Just testing: six of the best alcohol-free beers

Hot on the heels of our feature about alcohol-free beers, here’s a taste test of six bestsellers

By Tim Gibson

Ah, it’s a tough life, but you know how it goes. The boss calls up and says he’s sending six bottles of beer your way. Asks if you’re prepared to sample them all and make a few tasting notes for an online feature.

    The boss calls up and says he’s sending six bottles of beer your way.  

There’s just one teeny-weeny catch: none of the beers contain alcohol. But given that it’s half three in the afternoon and you’re due to take the kids swimming later, that’s probably just as well. No one enjoys a drunken dad at the Oasis Centre.

So here, in no particular order (actually, that’s a lie: it goes from best to worst), are my notes on six of the UK’s bestselling alcohol-free beers. Cheers!

1) Brewdog Nanny State

If you like your ale hoppy, Nanny State won’t disappoint. It has the crisp finish of an IPA and is every bit as refreshing. Drink it after a pint of normal bitter and you’ll find it rather lacking in something. But sup it with a clear palate and you’ll be impressed by its depth of flavour.

The thing I most like about Nanny State is that it’s not too fizzy. That’s a big point in any beer’s favour so far as I’m concerned, and reflects this product’s status as a genuine craft ale. If lager’s your thing, steer clear. But if you enjoy a traditional-tasting bitter, you’ll no doubt find Nanny State fits the bill nicely.

2) Infinite Session IPA

Infinite Session makes three craft beers, and they’re all alcohol free. The lager and the American Pale Ale are perfectly suppable, but the IPA is the pick of the bunch.

Hoppy, fresh and light, it’s a drink you can quaff all night long (as the name suggests). I found it a bit fizzier than Nanny State, and a lot less floral in flavour. It’s somewhere between a lager and a bitter, but packs a refreshing punch that makes it an ideal barbecue beer. Slips down perfectly with a burnt burger and a charred sausage.

3) Free Damm

Of the plethora of non-alcoholic lagers to hit the shelves in recent years, Free Damm is probably the finest. Drink it with a fresh mouth (i.e. not one that’s been sipping full-strength lager) and you’ll barely spot the difference between this and the real thing.

Free Damm is a bit burpy, but the same could be said of pretty much all lagers. On the plus side, it’s hugely refreshing and makes the perfect tipple for a 5pm boost on a summer’s evening. Or a 3pm boost. Or even an 11am one, for that matter…

4) Budweiser Prohibition Brew

The biggest reason Budweiser Prohibition Brew deserves a place in this list is that you can barely taste the difference between it and Bud’s regular offering. For some, that’ll serve as eloquent commentary on the merits or otherwise of American lager. But others will see this black-labelled product as a satisfyingly soft lager with a refreshing character.

I fall firmly into the latter category. I’ve always enjoyed American and Canadian lagers, despite their lack of popularity in comparison to European beers. So Bud Prohibition is a nice fit for me. If I’m going to drink an alcohol-free lager rather than an ale, this is the one I’d choose.

5) Heineken 0.0

Heineken’s non-alcoholic offer is a stark contrast to Budweiser’s, in as much as it feels every inch the European lager. Trouble is, as with one-time market-leader Becks Blue, you really can taste the difference in comparison with the full-strength offering.

That’s not to say Heineken 0.0 isn’t perfectly drinkable. But it definitely feels like a compromise choice, in a way that products like Nanny State and Bud Prohibition don’t. You’ll know you’ve gone alcohol free with this beer.

6) Birra Moretti Zero

I had such high hopes for Birra Moretti’s alcohol-free offering, but it just didn’t hit the spot. By far my favourite lager when drunk at full strength, this product didn’t taste right at all. It was too fizzy, too sticky and just too lacking in flavour for me to enjoy. The post-swig burps were even more unpleasant.

As with Heineken, the problem may be the sharp contrast between this and the beer it’s meant to replicate. Whatever the reason, this is one non-alcoholic beer I’ll definitely be steering clear of.

Published: 5 July 2019

© 2019 Just Recruitment Group Ltd

If you enjoyed this article, you may like – Why alcohol-free beer may be the perfect summer tipple

You may also enjoy: Just Testing – Smokin’ Tom’s barbecue tips

Jobs currently available

New job
Lettings Negotiator
Sector: Property and Construction
Salary: £20,000 - £30,000 per annum
Location: Wokingham
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 908926
About the role

Are you an experienced Letting Negotiator?

A company based in Wokingham is looking for you, an experienced Lettings Negotiator to join their growing team.

