The 10 Best Non-Alcoholic Beers (2023) 🍻
|# NAME||ABV||Calories per ml||Where it's brewed|
|<0.5%||28||Gold Coast, QLD|
|<0.5%||15||Inner North Brewing Company, VIC|
|0.0%||31||Greath Northern Brewing Co, QLD|
|0.5%||18||Big Drop Brewing Co, U.K|
|0.5%||20||Malt Shovel Brewery, NSW|
|0.0%||21||Originally Amsterdam, but probably Sydney NSW if you’re drinking it in Australia|
|0.2%||28||Hawkesbury Brewing Company, NSW|
|0.5%||26||Mornington Peninsula Brewery, VIC|
Love beer but not the hangovers? You’re not alone! More people are going sober for health. Good news: non-alcoholic beers are now tasty and varied. Here are 10 great non-alcoholic beers to try.
The Top 10 Non-Alcoholic Beers in Australia 🍺
Calories per ml: 28
Where it’s brewed: Gold Coast, QLD
As far as non-alcoholic bevs go right now, SOBAH is the cream of the crop (or the top of the froth, if you will).
SOBAH beers are crisp, fresh and tasty; infused with native Aussie fruit and spices, their primary range is chiefly inspired by the flavours of traditional Czech and Mexican beers. SOBAH started out as a home business with an ambition to provide better beer choices “for those who are not drinking for whatever reason at whatever time.”
Calories per ml: 22
Where it’s brewed: Canberra, ACT
Founded by four mates who wanted some non-alcoholic options that were more inspiring than “sugary soft drinks, tea, coffee or water” Heaps Normal beer is so named for its crisp and heady flavour. The brand’s mission is to normalise mindful drinking without being preachy, which is an energy that connected with a lot of people during the lockdowns.
Truly, this is a non-alcoholic beer that’s made by and for beer-lovers.
Calories per ml: 15
Where it’s brewed: Inner North Brewing Company, VIC
Yet another Aussie beer brand that’s flying off the shelves at the moment. If you’re a partial to the Modus Operandi brand of beers, you’ll almost certainly enjoy Nort, as it’s made and owned by the same brewery.
With golden hues and crisp, bitter notes, it’s got a taste that’s perfect for summery days at the pub with your mates.
GREAT NORTHERN ZERO
Calories per ml: 31
Where it’s brewed: Greath Northern Brewing Co, QLD
Great Northern Zero is your classic BBQ or beach beer; a nice crisp taste and a golden glaze, best served ice cold on summer days. It’s also worth noting that this beer – unlike the preceding beers on our list – is 0.0% alcohol.
The term “non-alcoholic beer” can be a little misleading, given that the majority of non-alcoholic beers technically contain alcohol, albeit a very tiny per cent that you likely won’t notice. The fermentation of alcohol is simply a part of the beer brewing process, and the alcohol is subsequently removed (or extremely minimised) for the non-alcohol labels. Some people like this level of alcohol to the same amounts found in week-old orange juice or ripe bananas; your body should be able to process it before it can ever get you drunk.
BITBURGER DRIVE 0.0
Calories per ml: 22
Where it’s brewed: Germany
Bitburger is one of Germany’s highest selling beers, and it’s not hard to see why. The company still brews their beer in accordance with the German Purity Law (or das Reinheitsgebot), the world’s oldest food & drink regulation.
So what’s the German Purity Law? Dating back to the heady days of 1516, the German Purity Law is a series of regulations that limits the ingredients that brewers can put into the beer; to achieve their high standard of brewing, the law dictates that German beer must be made from water, barley malt, hops, and nothing else. They softened on letting yeast in sometime during the 19th century, but that’s about it – and while the German Purity Law is no longer enforceable by actual law, Bitbuger acts as though it was, resulting in some damn good beer.
BIG DROP BREWING CO
Calories per ml: 18
Where it’s brewed: Big Drop Brewing Co, U.K
Big Drop Brewing Co. produces a West Coast American Pale Ale that’s so on brand, you’d never expect it was brewed in Suffolk, England. With a lingering bitterness complemented by smacks of citrus and blueberry, the award winning taste is achieved via techniques that allow the brewers to create alcohol-free craft beer without having to remove the alcohol artificially.
