Alcohol-free beers have long been the stars of the alcohol-free drinks world. The quality is excellent, the range of brands and styles available is already great, and keeps on growing. So it may be difficult to know where to start on an alcohol-free beer journey. This article gives you some ideas to start your explorations. All the beers are from our London Alcohol-Free Off-License pop-up shop. We’ve created five branches, but you can obviously pick and mix between them, and create your very own hops and malts adventure!
Lagers are the most commonly drank beers. They are probably what most people think when they think of beer. Lagers are usually light in colour and flavour, but darker ones exist too – we have included a dark lager in our dark beers journey.
All of our journeys start with Lucky Saint Unfiltered Lager. Lucky Saint only produce this one style of beer, but they do it in amazing style. So it’s a good place to start for everyone. Lucky Saint is made according to the strict German beer purity rules using only four natural ingredients of Pilsner Malt, Hallertau hops, water and yeast, and left unfiltered to retain as much flavour as possible. ABV: 0.5%. Buy at Wise Bartender or Amazon and many supermarkets and pubs around the UK.
Pistonhead Kustom Alcohol-Free Lager
Pistonhead is a Swedish brand from Brutal Brewing. Their Kustom Lager comes in full-strength and alcohol-free variants, and has a rich, malty flavor with a balanced and marked bitterness. ABV: 0.5%. Buy at Wise Bartender or Amazon and some supermarkets.
UNLTD. is a smaller UK brewery producing excellent craft beers. The Lager comes in beautiful stylish black bottles, has light citrus aromas, a hint of honey and caramel, rounded off with a subtly bitter finish. ABV: 0.5%. Buy at Wise Bartender or Amazon and some pubs across the UK.
Heineken’s launch of an alcohol-free version of their flagship beer was a turning point in the 0.0% beer market. With the same taste as the alcoholic version, and with the marketing budget of a multinational brewer, Heineken 0.0. has done wonders for the whole category. ABV: 0.05%. Buy at Wise Bartender or Amazon and most supermarkets and many pubs.
Days is another new entrant to the alcohol-free beer world. Their Lager is brewed in Scotland, double fermented using local ingredients, and also supports good causes by giving 2% of their sales to mental health charities. ABV: 0.05%. Buy at Wise Bartender or Amazon.
Jump Ship Yardarm Lager
Jump Ship is also from Scotland, with a range of four beer styles, including the Yardarm Lager. They describe it as a crisp, refreshing lager, with a full-flavoured finish, and zesty, biscuity and discretely bitter notes. ABV: 0.5%. Buy at Wise Bartender or shops and pubs around Scotland.
Ales also include many different styles of beer, usually brewed using a warm fermentation method, resulting in a sweeter, full-bodied and fruity taste. Our ale journey covers some of the many types of ale, but leaving the popular IPAs to their own branch to follow next.
Brewdog Nanny State
A hoppy pale ale, Brewdog’s Nanny State was one of the first of the new generation of alcohol-free beers in the UK. Initially launched as a marketing stunt, it quickly became one of Brewdog’s biggest selling beers and is now widely available. ABV: 0.5%. Buy at Wise Bartender or Amazon and many supermarkets and pubs.
Athletic Brewing Upside Dawn Golden Ale
Athletic Brewing is USA’s first brewery dedicated to alcohol-free beers, recently launched in the UK. Their Upside Dawn Golden Ale is refreshing, clean, balanced, and light-bodied ale, made with organic malts ABV: 0.5%. Buy at Wise Bartender or Amazon.
Ilkley Brewery Virgin Mary
Virgin Mary is the non-alcoholic version of Ilkley Brewery’s Mary Jane Pale Ale. Made in Yorkshire using a mix of malts and hops, Virgin Mary has a nice complex set of flavours and a lovely deep brown colour. ABV: 0.5%. Buy at Wise Bartender or Amazon.
Drop Bear Yuzu Pale Ale
Drop Bear Beer Company is Wales’s first alcohol-free brewery, with a range of four beers (you will meet another at our dark beers journey…). This Yuzu Pale Ale has floral and grapefruit hops, and a splash of yuzu for a bit of citrus flavour. ABV: 0.5%. Buy at Wise Bartender or Amazon.
Vesta Golden Ale
Divine Brewing is dedicated to traditional beer styles, and their Vesta Golden Ale is a great addition to their range. A light golden ale, made with a mix of malts hops, Vesta is hoppy and refreshing – and award-winning too. ABV: 0.5%. Buy at Amazon.
IPAs or India Pale Ales gets their name from history. These pale ales with a strong hoppy flavour were first developed in England in the 19th century. This type of beer travelled well, and became popular when exported to India – hence the name. You can read more about this somewhat controversial history here. Today, IPA is a favourite style for craft brewers around the world, and increasingly popular with alcohol-free producers as well. This is where our alcohol-free beer journey takes us next.
Brewdog Punk AF
Punk AF is the no-alcohol alternative to Brewdog’s best selling full alcohol flagship Punk IPA beer. Plenty of hops and flavour, even without the alcohol. ABV: 0.5%. Buy at Wise Bartender or Amazon and many supermarkets and pubs.
Adnams Ghost Ship
Although technically a Pale Ale, we’ve included Ghost Ship in our IPA journey, due to its strong hop and citrus flavours. Adnams have done an amazing job in replicating the punchy taste of their full strength Ghost Ship in this 0.5% version. ABV: 0.5%. Buy at Amazon and many supermarkets and pubs.
