

On your way home grab some club soda and ice. Those beers on your desk have been breathing all day; the alcohol has all but evaporated. Mix 2 parts stale beer to 1 part soda. Add plenty of ice.

Chase with a fine single malt scotch, like Talisker or Lagavulin.

Enjoy!
Andrew

Anon September 2, 2008 at 5:45 pm

As AndrewInScotland demonstrates, some people have problems with excessive consumption of alcohol.

Non-alcoholic beer might be an especially good option for such people.

AndrewInScotland September 3, 2008 at 2:39 am

Anon: whoosh!

. September 9, 2008 at 1:14 pm

The Opinionated Beer Page

Home > Beer Reviews > Non-Alcoholic Brews

Anne October 15, 2008 at 8:33 pm

Of all the non-alcoholic beers I have recentlly tried, my favorite is Warsteiner (sp?) Non-Alcoholic beer. It’s very flavorful. I am pregnant and really am missing beer so every once in a blue moon, I like to have a non-alcoholic beer just so I can remember what it tastes like. I don’t like to have it too often since it still contains a very small percentage of alcohol.

pote86k November 30, 2008 at 4:43 pm

I am an alcoholic, dry over 29 years. I have been able to consume non-alcoholic beer at social events with no problem. I fine it to be a refreshing beverage. I prefer Coors non-alcoholic to all I have tried. Next best I have found is Busch’s. It tastes better to me than any of the O’Douls.

NYBeerDrinker January 8, 2009 at 9:27 pm

After my 2 a day rule escalated to 3 and then (quite suddenly after many years) up to 6-8, I realized I had to stop drinking so much beer before I killed my liver.

So I’ve been drinking NA beer. I’ve only tried a few because I found quickly found one in the grocery store that I really liked… Marke’s Clausthaler, a German brand.

It’s much more bitter and far less sweet than other NA beers I’ve tried. If you like beers like Heineken or Becks, this is a good choice.

I really find I can drink it without missing regular beer at all — doesn’t taste like a crappy substitute. (I’m not a total abstainer, but I’m hardly drinking alcoholic beer at all anymore.)

I quite like it with a lime wedge.

The downside is that it’s not easy to find, and I’ve yet to find it in a bar. O’douls and Kaliber, both very common in bars, are pretty crappy.

Milan January 8, 2009 at 9:29 pm

I will have to track Marke’s Clausthaler down.

Judging by the Google searches, there are a lot of people looking for a tasty non-alcoholic beer.

Lance January 13, 2009 at 7:06 pm

I’ve tried to get used to the taste of DA beers for several years now. I want to enjoy the beer, without having the effects of the alcohol. I’ve tried most of the popular brands and have settled on the President’s Choice brand as my favourite. The problem I’ve had was too many times the brew (Red) tasted way too “tinny” like the can – with a bad long-lasting after taste. After trying different things like lemon and lime slices, I finally found the answer. I now put approximately one sixteenth of a teaspoon of white sugar in the brew – and it completely eliminates the metallic taste! The change is amazing – it now tastes more like a creamy draft real beer. Pour the beer into a glass with no head on it, then sprinkle the tiny amount of sugar on the top – this works a lot better than putting the sugar in first. The improvement this amount of sugar (approx. 1.5 calories worth) makes to the taste and overall enjoyment of the beer is unbelievable.

craig January 20, 2009 at 12:23 am

I have tried quite a few and like St. Pauli Girl Na the best followed by Becks, seem to have the most flavor. Would like to try the prezs choice and Clausthaler though if i can find them

NYBeerDrinker January 20, 2009 at 12:51 am

For those looking for Clausthaler, I found an online place that will ship it (apparently there are no restrictions on shipping NA beer interstate):

http://beergeek.stores.yahoo.net/nonalcl12ge.html

That’s the first one I found with Google, but I bet there are other sources.

Bill Burnette April 6, 2009 at 10:08 pm

St Pauli Girl NA is the best I have found. I used to like Haake-Beck, but it seems to have been replaced by Beck’s NA and for some reason isn’t as good. O’Doul’s, Coors NA, or any of the other domestic NA beers aren’t even close to tasting like real beer. I love beer too much, if you know what I mean, and have not had a real beer for 11 years, but occasionally drink an NA with no problem. YMMV.

Tristan April 6, 2009 at 10:51 pm

Are there any NA beers which are not lagers? I really enjoy the taste of bitters, which are pretty low alcohol to start with – my intuition is that a tasty NA bitter should be possible – and if it existed, I would drink it all the time.

. April 7, 2009 at 8:55 am

Low-alcohol beer
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Most low-alcohol beers are lagers, but there are some low-alcohol ales.

. April 7, 2009 at 9:04 am

Harvey’s Bottled Beers

John Hop (1.0% ABV) 24 bottles 275ml
Low Alcohol Bitter

A low-alcohol Sussex pale ale (1%), produced from the Best Bitter.

Bill Brewer (1.0% ABV) 24 bottles 275ml
Low Alcohol Old Ale

A low-alcohol Sussex old ale (1%), produced from the XXXX and retaining the essential character of this brew.

Milan April 7, 2009 at 4:33 pm

Recommendations for good non-alcoholic beers available in various areas are extremely welcome.

My web server stats demonstrate just how much interest there is out there: 2,989 pageviews in the last year, representing 1.94% of the total pageviews for my site. On about 50% of days, this page gets more than twenty hits.

If anyone from quality breweries is reading this, please take the message that people are interested in tasty non-alcoholic beer.

Matt April 7, 2009 at 5:10 pm

It’s funny that I was just thinking about this a few weeks ago, not being aware that this thread was going. Basically, I enjoy having a beer after work, but don’t want to be consuming alcohol every day.

Perhaps we could come up with a really good one and then market it ourselves. If the demand you’re seeing in web traffic is any indication, we’d be very wealthy and then we could buy speedboats.

Matt April 7, 2009 at 5:13 pm

Whoops, I meant of course, given the main focus of this blog, to say sailboats.

Jack Murphy April 15, 2009 at 9:58 am

Agree with the Kaliber assessment. Bought a six-pack as part of a round robin taste test to find a single N/A or two that gives a good approximation of the real thing. Could not finish the Kaliber in two different attempts because of an unpleasant secondary wallop of something that tastes like stale licorise. The remaining four bottles went down the drain with good riddance. So far St. Pauli Girl is the best…, a lightness bordering on what once was called “weak beer” (2% alcohol). O’Doul’s is pretty decent and the most prevalent in diners.

Randy April 15, 2009 at 11:25 pm

For a cold beverage – I’m going with the St. Pauli NA. When I’m having a meal, a cold Clausthaler is a great addition. I’ve tried about 12 different kinds from BevMo. They are all pretty awfull tasting or really watery.

Sara McG April 16, 2009 at 5:15 pm

I’m wondering if you’ve found a non-alcoholic Mexican style beer. I can’t find one anywhere in the states. Haven’t checked Mexico. When i lived in SPain, there were several options for non-alcoholic beer. Why not in the US? I’m pregnant and am craving a Tecate! Please let me know if you find anything like it in your search.

