Full review & Discover the best low-alcohol and alcohol-free beers and lagers

Full review & Discover the best low-alcohol and alcohol-free beers and lagers

Full review & Discover the best low-alcohol and alcohol-free beers and lagers

Which are the best non-alcoholic beers and alcohol-free lagers in 2020? Here are all my alcohol-free beer reviews, ranked best to worst by style.

If you want an alcohol-free life, non-alcoholic beers have come a long way in the last few years.

Sure, there are still some terrible ones out there. But there are also loads of quality non-alcoholic beers and alcohol-free lagers on the market, some of which rival their higher-ABV equivalents in taste, aroma and body.

To discover the best ones, I’ve reviewed more than 80 non-alcoholic and low-alcohol beers and lagers under 0.5% ABV from brewers big and small in 2018 and 2019, and I’m adding more each week in 2020.

These are my top non-alcoholic beers, broken down by style – lagers, pale ales (including IPAs), dark beers and stouts, wheat beers and sour beers.

The best non-alcoholic beers and alcohol-free lagers

ALCOHOL-FREE AND NON-ALCOHOLIC EXPLAINED

All these beers below come in at 0.5% ABV or less and many are completely alcohol free.

Drinks under 0.5% ABV aren’t covered by licensing law in the UK. They won’t make you drunk and have a similar percentage of alcohol as foods such as bananas and burger rolls. So they’re fine to drink when you’re off the booze.

In the UK and Europe, drinks under 0.5% ABV are commonly referred to as “alcohol-free” or “AF”. If you’re in the US, you probably call them “non-alcoholic” or “NA” beers.

THE BEST NON-ALCOHOLIC BEERS AND ALCOHOL-FREE LAGERS

THE BEST NON-ALCOHOLIC LAGERS

Lager is made with a yeast that sinks to the bottom of the fermenter and works at low temperatures, which usually results in a cleaner taste than ale.

These are my top 12 non-alcoholic lagers and bottom-fermenting beers, followed by the other lagers I’ve reviewed.

1. LUCKY SAINT “UNFILTERED LAGER” (0.5%)†

  • Score: 7.6 out of 10
  • Where to buy: Zeroholic* (use the code STEADY at checkout to get 10% off your Zeroholic order), Good Stuff Drinks* (use the code STDR5 at checkout to get 5% off your Good Stuff Drinks order), Amazon*, Beer Hawk*, Light Drinks* (use this link to get 10% off your Light Drinks order), Wise Bartender* (use the code STEADY at checkout to get 5% off your Wise Bartender order), Dry Drinker, Booze Free

Lucky Saint is UK-based but brews its lager in Germany.

Lucky Saint alcohol-free lager bottle and glass

With a sweet aroma, a luxurious mouthfeel and complex fruity/malty flavour, it’s a cut above the mass-produced alcohol-free lagers that have flooded the market in recent years.

2. GUINNESS OPEN GATE BREWERY “PURE BREW” (0.5%)

  • Score: 7.3 out of 10
  • Where to buy: Amazon*, Wise Bartender* (use the code STEADY at checkout to get 5% off your Wise Bartender order) and some major supermarkets

A product of Guinness’s experimental Open Gate Brewery, “Pure Brew” is a distinctive lager-style non-alcoholic beer.

Bottle of Guinness Open Gate Brewery Pure Brew non-alcoholic lager with glass in background

It has an exceptional, full-bodied mouthfeel and an unconventional but delicious aroma that consists of grapefruit, pale malts and lemon.

3. INFINITE SESSION “PILS” (0.5%)

  • Score: 7.1 out of 10
  • Where to buy: Zeroholic* (use the code STEADY at checkout to get 10% off your Zeroholic order), Good Stuff Drinks* (use the code STDR5 at checkout to get 5% off your Good Stuff Drinks order), Amazon*, Beer Hawk*, Wise Bartender* (use the code STEADY at checkout to get 5% off your Wise Bartender order), Light Drinks* (use this link to get 10% off your Light Drinks order), Dry Drinker

“Pils” is Infinite Session’s lager, to go alongside its “Pale” and “IPA” beers.

Hopped with the perennial pils favourites, Saaz and Hallertau, Pils is herby and floral.

Infinite Session alcohol-free Pils can

There’s a balanced malty foundation to the flavours too, plus a gorgeous, velvety mouthfeel.

4. MIKKELLER “RACING BEER” (0.3%)

  • Score: 7.1 out of 10
  • Where to buy: Amazon*, Beer Hawk*, Wise Bartender* (use the code STEADY at checkout to get 5% off your Wise Bartender order), Dry Drinker, Booze Free

Labelled as a lager-style beer but more like a saison or Belgian wheat beer, this is one of hundreds of beers produced over the years by Denmark’s Mikkeller brewery.

Mikkeller Racing Beer Close up

Sweet and sour on the nose and in the mouth, expect aromas of mango and lychee and flavours of wheat, lemon and orange. Nice.

5. “FITBEER” (0.3%)

  • Score: 7 out of 10
  • Where to buy: Amazon*, Wise Bartender* (use the code STEADY at checkout to get 5% off your Wise Bartender order), Light Drinks* (use this link to get 10% off your Light Drinks order), Dry Drinker, Booze Free

From London via Bavaria, this hellas-style lager comes in at just 66 calories.

