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Thread: Low / No alcohol ale.

  1. #1
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    Low / No alcohol ale.

    I had the misfortune to purchase a bottle of Brew Dog 'Nanny State' last week as it was the only non alcoholic (well 0.5%) beer they had. Looked OK, smelt nice but turned in to the first drink I've asked for a refund on in 20+ years. Vile, vile, vile vile, vile. If it had just been mildly nasty I'd have got on with it and put it down to experience but it was truly undrinkable. Worse than Kaliber and worse than Coors Light and that's saying something.

    Does anyone know of any decent drivers beers? Whitbread used to do one that was OK but I've not seen it in years. I believe the Harvey's 0.5% is nice but I've yet to try it.

  2. #2
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    I don't mind Becks Blue in Wetherspoons, it's a bit gassier but still a reasonable replacement. Same goes for the Kopparberg none-alcoholic cider.

    Mind you, if I'm not drinking I usually just have coke or soda water.

  3. #3
    Master Onelasttime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeremy67 View Post
    I had the misfortune to purchase a bottle of Brew Dog 'Nanny State' last week as it was the only non alcoholic (well 0.5%) beer they had. Looked OK, smelt nice but turned in to the first drink I've asked for a refund on in 20+ years. Vile, vile, vile vile, vile. If it had just been mildly nasty I'd have got on with it and put it down to experience but it was truly undrinkable. Worse than Kaliber and worse than Coors Light and that's saying something.

    Does anyone know of any decent drivers beers? Whitbread used to do one that was OK but I've not seen it in years. I believe the Harvey's 0.5% is nice but I've yet to try it.
    I quite like Nanny State. It tastes almost the same as their Dead Pony Club, which is only 3.5% anyway.

    Are you wanting lager or proper ale? Becks Blue is just coloured fizzy water and I wouldn't wish Kailber on anyone. Do they still make Top Deck?

  4. #4
    Master petethegeek's Avatar
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    This particular market segment appears to be finally opening up in the UK, from both a supply and demand perspective.

    Strongly hopped and/or malted LA beers can take a bit of getting used to which I suspect may be a reason for the predominance of lagers. If you are after an authentic beer taste try a bottle of Southwold Pale Ale 0.5% from M&S.

    Otherwise my current personal favourite LA lager is Heineken 0,0. Slightly odd since I wouldn't touch the brand when I was drinking the full fat stuff.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Onelasttime View Post
    Are you wanting lager or proper ale?
    That would be my question also. I like Nanny State, but absolutely hate Becks Blue etc. It's not a lager but then it's not supposed to be.

    Also Coors Light isn't low alcohol, it's just low.....taste? 4.2%. I know someone who got caught out thinking they'd found the magic answer to low alcohol beer only to discover he was drunk.

  6. #6
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    I like the nanny state but also heinekan 0.0%. Also worth a try is the Erdinger alcoholfrie thaough that one is atad on the fizzy side.

  7. #7
    Master draftsmann's Avatar
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    Iíve yet to find a ďvirginĒ ale that is drinkable. Iím not a lager drinker but the best zero choices are lagers Iíve found, and they have to be superchilled.

    Becks Blue is ok at a push. Bavaria Zero is better and quite easily found. Bavaria also do a zero alcohol wheat beer which is refreshing and drinkable.

  8. #8
    Master petethegeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by draftsmann View Post
    Bavaria also do a zero alcohol wheat beer which is refreshing and drinkable.
    Indeed. A fine beverage which always hits the spot. It used to be readily available from the local Tesco but seems to have disappeared off the shelves of late though.

  9. #9
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    As is in the thread title Ale is what I seek. Whilst I don't mind a lager from time to time all of the low alcohol ones Coors, Klausthaler, Becks and Coors are vile.

    Maybe I just got a bad bottle of Nanny State because it was beyond awful, I would genuinely have rather drunk my own piss. Maybe :)

    Thanks for the M&S heads up though this is really to try and persuade my regular (ha!) haunts to stock something decent. I just get so bored of fruit alternatives and I don't drink coke*.

    *Completely went off it after a particularity nasty bug a few years back.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by joe1978 View Post
    I like the nanny state but also heinekan 0.0%. Also worth a try is the Erdinger alcoholfrie thaough that one is atad on the fizzy side.
    I get that nail varnish/Red Bull smell from Heineken (just me maybe), I do like Nanny State though and Cobra Zero isn't bad. Just bought some Budweiser Prohibition from Sainsbury - very much like the real thing (that is not a recommendation...).

