Australians voted Go up to the beers to number 12 of the Triple J Hottest 100, but if the numbers are valid, those beers do not need to be alcoholic.
Non-alcoholic beer sales have more than doubled in the last year at liquor chains such as Dan Murphy’s and BWS, according to the AFR . IWSR Drinks Market Analysis Research Group presented consumption of non-alcoholic and low-alcohol beer is increasing in most countries, with Australia’s volume projected to grow by approximately 16% by 2024, as part of what the group identified as “moderation trends and wellness”.
Ben Holdstock, head brewer for Heaps Normal moonshine, often says, “You forget why you’re drinking in the first place, it just becomes a habit. It’s good to be a little more aware. “
Heaps Normal says they get a lot of feedback from pregnant women who love the product. Holdstock says his preparation “is not specifically designed for people who don’t drink, it’s definitely designed for people who do … if you have a night out, you’re doing rounds with your friends, you can definitely throw one of these in a round. “.
Late last year, the National Health and Medical Research Council amended its advice, telling adults to reduce their alcohol consumption to 14 to 10 standard drinks per week. The promise of non-alcoholic beer is that it offers people a drink that has the same optics as beer without the side effects. It allows you to trim without feeling like you are missing out.
The non-alcoholic beer brewing process is actually the same as for regular beer. Sometimes removing or reducing the alcohol content is an additional step at the end of the brewing process, through techniques like exposing the beer to heat or using reverse osmosis.
However, Holdstock found that these processes often eliminated flavor, so at Heaps Normal he opted to brew with a non-traditional yeast that did not create as much alcohol in the fermentation process, which he compares to making kombucha.
Like kombucha, even non-alcoholic beers can have a trace of alcohol; Products are considered non-alcoholic when they have an ABV of less than 0.5%.
As nonalcoholic beer sales rise, so does supply, with craft brewers, specialty brands, and big-name brands falling into the category. We asked BWS and craft retailer Killjoy Drinks for their best-selling non-alcoholic beers, and recruited five tasters for a blind test of their offerings.
We asked tasters to rate the drinks based on taste, smell, aftertaste, and a slightly esoteric “cracking” scale. We then tabulate the results to give each one a score of 100.
Two tasters described themselves as regular beer drinkers, two others said they chose to drink beer on social occasions, such as going to the pub with friends. A taster was not a beer drinker. Of those who drank beer, one preferred craft beer, two were happy with whatever it was, and one taster gravitated toward macro-beers.
The tasters entered the experience hoping that the non-alcoholic varieties would match the alcoholic beer experience, but they had to adjust their expectations. As one taster put it, “I’m judging this on a nonalcoholic beer scale. Five is a good non-alcoholic beer, not a good beer in general. “
While many found the non-alcoholic varieties somewhat less satisfying than their drunken cousin, all the tasters were able to return to work (their mental and motor faculties intact) on a Monday afternoon.
The winner: Carlton Zero
About this beer: “Slightly hoppy with a fruity aroma ”, Carlton promises a “full flavor classic beer style” with zero percent alcohol.
What the testers said: Three out of five The tasters gave this beer their highest score, with the taste and aftertaste scoring high across the board. Two tasters immediately distinguished this variety as one they would actively seek beyond tasting, and one found that the distinguishing factor was that “most of these beers you could only drink one, but you could drink some of this.” Our resident beer aficionado couldn’t help but be disappointed, saying the drink “gives you the initial feeling of ‘I’m about to have a good beer’ but it doesn’t deliver on alcohol,” which is, uh, the point. . However, they said it “promises too much and does not deliver.” Despite this, the consensus was that it was “very drinkable” and many perceived the fruity aroma, saying it was “sweet smelling”.
Runner-up: Vandestreek Playground IPA
About this beer: While this beer could have come in second in Guardian Australia’s taste test, it did take a gold medal at the 2018 Brussels Beer Challenge. From the Dutch craft brewery Region of, the alcohol-free Indian pale ale offers a “soft,” “almost fluffy” texture, he says. And “medium to full bodied flavor”, with 0.4% ABV. This beer is made with five types of hops, which “brings out the flavor of the oxidized orange, which makes it fruity but not too sweet.”
What the testers said: This beer was the only beer that received the highest “cracking” score from one of our tasters, and another taster who does not usually drink beer gave it its highest score. One taster compared the taste and smell to lychees, another said it was clearly ‘hops’, while a third compared it to the UK parma violet palette.
Lots Normal Quiet XPA
About this beer: From a local company dedicated to non-alcoholic beer Lots Normal, this full flavor extra pale ale has less than 0.05% ABV. It is “unfiltered, with balanced bitterness and subtle malt sweetness”, which also offers “tropical and citrus aromas with a lingering and unmistakably beer finish.”
What the testers said: All of our tasters liked the smell and gave the beer some strong scores on the cracking scale, with two tasters giving it their highest scores. One taster was not so interested in the aftertaste, describing it as “strange”.
About this beer: With 0.0% ABV, Peroni Libera It is a light beer that offers a “crisp” and “refreshing” flavor, “with citrus notes of hops and fruity”.
What the testers said: The group’s beer aficionado described the Peroni as “vaguely acceptable,” which apparently should be taken as a compliment, as did another taster’s feeling that she was “quaffable.” Scores were generally medium but without notably low categories. Other comments included “fruity” and “good if cold.”
About this beer: HeinekenThe ‘s non-alcoholic lager still has the “fruity notes and smooth malt of the classic Heineken”, but with an alcoholic strength of 0.1%.
What the testers said: One taster gave the Heineken a perfect score of 5 on the cracking scale, with most scoring the taste and aftertaste well. Being the sixth beer tasted, the drinking fatigue could have started, with no comment on its taste.
Drinking the sun
About this beer: A “Bright, Hoppy American Style Wheat Ale with 0.3% ABV” from a Danish Craft Brewery Mikkeller.
What the testers said: This polarizing blob was a taster’s highest rated beer, along with Carlton, but while this regular beer drinker gave Carlton a 4 for flavor, this craft variety scored a perfect 5. taste. “However, others did not feel it as strongly, saying it was” fine “, while one considered it” too smelly. “
Cooper Birell Ultra light
About this beer: This beer is 0.5% alcohol by volume and is fermented from malt, hops and yeast, giving it a malt flavor “topped off with a cleansing palate.”
What the testers said: Tasters were not impressed with the non-alcoholic offering of this classic brand, with a total score of more than 20 points. The low scores for taste, smell and aftertaste reflect the written opinions of the tasters: “smooth” with no “smell” and a taste “like a malt beverage”. Inevitably poor results followed on the cracking scale.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism