Cooking Experiences

Alcohol free beers: Which brands hit the spot?

For the majority of my adult life I have enjoyed a nice cold beer, either in the pub, watching the football, or just sitting in the back garden enjoying a barbecue.

At the moment, though, I am abstaining from alcohol. Whilst Charlotte is pregnant and can’t indulge in a nice glass of wine, I think it is only fair to offer her my solidarity by keeping away from the booze as well!

This decision hasn’t exactly been a hard one, or one which has impacted my life hugely, but sometimes I really, really crave a nice cold beer! It’s therefore a good thing that some bright spark invented alcohol free beer. Over the last few weeks, I have been sampling a few different brands and thought I would feed back to you about what beers give you that beautiful taste and which ones, on the other hand, really should be avoided.

Bavaria Wit:

As someone who does not normally enjoy wheat beer, this was a risk for me. Despite this, it smells like a beer, tastes like a beer, and doesn’t have a fruity aftertaste like many alcohol free beers. I personally found this to be a really good quality drink and while I can’t say it has converted me to wheat beers that are alcoholic, I certainly cannot fault the taste and appearance of Bavaria Wit.

Bavaria 0.0% Original:

First of all, the packaging looks like beer. Yes, I know appearance isn’t everything, but we drink and eat with all of our senses, so it’s good to get off on the right foot with the way this one looks. It has a rather flat look once it is out of the bottle, which is a little disappointing, but once you have a few sips you can easily get past this. It smells like a beer, tastes like a nice pilsner, and doesn’t have a nasty lingering aftertaste that some ‘real’ beers can have! I personally think this is the best non alcoholic beer I have had and would be more than happy to keep drinking this even when I get back to drinking regular beer.

Cobra Zero:

I had decided to keep away from Cobra Zero initially as I have such fondness for the original Cobra beer when I sit down for a curry. For this reason, when I tried it, I had to stop myself from comparing it harshly to the original. While the taste is not as good as the alcoholic version, it is not a bad effort. The labeling isn’t for me and I think the smell isn’t inviting enough but the proof as always is in what it tastes like. For me, Cobra Zero is a touch too fruity. I know that some people really like a fruity beer but I just don’t. The acidity helps to keep your palate cleansed but it just isn’t as nice as either of the Bavaria options. That said, it certainly beats the next option: Becks Blue!

Becks Blue:

Becks Blue is simply not good enough. Yes, Becks is not a ‘great’ beer and this alcohol free option is not aiming to be a craft lager or an ale that lasts the ages. Despite this, it just should be better. The taste it not great, which isn’t exactly a great start for any review. It also looks pretty bad and finally (and most importantly) it really costs far, far too much. I have seen a six pack of these for £5 in some supermarkets. For that price, you expect and indeed need, the drink to be pretty damn good, especially since you can get a regular lager four pack for a similar price. Unless you fancy paying out a fair whack to test out my taste, then I would implore you to avoid!

As you can see from this review, the mainstream alcohol free beer market has its peaks and troughs. There are some good options out there but you still need to be careful about being ripped off by a named brand conning you into thinking you are getting a good drink.

For me personally, I think the market is getting better and better and the options keep increasing. Let me know what you think by commenting on this article or emailing me at theleedsfoodie@gmail.com.

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