Best Alcohol-Free Lager 2021
When you begin cutting back alcohol or giving up altogether, it might seem that there are not many brands out there. So what is the best alcohol-free lager?
You cannot get them in pubs often, and you look like you’re from another planet if you ask for one.
Here comes the alcohol-free drink weirdo.
I could “down” four bottles of pinot grigio wine and get less funny looks
Yep, things need to change.
Bring on the alcohol-free lager!
But before I get chastised for saying alcohol-free Lager rather than Beer, let’s stop there.
What is a lager, and how does this relate to alcohol-free beer choice?
I will put my tin hat on.
What is the difference between an alcohol-free beer and an alcohol-free lager?
Some experts will take the real issue with what I am about to say.
And to be fair, I am not an expert beer drinker. However, I want some options as an alcohol-free drinker.
After all, I can’t drink alcohol.
Hang on, though!
I am also a consumer, and sometimes the experts in the drink industry forget that.
Beers, ales and lagers!
I don’t care what the difference is.
But, unfortunately, not only do I have to put up with the questionable practice of drinking alcohol-free drinks, but I also get told that’s cheap lager, and it’s not a good beer.
Will this onslaught ever go away?
A lager is a subgroup, and so is an alcohol-free lager.
My food analogy!
Spaghetti is a subgroup of pasta.
Well, in reality, it’s the same for alcohol-free Beer.
In addition, it’s a non-alcoholic lager.
Ironically, before I gave up alcohol, I was a wine drinker more than a beer drinker. But I was never a bitter or ale drinker, so I had a lager preference.
If you need to check how much you are drinking, read more at Drink Aware.
So my choice as an alcohol-free weirdo is to go for more Beer that seems more lager in style and taste!
It’s all in the name.
Please think of the term alcohol-free beer; it is the name provided to a group of alcoholic drinks that includes lager and ale with no alcohol.
Yes, there are craft ales and speciality beers, but it’s all Beer.
So is there a difference then?
Actually, yes, for me, it’s the freshness of the drink on a hot summer day, and I fancy a light beer that I can enjoy with friends.
But then, after I spoke with someone I know in a brewery, it seems alcohol-free beer and lager are made a bit differently.
Well, alcohol-free lager is still a beer.
The technical difference between the beer classifications is in how they are brewed.
And this impacts the taste.
I don’t think it’s about how they taste in reality, although in my mind, it does.
So let’s go to Germany to find out more. With their purity laws, they know what they are talking about, right?
Lager is a German word!
I bet you never knew that!
It means or is equivalent to the term “storage“. It may seem vague, but it gives an excellent insight into how alcohol-free lager is made.
So let’s stick to the alcohol stuff for a moment.
Lagers are beers, yes, that’s right, but fermentation is at a much lower temperature when they are being made.
If you think of ale, they do the fermentation in a warm cosy environment while lagers are brewed at a different temperature.
Lager generally has all their fermentation created from the bottom up, whereas your typical ale will be brewed and fermented from the top down.
If that puts your brain into a spasm, no sweat, order the beer or lager by name.
There you go, sorted.
There is no difference between alcoholic free beer and non-alcoholic lager.
However, in reality, as a non-drinker or someone driving, we are much better at paying attention to the abv.
Because abv is alcohol by volume, I am looking for a trusty alcohol-free beer or lager, never mind what it’s called.
Does it have alcohol in it?
My top choices for the best alcohol-free lager 2021
These are brewed in many ways, so I have gone for the following criteria, and I have also used the podcast team to judge.
- Is it an easy drinker drink?
- Could I drink a few bottles of it on a night out?
- The taste light and fresh
- The Look
- The Flavour
- The Gas
It seems like ordinary everyday criteria, right?
Bavaria 0.0 per cent and don’t knock it yet.
It’s easy to knock this Beer, but its patented technology means no alcohol is brewed at all in the process.
Now it gets a lot of snobby comments, and I think it because it’s the equivalent of your cheap lager down the pub.
But sometimes, you want them.
I order a case online, and it’s great if I want to pop open a can midweek.
It is a light lager style beer, and as long as you don’t have a severe critique beer head-on, this alcohol-free lager works well.