Fitbeer bottle lager

Add its sweet, biscuity aroma and clean malty flavour and you have yourself a lager you’ll be happy to reach for whether you’re into keeping fit or not.

6. JUMP SHIP BREWING “YARDARM” (0.5%) LAGER†

  • Score: 7 out of 10
  • Where to buy: Dry Drinker

“Yardarm” is the first beer from specialist ultra-low-alcohol brewery Jump Ship Brewing.

Gluten free and suitable for vegans, the beer uses Citra and Bobek hops that mash flavours of lychee and mango with a caramel, biscuity maltiness.

Close up of can of Jump Ship Yardarm non-alcoholic lager with glass close up

There’s also a gentle carbonation, which will likely appeal to cask ale drinkers and well as those who love a flavourful lager.

7. FURSTENBERG “ALKOHOLFREI” (0.5%)

  • Score: 6.9 out of 10
  • Where to buy: Light Drinks* (use this link to get 10% off your Light Drinks order), Wise Bartender* (use the code STEADY at checkout to get 5% off your Wise Bartender order), Dry Drinker, Booze Free

Furstenberg operates out of Germany’s Black Forest and has been brewing beer since the 13th century.

Furstenberg bottle

Its low-alcohol offering has an amazingly creamy mouthfeel. The aroma and the flavour aren’t bad either. Decent.

8. BITBURGER “DRIVE” (0%)

  • Score: 6.9 out of 10
  • Where to buy (UK): Zeroholic* (use the code STEADY at checkout to get 10% off your Zeroholic order), Amazon*, Wise Bartender* (use the code STEADY at checkout to get 5% off your Wise Bartender order), Light Drinks* (use this link to get 10% off your Light Drinks order), The Alcohol-Free Shop, Dry Drinker, Booze Free
  • Where to buy (US): Amazon*

Yet another German brewery that embraces alcohol-free beer, Bitburger has produced a 0% pilsner that tastes and smells great but has none of features that ruin other non-alcoholic lagers.

Bitburger Drive alcohol-free lager bottle and glass

It’s widely available too, not just in Europe but in the US as well.

9. BROOKLYN BREWERY “SPECIAL EFFECTS” (0.4%)

  • Score: 6.9 out of 10
  • Where to buy (UK): Zeroholic* (use the code STEADY at checkout to get 10% off your Zeroholic order), Good Stuff Drinks* (use the code STDR5 at checkout to get 5% off your Good Stuff Drinks order), Amazon*, Light Drinks* (use this link to get 10% off your Light Drinks order), Wise Bartender* (use the code STEADY at checkout to get 5% off your Wise Bartender order), Tesco*, Dry Drinker
  • Where to buy (US): NA Craft Beverages

Special Effects is second lager on this top 12 list that’s dry hopped with aromatic hops more common in an IPA or pale ale.

Two bottles of Brooklyn Special Effects alcohol-free lager

Using a lazy yeast and malt bill that doesn’t produce much fermentable sugar, it’s naturally low in alcohol from the get go so hasn’t had anything removed post-fermentation.

Expect a sweet and tropical aroma and caramel malts and lychee in the flavour.

10. “FREE DAMM” (0%)

  • Score: 6.9 out of 10
  • Where to buy: Zeroholic* (use the code STEADY at checkout to get 10% off your Zeroholic order), Amazon*, Light Drinks* (use this link to get 10% off your Light Drinks order), Wise Bartender* (use the code STEADY at checkout to get 5% off your Wise Bartender order), Tesco*, Booze Free, Alcohol Free Shop, Dry Drinker and many major supermarkets

Free Damm is Barcelona-brewery Damm’s alcohol-free lager, available widely in the UK in many supermarkets.

Can of Free Damm alcohol-free lager and glass

Sweeter and less bitter than rivals like Beck’s Blue, Free Damm is clean and malty with a lemony backbone.

It also has an impressive body with smooth carbonation.

11. BIG DROP “LAGER” (0.5%)

  • Score: 6.8 out of 10
  • Where to buy: Zeroholic* (use the code STEADY at checkout to get 10% off your Zeroholic order), Good Stuff Drinks* (use the code STDR5 at checkout to get 5% off your Good Stuff Drinks order), Amazon*, Light Drinks* (use this link to get 10% off your Light Drinks order), Wise Bartender* (use the code STEADY at checkout to get 5% off your Wise Bartender order), Booze Free, Dry Drinker

Big Drop’s lager doesn’t taste like a typical lager, which isn’t a bad thing.

Big Drop Brewing Co Lager in unpoured bottle

With a fruity aroma and flavour and a raspberry and oak in the aroma, this one’s great for a hot summer’s day, especially if you prefer your ales but want something a bit more refreshing.

12. PISTONHEAD NON-ALCOHOLIC “FLAT TIRE” (0.5%)

  • Score: 6.8 out of 10
  • Where to buy: Zeroholic* (use the code STEADY at checkout to get 10% off your Zeroholic order), Light Drinks* (use this link to get 10% off your Light Drinks order), Wise Bartender* (use the code STEADY at checkout to get 5% off your Wise Bartender order), Dry Drinker and some major supermarkets including Tesco* stores

In 2011, Sweden’s Spendrup brewery allowed staff to set up their own experimental microbrewery project. One of the project’s big successes was Pistonhead, a range of three lagers that Spendrup now exports to Europe and beyond.