Teddy3inDC April 20, 2009 at 1:09 pm

I think that you may be interested in an NA beer made by Erdinger the german brewing company. I had this over the past weekend and it’s just like the others

Roger May 5, 2009 at 4:30 pm

I’ve been trying to find a good NA beer for while now without much luck. The “good” more expensive beers have been disappointing. Old Milwaukee NA (@ $7 a 12 pack) comes closest to tasting like regular beer. I would love to find full flavored NA pale ale!

Quebec_Man May 8, 2009 at 11:22 am

Hi!
I recently self-diagnosed myself with ‘’fatty liver’’ because of my drinking and eating habits of the past 4 years (I’d drink 3-6 beers everyday with a bag of peanuts or chips or both). I’m quitting alcohol altogether for a couple of weeks (even though it’ll soon be summer here). I don’t intend on drinking NA beer at home, but I’d be down to have 1 or 2 at social gatherings (and bars). The biggest concern I have is this: is the NA beer really safe when it comes to affecting my liver? I know I should ask a doctor, but they’re hard to get a hold off here in Quebec (Canada). I figure a 0.0% beer cannot affect my liver since it does not contain alcohol. And I assume the 0.5% kind will need to be filtered by the liver cause it does contain alcohol. But I guess the low quantity wouldn’t make a difference. What do you all think of this?
Thanks a bunch!

Milan May 8, 2009 at 11:26 am

I am not a doctor, and you probably want to speak to one for authoritative advice.

That being said, it seems logical that 0.5% beers would affect your liver a lot less than beers of 3.0% or 5.0% alcohol would.

Another factor is that you are likely to drink fewer of them. After all, once you start drinking alcoholic beer, it is easy enough to keep doing for the duration of a party. Personally, I think it’s unlikely a person would drink more than a couple of non-alcoholic beers, unless they were very thirsty to start with.

Rob May 8, 2009 at 12:26 pm

try Labatt Blue De-alcoholized Pilsener best I’ve had can hardly tell the difference between this and real beer

Tristan May 8, 2009 at 1:00 pm

In some senses, low-alcoholic beer might play a similar role to non-alcoholic beer. If I were drinking a beer that was 2%, rather than 5.5%, there is a good chance I wouldn’t drink two and a half times as many. Does anyone know any good low alcohol beers which might be good for the summer? Especially bitters, that would be excellent for porches in the afternoon.

Milan May 8, 2009 at 1:31 pm

The Beer Store website isn’t very useful, but you could always scrutinize that big board they have in every shop.

I think it lists alcohol content, alongside other information.

Milan May 8, 2009 at 2:06 pm

According to the Brewers Association of Canada “an extra-light beer contains less than 2.5% alcohol by volume.”

That term might help people search for them.

JOE June 8, 2009 at 10:45 pm

NA beer has a marketing problem. All NA beer is associated with hard core alcoholics that are recovering. The REAL way to use NA beer is make it cool and market it as something that you mix in with regular beers to control your buzz. It’s not cool to go 100% pure booze or 100% pure NA beers but you have to alternate accordingly to stay loose but in control.

teddy3indc June 8, 2009 at 11:24 pm

Joe……….. right on the money! If I start a brew co. then you are one of my marketeeeeerrrrs!

Tristan June 9, 2009 at 12:02 pm

I don’t think that makes sense. If you want to drink a greater number of beers with a lower total alcohol content, drink a lighter beer. There are great traditional English beers that are 3 or 3.5% alcohol. If you want to drink 8 beers but only feel the buzz from 5 beer equivalents, there’s your solution.

I dislike the concept of non-alcoholic beer, it participates in the same modern logic as diet cola, chocolate laxatives, decaf coffee. However, I like the idea of drinking more beer and getting less intoxicated. I just think the solution is to go back to the lower alcohol beers of yesteryear, rather than a combination of modern (5%) and zero content beverages.

Bill June 9, 2009 at 12:22 pm

The problem with mixing NA and regular beer is that NA only tastes decent if you haven’t had a regular beer in a long while. If you drink them back to back I would think the NA would be undrinkable. This is from someone who hasn’t had a real beer in 15 years. I have an NA (St Pauli Girl) now and then with pizza- since I haven’t had the real thing in so long it tastes very good to me.

Milan June 9, 2009 at 1:07 pm

Alternating between alcoholic and non-alcoholic beer makes a lot more sense than mixing them. I am pretty sure most mixtures would be worse than either drink on its own.

Matt June 9, 2009 at 1:18 pm

I think by ‘mixing’ Bill in fact did mean alternating. Notice:

“If you drink them back to back I would think the NA would be undrinkable.”

Literally mixing them would be pretty awful.

Milan June 9, 2009 at 1:29 pm

Ah, that makes more sense.

Tristan June 9, 2009 at 4:40 pm

I’ve found two beers of interest.

1. Anchor Steam Small Beer – made by re using the Mash from their Brandywine Style Ale. ABV of 3.3%
http://anchorbrewing.com/beers/smallbeer.htm

2.Boags Draght Light – “Two batches of full strength Boag’s Draught beer are brewed and filtered to bright beer stage. The alcohol is then stripped off one batch using a low temperature vacuum evaporation and then the two batches are blended.” ABV 2.7%
http://www.beerstore.com.au/detail.asp?beerID=97

Tristan June 9, 2009 at 4:59 pm

This discussion really makes me want to brew my own beer. Presumably, that would give me control over the alcohol level and flavour (at least, if I became skilled). Bottling it yourself does seem like the worst part, but that could be somewhat alleviated by using 2L bottles – a 5gal batch would only mean 10 2L containers.

. June 26, 2009 at 11:17 am

Alcohol link to one in 25 deaths

One in 25 deaths across the world are linked to alcohol consumption, Canadian experts have suggested.

Writing in the Lancet, the team from the University of Toronto added that the level of disease linked to drinking affects poorest people the most.

Worldwide, average alcohol consumption is around 12 units a week – but in Europe that soars to 21.5.

The report authors warn the effect of alcohol disease is similar to that of smoking a decade ago.

The analysis also found that 5% of years lived with disability are attributable to alcohol consumption.

The paper says that, although there have been some benefits of moderate drinking in relation to cardiovascular disease, these are far outweighed by the detrimental effects of alcohol on disease and injury.

Bud July 19, 2009 at 8:34 pm

Hi. Is this topic still active?

If so, I’ll add this: like the fellow above, I’m an alcoholic. In fact, a damn severe one. But I love beer. Always have, from way before legal drinking age. Anyhow, I’ve been drinking “neer beer” for almost 20 years. That’s the .05 stuff. It’s never got me drunk in all those years so I reckon it’s harmless. However, the taste is pretty sad. Recently up here in Canada Labbatts came out with Labbatts Dealcoholized beer. Man, I love this stuff. Only 60 calories and NO SALT! Has potassium instead. And best of all, it’s a new process using osmosis to remove the alchohol. Stuff tastes like beer. Real beer. Mmmm good.

Clausthaler is the nearest best one I like, though I don’t mind an O’Douls Amber once in a while.

Cheers.