The role would cover all duties from submitting properties to let, to enquiries, viewings and all admin alongside. They have a thorough system in place up to when the tenant moves in and everything is handed to the Property Manager.

A lively, lovely and fast paced team, this is the company to join for the next step in your career!

They work on a two week rota and offer a competitive salary!

Don’t delay. apply today!

Read more
New job
Design and Research Assistant
Sector: Media and Internet
Salary: £18,000 - £20,000 per annum
Location: Colchester
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 908924
About the role

Just Recruitment is recruiting for a Design and Research Assistant on behalf of a company based in Colchester.

The successful applicant will need to be self-motivated, highly organised, proactive, creative and resolutive.

Ideally you will have a design, art or photography background and knows your way around a Mac and wish to put your skills to work and get involved with a fast-paced creative company.

If you enjoy a challenge and are self-motivated, organised, focused and wish to be part of a busy and energetic team then this bespoke, friendly company could be just what you’re looking for.

Experience in the following:

Intermediate to advanced knowledge of Adobe Creative Suite, including retouching and an understanding of digital images, resolution and the print process.

Graphic Design skills, and ability to produce design ideas and illustrations to brief.

Highly organised and thorough with good library and resource management.

Independent initiative in researching a variety of subjects.

The role includes:

Development of ideas and creating visual mood boards and brochures.

Design of graphic art, wallpapers, wall murals etc.

Picture research, photographic and graphic.

Scanning, printing and reproduction.

Internet based research.

*** Due to location you will need to drive ***

Read more
New job
Workshop Technician
Sector: Engineering and Manufacturing
Salary: discussed on application
Location: Braintree
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 908845
About the role

Due to expansion Just Recruitment is recruiting for a Slide (workshop) Technician on behalf of a company based in Braintree, Essex.

The role is workshop based and will involve the complete tear-down, cleaning, inspection, repair, overhaul, functional testing and troubleshooting of aircraft components.

Electro Mechanical experience preferred.

You will be required to work on a variety of aircraft safety equipment and evacuation systems such as evacuation slides, life rafts, helicopter floats, oxygen cylinders, masks and escape slide inflation systems and general survival equipment for both commercial and military aircraft.

General workshop skills required. Someone who is able to follow technical diagrams, strip down, overhaul, repair and re-build.

The position would suit you if you have experience of repairing electro mechanical equipment.

Read more
New job
Transport Co-Ordinator
Sector: Transport, Logistics and Shipping
Salary: £10.50 - £10.75 per hour
Location: Witham
Role: Part Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 908915
About the role

Do you have transport experience and seeking a new challenge?

Just Recruitment is recruiting for a Transport Co-Ordinator to join their client’s team in Witham.

Duties include:

  • Maintain all company vehicles in line with legal requirements and schedules, inspections, MOT, Insurance, tax etc; utilising the Fleetcheck software to show vehicle and driver status to facilitate the smooth operation of the fleet.
  • Maintain a vehicle file for all company vehicle documentation, including V5, contract hire agreements and any other relevant documentation.
  • Monitory and manage driver utilisation of the Fleetchecker vehicle inspection app and reporting functionality. Organise defect rectification in a timely manner.
  • Download and monitor all drivers’ tachographs, the vehicle download data, send to external agency for checking and monitory all drivers hours in line with the legal requirements, EU driving legislation, Great British driving rules and working time directive to ensure that the business and driving staff operate within the legal framework.
  • Ensure all dart charges, congestion charges and other tolls are promptly settled to negate any ongoing unforeseen charges.

Skills required:

  • Experience and knowledge of fleet management, logistics planning in accordance with legislative constraints.
  • Solid computer skills including Word, Excel and Outlook, along with good background IT knowledge to learn bespoke software programs.
  • Excellent communications skills, telephone manner and written word.

Hours Mon - Fri, 7.30am - 12.30pm.

Free parking.

 

Read more
Packing Supervisor
Sector: Engineering and Manufacturing
Salary: £9.00 - £9.73 per hour
Location: Halstead
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 908914
About the role

Just Recruitment is looking for a Packing Supervisor on behalf of a company based on the outskirts of Sudbury.

Duties:

  • To make sure all new staff are aware of what is required of them, coach, encourage and support them
  • To oversee the day to day operation of the packing area
  • Participating in the operation of machinery in your area
  • Participating in all work positions within your area
  • Provide support to the shift manager as and when required

Working hours – Normal working hours are from 7:30am – 16:30pm Monday – Friday.

Overtime may be required depending on production needs.

You may be required to work 15 Saturdays/shifts during the working year to suit the requirements of the company.

Read more