People often justify it as their midweek choice, like its credibility issue. But it’s alcohol-free, for goodness’ sake.
For a good quality beer, it is reasonably priced. It’s undoubtedly very drinkable, and the taste is very fresh.
Bottle over can every time but don’t knock it till you have tried it.
Please make sure they are cold!
Personally, this is an excellent cost-effective alcohol-free lager.
Bavaria 0.0% Original has a unique beer character, and yes, it got a hop-like and malt scent, good body.
The sweet flavours seem to come through more in the bottle.
These are from the sugars in the barley/malt that balance the bitter tones of the Beer.
I can sometimes have an issue with beer or lager that are too bitter in style. So, this is spot on!
I love their patented technology to ensure no alcohol is ever formed throughout the brewing procedure, making Bavaria 0.0% an actual alcohol-free beer.
And of course, I like that!
Many people think this Bavaria Alcohol-Free Beer is German.
On the contrary, it is a Dutch premium imported lager made by a famous brewing family called the Swinkels.
They have been at it since 1719, so I guess they know what they are doing!
Birra Moretti Alcohol-Free – The Italian Hidden Gem
If you are after a change, this is a good one to choose, and it often goes under the radar.
It is not evident that it’s alcohol-free.
Birra Moretti Zero’s well-balanced flavour makes it the perfect accompaniment to that cheeky bowl of pasta.
It is also great to drink on its own, buy four bottles and share and keep them to yourself for a cheeky night in.
For some reason, Italian alcohol-free beer has a hard time competing with German brands, but I think that is harsh.
Birra Moretti’s has a Master Brewers brewer at the helm and has quite a history in Italy.
In this Beer, they have created an alcohol-free lager feel which is gentle, smooth and aromatic.
The smell jumps out at you when you open the bottle and not in the wrong way.
Have it cold, and the bottles can be a bit awkward to hold.
But, at least I know it’s alcohol-free, and I am sure what I am drinking.
Peroni Libera – An Italian Dream Boat
When you ask for this, no one has a clue, and you are often given the alcohol-version of the brand.
But keep your mind focused on that goal, and you will get there.
They are one of the brands that have not gone through the entire 0.0% branding route.
It is a great drink, extensive in flavours and alcohol-free.
Peroni Libera 0.0% delivers a crisp and rejuvenating taste with a fragile fruity scent.
Again like some of the other zero beer brands, use a unique production method.
So it’s all down to the pressure on the yeast, so it does not create any alcohol.
Well, I was impressed.
It is quite a hoppy beer, but you can’t doubt the smooth finish.
It’s a great brand if slightly unclear to the consumer, but there is no doubt this is a light-bodied drinking non-alcohol drink, especially good for post-work drinks.
No one can tell you are not drinking alcohol, and so it takes the pressure off.
It is also only 73 calories per 330ml bottle.
Heineken 0.0 or Heineken Zero – The Dependable
Or should that be Heineken Alcohol-Free?
It’s probably the default in many bars now if they have any alcohol-free options at all.
Most bars don’t, or you get told it is alcohol-free when it is just low alcohol.
Bar owners think because they have this brand, all the alcohol-free drinkers are sorted and happy.
This Alcohol-Free Beer does have a trace according to the label, so less than 0.05%.
This is one of the beer brands that prides itself on its natural flavourings.
It is acceptable to criticise Heineken, but at the end of the day, this was one of the early champions in this field, and they do spend vast amounts of money promoting alcohol-free.
Could you read my Review Here?
I could taste it as a natural fresh drink with refreshing fruity notes and a soft malty body – perfectly stabilised with just 69 calories.
There is one lightly irritating point, and it’s a bit gassy for Beer.
So I would go for some of the other brands here first based on the trace of alcohol and its carbonation level.
Of course, we know it has been around since 1873, so they know what they are doing.
It’s undoubtedly a good bet.
Bud Zero – You Want To Love It as the Best Alcohol-Free Lager
This is a funny one as I think I like it, but I am never sure.
However, what a great brand. Yep, Bud the all American Lager.
And of course, now it’s the all American alcohol-free bud zero and its great brand.
It has an ABV, so alcohol by volume of 0 per cent and comes from St Louis, which is, of course, in the United States of America.