Antonia July 20, 2009 at 10:06 am

@ Tristan
The worst part of homebrewed beer is usually how undrinkable the resultant liquid is. If you manage to overcome that problem then bottling is, in comparison, a relatively trivial difficulty.

craigo August 1, 2009 at 8:24 pm

Due to the fact I live in a “dry” county , Ive learned to produce an excellant selection of Home Brews, however , due to current meds , I need to avoid alcohol . I can’t be the only one , I’d love to find a drinkable pale ale that’s readily available , even in Arkansas.

Carson Gavin September 1, 2009 at 9:58 am

There is no such thing as “Non Alcoholic Beer”
Non-alcoholic malt beverages are called “Brew’s” and do not carry the U.S. Government Health Warning on the label or container.
Beer contains alcohol and will carry the health warning label.
Non-Alcoholic Brew’s contain less than 0.5% alcohol by volume. For reference, some fruit juices can contain 1.0% alcohol by volume.
My past experiences with non-alcoholic malt beverages, the best tasting are Bucklers by Heineken, and Claustehauler Premium. St. Pauli Girl N/A is not bad. But Bucklers is the best by far. It is also the Official Non-alcoholic malt beverage of the PGA. You don’t need alcohol to have a great tasting malt beverage.

Jut September 16, 2009 at 5:29 pm

Since I choose not to drink alcohol i do enjoy a good NA Beer, my favorite is called Clausthaler (forgive me if it is misspelled)

MIKE October 2, 2009 at 1:24 pm

I am a recovering alcoholic for 2 year & 8 months …………. drank hard for 30 plus years ………….. quit cold turkey for fear of my faily leaving me – they did not threaten but a ride in ambulance to the hospital and level 0f .364 was enough ————– stayed away from na beer for 3 months after quit ————- enjoy na !!!! the best is st. pauli girl ——— I SEE MORE AND MORE PEOPLE DRINKING NA take care !!!!!!!!!

Tristan October 2, 2009 at 2:29 pm

@Carson,

I’m not sure if we want to let a state agency decide the meaning of the term “Beer”. This is almost as crazy as letting a state agency decide the meaning of “marriage” or “brother” or “child”. Like any word, the meaning of ‘beer’ is determined by its social, customary use. For me, what I understand “beer” as meaning is the brewing process. So, anything produced like a ‘beer’ but then having its alcohol removed, is beer to me.

Milan October 2, 2009 at 2:43 pm

It can be quite important for the state to define what terms like ‘beer’ mean, particularly in the context of processed foods.

For instance, does something need to contain cocoa in order to be ‘chocolate,’ or is it merely sufficient for consumers to accept it as chocolate, regardless of what it is made from and how?

Milan October 2, 2009 at 2:58 pm

This quote from Michael Pollan demonstrates what I mean:

“Sorry, Sara Lee, but your Soft & Smooth Whole Grain White Bread is not food and if not for the indulgence of the FDA [in not longer requiring the use of the word ‘imitation’] could not even be labelled “bread.””

Milan October 2, 2009 at 3:00 pm
Tristan October 2, 2009 at 3:42 pm

Of course it’s relevant for the state to regulate labeling and production. But that is not the same as fixing the meanings of the terms as we use them. We can recognize that certain definitions exist for legal purposes, and yet use others.

Milan October 2, 2009 at 4:16 pm

Here is something semi-related: how dictionary definitions and common usage of the meanings of sexual terms are often divergent. Note that the article contains a lot of provocative language.

niaoniau October 3, 2009 at 11:51 pm

Just got back from 3 years in Europe, I am very disappointed in the poor selection of NA beer in Canada (the new Blue being a remarkable exception). There are dozens of brands of NA available in most European countries, and some very tasteful at that. That way, it is really easy to have an NA in-between regular beer, and reduce overall alcohol intake — without compromising on the taste. Too bad this has not caught on with consumers in Canada yet…

windsurfertx November 23, 2009 at 2:38 pm

The best I’ve had, and this has been for 10 years plus, was in Mexico.
And I’ve tried them all. It was the mexican beer brand Sol. Sol NA. I’ve not been able to find it here though, even in Texas.
I recommend doing a blind comparison. In fact any blind beer taste tests are fun with a group of people. You will be surprized.

Susan Conover March 27, 2010 at 10:37 pm

Just got back from Playa del Carmen and O’doul’s and Old Milwaukee NA were everywhere. I’m with you on the Mexican NA beer. Sol Cera. Really good or maybe it was just hot! I’ve found Sol beer in the stores in Calif. but not the NA . Beck’s NA is just now getting to central Calif.

Kerry May 12, 2010 at 1:08 pm

Unfortunately, this article is no longer relevant. Recently President’s Choice ‘Red Brew’ has changed for the worse… New packaging and obviously a completely different product – what a shame! Calories have doubled from 50 to 100. Carbohydrates have soared from 11g to 23g. A bitter after-taste is very noticable. Why would President’s Choice make radical changes in this previously high praised product? I am assuming that it was greater profit margin. There can be no other reason. My advice: boycott this substandard product!

Milan May 12, 2010 at 1:20 pm

That’s a shame. I haven’t had the PC brew in months, because the grocery store I go to stopped carrying it.

Jeff July 18, 2010 at 8:24 pm

I live in Illinois near St. Louis Mo. I don’t know if you can get
Old MilwaukeeN.A where you live but i think it is a good tasting N .A.
beer.

Marcel berntsen July 21, 2010 at 7:49 am

The closest NA beer to a real beer must be SCHLOSSGOLD brewed in Austria sold in Australia, it is apparently brewed like a normal beer it definetly taste like that, cheers

brenadan August 18, 2010 at 7:04 pm

can anybody with knowledge tell me that the near beer doesnt make you crave an actual beer.

Jeff September 5, 2010 at 9:41 pm

I am not sure what you mean by knowledge but I have been drinking near beer for 2 years now and I do not crave a real beer while or after I am drinking near beer.

It is fulfilling for me socially and I can driver at the end of the night.

The only thing that makes me want a real beer is my friends when they start to get intoxicated and drive me nuts!

Bill September 5, 2010 at 9:52 pm

For someone who has had a problem with drinking it may be a trigger- if that is your situation, be careful. A lot of people who are recovering alcoholics will tell you not to drink near beer. I have been sober for 17 years and have drunk near beer the whole time but would not recommend it for anyone else- it’s an individual choice. Alcohol makes me feel like crap so it’s not a trigger for me- YMMV.

Jeff September 7, 2010 at 10:12 pm

I agree with Bill…..from my experience with near beer it has been OK and this is my personal preference. I cannot recommend it for someone else because every situation is different.

Jones October 16, 2010 at 5:36 am

I’ll chime in. I have tested many NA beers and my 2 favorites are Buckler (by Heineken) and Kaliber (by Guiness/St.James). They are not watery like most domestics. And yes the geeks in the secret testing labs have found that in SOME recovering alcoholics NA beer could be a trigger. I suppose eating frozen yogurt could make an ex-obese person crave a DQ blizzard as well. I drink NA beer and it has actually helped me because I love the taste of beer and don’t like the drunk feeling. So I can drink my Kaliber or Buckler and still be totally sober.

