The roots of low-alcohol beers can actually traced back to the porridge-like ‘small beers’ that were served in medieval Europe as an alternative to the tainted water sources of the time. And maybe that’s why we’ve found that some the best non-alcoholic beers still come from Great Britain, Ireland and Europe.
And here are four international buzz-free beers, some available in the US as imports, others not, that deliver a rich spectrum of flavors with minimal alcohol content… (Note: most AF beers have trace amounts of alcohol)
BrewDog Wake Up Call
For the longest time no-alcohol beers were primarily straight-forward lagers. But with more craft breweries producing them now, the styles have gotten increasingly adventuresome like this new AF offering that Scotland-headquartered BrewDog recently introduced.
Impeccably crafted with a rich menu of Cara, Carafa, Chocolate Wheat, Flaked Oats and Extra Dark Crystal malts, coffee and lactose, BrewDog Wakeup Call has all of the attitude but none of the alcohol, that you’d expect in a high-octane Coffee Milk Stout. (0.5%)
Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier Alkoholfrei
Founded in 1040 and considered by many to be the oldest brewery in the world, this unique AF wheat beer’s taste was achieved by a method developed in collaboration with the Technical University of Munich-Weihenstephan.
The success of this beer may be due to a process that actually allows uninterrupted top-fermentation. And only after the maturation is the alcohol carefully withdrawn. (0.5%)
Big Drop Brown Ale
Launched in the UK October in 2016 by the-then city lawyer Rob Fink, along with his school-friend/band-mate, kindred spirit and brewer James Kindred, Big Drop Brewing ONLY crafts beer with no more than 0.5% ABV and of them have beat out high-alcohol competitors in international competitions.
Robust and roasty Big Drop Brown Ale delivers a malt-rich, full bodied character seldom found in the low-alcohol beer world. (A 2019 World Beer Award winner in the Dark Beer Low Strength category)
Mikkeller Weird Weather IPA
First released in 2017 and brewed in Belgium, this beer is an alcohol-free take on its original 6.7% ABV Weird Weather New England IPA, that sits alongside of Mikkeller’s five other low-alcohol beers.
Not as juicy or smooth as some exaggerated NEIPAs, this AF version of Weird Weather does retain the hallmark tropical flavors without the alcohol, making it a convincing alternative for fans of the style. (0.3% ABV)