If you take your beer seriously, be assured, so do Big Drop Brewing Co.
JAMES SQUIRE ZERO
Calories per ml: 20
Where it’s brewed: Malt Shovel Brewery, NSW
James Squire Zero captures that classic refreshing taste that’s now associated with the rest of their range. The James Squire brand has been with us for close to 25 years now (!), and they have resolutely established themselves as mainstream purveyors of full flavoured beer.
Though a beer connoisseur could argue that a craft beer and a mainstream beer are two very different things, James Squire seems to have found a comfortable niche between the two worlds. If your local bottle shop is lacking a wider range of artisan non-alc beer, there’s a good chance they’ll still have some James Squire Zero… and as far as non-alc beers go, it’s a mighty fine drop.
Calories per ml: 21
Where it’s brewed: Originally Amsterdam, but probably Sydney NSW if you’re drinking it in Australia
A populist option, sure, but who doesn’t love a Heiney? Another quintessentially American beer that is technically not an American beer, Heineken is a pure malt lager that is best known for its smooth taste, and its 0.0% range is no exception.
The delicate balance of fruits and malts create a crisp taste and a pleasant aroma, and it’s 0.0% alcohol content means you can slam them down guilt-free.
HAWKESBURY PROHIBITION PALE ALE
Calories per ml: 28
Where it’s brewed: Hawkesbury Brewing Company, NSW
Another delicious local brew, the gleefully named Prohibition Pale Ale taps right into the days of old, both with its title and with its heady blend of citra and galaxy hops. The good folks at Hawkesbury claim that the secret to Prohibition Pale Ale’s full bodied deliciousness is their unique fermentation process, which involves the brewers reducing the alcohol levels before dry-hopping with a variety of Australian hops in order to enhance the flavour.
If they knew how to make beer this good during the actual Prohibition, would the Prohibition have ended? Probably, very likely, almost certainly, yes. But that should not detract from how good Prohibition Pale Ale is.
Calories per ml: 26
Where it’s brewed: Mornington Peninsula Brewery, VIC
Like so many other beers in Mornington Peninsula’s impressive selection, the Mornington Free is packed with flavour. This pale ale manages to strike the perfect balance between a brew that’s at once bold and refined, but fruity and flavoursome. It’s the perfect bev to crack open at after a hectic workday, before a meal, or during a catch up with an old friend.
In short, it’s a tasty, tasty beer, and like the other contenders on this list, you’ll completely forget that it’s non-alcoholic.
Beers That Didn’t Make the List (But Are Still Good) 👍🏻
There’s just not room for everyone on a top 10 list at the best of times, and non-alcoholic beer is now a flooded market!
But I’d like to give a big shout-out to Vandestreek Playground who make a smooth and full-bodied IPA that’s notable, I just couldn’t fit it in (well, I couldn’t fit it in the list, but I fit it in my gut just fine).
Some folks might also be expecting to see some names like Carlton Zero or Corona Cero on here. So, I’d like to point out that while these brands deliver perfectly palatable non-alcoholic beers, they weren’t special enough to make the cut.
Would I drink a Carlton Zero over a Sobah? No.
Would I drink several Carlton Zeros if they were up for grabs in a communal eskie? Absolutely.
How Are Alcohol Free Beers Made? 👀
Ever wonder how alcohol-free beer is brewed? It starts like regular beer with hops, malt, and yeast. But here’s the trick: brewers either stop the alcohol from forming or take it out afterwards. So, you get a beer that tastes the same but without the alcohol. It’s like beer, but without the buzz!
Should You Be Drinking Alcohol Free Beer? 👉🏻
Considering alcohol-free beer? It’s a great choice if you’re looking to cut down on alcohol for health reasons or need to drive. It tastes like regular beer, minus the tipsy feeling. And with so many options, you’re sure to find one you like. Why not give it a try? It’s beer without the hangover!
For my time and money, my top 3 non-alcoholic brews are hands down Sobah, Heaps Normal, and Big Drop Brewing Co.
Incidentally, my partner who does not at all like beer was also drawn to these brands, in particular the Big Drop Brewing Co, so take that with a grain of fermentable sugars.