Amanda November 12, 2010 at 1:26 pm

I usually drink Bud Light, but since I’m pregnant I will have a NA beer now and then. The two I have tried are Busch and Odulls. The first time I tried a NA beer, it did have a watered down beer taste. Now it tastes like regular beer to me. I recently took a taste of my husband’s Bud Light and was surprised to find that it tasted like a regular ‘harsh’ beer that I normally shy away from (I’m a wuss), like one of those German beers he favors. So I guess you just get used to the lighter taste. If you only drink NA beer, most of them will taste fine. But if you switch between regular beer and NA frequently, it will always taste watered down.

Alex November 15, 2010 at 7:22 pm

If you like American beers, Millers SHARPS non-alcoholic brews is pretty good. I was going to say it’s better than O’Doul’s or Cutter’s but then, ANYTHING is better than O’Doul’s or Cutters.

Try SHARPS, if you can find it… Coors got tired of having the snot kicked out of it by Millers and bought them. I think the first thing they did was kill SHARPS. I don’t blame them… if you have a real dog of a product the best thing you can do is kill the competition. There may be a few bottles of SHARPS around still.

Motto……
SHARPS: Kicking hell out of O’Doul’s for 20 years :-)

oleh November 15, 2010 at 7:50 pm

Alex

Thanks for the suggestion. I buy non-alchoholic beer. Unfortunately I do not recall seeing Millers SHARPS. Is is available in Canada?

Phil November 19, 2010 at 9:30 pm

@Anotonia and Tristan. Because of the lack of availability of lower alcohol beer in Canada (and a few other reasons) I started homebrewing, and then joined a homebrew club. I have to say that homebrewed beer is the best beer you’ll ever taste. For me, now after having brewed for a couple of years, store bought beer is always disappointing.

Sometimes I have to resort to no or low alcohol beers. I wish I didn’t have to do so with such reluctance.

If you look at their labels you will see that they are made in a very shoddy way – malt extract, hop extract, corn syrup, caramel for colouring – alongside the proper ingredients for beer. Very few breweries use these processed ingredients to make their alcoholic beers. This shows the respect that they have for their customers buying this product.

Also, if you want to drink non alcoholized beer and you like lager you’re in luck. If you want a pale ale, stout, porter, IPA you’re out of luck. I would agree with the poster, the PC brand of beer is the best of a bad bunch. I have the red beer. It’s lager coloured with caramel. I might as well have bought the lager and drank it out of a brown glass.

When I was in England, I used to buy mild ale from the supermarket – 2.5% – 3%. It was gorgeous stuff, dark, fruity, toasty delicious and not high in alcohol.

Bob--Wisconsin January 2, 2011 at 4:09 pm

I love this website. I have quit drinking from time to time, and consider my self very learned on the subject. I disagree with the person who is having trouble finding Sharp’s. I do live in Wisconsin so that may have something to do with it, but Sharp’s is readily available here. I have tried almost all of the beers mentioned. Clausthaler, both versions are good. As an every day beer, I prefer O’Doul’s Amber. Keep up the website , thanks a lot and Happy New Year.

Sammy Reed February 17, 2011 at 6:37 pm

I’d just like to know – Where the heck are you people getting all these varieties of non-alcoholic beer to choose from?!?
The only places I found them in is grocery stores, and they don’t have the Kaliber, or Clausthaler, or President’s Choice , or St. Pauli Girl that you all have at your disposal.
Right now, the closest grocery store to me has: Busch, Old Milwaukee, Beck’s and O’Doul’s. That store used to have Miller Sharp’s, which I thought was great, but they stopped selling it.
I tried liquor stores for these other brands, but they’re not interested in anything “non-alcoholic”.
Am I missing something? Where else is there to go?!
By the way, I think Beck’s is “less than .5%” like the others. I’d like to know how to get these .05% kinds.

Milan February 17, 2011 at 6:41 pm

It can be hard to find specific brands, I agree.

Grocery stores around here carry President’s Choice, but not Kaliber, or Clausthaler. The bigger the grocery store is, the better the odds they will have at least a couple of options.

Big-box stores like Costco (in Canada) could also be worth checking.

Milan February 17, 2011 at 6:44 pm

By the way, I think Beck’s is “less than .5%” like the others. I’d like to know how to get these .05% kinds.

On The Colbert Report there was a segment on Fentimans Victorian Lemonade which claimed that many mainstream soft drinks have a small amount of alcohol in them, as a consequence of the fermentation process. In the Colbert segment, they claim that 7-Up is 0.5% alcohol, Sprite is 0.2%, and Canada Dry Ginger Ale is 0.2%.

I don’t know if that explains the very low alcohol beers. Apparently, there are three categories in the United Kingdom:

  • alcohol or alcohol-free: not more than 0.05% ABV
  • Dealcoholised: over 0.05% but less than 0.5% ABV
  • Low-alcohol: not more than 1.2% ABV
Nick March 29, 2011 at 5:26 pm

Have you ever tried Clausthaler Premium Non-Alcoholic beer ( actually 0.45% )?

Shellie April 14, 2011 at 12:29 am

Has anyone heard of or tried any Belgium N/As? Similar to Blue Moon, but maybe not as heavy? I think I’ve tried Warsteiner once and it was pretty tasty, but I’d like something a bit spicier. In my drinking days (quit for ’11), I loved Michelob’s Shock Top! I’d love to find something satisfying similar to it. Thanks!

oleh April 14, 2011 at 4:12 pm

It is interesting , perhaps co-incidental, that a new entry on this blog subject which was first reported on August 29, 2008 co-incides with the discussion from today’s new subject on warning labels for booze. The discussion seesm quite popular having generated 82 comments.

I enjoy de-alcoholized beer as much as alcoholized beer at much less price and much lower consequence. Maybe the promotion of de-alcolohized beer can contribute to the solution.

Rebecca April 20, 2011 at 2:03 pm

I am a recovering alcholic, and I have started drinking Busch NA. It tates pretty good when it is really cold. Still nothing like the real thing, but I intend on staying sober, and keeping my family together.

Josh May 3, 2011 at 6:27 pm

I recommend trying Labatts Blue de-alcoholized. It tastes as if it were alcoholized, I drink it all the time. It is 0.5%

bertha May 22, 2011 at 11:23 pm

I went thru a rough time in life last year, my best-friend dying of cancer, father diagnosed with early-Alzheimers, and also myself suffering from sciatica/back pain. I tried to self-medicate myself with regular beer and a lot of it. Fortunately my dr caught it on a blood test, and warned me. It really scared me and I quit cold-turkey and went to some AA meetings. I feel I’m not in the same position as many at the meetings. I do like beer though so I buy de-alcoholized Lager in my local grocery store. My husband is always mad at me and saying I should go back to AA. I told him they would laugh at me if I said I just drink that. He has the odd beer or wine, but drinks 3 or 4 Cokes a day. I told him that is worse than my lager. I don’t like any pop and the sugar content of de-alc. lager I drink is 3g per can, compared to his Coke at 42g. I just can’t seem to get thru to him!

oleh May 23, 2011 at 1:04 am

Rebecca (on April 20) and bertha (on May 22) point out the potential value of de-alcoholized beer for those for whom drinking regular alcoholized beer has been a problem. Sounds good on various levels.

oleh May 23, 2011 at 1:23 am

Survey results: I like numbers I like surveys. I like DA beer.
Therefore I analyzed the 86 comments submitted to date to determine what DA (or NA) beer was positively mentioned the most.