Can and glass of Pistonhead Flat Tire non-alcoholic lager

Non-alcoholic “Flat Tire” is a 0.5% ABV version of the higher-strength lager of the same name.

Dry-hopped with Centennial and Mosaic hops, this beer starts off like a piney and citrusy ale before the cleaner flavours and aromas you’d expect from a typical pale lager come through.

THE REST

Here are the rest of the alcohol-free lagers I’ve reviewed that didn’t make the top 12:

  1. Sainsbury’s “Low-Alcohol Czech” (0.5%) lager (6.7/10)
  2. Clausthaler “Unfiltered Dry Hopped Alcohol Free” (0.4%) lager (6.6/10)
  3. Super Bock “Non-Alcoholic” (0.5%) lager (6.6/10)
  4. Birra Moretti “Zero” (0%) lager (6.5/10)
  5. Jupiler “0.0%” (0%) pilsner (6.5/10)
  6. Stiegl “Freibier”(0.5%) lager (6.3/10)
  7. Beck’s “Blue” (0.05%) pilsner (6/10)
  8. Cheers “Branca” (0.5%) lager (6/10)
  9. Lindeboom “0.5%” (0.5%) pilsner (6/10)
  10. Rothaus “Non-Alcoholic Tannenzäpfle” (0.4%) pilsner (6/10)
  11. Sagres “Sem Alcool” (0.3%) pilsner (6/10)
  12. Lowenbrau “Alkoholfrei” (0.5%) lager (5.9/10)
  13. Peroni “Libera” (0%) lager (5.9/10)
  14. Budweiser Budvar “B:Free” (0.5%) pale lager (5.8/10)
  15. Heineken “0.0” (0.05%) pale lager (5.7/10)
  16. Ambar “0.0 Gluten-Free” (0%) lager (5.6/10)
  17. Krombacher “Low-Alcohol Pils” (0.5%) lager (5.6/10)
  18. San Miguel “0.0” (0%) pilsner lager (5.4/10)
  19. Clausthaler “Original” (0.5%) lager (5.3/10)
  20. Jever “Fun” (0.5%) pilsner (5.2/10)
  21. Carlsberg “0.0” (0%) lager (5/10)
  22. Cobra “Zero” (0%) lager (4.7/10)
  23. Bavaria “0.0%” (0%) pilsner (4.4/10)
  24. “Freestar” (0%) lager (4.7/10)
  25. Guinness “Kaliber” (0.05%) pale lager (3.9/10)
  26. Budweiser “Prohibition Brew” (0%) lager (2.3/10)

THE BEST NON-ALCOHOLIC PALE ALES, IPAS AND BITTERS

Ales are fermented at more ambient temperatures than lagers with yeast that floats at the top of the fermenter. These are my top 12 non-alcoholic pale ales, India pale ales and bitters, followed by the other pale ales I’ve reviewed.

1. KEHRWIEDER “Ü.NN” (0.4%) IPA

  • Score: 8.8 out of 10
  • Where to buy (UK): Light Drinks* (use this link to get 10% off your Light Drinks order), Dry Drinker, Beer Wulf
  • Where to buy (Australia): Dan Murphy’s

Dry-hopped with Simcoe and Mosaic hops, Kehrwieder’s “ü.NN” IPA has a cracking aroma and a sweet, malty flavour. It looks gorgeous once poured too.

Kehrwieder uNN non-alcoholic IPA

It would be easy to mistake ü.NN for a full-ABV pale ale. All that’s missing is the alcohol burn at the end.

Lovely stuff. It’s just a pity that it’s quite hard to get hold of in the UK.

2. INFINITE SESSION “PALE” (0.5%) AMERICAN PALE ALE†

  • Score: 8.6 out of 10
  • Where to buy: Zeroholic* (use the code STEADY at checkout to get 10% off your Zeroholic order), Good Stuff Drinks* (use the code STDR5 at checkout to get 5% off your Good Stuff Drinks order), Amazon*, Beer Hawk*, Light Drinks* (use this link to get 10% off your Light Drinks order), Wise Bartender* (use the code STEADY at checkout to get 5% off your Wise Bartender order), Dry Drinker, Tesco*

Infinite Session “Pale” is a nicely balanced alcohol-free beer that uses a variety of hops and malts to produce caramel and tropical fruit aromas and flavours alongside a full body.

Infinite Session Pale bottle and glass

The brewery produces three core beers. But this is the pick of the bunch.

A great beer.

3. VANDESTREEK “PLAYGROUND IPA” (0.5%) INDIA PALE ALE†

  • Score: 8.6 out of 10
  • Where to buy: Wise Bartender* (use the code STEADY at checkout to get 5% off your Wise Bartender order), Light Drinks* (use this link to get 10% off your Light Drinks order), Beer Wulf, Dry Drinker

Vanderstreek’s “Playground IPA” is another cracking India pale ale, produced in a similar fashion to Kehrwieder’s “ü.NN” (above).

