By Michael Hollett
Don’t say nah to the NAs. Offering someone a non-alcoholic beer in the past was often met with a smug “What’s the point?” The assumption was that someone would only skip “the good stuff” if they had to. Wrong. While effective for a booze-free hops hit, there are now are plenty of great NA (non-alcoholic) beers with tons of taste, all the refreshment and way less calories than the “hard stuff.”
You don’t have to be vegan to enjoy vegan dishes and you can enjoy an NA without renouncing booze. It’s called pacing, maybe a little variety, and the non-alcoholic options are better than ever with greater choice and broader availability. Here’s BeatRoute’s guide to some of the best.
70 calories, 330 ml
O’Doul’s is the granddaddy of booze-free booze. A “de-alcoholized” version with less then 0.5 per cent has been produced by Budweiser for decades. Tastes the most like mainstream brewery beer from all of those featured here.
160 calories, 473 mls
Light, fresh and slightly bitter, Budweiser’s NA entry has classic big brewery taste. This lighter brew goes best with peanuts, a hot dog and a game.
82 calories 330 ml
Erdinger is a wheat beer that’s hugely popular in Germany. Big Euro flavour with floral hints and natural, clean taste with no hint of additives. Another NA that tastes a lot like the “real deal”.
115 calories 500 ml
A tasty take on the Dutch treat. The NA version of this legendary beer from Holland hits the flower accent hard. It’s a satisfying brew that tastes significantly different than the original. Don’t go looking for a Grolsch replica.
92 calories 500 ml
An excellent German lager entry into the NA category. Slightly sweet with strong metallic hop notes, this will please those who like the grassy European lagers.
70 calories 330 ml
Tastes like the “real” stuff. Of all the NA beers, drinks the most like the original. Same great refreshing Heineken flavour, satisfying.
President’s Choice Blonde Brew
and Red Brew
50 calories 355 ml
PC Red and a Blonde Brew are tasty bargains. The Blonde has a great, light taste and the Red Brew has smooth rich flavor that could almost pass as a Rickards Red.
45 calories 355 ml
A big brewery entry into the NA market, Coors Edge has a light clean taste and is a no- nonsense, low calorie option.
45 calories 330 ml
Big German beer taste. A relatively hearty beer very reminiscent of regular Becks. Surprisingly low in calories yet a full-bodied NA choice.
10 calories 355 ml
One of the first “craft” entries into the Canadian near beer market, Partake is already a winner of a World Beer Award. At only 10 calories, this is a winner for real beer lovers. They also have a blond, IPA and stout.