Beer Day Britain – 9 of the best ‘no & low’ beers
Our friend Jane Peyton started Beer Day Britain in 2015, a day to celebrate one of the nation’s favourite drinks. Jane is an award-winning beer sommelier, drinks educator and author, and we were delighted to welcome her to our Mindful Drinking Festival in January. Beer Day Britain is all about events and content celebrating beer in all its varieties, so we thought we’d share some of our favourite low and alcohol-free options. And you can find a load more over on our Club Soda Guide for mindful drinkers.
Thornbridge – Big Easy 0.5%
This beer has a heap of fruit, lemon, peach, grapefruit, and some tropical notes also. It has a moderate bitterness that aids in a lasting finish, and a little savoury breadyness. It’s great to see Thornbridge expanding their range to include a low alcohol beer, and to produce one to such a high standard.
Nirvana – Mantra 0.5%
This uses a variety of English hops, so there couldn’t be a more appropriate tipple for Beer Day Britain! It pours a clear honey shade, with some delicate floral aroma. There’s a touch of spice and even a little smoke, as well as some bright tangerine citrus character.
This is widely available in supermarkets, as well as plenty of pubs and bars. This has a soft carbonation and light fruity flavour. A little dry cereal character and a grassy quality too. This is good for those times when you just want a non-challenging lager profile, it’s crisp, clean and refreshing.
Drop Bear Beer Co – Tropical IPA 0.3%
A subtle caramel malt base with waves of tropical hop character. The brewers have chucked plenty of Galaxy hops in here, making for some juicy passion fruit and peach flavours. A little citrus too, and a gentle bitter finish. Drop Bear Beer Co are a new discovery for us, and we’re so glad we found them.
Big Drop – Brown Ale 0.5%
I usually bang on about the Stout from Big Drop, it’s become one of my favourite beers. So in the interest of variety, I’m going to recommend you try their Brown Ale. A style we don’t see enough, this has a nostalgic taste of malt loaf, with a little rye bread and caramel too. A slightly sweet pour with a delicate bitter earthy finish. I like to enjoy this with food, specifically pie… because Yorkshire.
Maisels Weisse – Alkoholfrei 0.5%
What I love about this beer is the mouthfeel, it has body and creaminess, which is hard to achieve in a low abv. A classic banana yeast ester and a bit of spice make for a traditional weisse flavour. It’s well balanced, with a sweet fruit character and soft bitterness.
BrewDog – Punk AF 0.5%
It’s always risky to produce an alcohol-free version of a full-strength beer, but when have BrewDog been known to play it safe? I tasted this against the original brew, and there are differences, but it’s still a cracking beer. A little pine and caramel on the nose, with grass, citrus peel and a touch of soft stone fruit on the taste. It’s perhaps a little light in body, but impressively complex and flavourful.
Ilkley Brewery – Limbo 1.2%
How low can you go? Well, you could obviously go lower than 1.2%, but for those of you who moderate this is a must try. A solid malt base supports bright citrus notes with hints of dry fruit and a little grass and tangerine. This is surprisingly full bodied for a beer of its strength, and will be my BBQ beer of choice should Summer ever arrive.
Small beer – Dark Lager 1.0%
Dark Lagers are few and far between, and I enjoy the contrasting characteristics at play with this brew. You’ve got light body and tight carbonation atop a rich coffee and chocolate malt base. It’s unusual, but well worth a try if you enjoy those richer flavours that are found in dark malts.
Don’t forget if you’re online shopping that Wise Bartender will stock many of these beers.
Some brands featured in this article are members of Club Soda, and we work a little more closely with these. You’ll always find a couple of them in our reviews, but we remain completely impartial.