Bottle and glass Vandestreek Playground IPA

The aroma manages to weave in fruit and spice with pine, grass, coriander seed and oregano backed by a hit of mango and lychee.

The body rivals many standard brews while the fruity flavours are followed by a balanced bitterness that leaves you wanting another sip and quick.

4. BREWDOG “NANNY STATE” (0.5%) PALE ALE

  • Score: 8.3 out of 10
  • Where to buy: Good Stuff Drinks* (use the code STDR5 at checkout to get 5% off your Good Stuff Drinks order), Amazon*, Beer Hawk*, Wise Bartender* (use the code STEADY at checkout to get 5% off your Wise Bartender order), Light Drinks* (use this link to get 10% off your Light Drinks order), Booze Free, Dry Drinker, Tesco* and many supermarkets and convenience stores

Originally a 1.1% beer, “Nanny State” flew under the radar when Brewdog first released it in response to media hysteria over its imperial-strength beers.

Brewdog Nanny State label close up

Now, it’s much easier to get hold of a bottle or can of Nanny State. A ruby-coloured ale, Brewdog uses five hop varieties and eight types of malt to achieve the taste, aroma and mouthfeel you’d expect from a higher-strength beer.

And while it’s not as good as Brewdog’s best beers, Nanny State is better than most breweries’ alcoholic offerings.

It’s low in calories too – just 26 per 330ml.

5. NIRVANA BREWERY “KARMA” (0.5%) PALE ALE

  • Score: 8.2 out of 10
  • Where to buy: Zeroholic* (use the code STEADY at checkout to get 10% off your Zeroholic order), Good Stuff Drinks* (use the code STDR5 at checkout to get 5% off your Good Stuff Drinks order), Light Drinks* (use this link to get 10% off your Light Drinks order), Wise Bartender* (use the code STEADY at checkout to get 5% off your Wise Bartender order), Booze Free, Dry Drinker

Nirvana is a specialist low-alcohol brewery, which produces four core beers under 0.5% ABV.

Nirvana Karma pale ale

“Karma” is the pick of the bunch. This is a nicely balanced pale ale, which oozes citrus and mango aroma and flavours. It’s not overly bitter, so it’s a great thirst-quencher.

Karma’s low in calories too – just 30 per 330ml bottle.

6. BIG DROP “PALE ALE” (0.5%)

  • Score: 8 out of 10
  • Where to buy: Zeroholic* (use the code STEADY at checkout to get 10% off your Zeroholic order), Beer Hawk*, Light Drinks* (use this link to get 10% off your Light Drinks order), Wise Bartender* (use the code STEADY at checkout to get 5% off your Wise Bartender order), Booze Free, Dry Drinker, Holland and Barrett, and some Tesco* stores

Big Drop’s experimental head brewer Johnny Clayton has used a few tricks to produce a pale ale that rivals its higher-strength equivalents in taste, aroma and mouthfeel.

Can of Big Drop Pale Ale with close up of label

The soft and creamy body is complemented by a piney, tropical aroma and a malty, fruity flavour.

Pale Ale is gluten free too.

7. BIG DROP “CITRA IPA” (0.5%) PALE ALE†

  • Score: 7.8 out of 10
  • Where to buy: Zeroholic* (use the code STEADY at checkout to get 10% off your Zeroholic order), Good Stuff Drinks* (use the code STDR5 at checkout to get 5% off your Good Stuff Drinks order), Beer Hawk*, Wise Bartender* (use the code STEADY at checkout to get 5% off your Wise Bartender order), Light Drinks* (use this link to get 10% off your Light Drinks order), Booze Free, Dry Drinker

Big Drop “Citra IPA” started life as a limited edition version of the brewery’s flagship “Pale Ale” (see above).

Bottle and glass of Citra Pale Ale by Big Drop Brewing Co

It contains four types of hops, with a focus on the relatively new US hop, Citra. As a result, it’s fruitier than the original with many of the tropical and grapefruit aromas that the Citra hop is famous for.

A gorgeous beer if you like your new world hops.

8. HAMBLETON ALES “POINT FIVE” (0.5%) PALE ALE

  • Score: 7.5 out of 10
  • Where to buy: Zeroholic* (use the code STEADY at checkout to get 10% off your Zeroholic order), Wise Bartender* (use the code STEADY at checkout to get 5% off your Wise Bartender order), Hambleton Ales

Yorkshire’s Hambleton Ales is well-known in the “free from” circles for its gluten-free beers, including a gluten-free cask ale.

Hambleton Ales Point 5 bottle and glass

Cloudy, with a fruity, musty, malty aroma and flavour and a balanced dash of bitterness, “Point Five” is Hambleton’s first foray into alcohol-free beer.

With a smooth mouthfeel despite high carbonation, it’s sure to be a hit with traditional ale drinkers, despite its modern, hoppy aromas.

9. ADNAMS “GHOST SHIP ALCOHOL FREE” (0.5%) PALE ALE

  • Score: 7.4 out of 10
  • Where to buy: Zeroholic* (use the code STEADY at checkout to get 10% off your Zeroholic order), Adnams*, Wise Bartender* (use the code STEADY at checkout to get 5% off your Wise Bartender order), Light Drinks* (use this link to get 10% off your Light Drinks order), Dry Drinker and many Tesco* stores

Many traditional breweries have tried – and failed – to produce a decent alcohol-free pale ale to go alongside their full-strength ranges.

