As some consumers drink less, be it to consume fewer calories, avoid hangovers or other reasons, many turn to non-alcoholic beer. And brewers have noticed.
Established breweries owned by large companies like Anheuser-Busch InBev, Heineken, and Boston Beer (makers of Samuel Adams) are all making big pushes into the non-alcoholic space in the coming months. The same is true for smaller breweries that experiment with different methods to remove alcohol while still retaining flavor and general beer hallmarks like mouthfeel and aroma.
Athletic Brewing in Connecticut has seen such growth with its non-alcoholic offerings that it plans to open a California brewery to keep up with demand.
Booze-free lagers and IPAs are the focus for many breweries, but stouts, hefeweizen and blond ales can also be found for patrons looking for a pint without the pain.
Here are six non-alcoholic beers to try from breweries nationwide.
NA Citra Lager, Hairless Dog Brewing Co.
Sweet malt-forward, with a snap of citrus and dry, tea-like finish, this lager is a fine replacement while you watch the game, after you shovel snow or whenever the mood strikes. Contains 70 calories per 12-ounce can.
Strapless IPA with Electrolytes, Bootstrap Brewing Co.
While it might not offer the full hop punch that many expect from an IPA, this offering from a Colorado brewery that makes plenty of higher-abv IPAs has enough lupulin presence to work in a pinch. With robust carbonation, it’s a refreshing pick-me-up that won’t put you down. Contains 100 calories per 12-ounce can.
Hyper Cold, Fair State Brewing Cooperative
This Minneapolis brewery uses vacuum distillation to remove the alcohol from its lager at a low temperature. The results is a full-flavored, crisp beer without the booze. Grab a six-pack and head to the lake for ice fishing. Calorie info not available.
Point 5, Point 5 Brewing
When a technology company gets into beer making, there’s an expectation that it will run smoothly. Such is the case with Point 5. Part of Sandymount Technologies, the brewery produces a Pilsner that slips seamlessly into regular drinking rotation without revealing its nonalcoholic nature. Contains 58 calories per 12-ounce bottle.
IPNA, Lagunitas Brewing Co.
The California-based brewery is owned by Heineken, which knows a thing or two about nonalcoholic beer. It’s been testing its NA IPA recipe for the past year, and settled on one that includes Mosaic, Citra, Columbus hops as well as English crystal malt and Alberta barley. This has all the hop bite one would expect from a West Coast brewer. Contains 80 calories per 12-ounce bottle.
A hefeweizen-lemonade hybrid with banana and clove aromas, this is something to sip on while you think about spring. Effervescent and thirst-quenching, this offering from the German brewer has 8.1 grams of carbohydrates per serving, plus mild citrus notes with rounded sweetness and a touch of tart acidity. Contains 102 calories per 11-ounce bottle.