28 people identified a DA beer preference. 19 different DA beers were mentioned positively. Ten DA beers were mentioned positively by at least two reviewers. I will use those as the TOP TEN List

Many reviewers mentioned more than one beer. I did not want to give undue weight to those reviewers. Therefore, I tried to determine if that reviewer was indicating a preference. Where there was a preference more weight would be given to that selection so on (I will spare you the further details.)

Hence the TOP TEN list. There are four components to the list. The left hand column is the ranking, the second is the name of the beer, in the 35 column the number of positive reviews, in the fourth column the ordinal points in the review

1. St. Pauli Girl Na 6 4.5
2. Clausthaler 6 3. 16
3. PC 3 3
4. Labbatt’s Blue 3 2.33
5. O’Doulls 3 1.67
6. Sol 2 2.0
7. Miller’s Sharp 2 2,0
8. Old Milwaukee 2 2,0
9. Buckler’s Heineken 2 1.0
10. Beck’s 2 .58

Ron July 15, 2011 at 1:26 pm

Just started looking for 0.05% or less. After drinking anywhere from 6 to 10 real ones a day for 20+ years it was time to stop. (Im in Canada, Ontario), I can barely find any selection in my local grocery stores, there are 4 big stores in town. I’m looking for a smooth lager, I’ve done ok so far with what I have found (not nightmares and reasonably drinkable). I previously drank Molson Canadian and would like something down that path. Any suggestions? Thanks and good site.

Kerry July 15, 2011 at 3:03 pm

Hey Ron, I’m in Ontario also. I used to drink President’s Choice “Red Brew” but they changed the supplier from a brewery to a “pop company” and it was horrible and 100+ calories per can…

I have switched to Compliments De-alcoholized Beer marketed by the Sobeys chain of supermarkets. It is brewed by Lakeport Brewing Company in London, Ontario. 35 calories per can. About $6.99 for a 12-pack. Serve well chilled. You won’t be disapointed – Cheers!

Nick July 16, 2011 at 11:24 am

We are a distributor selling Clausthaler Premium Non-alcoholic Beer to the Quebec and Ontario market. This beer is presently in 40 locations in the Greater Montreal area and expanding. Clausthaler is considered an excellent non-alcoholic beer with only 0.45% alcohol content. This beer has won first prize in the World Beer Awards for 2009 & 2010 as the best non-alcoholic beer ( 2.5% and under category ) worldwide
http://www.worldbeerawards.com
Should anyone need some help tracking it down in your area ( it is sold in certain parts of Canada ) you can contact Satsang Distributions 1.888.418.6181 ext. 3 or 514.290.3464 email. satsangdistributions@gmail.com

Robert July 16, 2011 at 1:59 pm

Hello Ron,

I live in the Milwaukee, WI area and drink only “NA” beer. I know that Labatt’s makes a good one. Bud makes O’Douls, both regular and amber, both are pretty good. Clausterhaler is a good german tasting low or no alcohol beer. Enjoy Bob

Tristan July 16, 2011 at 3:34 pm

NA beer (0.0%) is common in the Occupied Territories. You can even buy it at the stores in Kalandia refugee camp. In Ramallah you could buy NA beer from the fridge at the front of convenience stores, but if you ventured into the back, some also sold alcoholic beer.

oleh July 17, 2011 at 11:13 am

The update from the top ten list of May 23 is as follows (I did not include Nick’s because of his commercial bias):
Rank Name
1. St. Pauli Girl Na 6 4.50
2. Clausthaler 7 3. 50
3. PC 3 3.00
4. Labbatt’s Blue 4 2.67
5. O’Doulls 3 2.00
6. Sol 2 2.00
7. Miller’s Sharp 2 2.00
8. Old Milwaukee 2 2,00

There are four components to the list. The left hand column is the ranking, the second is the name of the beer, in the 35 column the number of positive reviews, in the fourth column the ordinal points in the review
9. Buckler’s Heineken 2 1.00
10. Beck’s 2 .58

Nick July 17, 2011 at 8:44 pm

In response to Oleh’s comment about the commercial bias of our organization. Nowhere in my message did I give my personal opinion on Clausthaler……I only stated the facts and left it up to anyone to verify them. I was very careful about this given the type of forum this is.

Perhaps a little background may shed some light. Eight months ago we were approached to distribute Clausthaler Premium Non-Alcoholic Beer. We are not beer connoisseurs so we spent a few months researching this brand. We found out that it was previously sold in Quebec and many retailers knew the product and wanted it back on their shelves. Therefore we made the decision, four months ago, to add Clauthaler to our product line. So far, the signs for a successful reintroduction have been very positive.

Subsequently, we found out that Clauthaler has won first prize at the World Beer Awards two years in a row….2009, 2010. We were thrilled that we had decided on a quality product such as this.

We also came across this website and saw that clausthaler was favourably mentioned. We saw that people were looking for recommendations on different non-alcoholic beer and where they can be found. This is the reason we added our message….to let people know about this product and where it can be bought for the people who already know it.

At no time time did we personally promote it as the best product, we know this is always a matter of personal preference, and nor did we knock any other product. We tried to keep our bias out of this forum.

We hope not to be frowned upon for being a commercial entity but it is entities like ours that bring products to the marketplace. This allows forums such as this to exist where people can share information…..and this is all that we did…..provide factual information that we are able to back up. We appreciate and value independent forums such as this and feel they serve an important purpose.

We are disappointed that we were accused of the very thing that we tried to avoid.

Sincerely,

Nick Psihogios
President
Satsang Distributions

oleh July 18, 2011 at 2:11 am

Nick,
I did not mean to be accusatory. In fact I commend you for disclosing your commercial interest in your July 16 and 17 entry (although you may not have in your a March 29, 2011 entry of “Nick” also mentioning the Calusthaler beer. The simple decision on my part was that as a distributor of the product I could felt you would have both a commercial interest and a bias. Hence the reference to “commercial bias”.

In fact based on the recommendations from 7 people who responded postively about Clausthaler Premium NA Beer, and being someone who purchases as much de-alchoholized beer for the home as alchoholized beer, I will look for it in our stores in North Vancouver.

Rob Ontario July 18, 2011 at 11:15 am

I have recently had to switch to a N/A content beer. I have tried most and found P C amber
to be one of the best. I have found one sold in some NO Frills grocery store that has a great taste.
It is a imported brand from Italy called Amarcord Premium 0.05. It has a great full taste and comes in a bottle. Enjoy cheers…..

Gena Cuenca August 17, 2011 at 2:58 am

The best I’ve had, and this has been for 10 years plus, was in Mexico.

Gena
kissing

Dave September 3, 2011 at 7:42 am

NA beer is my staple.

Coming from a farming background we always had small beer to work with. That was the second malting at around 1% alc or less (about the same alc as stored orange juice). Drink all day, stay hydrated, imbibe barley and hops. In the 15th century people went on strike if the landowner didn’t supply small beer to the men women and kids working in the fields. It was minus the bacteria you get in ditchwater and kept people perked all day.

