Non-Alcoholic Craft Beer: Yea or Nay?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by NeroFiddled, Jun 12, 2019.


Non-Alcoholic Craft Beer?

  1. Yea

    157 vote(s)
  2. Nay

    122 vote(s)
  1. Shyla987

    Shyla987 Initiate (117) Jul 18, 2013 Connecticut

    In CT, Athletic Brewing has a nice taproom and does online sales and ships across the country.

    Yesterday, they put 45 cases of NA IPA on sale online, sold out in less than a minute.

    I haven't tried it yet (no interest really), but friends who have say it's really good. They market to runners, hikers, etc.
  2. AZBeerDude72

    AZBeerDude72 Poo-Bah (2,124) Jun 10, 2016 Arizona
    Society Trader

    Be careful with that, most NA beer still has small amounts of ABV. Would consult Dr. before having if pregnant.
  3. beertunes

    beertunes Poo-Bah (7,532) Sep 24, 2007 Kiribati
    Society Trader

    Sure, why not? I probably wouldn't grab one often, but they might work well as a "spacer" when at an all day cookout or something.
  4. thesherrybomber

    thesherrybomber Devotee (425) Jun 13, 2017 California
    Society Trader

    Why not? I feel for those who aren't able to have alcohol. They shouldn't have to suffer from drinking swill, on top of it
    LuskusDelph likes this.
  5. ChristopherProvost

    ChristopherProvost Initiate (111) Dec 24, 2013 New Hampshire

    I'm definitely a fan of the session beers with lower ABVs but I have yet to find a non-alcoholic beer that doesn't taste like the mass produced crap you find in the grocery store.
  6. KenC

    KenC Aspirant (287) Jan 21, 2011 New Jersey

    Umh, do you shower with a rain coat on? Then why would you want NA beer?
  7. Beerucee

    Beerucee Aspirant (281) Jun 18, 2016 Texas

    Brewed to taste good. Just missing the alcohol. A great combo at times.
  8. SomeCallMeTim

    SomeCallMeTim Initiate (35) Dec 5, 2012 North Carolina

    In a pinch, a desperate horrifying pinch, yes.

    My doctor put me on Dry January earlier this year. Outside of work, I socialize at my local craft beer bar - I was wondering if I'd have to become a monk (not the beer-making kind, either) for a month. Fortunately, a buddy recommended Claushaler Dry Hopped, which was surprisingly drinkable. If I had been stuck with Erdinger, I'd have stayed home.

    My beer place still has one bottle of that dry-hopped NA beer for me. Given that I can drink real beer again? It can sit in that cooler for 3 decades for all I care... but I'm glad it was there when I needed it.
    BruChef and sharpski like this.
  9. BuxMontBeerLover

    BuxMontBeerLover Zealot (547) Jul 7, 2010 Pennsylvania

    For a non-alcoholic beer, it's the best I've had. I enjoy it during the week when I try to limit my consumption of the real stuff. It also was a great find when for 6 weeks I couldn't have any "real" beers due to stomach ulcers. It gave me at least the taste of drinking a beer. Obviously, no comparison in taste and enjoyment of a real craft brew but we aren't comparing apples to apples. For what it is, I enjoy it.
    #49 BuxMontBeerLover, Jun 12, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2019
    sharpski likes this.
  10. bierphart

    bierphart Initiate (91) Nov 5, 2006 Illinois

    There is a market for sure. For me personally no, at least for now.
    I remember my father being on chemotherapy and tried his best to find a NA beer that had some character.
    Given the circumstances, better NA Craft beer than no beer !!
    southack and beertunes like this.
  11. cavedave

    cavedave Poo-Bah (2,971) Mar 12, 2009 New York
    Society Trader

    I'm a lemon water or lime water guy when I don't want to drink to catch a buzz. Also dig coffee and tea.

    I love the taste of beer, and that taste includes the taste of alcohol. My preference is to pay much, much less for beer with alcohol, but I have no choice. DEFINITELY not gonna pay that same price for beer without alcohol. I do have a choice to pay much, much less for other drinks without alcohol. And I do.