  11. #11
    Master AlphaOmega's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by joe1978 View Post
    Also worth a try is the Erdinger alcoholfrie thaough that one is atad on the fizzy side.
    Erdinger is the best I've tried.

  12. #12
    Master petethegeek's Avatar
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    Some information on specialist UK brewers here, and an online retailer here.

    Quote Originally Posted by nickk View Post
    Just bought some Budweiser Prohibition from Sainsbury - very much like the real thing (that is not a recommendation...).
    I haven't come across that one. I'll check out where our nearest Sainsbury is.

  13. #13
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    Maybe try out a few from here?

    https://www.alcoholfree.co.uk/alcoho...4af0949718041a

    As a larger drinker, I actually donít mind Becks Blue. However, as said, it needs to be ice cold. They do it in cans now as well.

  14. #14
    Master petethegeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave O'Sullivan View Post
    As a larger drinker, I actually donít mind Becks Blue.
    Shame it comes in such small bottles then.

  15. #15
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    I recently had an okay one from the St Peter's brewery called Without. Very malty, which did a reasonable job of giving my mouth something to think about in the absence of alcohol.

    They also do a Without Gold, but I haven't had that. "Slightly sweet malt flavour with a citrus bitterness" sounds like a bit of a mess, but then tasting notes always do.

  16. #16
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    +1 for the St Peters, went on a brewery tour there recently and tried most of their wares, whilst "without" has the tastes of beer there is something about it (mouth feel/fizzyness) that makes you know it's not proper! Best yet though. Cheers, John B4

  17. #17
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    The wife bought me some Brew Dog beers last weekend and in the mix was a Nanny State. When I pointed out it was 0.5% she said had just picked from a range as she knows I like Brew Dog and had not realised. I tried it last week and it was ok. Certainly not undrinkable but just seemed to be missing something in the flavour...most likely alcohol lol. I would not drink it as a matter of course though unless circumstances dictated the need.

  18. #18
    Grand Master Carlton-Browne's Avatar
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    Most Germans I know who drink alcohol-free beer drink Weizenbier of some description. The last time I had the chance to become an aficionado of the genre Becks was the best option but that was in Libya in 2000; I believe the world has moved on since.

    It's not really beer and certainly doesn't try to taste like it but this is quite pleasant at 0.2%. It also has a fair bit less sugar than fizzy drinks.

    Die Zeit verwandelt uns nicht, sie entfaltet uns nur.

  19. #19
    Having tried quite a few of these low/no alcohol ale/lagers the best i've found is Sainsbury's own brand Czech lager 0.5% - it tastes not bad, refreshing and tasty. Nanny State i thought was awful.

  20. #20
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    Firstly I disagree with you, nothing tastes worse than Kaliber.
    Shandy works best either with larger or bitter. Aldi do an excellent German larger shandy. If your driving and ordering in a pub just make sure you can see the barman mix it.

  21. #21
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    Agreed Kaliber is the devils own wee and with no alcoholic upside, truly cruel. Usually anything tasting so offensive can be relied upon to deliver the goods.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by vulcangascompany View Post
    Having tried quite a few of these low/no alcohol ale/lagers the best i've found is Sainsbury's own brand Czech lager 0.5% - it tastes not bad, refreshing and tasty. Nanny State i thought was awful.
    M&S do an own brand version too which comes out of the same factory as this one (so I read somewhere). I think the M&S one is nicer personally, in fact the best low/no alcohol lager I have tried.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by luckywatch View Post
    Firstly I disagree with you, nothing tastes worse than Kaliber.
    Until last Thursday I'd have agreed with you. But I could neck a Kaliber whereas after three or four mouthfuls that Nanny State was going nowhere but back to the bar. I enjoy a wide range of beers from stouts through proper bitters to golden citrusy ales but Brew Dog just tasted unbelievably bitter and nothing else.

  24. #24
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    The wheat beers are the only ones worth drinking, Erdinger is the easiest one to find in bars and supermarkets.


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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by vulcangascompany View Post
    Having tried quite a few of these low/no alcohol ale/lagers the best i've found is Sainsbury's own brand Czech lager 0.5% - it tastes not bad, refreshing and tasty. Nanny State i thought was awful.
    Forgot about those. Good call. I used to drink these a lot.

  26. #26
    Bavaria also have an ultra low alc lager shandy. My tesco do both.