Adnams Ghost Ship alcohol-free beer comparison

Adnams has finally cracked it with its alcohol-free version of its popular “Ghost Ship” pale ale. It has a superb mouthfeel and an aroma that’s loaded with tropical fruits. It might it even be better than bottled version of the original.

10. MIKKELLER “LIMBO RASPBERRY” (0.3%) FRUIT BEER

  • Score: 7.4 out of 10
  • Where to buy: Wise Bartender* (use the code STEADY at checkout to get 5% off your Wise Bartender order), Dry Drinker

Danish gypsy brewer Mikkeller produces its non-alcoholic beers in Belgium, a country that has a long tradition of adding fruit to beer. So this pale ale laced with raspberry juice feels like a natural fit.

Mikkeller Raspberry Limbo non-alcoholic sour beer - close up of glass and foam

Acidic and tart, the cranberry/raspberry/passion fruit flavours in the aroma and taste get your mouth watering. And, the mouthfeel is juicy and creamy, with smooth carbonation.

Limbo Raspberry quite high in sugar and calories but it’s a worthwhile treat if you want something a little different from the norm.

11. COAST BEER CO “HAZY IPA” (0.3%) INDIA PALE ALE

  • Score: 7.2 out of 10
  • Where to buy: Zeroholic* (use the code STEADY at checkout to get 10% off your Zeroholic order), Good Stuff Drinks* (use the code STDR5 at checkout to get 5% off your Good Stuff Drinks order), Beer Hawk*, Light Drinks* (use this link to get 10% off your Light Drinks order), Wise Bartender* (use the code STEADY at checkout to get 5% off your Wise Bartender order), Good Stuff Drinks, Dry Drinker

Coast Beer Co is a Scotland-based gypsy brewery, which brews its beers over in Belgium at De Proufbrouwerij. “Hazy IPA” is one of the brewery’s two non-alcoholic brews.

Coast Beer Co Hazy IPA can and glass

Featuring three varieties of US hops and a grain bill that includes wheat, oats and rye along with pilsner malt, Hazy IPA is a fruity little number with minimal bitterness that makes it ideal for non-beer drinkers.

The aromas feature passionfruit, apple blossom, grapefruit and lemon with a funky, homey earthiness. The tarty lemon, lychee and apple flavour is balanced despite the lack of bitterness.

All this is supported by a creamy, softly carbonated mouthfeel and light to medium body.

Not your typical beer, but a great drink nonetheless.

12. MIKKELLER “WEIRD WEATHER” (0.3%) NEW ENGLAND IPA

  • Score: 7.1 out of 10
  • Where to buy: Beer Hawk*, Wise Bartender* (use the code STEADY at checkout to get 5% off your Wise Bartender order), Dry Drinker

Although this is lacking the tropical fruit flavours of a typical New England IPA (NEIPA), you still get pine, citrus, grass and a little malt combining to create a complex and tasty ale.

Mikkeller Weird Weather NEIPA

Hazy with a gorgeous head, it looks the part too.

THE REST

Here are the rest of the alcohol-free pale ales I’ve reviewed that didn’t make the top 12:

  1. Hawkshead “Lighter Times” (0.5%) (7/10)
  2. Drop Bear Brewing Co “Tropical IPA” (0.5%) (7/10)
  3. Ilkley Brewery “Virgin Mary” (0.5%) (7/10)
  4. Coast Beer Co “Farmhouse Ale” (0.5%) pale ale (6.9/10)
  5. Cipher “Mindful IPA” (0.5%) IPA (6.9/10)
  6. De Halve Maan “Sportzot” (0.4%) Belgian blonde 6.9/10)
  7. Brutal Brewing “A Ship Full of IPA” (0%) IPA (6.8/10)
  8. Brewdog “Punk AF” (0.5%) IPA (6.7/10)
  9. Mikkeller “Henry and His Science” (0.3%) pale ale (6.7/10)
  10. Nirvana “Mantra” (0.5%) pale ale (6.6/10)
  11. Drynks Unlimited “Smashed Hops Soft Beer” (0%) pale ale (6.5/10)
  12. Infinite Session “IPA” (0.5%) India pale ale (6.5/10)
  13. Harvey’s “Sussex Best Low Alcohol” (0.5%) bitter (6.4/10)
  14. Laine Brew Co “King Limbo” (0.5%) IPA (6.4/10)
  15. Drop Bear Brewing Co “Yuzu Pale Ale” (0.4%) pale ale (6.2/10)
  16. Nirvana Brewery “Sutra” (0.5%) IPA (6.2/10)
  17. Braxzz “Orange IPA” (0.2%) India pale ale (6.1/10)
  18. Shipyard Brewery “Low Tide” (0.5%) pale ale (6/10)
  19. Thornbridge “Big Easy” (0.5%) pale ale (6/10)
  20. M&S “Southwold (0.5%) pale ale (5.7/10)
  21. Braxzz “Rebel IPA” India pale ale (5.2/10)
  22. Leeds Brewery “0PA” (0%) pale ale (5.2/10)
  23. Old Speckled Hen “Low Alcohol” (0.5%) bitter (4.8/10)
  24. Innis and Gunn “Innis and None” (0%) pale ale (4.7/10)
  25. Nirvana Brewery “Tantra” (0%) pale ale (4.5/10)
  26. St Peter’s Brewery “Without Gold” (0.05%) golden ale (4.3/10)

THE BEST NON-ALCOHOLIC STOUTS AND DARK BEERS

These are my top seven non-alcoholic dark beers including stouts and porters, followed by the other dark beers I’ve reviewed.