    I haven't tried NA beer. I won't be trying NA beer.
    ajpn likes this.
  12. MattinHouston

    MattinHouston Initiate (85) Apr 29, 2016 Texas

    Clausthaler Dry Hopped #1
    LuskusDelph and BruChef like this.
  13. BeyondClubSoda

    BeyondClubSoda Initiate (26) May 9, 2019 Texas

    I'm a serious beer fan with some frustrating digestive issues that won't allow me to drink booze anymore, so good near-beer is a god-send. It was also a dear friend during my pregnancy several years ago. I love a hoppy beer so I'm particularly grateful that so many NA IPAs and other craft options are coming available. The surprise added bonus of becoming an NA beer drinker? I can have one with lunch or before I head out to a family event completely guilt free!
  14. ajpn

    ajpn Initiate (30) Apr 24, 2018 California

    Guiness makes/made one called Kaliber that I had several years ago. It was pretty good. But overall I'm not a big fan of the concept due to the general lousy selection.

    I'd be down for drinking one if it had the taste of something craft. No doubt.
    LuskusDelph likes this.
  15. Roadkizzle

    Roadkizzle Aspirant (227) Nov 6, 2007 Texas

    I don't care how often you drink. You could drink 10 beers a day, 1 a day, 1 a week, or 1 a year. If you are drinking for the taste and not the psychoactive effects then it shouldn't matter what beer that taste comes from.

    If the NA beer tastes like beer then it should be a consideration when deciding on a beer unless you actually care about the alcohol effects.

    That said I agree that most of the craft NA beers that I've had taste substantially different and would not be satisfying as a replacement. The Bravus, Surreal, and Well-being beers all have a common flavor that I've gotten from the NA lagers that i perceive as somewhat metallic.

    The Athletic brewing golden ale is the first one that didn't have that wierd flavor to me. It's one that I'd consider over alcoholic beers when I wouldn't consider most other NA beers in the same situation.

    They say that pregnant women can drink a glass of wine a day. The less than .5% ABV in a NA beer will not affect anything.

    I was looking up a similar thing and found a page from the nebraska .gov site talking about NA beer and they talk mention how you can easily get more alcohol from bread or a glass of orange juice than a typical NA beer. Remember bread is fermented so there is alcohol in there.

    Because I shower to get clean but I drink too enjoy the flavor combinations of malt and hops. If I can get the flavors I want with no annoying alcohol getting in the way then all the better.
  16. AZBeerDude72

    AZBeerDude72 Poo-Bah (2,124) Jun 10, 2016 Arizona
    Society Trader

    If they could make a killer IPA that was NA I probably would have some. The issue I always have had with NA beers or Session beers now that I think about it was that the flavor was off to me, it was not enjoyable. I am always open to trying things so sure, if one day they make these and its hard to tell the difference then why not, but for today I still find them off flavored.
    Its been a few years since our last kid, I could not recall the limits anymore figured to mention. If they approve a glass of wine a day then ya NA beer is nothing.
  17. laketang

    laketang Meyvn (1,270) Mar 22, 2015 Illinois

    Nay but I'm okay with people preferring their beer without alcohol, I wonder in the future for you older pot smokers, if someone will invent fake joints.
  18. akkitch

    akkitch Initiate (48) Nov 27, 2012 New York

    I say yes! I actually have NA Becks in fridge now. I have tried several others, and have found quite a few German/Belgian ones at my local places. Many are even priced cheaper, which is a plus. I just wish more places carried them, or at least one option that isn't O'Doul's....not a fan of it. If any of my friends say anything, of course I tell them: "STFU! It's just a beer soda!" :stuck_out_tongue:

    (think I'll go pop one open now!)
    southack, LuskusDelph and NeroFiddled like this.
  19. MistaRyte

