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We all know that feeling after you’ve had one, or two, or three too many beers the night before. You wake up in the morning with a massive hangover headache and start piecing together all the stupid things you were saying and doing, and now wishing you would have ordered a few non-alcoholic beers instead.
You can still go out and enjoy the evening with friends or family without feeling like you have to order a non alcohol drink like a “Shirley Temple” or a “Roy Rogers.” There are plenty of options on our list of the best non alcoholic beers, and won’t leave you feeling like you got run over by a Mack truck the next morning.
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History Of Non-Alcoholic Beer
An alcohol free beer, or NA beer, is a beer that is limited to no more than .05 ABV (alcohol by volume). Non-alcoholic beer was first brewed in the United States in 1919 as a result of prohibition laws. Not only were these non alcoholic beers lower in alcohol, they were very light and pale in color, and often didn’t have the robust flavor of a “regular” lager or a traditional pale ale beer.
Once prohibition ended 13 years later, many people had developed a taste for these non-alcoholic beers, so many breweries decided to keep on producing these beers. Through different brewing techniques, brewers found a way to make some of these NA beers more flavorful that taste like a fuller bodied craft beer, but still lower in alcohol and much lighter on the calories.
Is Alcohol Free Beer Better For You? Benefits Of Drinking Non-Alcoholic Beer
Drinking NA beer doesn’t mean it will improve your health, but compared to a beer with a high volume of alcohol, there are some health advantages to it.
We are not here to give medical advice or give details of the pros and cons of drinking a NA beer, or your favorite double IPA. Choosing to drink non alcoholic beer can help reduce the risk of heart disease, keep you more hydrated, the hops in the NA beer can help sleep, reduces stress & anxiety, along with just consuming less calories overall.
With that said, drinking any alcohol whether it is NA beer, a German wheat beer, or your favorite craft beer from the local microbrewery, can still be bad for you if you already have any known or underlying health conditions.
Top 13 List Of What We Think Are The Best Non-Alcoholic Beers
Alcohol free beer has come a long way over the years, and is still gaining momentum in 2020. You can still drink a beer that tastes like a beer without all of the side-effects. If you’ll notice, many of these beers have blue on their labels, which is a color that means they are non-alcoholic.
In no particular order, here are our top 13 NA beers we think you should try.
This grapefruit non-alcohol beer is a new addition to the Clausthaler beer lineup. Clausthaler has been brewing NA beers for over 40 years, and is the most popular brewer of non-alcoholic beer in Germany
It is a combination of its original non-alcoholic beer and grapefruit juice which gives it the distinct refreshing characteristic. It is also the first grapefruit non alcoholic beer imported to the United States.
BrewDog Punk AF
This alcohol free IPA is brewed in the United Kingdom and uses a combination of eight different hops that come from the United States, Europe, and New Zealand.
If an IPA is your drink of choice, this beer has enough bitterness so you know you are drinking an IPA, but is not as sweet as some other NA beers.
It pours a clear golden straw color and has a minimal amount of foam with little retention. The aroma does have a funky characteristic, where you know you are about to drink an IPA.
St. Pauli Girl Non-Alcoholic
This NA beer is brewed in Germany and owned by AB-Inbev. It looks like real beer, and it smells and tastes like real beer too. St. Pauli non alcoholic is the #1 imported NA beer sold in the United States.
The appearance is a very light yellow and has a decent white foam head with decent carbonation when poured into a glass. The aroma is a bit “skunky” with hops and hints of grain.
Erdinger Weissbier Alkoholfrei
A take on a German Weissbier, this slightly sweet beer is great for relaxing when you are looking to drink a beer that is light and has only 82 calories in each bottle. It also is infused with vitamin B9 to support a strong metabolism.
It pours into a glass as a deep hazy golden color, and has a long-lasting generous white foamy head. The aroma is a mixture of grains, lemons, and hops. The taste is a trio of sweet, tart, and earthy with a hint of banana mixed in.
Brewed by Guiness LTD in Ireland, this beer is viewed by many as a “top-of-the-line” and one of the best non-alcoholic beers available, and quite a difference from the dark stout that you are familiar with.
It has a tea-like and caramel color and when poured into a glass, has a 1 or 2 finger white head. The aroma has a pretty strong hint of bread and lemongrass, and tastes similar to the smell. There is a little more body to this beer compared to other NA’s, but still an easy drinking beer.
This pale lager was first produced in 1998 and is one of the many beers products in the Heineken lineup. Although it doesn’t have the mouthfeel that other big beers have, it is still an easy drinking low-alcohol beer.