1. BIG DROP “STOUT” (0.5%) MILK STOUT

  • Score: 8.5 out of 10
  • Where to buy: Zeroholic* (use the code STEADY at checkout to get 10% off your Zeroholic order), Beer Hawk*, Wise Bartender* (use the code STEADY at checkout to get 5% off your Wise Bartender order), Light Drinks* (use this link to get 10% off your Light Drinks order), Dry Drinker, Booze Free, selected Tesco* stores

With hints of coffee, cocoa and vanilla in the aroma and flavour, plus a fluffy head and a thick mouthfeel, this has all the elements of an excellent milk stout, minus the alcohol.

Big Drop Brewing Stout bottle and glass

A stunning drink, perfect as an after-dinner beer or something to enjoy by the fire in the colder months.

2. DROP BEAR “BONFIRE STOUT” (0.5%)

  • Score: 7.6 out of 10
  • Where to buy:  Amazon*, Wise Bartender* (use the code STEADY at checkout to get 5% off your Wise Bartender order) Good Stuff Drinks* (use the code STDR5 at checkout to get 5% off your Good Stuff Drinks order), Light Drinks* (use this link to get 10% off your Light Drinks order), Dry Drinker

Vegan friendly and gluten free, “Bonfire Stout” includes a touch of smoked malt in the grain bill.

Bottle and glass of Drop Bear Beer Co Bonfire Stout

The result is a smokey flavour, entwined with liquorice, cocoa, espresso, oak, cedar and pine. Plus a lick of grapefruit from Chinook hops.

The body is nifty for a low-alcohol beer too.

3. BIG DROP “BROWN ALE” (0.5%)†

  • Score: 7.3 out of 10
  • Where to buy: Zeroholic* (use the code STEADY at checkout to get 10% off your Zeroholic order), Beer Hawk*, Wise Bartender* (use the code STEADY at checkout to get 5% off your Wise Bartender order), Light Drinks* (use this link to get 10% off your Light Drinks order), Booze Free, Dry Drinker

A little lighter than its “Stout”, Big Drop’s alcohol-free “Brown Ale” is another dark ale that features vanilla and cocoa among its flavours.

Big Drop Brown Ale bottle

Brewed to an English-style recipe, it’s low on hop aroma and bitterness with a deliciously smokey malt base.

A handy non-alcoholic beer for fans of porters and low-ABV stouts.

4. BIG DROP “WINTER ALE” (0.5%)

  • Score: 7.3 out of 10
  • Where to buy: Beer Hawk*, Light Drinks* (use this link to get 10% off your Light Drinks order), Wise Bartender* (use the code STEADY at checkout to get 5% off your Wise Bartender order), Booze Free, Dry Drinker

If those gimmicky cinnamon-loaded beers that always appear in the run up to Halloween and Christmas have put you off spiced ales, Big Drop Brewing’s version will likely make you think again.

Big Drop Spiced Ale bottle and glass

The spices at play in this one are cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves. Rather than overwhelm this non-alcoholic beer, they add a little warmth to the other flavours, which include a little burnt chocolate and a hint of berry.

5. HARVEY’S “OLD ALE” (0.5%)

  • Score: 7.1 out of 10
  • Where to buy: Beer Hawk*, Light Drinks* (use this link to get 10% off your Light Drinks order), Virgin Wines, Harvey’s, Dry Drinker

East Sussex’s 200-year-old brewery Harvey’s quietly released two non-alcoholic beers to go alongside its core range of traditional ales.

One is this non-alcoholic version of the brewery’s “Old Ale”.

Bottle of Harvey's Low-Alcohol old ale

Showcasing many of the characteristics of its alcoholic sibling, there’s a deep, fruity tang with whiffs of red wine and loads of raisin and oak flavours.

Perfect for those long winter evenings.

6. MIKKELLER “DRINK’IN THE SNOW” (0.3%) WINTER ALE

  • Score: 6.9 out of 10
  • Where to buy: Wise Bartender* (use the code STEADY at checkout to get 5% off your Wise Bartender order), Light Drinks* (use this link to get 10% off your Light Drinks order), Booze Free, Dry Drinker

Fruitier than it looks thanks to the esters created by Mikkeller’s low-alcohol yeast, “Drink’in the Snow” is a great option all year round.

Mikkeller Drinkin the Snow bottle and glass

Unusually for a dark ale, there’s tarty lemon flavours in the taste and aroma. All backed by a coffee and chocolate maltiness.