    MistaRyte Zealot (557) Jan 14, 2008 Virginia

    Fake weed/crack/etc. is getting sold as we speak... and can get people killed
  20. islay

    islay Disciple (333) Jan 6, 2008 Minnesota

    I've had several pints of NA Homeguys Helles from Bauhaus Brew Labs in Minneapolis. It's delicious, drier and better than the original (drier because alcohol adds the perception of sweetness). I would buy that beer very frequently if it were available at bottle shops at a reasonable price.
    NeroFiddled likes this.
  21. cbrowndde

    cbrowndde Disciple (371) Oct 2, 2008 Maryland

    They are not what I am looking for when I can't/don't want to drink beer. If hot and thirsty, give me an ice water or a real beer. Hefeweizen, Kolsh, Pilsner. It doesn't have to be powerfully alcoholic to be refreshing.
  22. cbrowndde

    cbrowndde Disciple (371) Oct 2, 2008 Maryland

    I tried the NA Heineken and it does not taste just like Heineken.
    NeroFiddled likes this.
  23. flaskman

    flaskman Aspirant (293) Aug 3, 2015 New York

    I love beer. I love craft beer. I really enjoy the taste of beer. I have to confess that I have no issue with a non-alcoholic beer. Sometimes I am just thirsty and a cold NA does the job. My favorite happens to be Old Milwaukee NA. It's been awhile but I used to buy it by the case. Now it's the keto beers with my favorite hands down being Lagunitas Daytime. 3 carbs and a very good IPA. If I am going for the buzz I toss in a couple of sipper bourbons which I also enjoy. and.... I am down over 40 pounds so far. The low carb beers really help make the diet easier.
    NeroFiddled and AZBeerDude72 like this.
  24. MKB

    MKB Initiate (48) May 21, 2013 California

    Like O'douls Amber, can't find much else or any at all of the craft breweries around. We try to keep both in our house.
    LuskusDelph and NeroFiddled like this.
  25. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poo-Bah (7,322) Sep 14, 2002 Wyoming
    Society Trader

    Yes tasted good AND if it was significantly lower in price. Kaliber was tasty but I can't justify paying the price for it.
    LuskusDelph, NeroFiddled and cavedave like this.
  26. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poo-Bah (7,322) Sep 14, 2002 Wyoming
    Society Trader

    What? They ship?
  27. Joeandrew

    Joeandrew Disciple (376) Jan 27, 2007 Massachusetts

    Craft Non-alcoholic (NA) beer serves an important purpose in the market, and it is one that the product is ideally suited for. That purpose is to dilute the alcoholic intensity of many of the "regular" craft beers that are sold these days. For example, "Framinghammer" by Jack's Abby is a wonderful Baltic Porter, but it's alcohol by volume (ABV) is 10%. This means every 12 oz glass of Framinghammer you drink has about the same amount of alcohol in it that two "normal" beers have. This means that if you are drinking Framinghammer you better be sipping it unbearably slowly or you are going to have a short evening! Now I don't know about you, but I like to drink my beer in hearty quaffs, which means if I anticipate having more than one or two during an evening, I must stick to "session" beers, and cannot enjoy a Framinghammer, or an Old Rasputin, or anything containing the name "imperial," "dubbel," "trippel," or (Lord save us!) "quadrupel." However, I can partake of all of these wonderfully satisfying beers by employing one easy solution. That is, I reach for a good NA beer and pour half of it into my glass along with an equal amount of high-ABV beer. Problem solved! Now I can easily last for the whole evening drinking blended beers that contain a civilized ABV level (4-6%). That's why I vote "yea" for NA beer and always have some available in my refrigerator.
    LuskusDelph and NeroFiddled like this.
  28. HoraceTidas

    HoraceTidas Initiate (46) Jul 16, 2015 North Carolina


    To anyone who thinks NAs all taste bad -- please sample something from Athletic. They've almost cracked the code.
    NeroFiddled, sharpski and Bitterbill like this.
  29. matthewp

    matthewp Aspirant (223) Feb 27, 2015 Massachusetts

    NA beer is like sex without the climax IMHO. I'm sure NA beer might be great but I'm not going to choose it over regular beer. Now that being said I can't recall many times I didn't see a beer in my grandfather's hand but when he was in his late eighties and he could no longer drink alcohol for health reasons he did drink O'Doul's as a treat (he drank cheap, crappy beer anyway). So maybe if I couldn't drink alcohol I might change my tune.

    The overall issue with the market for NA beer is that how many NA beers does anyone even drink in one day? Once you get past 2 beers you really are no longer drinking for the taste of it so I highly doubt many people are going to drink a 4 pack no less a 6 pack. I don't really see the market for NA beers being a long term success. The market is going to be limited by volume. A case of NA beer would last a long time
  30. HoraceTidas

    HoraceTidas Initiate (46) Jul 16, 2015 North Carolina

    For free.
    LuskusDelph and Bitterbill like this.
  31. matthewp

    matthewp Aspirant (223) Feb 27, 2015 Massachusetts

    Does it still have that skunky flavor to it? The one that says "heck we'll put our beer in a green bottle because we really just don't care what it tastes like anyway"?
  32. HoraceTidas

    HoraceTidas Initiate (46) Jul 16, 2015 North Carolina

    I disagree. A beverage market can certainly thrive with customers who drink one or two a day.
    LuskusDelph, NeroFiddled and matthewp like this.
  33. MaltedScott

    MaltedScott Initiate (58) Nov 16, 2014 Texas

    When your doctor puts you on RX meds ... that includes a restriction regarding the amount of alcoholic beverages one can consume in a week ... unless you want to blow out your liver ... you become grateful for the work that Surreal, Athletic, Wellbeing and others are doing! The Athletic Upside Dawn stays in my frig and is far better than the majority of the usual NA offerings. Turn up your nose if you like, I prefer to avoid renal failure!
  34. allah

    allah Initiate (25) Sep 6, 2017 Indiana

    kaliber. alcoholism is a legitimate medical disease, not a moral problem, not a mental illness, blood sugar allergy.
    LuskusDelph likes this.
  35. matthewp

    matthewp Aspirant (223) Feb 27, 2015 Massachusetts

    I would remove my statement about long term success and focus on the fact that the market is limited in growth by the intrinsic volume differences between NA and regular beer. Certainly some vendors will have success long term but the market is limited both by addressable market and by volume within that market. Its kind of like the 5 hour energy type drinks, no one is drinking those in the same volume as traditional sodas but they are still thriving. The high caffeine drinks seem to be a fad every couple of years but they don't completely go away. I'd liken the NA beer market to the energy drink market.

    Edit: So thanks for pointing that out, my bad on the wording.
  36. UlySA

    UlySA Initiate (46) Feb 14, 2018 Minnesota

    I think generally NA beer drinkers are either alcoholics who use it to abstain/quell the desire/craving to drink (it works) or health-conscious drinkers who still want to have the feeling of "slamming a cold one" after workouts or winding down on the couch with a cold bottle. Basically, a placebo for the real deal. With no side/after effects . There are a few studies that deal with NA beer at parties (like one keg has regular beer, the other NA beer) and, funny enough, no matter which one people drank from, they reported feeling buzzed. So an effective placebo at that!
    LuskusDelph and AZBeerDude72 like this.
  37. Retroman40

    Retroman40 Zealot (527) Dec 7, 2013 Florida

    ECO 181 (that what is was at my school as opposed to ECO 101) - the first rule of economics - if there is a demand, someone will attempt provide the supply. My demand level is zero - I have no interest in these products and really don't want to listen to anyone telling why I should. Of course another rule of mine is that I don't begrudge anyone for their choices.
  38. Rastersoft

    Rastersoft Initiate (20) Mar 9, 2019 Illinois

    I'm sure it would be an acquired taste, like alcoholic beer. But, it's something I've never been interested in, for whatever reason.
  39. AllOfTheCats

    AllOfTheCats Aspirant (243) Mar 27, 2018 Wisconsin

    Current state: Nay
    Future/potential state: Yay

    I recently had a barrel aged soda that was kind of interesting. Would like to see more of that.

    What about a thick, bourbon barrel-aged root beer?
  40. cbrowndde

    cbrowndde Disciple (371) Oct 2, 2008 Maryland

    No, it was "OK" tasting, but didn't have the mouth feel of a real beer. I tasted it at Total Wine as a sample, so I'm sure they would not have served skunked beer. Always store your beer in a dark place! I learned that in 1965 when I put some beer out on the window sill to cool off in the winter. A couple froze and the bottles broke; the rest were skunked. A total loss, but valuable lesson learned.
    matthewp likes this.