Alcohol-free beers

Tried two last night. St Peter's (a brewery I really like) was awful. A gloopy mess of what smelled and tasted like raw molasses and I couldn't finish it (actually I could barely start it). Innis and None (Innis and Gunn obviously) fared a little better. Packed with hops (green tasting from dry hopping too), the bitterness stood in for the lack of body. There was an odd aftertaste of fruit and I wonder exactly why they thought adding Vit C and ginseng was a good idea. Still not one to buy again.

Any recommendations?
 
Good timing; I've been working my way through these - Nanny State has been the best so far for me too; Innis & None was interesting (if not particularly 'beer' like? Reminded me a bit of Lilt, actually). Have the St. Peter's in the fridge; may leave it there on that tasting note! Thought Budvar's version was pretty decent, though it was a while back I tried it.
 
I think there was an article in the Telegraph a few weeks ago about the St Peter's beer. Wasn't it brewed because the head brewer could no longer drink alcohol (or something similar)?
 
I haven't tried the St Peters or the Innis and Gunn. I did read a letter in a recent Whats Brewing where the writer, who couldn't drink alcohol anymore for medical reasons, was quite enthusiastic about the St Peters beer, so I might try this. The Innis and Gunn looks interesting.

All the non-alcoholic beers I have tasted so far fall into two categories: bland and pretty tasteless, or unpleasant. If I couldn't drink alcohol I would drink Fentimans in preference to non alcoholic beers.
 
Jever fun is bone dry & refreshing. Many others have an unpleasant maltiness that I dislike.

+1 on nanny state.

Erdinger & Maisels both make very convincing alcohol free versions of their Weiss beers.
 

Tom Cannavan

Administrator
Have yet to find a truly convincing one, having tried a few including St Peter's and thinking that I'd rather pass than drink any of them if circumstances forced me to choose non alcoholic. Same goes for wines too really, where the 'Botonique' adult soft drink I reviewed recently had some proper bitter flavours and a bit of real personality compared to any of the alcohol-removed 'wine's' I've tried.
 
I'd agree with you on the wines Tom, but some of the 0.5% beers are in my opinion pretty tasty and a nice refreshing drink - when one wants carbonation and something bone dry, but without alcohol.
However, I have never tasted an 0.0% beer that was worth metabolising. I think the process is fundamentally different, to get to 0.0 (rather than 0.5) and always seems to leave a sweet malty aftertaste.
 
I read somewhere a few weeks ago that this segment now accounts for something like 10% of AB InBev’s global turnover. It definitely feels like the brewers have now realised there is huge consumer interest to be addressed here with the right product. Some of the new entrants in the tricky 0.0% lager category are pretty decent drinks in their own right, not just in comparison with the awful fizzy cornflake stuff of yesteryear.

Of examples recently hitting the supermarket shelf, I was pleasantly surprised to find Peroni Libera very acceptable. Heineken and Free Damm are also not bad at all.

As for 0.5% beer, Brooklyn Special Effects suits me perfectly. Would recommend to anyone looking for an alternative to Nanny State.
 
I tried the Brooklyn Special Effects recently and was pleasantly surprised. This is okay. I think that "okay" is as good as any of these low or non-alcoholic beers will ever get for me.
 
Location
London
Or push the boat out slightly (on the alcohol front) and stretch to a Kernel Table beer at 2.9%. Perfect compromise in my book, a couple of 500ml bottles last night and sober as a judge. Not sure if that's a high or a low bar!
 
Or push the boat out slightly (on the alcohol front) and stretch to a Kernel Table beer at 2.9%. Perfect compromise in my book, a couple of 500ml bottles last night and sober as a judge. Not sure if that's a high or a low bar!
We certainly enjoyed some 2% alc perry when in France last year. I suspect low alcohol is an easier job to make well than 0% alc
 
Or push the boat out slightly (on the alcohol front) and stretch to a Kernel Table beer at 2.9%. Perfect compromise in my book, a couple of 500ml bottles last night and sober as a judge. Not sure if that's a high or a low bar!
Sam Smith's delicious Mild is 2.9%, a perfect 11am pint for all of £1.32 in Yorkshire pubs.
 
If in west Kent I can recommend a well kept pint of Larkins Traditional, at a quoted 3.4% it really is a proper refreshing mild bitter. For a long time I believed that it was impossible to get drunk on it but I then tested that theory to destruction last summer. It is possible, but it takes 10 pints and about 3 or 4 hours
 
IMO Larkins Traditional is one of the greatest session drinks ever devised and the true taste of my youth. Along with the local white label farmhouse ciders of unknown ABV but seemingly very little intoxicating effect.
 
These days they taste a lot better than they used to, or at least that is how I perceive them. I recently had Beck's and found it to be quite delicious. I previously found non-alcoholic beers to be a huge disappointment and not worth a look at all.
 
Does Schöfferhofer grapefruit hefeweizen count at 2.5%? Very welcome in the current weather.

Also, has anyone tried the latest Brewdog offering, Punk AF at 0.5%?
 
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