7. BREWDOG “WAKE UP CALL” (“STOUT AF”) (0.5%) COFFEE STOUT

  • Score: 6.7 out of 10
  • Stockists (UK): Beer Hawk*, Light Drinks* (use this link to get 10% off your Light Drinks order), Brewdog
  • Stockists (US): Brewdog

Brewdog’s first non-alcoholic dark beer is this coffee-infused stout.

Can of Brewdog Wake Up Call Alcohol-Free Stout with full glass in background

The Bramling Cross hops in this one add some fruity flavours to an aroma unsurprisingly dominated by coffee and dark malts.

The taste includes hints of blackcurrant, which mingle with coffee, liquorice and caramel. An interesting one.

THE REST

Here are the rest of the alcohol-free dark beers I’ve reviewed that didn’t make the top five:

  1. Braxzz “Barrelled Bock” (0%) (6.4/10)
  2. Rok Soba “Zero Fear Beer” stout (0%) (6.3/10)
  3. Braxzz “Porter” (0%) (6.3/10)
  4. Harviestoun “Wheesht” ruby ale (0%) (6/10)
  5. Nirvana Brewery “Kosmic” (0%) stout (4.9/10)
  6. Super Bock “Preta” (0.45%) stout (4.8/10)
  7. St Peter’s Brewery “Without Original” (0.05%) dark bitter (3.3/10)

THE BEST NON-ALCOHOLIC WHEAT BEERS

Wheat beers include a hefty proportion of wheat alongside barley in the grain bill. Because of the extra protein that gives them body, wheat beers usually make decent non-alcoholic beers.

These are my top six wheat beers, followed by the other wheat beers I’ve reviewed.

1. SCHNEIDER WEISSE “ALKOHOLFREI” (“TAP 3”) (0.5%)

  • Score: 7.2 out of 10
  • Where to buy: Amazon*, Beer Hawk*, Wise Bartender* (get 5% off your total order by using the code STEADY at checkout), Light Drinks* (use this link to get 10% off your Light Drinks order), The Alcohol Free Shop, Booze Free, Dry Drinker

Schneider Weisse, which specialises in wheat beer, helped prevent the style dying out in the 70s.

Schneider Weisse "Alkoholfrei" poured with big head

It’s produced this alcohol-free version since 2002. The creamy mouthfeel steals the show. The flavour, which is the perfect balance of sweet and bitter, isn’t bad either.

2. MIKKELLER “ENERGIBAJER” (0%)

  • Score: 7.1 out of 10
  • Where to buy: Wise Bartender* (use the code STEADY at checkout to get 5% off your total Wise Bartender order), Light Drinks* (use this link to get 10% off your Light Drinks order), Booze Free, Dry Drinker

Another exercise-themed alcohol-free beer from Mikkeller. “Energibajer” is a wheat beer but its more reminiscent of an American modern-style ale with mango and pine in the aroma and caramel mixed with tropical flavours in the taste.

Energibajer alcohol-free beer bottle and glass

The foam clings to the side of the glass as you drink, so it looks ace too.

3. MAISEL’S “WEISSE ALKOHOLFREI” (0.5%)†

  • Score: 7 out of 10
  • Where to buy: Amazon*, Beer Hawk*, Wise Bartender (use the code STEADY at checkout to get 5% off your Wise Bartender order), Light Drinks* (use this link to get 10% off your Light Drinks order), Booze Free, Dry Drinker, The Alcohol-Free Shop

By Bavarian standards, the Maisel brewery is new – even though it was set up in the 1800s.

Today, it’s still in the Maisel family. And although it’s branched out into American-style craft beers, it’s still most famous for its wheat beers.

Maisel's Weisse Alkoholfrei bottle and branded glass

“Weisse Alkoholfrei” is the low-alcohol version of its popular “Original” wheat beer. With tones of ripe banana and clove in the flavour and aroma and low bitterness, this is a great choice for those who don’t usually drink beer.

With a creamy mouthfeel, people looking for a replacement for traditional-strength beer will like it too.

4. KROMBACHER “WEIZEN ALKOHOLFREI” (0.5%)

  • Score: 6.7 out of 10
  • Where to buy: Wise Bartender* (use the code STEADY at checkout to get 5% off your Wise Bartender order), Dry Drinker

A relative newcomer to wheat beer by German standards, Krombacher started producing this non-alcoholic version of its standard wheat beer in 2013.

Krombacher Weizen Non-Alcoholic wheat beer bottle and glass from above

Expect a spicy, lemony aroma and a nicely balanced sweet/sour/bitter flavour.

5. MIKKELLER “DRINK’IN THE SUN” (0.3%)

  • Score: 6.7 out of 10
  • Where to buy: Beer Hawk*, Wise Bartender* (use the code STEADY at checkout to get 5% off your Wise Bartender order), Light Drinks* (use this link to get 10% off your Light Drinks order), Booze Free, Dry Drinker

Mikkeller have brewed “Drink’in the Sun” at various strengths over the years. This one comes in at 0.3%.

Mikkeller Drink'in the Sun bottle

An American-style wheat beer, Drink’in the Sun showcases the brewery’s own yeast, which is known for its fruity flavours.

The hops add some tropical flavours, while there’s some graininess in there too making this a varied and refreshing drink.