Jump Ship Goosewing IPA
Jump Ship describe their Goosewing IPA as having aromas of mango and mandarin, with tropical flavours and resinous, pithy bitterness and luscious stone fruit. Another very good beer from this small Edinburgh brewery. ABV: 0.5%. Buy at Wise Bartender or shops and pubs around Scotland.
Good Karma Decent Vibes
Good Karma Beer Co. is run by Steve Dass, an alcohol-free brewing pioneer. Decent Vibes joins Good Karma’s growing range of interesting choice of beer styles (keep your eyes out for another one in our dark beers journey). ABV: 0.5%. Buy at Wise Bartender or direct from Good Karma – Decent Vibes is not yet very widely available.
Big Drop Paradiso Citra IPA
Big Drop was one of the very first alcohol-free breweries anywhere in the world, and has now won more awards than any other brewery – and not only in alcohol-free competitions. Citrussy and hoppy Paradiso is in Big Drop’s core range, and a fine example of the exceptional quality of their beers. ABV: 0.5%. Buy at Wise Bartender or Amazon and many supermarkets and pubs.
Porters, stouts and other dark beers
So far we’ve covered beers that are light in colour. But there is also a world of dark beers, in many styles and flavours, made with roasted malts. Our dark beers journey covers just a few examples of these.
Good Karma What’s Your Mantra Black Lager
We start our dark beer journey with something halfway between the lightest and darkest beers – a Black Lager from Good Karma. What’s Your Mantra has balanced roasted & toasted malt flavors, with hints of apricot and vanilla. ABV: 0.05%. Buy at Wise Bartender or direct from Good Karma – What’s Your Mantra is not yet very widely available.
Big Drop Galactic Milk Stout
Milk Stouts are a traditional style of dark beer, and Big Drop’s Galactic is an outstanding example. It’s no surprise that it keeps winning awards, even against full-strength competitors. And despite the milk in the name, this beer is completely vegan as well as gluten-free. ABV: 0.5%. Buy at Wise Bartender or Amazon and many supermarkets and pubs.
Jump Ship Stoker’s Stout
The latest addition to the Jump Ship range, Stoker’s is an oat milk stout, made with roast barley and oats, with cacao and vanilla. It has rich notes of coffee and chocolate, a hint of sweetness and a dry finish. ABV: 0.5%. Buy at Wise Bartender or shops and pubs around Scotland.
Drop Bear Bonfire Stout
Drop Bear’s dark beer is full of strong flavours. You can taste espresso, smoked malt, dark chocolate, and much more. Bonfire Stout was inspired by traditional Irish stouts and German Rauchbier which is brewed with smoked malts, which is where the bonfire comes in. ABV: 0.5%. Buy at Wise Bartender or Amazon.
shrb Romanov Imperial Stout
We end up somewhere a bit different on this journey. You may know shrb from their range of vinegar based adult soft drinks, but they have recently also launched a range of beers (or “biërs” in their words). The Romanov Imperial Stout is unfermented, so technically not a beer at all, but the taste is something every dark beer fan should experience. ABV: 0.05%. Buy direct from shrb, as these drinks are not yet widely available.
Fruit beers, wheat beers, and functional ingredients
Our final beer journey collects together several specialities. The world of beer has many lands, and in recent years alcohol-free brewers have also started exploring more of them. The range of non-alcoholic beers available in the UK is more exciting every month, and with the added innovation of functional ingredients is opening up for ever more tastes.
Impossibrew are creating “World’s first mood enhancing non-alcoholic beers”. Their Lager has several active ingredients designed for boosting your serotonin levels and therefore improving your mood. And the beer is great too. ABV: 0.5% Buy at Wise Bartender or Amazon.
A mix of beer and fruits or lemonade can have many names, from shandy in the UK to radler in German-speaking countries. They are a popular type of beer, and this blend of Clausthaler Original and grapefruit drink is a good example of the style. ABV: 0.5% Buy at Wise Bartender.
Fungtn Reishi Citra
Fungtn is another brewery using functional ingredients – in their case mushrooms. All their three flavours are worth trying, and this Citra Ale is a good place to start. ABV: 0.5% Buy at Wise Bartender, direct from Fungtn or some independent retailers.
Sheep in Wolf’s Clothing Easy Rinder Hefeweizen
Hefeweizen is a type of “white beer”, made using wheat malt with barley, often unfiltered and therefore “cloudy” in the glass. They often have a fairly strong yeasty and banana flavour. Sheep in Wolf’s Clothing brewery have produced a lovely alcohol-free version of this type of beer to try. ABV: 0.5%. Buy direct from Sheep in Wolf’s Clothing, as this beer is not yet widely available.
Lowtide Brewing Brune-DMC
Belgium is known as the home of many excellent breweries and unique beer styles, many based in monasteries. This dark ale from Lowtide Brewing is in the style of a traditional Belgian abbey beer and is a sweet and fruity endpoint for our journey around the many wonderful beer styles of the world. ABV: 0.5%. Buy at Wise Bartender, or direct from Lowtide as this beer is not yet widely available.
And there is no need to stop your alcohol-free beer journey here. The Club Soda Alcohol-Free Off-License alone has 73 different beers from 30 breweries to try. And good online shops like Wise Bartender have even more choice.