  27. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by jamesnw View Post
    M&S do an own brand version too which comes out of the same factory as this one (so I read somewhere). I think the M&S one is nicer personally, in fact the best low/no alcohol lager I have tried.
    Thanks didn't know this, will pick a bottle up next time i'm in there.

  28. #28
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    I did a 'sober October' last month and on day one I filled a basket with everything my local Tesco had to offer in this department.

    Despite being a bit of a beer snob, I eventually decided to stick with Beck's Blue. It does taste like mediocre, mass-market lager but compared to everything else that was a major achievement. FWIW I thought that St. Peter's tasted like unfermented wort, the Bavaria tasted sweet and Nanny State tasted like perfume.

    While we're on the subject, if anyone's wondering whether to try Seedlip non-alcoholic gin type whatever at £25 a bottle, don't.


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  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Valkyrie View Post
    The wheat beers are the only ones worth drinking, Erdinger is the easiest one to find in bars and supermarkets.

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    Another vote for Erdinger, I have tried many but this is the only one I go back to.

  30. #30
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    Haven`t tried low/non-alcohol beers for many years.

    In the late 80s there was a 0.5% lager called Swan lite, it was sold on draught and it was quite drinkable. One Saturday, prior to a 10K race on Sunday, I went out and drank around 5-6 pints of the stuff. Obviously I was sober as a judge, so I was v. surprised to wake up next morning with a seriously thick head! It felt just like a hangover, and I didn`t feel much better by the afternoon. It was a sweltering hot day and the 10K race didn`t go well, I felt shit from start to finish and I always blamed the damned beer. It's a well known fact that the congeners in beers (the chemical species such as esters and aldehydes that give it the flavour) are partially responsible for hangovers, but the effects from the Swan Lite felt WORSE than a normal 5-6 pints of lager hangover. I would probably have run better had I had a few pints of normal beer!

    Having said that, I think there's a large untapped market for low alcohol beers.

    Paul

  31. #31
    Master Optimum's Avatar
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    Barbican?

    https://youtu.be/4nQWoTgSJ84

    I'll get me coat....

  32. #32
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    When my son was a baby he vomited in my mouth. That tasted better than Kaliber.

  33. #33
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    I actually dont mind Becks Blue but as mentioned above - needs to be ice cold

  34. #34
    Actually I think it should be against the law to buy this sort of ,if you donít want alcohol stick to pop or water


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  35. #35
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    Erdinger for me!👍

  36. #36
    Craftsman hoopsontoast's Avatar
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    The Brewdog Nanny State is my staple NA beer, if you like Brewdog Dead Pony Club or Punk IPA then you will like it, if not, then its a very hoppy style.

    Other than that, Erdinger, Heineken are the picks as being most of the taste of their standard brothers.

    Had the Cobra 0% which is OK, if you want a lager. Becks is OK only if there is nothing else on offer. I have had an Inns and Gun and St Peter's 0%, the first being a weird flavoured one, the latter being so malty its like horlicks!

  37. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by Der Amf View Post
    I recently had an okay one from the St Peter's brewery called Without. Very malty, which did a reasonable job of giving my mouth something to think about in the absence of alcohol.

    They also do a Without Gold, but I haven't had that. "Slightly sweet malt flavour with a citrus bitterness" sounds like a bit of a mess, but then tasting notes always do.
    I had a bottle of the Without Gold. It was one of the worst things I have ever drunk.

    Not seen it in the UK, but in Prague last year I tried a Stella Artois NA (No Alcohol). It was surprisingly pleasant. https://www.reviewcentre.com/reviews162370.html

  38. #38
    Best one Iíve tried and buy is bitburger drive, easy to find online at around £15 for24 bottles.

  39. #39
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    I went through a four pack of the Budweiser alcohol free the other day and thought it was perfectly drinkable if you wanted the taste of beer, but had to drive.

    And don't get me wrong, I do like my real ales (predominantly stouts and porters, etc) so not suggesting for a moment that Budweiser is "real" beer.. but... it seemed an acceptable enough drink :)

  40. #40
    Grand Master magirus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sestrel View Post
    Bavaria also have an ultra low alc lager shandy.


    What fresh hell is this?

  41. #41
    Surprised no one has mentioned the alcohol free San Miguel - much better than Beck's Blue in my opinion. I tried quite a few varieties over the past year and think that the SM and the wheat beers (Erdinger and Franziskaner) ŗre the best to date. Also tried the Nanny State - plenty of taste just not one I like...

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