6. FRANZISKANER “ALKOHOLFREI” (0.5%)

  • Score: 6.4 out of 10
  • Where to buy: Amazon*, Beer Hawk*, Light Drinks* (use this link to get 10% off your Light Drinks order), Dry Drinker, Booze Free, and many major supermarkets

Named after a monastery, Franziskaner is one of the world’s oldest breweries. Now owned by global beer giant AB -InBev, “Alkoholfrei” is the brewery’s non-alcoholic version of its flagship wheat beer.

Franziskaner Alkoholfrei bottle close up

This beer looks the part; hazy orange with a nice amount of froth atop. The aroma and flavour is quite sweet, with a hint of sourness mixed in with banana, clove and biscuit.

THE REST

Here are the rest of the alcohol-free wheat beers I’ve reviewed that didn’t make the top five:

  1. Lidl Perlenbacher “Patronus” (0-0.5%) wheat beer (5.8/10)
  2. Erdinger “Alkoholfrei” (0.4%) wheat beer (5.7/10)
  3. Paulaner “Hefe-Weißbier Non-Alcoholic” (0.5%) Wheat Beer (5.3/10)
  4. And Union “Der Graf Von Bayern” (0.4%) wheat beer (4.8/10)

THE BEST NON-ALCOHOLIC SOUR BEERS

Sour beers are beers are intentionally acidic, tart or sour. These are my top five non-alcoholic sour beers.

1. TEMPEST BREWING CO “DROP KICK 0.5%” (0.5%) SOUR PALE ALE

  • Score: 7.7 out of 10
  • Where to buy: Light Drinks* (use this link to get 10% off your Light Drinks order), Wise Bartender*, (use the code STEADY at checkout to get 5% off your Wise Bartender order), Beer Hawk*, Tempest Brewing Co

“Drop Kick 0.5%” is Tempest Brewing Co’s ultra-low-alcohol version of its “Drop Kick Me Jesus” 5.2% sour pale ale.

Bottle of Tempest Drop Kick 0.5% close up of label

With yeasty, malty flavours missing from most AF and NA beers, the aroma and taste also features elderflower, mango, pineapple and lychee along with a balanced acidic tang.

2. NIRVANA BREWERY “ZEN AND BERRIES” (0.5%) SOUR BEER

  • Score: 7.3 out of 10
  • Where to buy: Eebria, Light Drinks* (use this link to get 10% off your Light Drinks order)

This fruit sour is a collaboration between east London’s Nirvana and London Fields breweries.

Zen and Berries alcohol-free beer by Nirvana and London Fields can and glass

Made with UK-sourced blueberries, saffron and ginger, it’s tasty and refreshing and a great option for those who don’t normally drink beer.

3. MIKKELLER “HALLO, ICH BIN” (0.1%) BERLINER WEISSE SOUR BEER

  • Score: 7.1 out of 10
  • Where to buy: Beer Hawk*, Wise Bartender* (use the code STEADY at checkout to get 5% off your Wise Bartender order), Light Drinks* (use this link to get 10% off your Light Drinks order), Booze Free, Dry Drinker

“Hallo, Ich Bin” is Mikkeller’s attempt at an alcohol-free Berliner Weisse, a sour beer that originates from – you guessed it – Berlin.

Mikkeller Berliner Weisee alcohol-free - Hallo, Ich Bin

Many people drink Berliner weisses with fruit syrup, but there’s no need with this one as Mikkeller’s yeast has conjured up a lot of fruitiness in the aroma and flavour. There’s some other interesting flavours in there too.

Another classic alcohol-free effort from Mikkeller.

4. BIG DROP “SOUR” (0.5%)†

  • Score: 6.8
  • Where to buy: Zeroholic* (use the code STEADY at checkout to get 10% off your Zeroholic order), Good Stuff Drinks* (use the code STDR5 at checkout to get 5% off your Good Stuff Drinks order), Beer Hawk*, Wise Bartender* (use the code STEADY at checkout to get 5% off your Wise Bartender order), Light Drinks* (use this link to get 10% off your Light Drinks order), Booze Free, Dry Drinker

Sour beers aren’t to everyone’s taste. But Big Drop’s Sour Beer will appeal to fans of most beer styles, plus those who don’t normally drink beer.

Big Drop Sour - label close up on bottle

The aroma and flavour is clean and more like a pilsner than a bottom-fermented beer, while there’s low bitterness and only a touch of sourness that sits nicely with its fruity flavours.

5. BREWDOG “RASPBERRY BLITZ” (0.5%)

  • Score: 6.8
  • Where to buy: Light Drinks* (use this link to get 10% off your Light Drinks order), Beer Hawk*, Booze Free, Brewdog, Beer Wulf, Dry Drinker

Brewdog’s “Raspberry Blitz” sour is in the style of a Berliner weisse, where drinkers often add a shot of fruit juice to their beer before drinking.

Brewdog Raspberry Blitz can and glass

The raspberries featured heavily in the flavours – obvs – but there’s also a touch of maltiness in the taste and earthiness in the aroma that make this sour a handy variation if you fancy something different to another pale ale or lager.

OVER TO YOU

What’s your favourite alcohol-free or non-alcoholic beer? Which ones have I missed?

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