This beer is a bright and clear golden color with a small white cap but with nice retention. It has a sweet earthy aroma with bread and cracker, and a touch of dank. It’a flavor has a light sweetness from the malt and a low bitterness.
Beck's Blue Non-Alcoholic
Beck’s was one of the first breweries to produce a “near-beer” during prohibition, and continue to make Becks Blue, which is one of the highest quality NA beers today.
After you pour this bright golden amber colored beer it into a glass, you will notice that the thick white froth will stick around longer than the beer.
The aroma has citrus lemon tones, with some sweetness from the malt. The flavor is mostly of the malt with a subtle bitterness on the back of the throat. It finishes relatively clean with no off-flavors or lingering aftertaste.
Is Heineken 0.0 truly alcohol free? Well not exactly. It is a beer that is considered non-alcoholic, but it still has less than 0.5 ABV. Many non-Heineken drinkers would have a hard time figuring out which one is the “regular” Heineken, and which one is the NA.
Heineken has been brewing with the same characteristics since 1873. Heineken 0.0 is made by brewing and fermenting twice using their special A-yeast.
It has a clear golden yellow color with a thin white head that quickly fades away. The aroma is mostly of malts and basically mimics the smell of the origninal Heineken. The taste is mostly malt forward with a balanced hop bitterness.
Brooklyn Brewery Special Effects
This low-alcohol lager from Brooklyn Brewery uses a special fermentation process that limits the amount of alcohol that is produced, but still allows for the true beer characteristics to come through.
This hoppy NA beer finished clean and the appearance is an amber orange color with a thin white foam cap that doesn’t disappear all that quickly. It has a sweet orange citrus and bread aroma, and has the taste of malt and hops.
Athletic Brewing Co. Run Wild IPA
Athletic Brewing Co. is a brewery from Connecticut that only brews and produces non alcoholic beer. Although their selections are minimal at this time, they are brewing some of the tastiest NA beers on the market that many claim is the best NA beer they ever had.
It has a nice golden straw color with a thin white foam cap and minamal carbonation, and smells like what you would expect from an IPA. The taste has a citrus and malty characteristic, and at only 35 IBU’s, it is not a bitter as many IPA’s.
Wellbeing Heavenly Body Golden Wheat
This NA Golden Wheat beer is based on an award winning recipe from the Great American Beer Festival, and comes from Wellbeing Brewing Co., located in Maryland Heights Missouri, which is a suburb of St. Louis.
This brewery was founded by a self-proclaimed “non alcoholic.” and is the first brewery in the country that is dedicated to only brewing NA craft beer.
When poured, it has a clean white foamy head, a golden color with some haziness, which is something you would expect with any wheat beer style. It has a bread-like and spice aroma, with a light bitterness at the start, and a more moderate bitterness at the end.
Paulaner Weizen Radler
Every year during Oktoberfest, Paulaner is one of just six breweries that is pouring beer. All of the eers brewed in this Munich, Germany brewery still follow the Bavarian Beer Purity Law, and that includes all their low alcohol beers as well.
This non alcoholic beer is a combination of Paulaner Hefe-Weizen and lemonade. The mix of the lemon with the wheat beer is what gives it the signature taste.
It has a hazy orange color with a cloudy white foam head. There is an enhanced citrus and grainy aroma, and the taste is much like it smells. There is a semi-sweet finish with no long after taste..
Krombacher Weizen Alkoholfrei
Krombacher Brauerei is one of Germany’s largest privately own breweries, and brews one of the most consumed pilsner in the country, Krombacher Pils.
When poured into a glass, this non-alcohol version has a nice gold color with a white fluffy head. The aroma is slightly hoppy and of cereal grains. The taste is slightly sweet which quickly fades, and finishes smooth with light bitterness.
Where To Find These Non-Alcoholic Beers
Many of these beers that made the list for our best non alcohol beers are distributed all over the country and can be found locally in many grocery or liquor stores. Other ones might only be available in certain regions across the United States and Europe.
If you are eager to try a few of these alcohol free craft beers, and you are having a difficult time finding them where you live, you can actually get many of these on Amazon or from a delivery service like Drizly.
Final Say On Non-Alcoholic Beer
Drinking non-alcoholic beer in the past meant you almost had to “call the police because someone stole the flavor from your beer!”
Not any more.
According to Entrepreneur Magazine, the year 2020 is going to be the year for non alcoholic beers. These beers might be a bit different than you are used to, but these beers are still brewed with the same ingredients that are used in your favorite beer styles.
Drinking alcohol free beer doesn’t mean you have to drink “taste-free” beer. There are many NA beers that should satisfy just about any palate, you just need to try a few of them to find out.