I like Erdinger, Becks, Brewdog Nanny State, and many others. I can drink 5% beer too. But you know, its like when you have got used to half a teaspoon of sugar in your coffee, going up to five teaspoons is really too tooth-rottingly sweet.

My preference in beer has always been a clean fresh taste. So NA or thereabouts really is the ultimate.

oleh September 8, 2011 at 3:18 am

This is the 100th comment arising from this blog entry.

On Aug 30, 2011, the Globe and Mail, Canada’s largest national newspaper, reported that in the last 5 years in Western Europe sales of non-alcoholized (NA) beer have risen by 7%, and the sales of traditional beer have dropped by 7 %. The traditional beer sales of 27.3 billion liters still overwhelm the NA beer sales of 520 million liters. Spain has the highest consumption of NA beer at 13% of the total.

On a personal anecdotal level, at a recent birthday of about 30 20 year olds in Canada the traditional beer consumed outnumbered the NA beer 40 to 6. (However the NA beer provided by the host was not on the list of best beers developed in this blog).

The Globe and Mail reports that this trend is expected to continue.

bill penner September 10, 2011 at 1:20 am

After trying several “near beers” I chose Presidents Choice
Blond Brew…..I had to stop drinking alcohol for medical reasons and this stuff works for me…….nice that it’s $6.99 for 12 cans!!!! I also tried the new Labatt’s and It’s REALLY good…you’d never guess it’s near beer, but it’s like 7 or 8 bucks for 6 bottles.I’ll stick with the PC Blond…I’m enjoying all my extra money!!

Helen October 6, 2011 at 12:19 am

I drank bud light and busch lite for years I wanted to still have the beer being of German descent I love my beer. I tried coors and o’douls and got headaches from both, and they tasted like flat old beer!!!I finally went back to budweiser and Busch NA is just like drinking Busch light and satisfies my beer craving try it you will love it!! I just wish the grocery stores would put it back on their shelves out here in Phoenix There is only a couple of Walgreens in our neighbor hood that carry it and only a few 12 packs at a time. Frys and Safeway stores were carring it but have stopped It is really the Best non alchoholic beer!!

Psorr November 25, 2011 at 12:04 pm

Hello,
I have really enjoyed reading the post, and all the comments. Without getting long winded, recently I have found reason to quit drinking alcoholic beverages. I’ve drank beer, wine, & some liquors on and off for 25 years. I really missed beer when I quit alcohol, and have recently tried a couple of the na beers. The two available at my local grocery store, O’doulls & Sharps. The O’doulls was green can, not the amber. Of these two, I prefer Sharps. They were purchased at Mejier’s in the Chicagoland area. I’m also in need of watching my diet and am interested in calorie count and price. 10USD , 12-12oz cans, Sharps ~58 calories, O’doulls ~70 calories per can.

MIKE December 19, 2011 at 3:40 pm

I have recently discovered “Grolsch” from Holland in our local Rexall Drug Store. It is just touted an “non-alcoholic beer” . Assume alcohol is zero content but not zero flavour ! Much prefer this to my prior favourite of PC Blonde . Four 500 ml cans for $6.99.

Moose March 5, 2012 at 10:14 am

Not sure what store you shop at but Costo Canada works out to $1.22 per bottle and you get back 10 cents per bottle at the beer store for deposit i find it to be very close to the original Becks with the aclchol in it i am a Heiniken drinker ,not disputing the choice of taste for each person just the price correction. Moose

Lisa March 16, 2012 at 5:15 pm

Been trying out several different kinds of near beer and have been getting ‘Blue’ at the nearby Sobey’s…a little reading here and by the positive comments on their own brand I might give it a try. Usually I haven’t had great experiances with the My Compliments brand.

On another note… regarding bottle returns: sometimes the Beer Store takes them and other trips there they deny that they ever took them. Can’t seem to find the low down on this situation. Hate to through those perfectly good bottles into the “Blue Bin”!

Jean April 4, 2012 at 12:26 am

PC blond and red are good, Labatt Blue, Beck, Bitburger Drive, Odoul’s blond and amber, Sobey’s De-Alcoholized beer “compliments”, That’s the best n.a. i’ve found in Québec!

the Worst was Molson .5.. ekkkkkkk!!!

Lyle May 8, 2012 at 6:05 pm

I like the Compliments o.5% beer the best and only 35 Calories!

Kerry May 8, 2012 at 8:14 pm

I total agree about the Compliments 0.5% Beer – in fact, I am drinking one right now. They are best ice-cold.
As I said in my previous post:
“I have switched to Compliments De-alcoholized Beer marketed by the Sobeys chain of supermarkets. It is brewed by Lakeport Brewing Company in London, Ontario. 35 calories per can. About $6.99 for a 12-pack….”

Nick May 9, 2012 at 1:44 am

I’m a recovering alcoholic in the past I tried Molson Excel and it was horrible! This past weekend I discovered Beck’s NA and liked it and as I type this am currently enjoying the PC Blonde. Grateful to have come across the suggestions in this blog post. I also discovered this list here: http://beeradvocate.com/lists/style/5
I’m interested in compiling a list of where these beers can be purchased. Maybe something I’ll track as I go through the list of trying them.

stephen tompkins May 16, 2012 at 8:21 pm

I found Clausthaler Lager about the best for taste. Kailber was bitter and so was Becks. St. Paulies Girl, Sharps, O,Douls, NA too light. Just my opinion. They all leave a yeastie after taste, but Clausthaler was the most refreshing.

Maxine May 20, 2012 at 3:21 pm

From what I’m reading, (I very well may have been reading into comments), it seems that a good-tasting NA with alcohol is preferable to an NA without any alcohol. I’m from a family with severe alcoholism problems and consequently anything with alcohol makes me leery. However, now I am reading that even some fruit juices and sodas that I do consume contain alcohol, so I am wondering: can the alcohol be of a different content and therefore, not as possibly damaging to those of us who must be careful?

carl July 27, 2012 at 6:19 pm

i like n/a bush , best i found is oduels amber , wish they had it in cans

I AM August 12, 2012 at 1:05 pm

First of all; try THE ONLY TURE AND LIVING GOD AND LORD THE KING JESUS CHRIST; HE is the TRUE thrist pleaser; JESUS CHRIST IS THE WATER OF LIFE. I just want to say, I have a brother that has had problemS with alchol for over thrithy years, so I have been trying no-alchol beer to give him. I tried gerstel no-alcho beer from Jermy and it is on of the best no-alcho beer I have ever had; no matter how many I draink I felt sober and no gas. ONLY one problem I had with it is it slowed down my out put of water. I need to out put at least three of four time a day;I have edmia. So, Try HIM aka THE KING, GOD and THE ALMIGHTY JESUS CHRIST and then try greastel; you can find THE KING JESUS CHRIST IN THE WORD OF GOD THE HOLY BIBLE KJV,by REPENTING of you sins, confessing JESUS CHRIS IS LORD AND THE ONLY TRUE AND LIVING GOD WHICH DIED AND ROSE THE THRID DAY FOR THE sins of the world, and getting BAPTIZED in THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST; AND TRULY WALK IN THE LIGHT OF CHRIST. And and you can find Gerstel at trader Joes. Please; stay away from Odoul’s I had a heart attack all night from the gas that went to and around my heart; this gas seemed as it had amission to take me out; the lesser pain lasted for about three days after the massive attack, however, JESUS CHRIST BROUGHT ME THROUGH IT; just as HE SAID HE WOULD.

P.S. After the massive heart attack experience I had from Odoul’s non- alcho beer, I don’t want no beer at all; I a drink call “R.w. Knudsen” “Spritzer Red Raspberry.” It is a “ALL NATURAL NO SUGAR ADD flavored sparkling beverage from concentrate. This I will give to my brother; this is what the LORD will have him and my self to drink; it really take the place of beer; for beer lovers and people with drinking problem that love beer, but got caught up with the devil’s trap of “synthic alchol” aka “SYNTHIC DRUGS secretly and quitly put in most beers AND smoking Crigettrets- smoking- stick you know what I mean; they play dirty, evil and deadly; you can’t win without CHRIST JESUS.

I AM

I AM August 12, 2012 at 1:42 pm

In the MIGHTY NAME OF THE FATHER, THE SON AND THE HOLY GHOST; THE KING AND GOD ALMIGHTY, JESUS CHRIST; HE IS LORD.

Re: THE SOON COMMING KING JESUS CHRIST;
Gerstel Non Alcoholic Beer All NATURAL AND SAFE:

I left out; Gerstel non- alcohol beer is ALL NATURAL and it is inported from Jermery; with a tamper proof cap. Unlike Odoul’s which I saw some green spot in the bottles and some of the beer was spilling out of the bottles before I opend them. After my MASSIVE heart attack ( from the MASSIVE gas it cause; I return the Odoul’s for my full refund the next day. I took the beer back to Stop and Shop food market were I brought it; they gave me a full refund for the beers without any problems. That is how bad the beer was; at first the cleark told me I could not get any refund under the laws in New York. However, I asked to speak to the person in charge and she look at me and then the beer; I explaind to her that I had a heart attack the night before from the beer and I showed her the green spots in the unopend bottles along with the half full unopened bottles (the beer spill out of the unopended bottles when it tilted in my bag as I was carrying it back to the store). Afert she saw this she quickly refunded me for the six pack of Odoul’s non-alcohol beer; “GOD SO LOVED THE world; HE GAVE HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON; that whosoever, BELIEVETH ON HIM SHOULD NOT PERISH, BUT HAVE EVER LASTING LIFE; KING JESUS CHRIST IS THE WATER OF LIFE; COME DRINK FREELEY! He that BELIEVETH IS SAVED, BUT he THAT beliveth NOT is damned.”
I AM

I AM August 12, 2012 at 1:59 pm

Someone wants to know “if Gerstel was ok then why did I try Odouls? I could not pick up Gerstel from trader Joes that day. So, I thought Odoul’s could have the same (A+) quality; only to find out it did not; I give Odoul’s non-alcohol beer a (F, F, F, F, F,F, F ); In THE NAME OF THE KING JESUS LORD AND GOD ALMIGHTY.

I AM

I AM August 12, 2012 at 9:34 pm

I AM back, however, I have just a little time; after I wrote to you about thre hour ago. I felt the need to “investigate” the non alcoholic beers ALL of them. I started out investigating “Odoul’s non alcoholic beer” and ending up finding out the same evil about Gerstal “non alcoholic beer.” I found out that ALL alcohic and non alcholic drink are NOW being made with A SYNTHETIC CHEMICAL called “ETHYLENE.”
AKA POLYTEHYLENE GLYCOL. ETHANOL is NO LONGER being used in alcoholic and non aloholic beers, wine and liquers. Ethylene is the major ingredient in most radiators fluid products in the United States. ETHYLENE IS ANTIFREEZ AND COOLANT. It cause COGESTIVE HEART FAILURE AND RENAL FAILURE. Poisoning with ETHYLENE GLYCOL (EG) can result in significant morbidity and mortality.ETHANOL AND ETHYLENE is NOT THE SAME. Exposure to Extreme cold leads to COROANARY ARTERY SPASM; this is what happend to me;STAY AWAY FROM ALL BEER UNLESS YOU MAKE IT YOUR SELF;I just found this out. KING JESUS CHRIST SAVES.
I AM

Larry August 21, 2012 at 1:52 pm

The Labatts isn’t bad if it is really cold but I prefer the O’Doul’s Amber.

Dug August 25, 2012 at 1:58 pm

We have decent supplies of Becks and Compliments NA beer in my part of Gatineau but I really prefer Clausthaler Classic or Clausthaler Premium and my store can no longer get it from his distributor. Woe is me!
Even in Montreal, where I have family, it is infrequently on hand even in larger stores such as the Metro on Rockland.

I will be contacting satsangdistributions@gmail.com to try to find another local source.

Thank you very much for this blog.

. September 11, 2012 at 10:08 am

“Provide alternatives [to alcohol]

Make it law that all alcohol outlets have to sell non-alcoholic beers and lagers as well, so that people who like the taste of these drinks can experience it without risk of intoxication. The quality of these is improving, and although some seasoned drinkers say they prefer the taste of alcoholic versions, this is mostly the result of repeated conditioning to the alcohol which is exactly the effect we need to reverse. Non-alcoholic drinks should be cheaper than their alcoholic equivalent, and made obviously available in all shops and bars.

Another route to explore (which has formed part of my academic research), is investigating less dangerous alternatives to alcohol, to provide some of the pleasurable effects of mild to moderate inebriation without the harms. The active ingredient would probably be a benzodiazepine (there are thousands) which could be produced as a liquid and added to other sorts of flavoured drinks. Ideally, it would be impossible to get drunk on, just producing a moderate buzz with no increase in effects at higher doses. It would also come with an antidote – a ‘sober pill’ – that could be popped at the end of the night to reverse the effect of the drug, so that people could get home safely, even if they were driving.”

Nutt, David. Drugs Without the Hot Air: Minimising the Harms of Legal and Illegal Drugs. p.109 (paperback)

James September 27, 2012 at 11:22 pm

I use to drink Busch Light. Now i drank Busch N/A and i love the taste of it. I tried all the others and this is the best taste like a real beer without the alcohol in it. Try it you will like it.

James

Kevin September 28, 2012 at 5:28 pm

I’ve been a Sobey’s Compliments customer for about 5 years. Lately I usually have to get them to grab some cases from the back as the shelves are always bare (lots of the other NA brands still sitting on the shelves). Tried Becks a few weeks ago when they were out. Had some serious gas for the whole next day so I poured the rest out.

MaxxNess October 8, 2012 at 10:10 pm

I’ve been dry for sometime now, and so far, my favorite two are Beck’s and Bitburger. While Bitburger was on top of my light beer list before quiting the drinking, it remains on top of my NA-Beer list as well.
Beck’s is good and much more available around here, i’ve found.
O’douls i can’t stand.
All the labatt, molsons, they’re all … not really good.

Voilà. Bitburger it is.

Michelle November 12, 2012 at 2:35 pm

My dilemma: I am pregnant (yeah!) and now that the morning sickness has worn off (yeah!) I am craving my favorite beers (boo!). So far I’ve tried O’Doules Amber (okay for a really, really light beer and kind of tastes like raw pumpkin/squash), PC Red (meh, tastes like 1/3 lite beer and 2/3 water), and Becks (TERRIBLE – aftertaste reminds me of urine).
I agree that if you didn’t like regular beer why on earth would you bother to drink the non-alcohol kind? I enjoy drinking Stouts, Porters, and dark ales (Guiness, La Fin du Monde, Wellington County, Trappiste). I like a strong tasting beer. I really, really dislike Lite beers, red beers, and overly fizzy lagers/ales. I know there is a fairly large selection of non/low alcohol beers out there but where can I buy them??
ERDINGER Weissbräu?
Bitburger?
Clausthaler?
Labbatt?
I see the names above, can anyone recommend a store/distributer in Ontario; ideally ~2h radius of Toronto? (the LCBO was no help though their entertaining guidelines recommend that every responsible host offer a selection of non-alcohol wine and beer…)

Sheldor February 11, 2013 at 9:07 pm

PC (President’s Choice) beers contain corn syrup, a disappointing ingredient I noticed only after I bought some to try and was marvelling at the non-bitter taste, unlike the soapy yet stoically, Germanically, unadulterated N/A Beck’s.

Maybe if I added some honey to Beck’s?

And yes, I agree it is somewhat irresponsible of LCBO to not have a selection of alcohol-free beverages, yet try to promote responsible drinking (which must include non-drinking, right?) Their recipe pamphlet for boozeless drinks at Summerhill was only available in French, which makes me wonder at cultural perceptions ;-)

Cal May 5, 2013 at 8:53 pm

Nick, thank you, thank you, thank you, for your information.
I just had the privilege of drinking my first Clausthaler Premium NA beer at a dear friends home after their return from Florida, where they purchased it. I was totally surprised by it’s taste, colour, and the foamy head it had when poured and when I allowed to coat my tongue and taste buds with it’s flavour, I could have sworn there was alcohol in it (0.5%). I’m not a beer tasting expert, nor am I a committed beer drinker, I do prefer red wine, an occasional white….or dry Martini……I digress….sorry. My friend was wondering if it was sold here in Montreal……and viola you gave the answer with a telephone number…..bravo……and again Merci beaucoup! We shall be purchasing this great tasting and satisfying liquid beverage….especially this summer! Bon Ete!

Ken August 2, 2013 at 6:22 pm

I am trying to find out who sells PC Blonde near beer. It was sold by Superstore. They have taken it off the shelf. Nobody in the stores can tel me why. To me it was the closest to the taste of real beer that I have found.I am looking for someone in South East Alberta who sells it. Can anyone help me.

. August 26, 2013 at 3:55 pm

Brewers in the Middle East
Sin-free ale
Non-alcoholic beer is taking off among Muslim consumers

DEDICATED drinkers may struggle to see the point of non-alcoholic beer, but it is growing in popularity around the world. Last year 2.2 billion litres was downed, 80% more than five years earlier. In the rich world it is mainly consumed by a health-conscious minority. But in the Middle East, which now accounts for almost a third of worldwide sales, the target market is the teetotal majority. In 2012 Iranians quaffed nearly four times as much as in 2007. Consumers in Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates also have a growing taste for it (though across the region, alcoholic beer still outsells it).

Shazzer October 9, 2013 at 10:39 pm

Michelle – I’ve also had trouble finding a good assortment of non-alcoholic beer. If you live in the Toronto Area, you can find all kinds of non-alcoholic beer at PremiumNearBeer.com. I think they carry Erdinger and Clausthaler. Best of all they deliver!

Jaime February 10, 2014 at 8:22 pm

The beer I miss most (I quit drinking 4 years ago) is Leiny’s Summer Shandy but I find that adding lemonade to a NA beer is very tasty, especially on a summer day. I like Coors NA and LaBatts Nordic quite a bit and for the money Busch NA is pretty damn good. I would like to try the PC Red Brew if I could find it.

Patrick March 6, 2014 at 6:06 pm

I live in Arizona and would like to know if anyone can tell me where to buy Sol cero.??? Total Wine and more has never heard of it …??
Guess I stumped them !!

Kent November 12, 2014 at 4:47 pm

Thanks for the tip Shazzer! Ordered from http://www.premiumnearbeer.com recently and was very pleased with the selection and quality. They have beer, wine, a cider and a line of non-alcoholic spirits coming too

oleh January 2, 2015 at 3:34 pm

33 positive comments and recommendations up to July 2011

33 more positive comments and recommendation since then

20 different beers have been mentioned

This is a composite of those results based on two criteria:

1. Score for those with at least three recommendations (if more than one is recommended by a reviewer the weight is reduced proportionately by number so as to balance the weight of each reviewer)

2. total number of recommendations ;

Score (assuming at least 3 recommendations)

Clauhesiter 6.8
PC 5.66
St Paulis 4.5
Odoulls 4.47
Labbatts 3.7
Becks 3.08

Total number of recommendations
Clausheister 10
PC 8
Odoulls 7
Labbatts 7
Becks 7
St Pauli 6
Busch 3

The following were recommended by two each (the present Score is in parenthesis for potential future use)

Compliments (2.0)
Sol (2.0)
Millers (2.0)
Old Milwaukee (2.0)
Sobeys (1.16)
(Buckers) Heineken (1.0)

The following were each recommended by one person (in parenthesis I place the weighted average) :
Sharps (1.0)
Grolsch (1.0)
Bitburger (.5)
Amarcord Premium (.5)
Erdinger (.33)
Brewdog Nancy Still (.33)

I hope this compilation helps you in your choices.

I look forward to seeing what the next 33 reviews reveals

oleh January 2, 2015 at 3:46 pm

You may have noticed that I have not made a recommendation – largely because for convenience I have been buying the only non-alcohol beer available in the two grocery stores.I t has been panned heavily on this chain of emails. (It goes unnamed as I seek to compile the recommended beers only).

oleh January 4, 2016 at 1:01 am

Correction: Claushaler, not Clausheister

I believe I incorrectly have been citing the name Clausheister when the correct name is Claushaler. Not only did I just buy some, I also enjoyed it. However a.s a person of lack of ability to distinguish good beer, do not consider this an endorsement

What I did observe is an incorrect spelling on my part – as this was also confirmed by a google search in which Claushaler popped up readily for a non-alcoholic malt beverage and not Clausheiser. Sorry to any of you who may have search in vain for the elusive Clausheiser well regarded NA beer.

Milan August 17, 2016 at 2:38 pm

This is an interesting idea for alcohol harm reduction:

Slightly weaker beer could reduce alcohol’s harm while benefiting industry: addiction experts

“We are proposing that the alcohol content of alcoholic beverages [be] reduced,” said the paper’s lead author, Jurgen Rehm, director of the institute for mental health policy research at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH).

“That means we should, for example, reduce the [alcohol] content of beer from an average of 5.5 per cent to an average of 4.5 per cent. That will not, according to all of the studies we know, [have an] impact on consumers; that they suddenly drink one bottle more of beer, because the consumers usually don’t even notice that. But it will have a tremendous impact on health.”

Garth February 15, 2017 at 8:55 pm

You might try Clausthaler Amber or Krombacher Pils` both .5% beers with a not bad flavor.

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