Now you are unsure about the general taste of Budweiser; you soon relax into this alcohol-free Beer. It is a Light-bodied alcohol-free lager, and the headline is clean, crisp, dry.
Now I also go on on the blog about alcohol-free drinks not being diet drinks.
And let’s be clear they are not at all.
Although at this point, let me shout out to Seedlip Gin and Fever-Tree Light Tonic Water.
Now that is a diet drink!
Budweiser Zero has no sugar and only 46 calories per can, which seals the deal for me.
So if you like Budweiser, you will love this, and if you are like me and sit in the middle, you will be won over.
I think it’s underrated as an option in the alcohol-lager range.
It tastes very similar as it is brewed with premium Budweiser barley, hop and malt through the same expert beechwood ageing strategy that provides the Budweiser’s smoothness and revolutionary 4x-cold-filtration process.
So in effect, a bud without the alcohol and a brand was first introduced by Adolphus Busch in 1876.
The branding is excellent, and the zero abv is clear, so it gets a thumbs up for me.
Cobra Zero – Perfect with your curry
Cobra Zero is made using only the finest quality active ingredients for a delicate, malty taste.
Fine carbonation is 0% ABV, and luckily my local curry house has it in droves.
They also don’t look at me funny for ordering it.
Although don’t make the mistake of thinking this brand is only good with Indian Food. It is a great light beer drink.
You won’t see it in many bars and restaurants although some supermarkets have started to stock it.
When I gave up drinking, I wondered whether my Friday curry would be the same.
Well, it is even better, a beer I love and no hangover either. It’s even won awards. I can’t speak more highly of it.
San Miguel Zero – My Spanish Dream
I do love this brand as I love Spain.
And they have now gone all BLUE, and that’s a good thing as we know what we are drinking.
San Miguel 0,0% is a pilsner designed alcohol lager imported from Spain. It is made with common beer ingredients, but the mashing specifications are adapted to give less fermentable sugars, limiting alcohol manufacturing.
San Miguel 0,0% alcohol-free lager beer is bright gold, has natural, floral, grain fragrances, and hoppy rough flavours with a modest sweet taste.
Serve cooled at 2-4 ° C, in bottles or poured into a San Miguel chalice, of which the distinct form is created to create and preserve a perfect head and keep the distinctive aroma.
San Miguel 0,0% is made for Tapas. That said, it is also appropriate for vegans and also vegetarians.
This is a big trend, and you can read about non-alcoholic vegan wine here.
Free Damm – Barcelona Here I Come
They are based in gorgeous Barcelona in Spain.
Do you see a Spanish Trend here?
Plus, Barcelona is a fantastic city.
Damm brewery is a leading name in Spanish Beer and well-loved around the globe—founded in 1876 by August Kuentzmann Damm.
You can either get in the UK or not. It seems to appear then disappear.
Free Damm is their great alcohol-free lager beer, made utilising the same ingredients as their typical Beer to guarantee the same fantastic alcohol-free consumption experience.
The alcohol is then gotten rid of with a sophisticated vacuum cleaner purification strategy until the alcohol volume is 0%.
Now the criticism of some people in the beer industry, generally those that drink alcohol, say that vacuum distillation can eliminate genuine beer taste.
It is alcohol-free Beer, not the real alcohol stuff.
The team at Estrella have found a way to keep these aromatic elements that we love and maintain that delicious flavour.
Again this is becoming a real alcohol-free beer trend!
Free Damm looks an attractive amber colour, and the flavour flows well.
Gluten-free and alcohol-free, so there is not much not to like
Is the best alcohol-free lagers low-calorie?
The short answer to this is a definite ‘yes.
Many of the calories that originate from Beer are from the alcohol itself.
It’s why Beer does not give you a beer belly. It’s all the alcohol, calories and sugar.
So the good news!
By removing the alcohol, you also end up getting rid of a high proportion of the calories.
But people think it is a diet drink for some reason. Stop the Press. It is not!
Let’s take my diet cola with zero calories. Well, any of the Beer on that list is not going to come anywhere near that.
And to be fair, Bud Zero give it a good go
So it is all about the balanced approach.
If you still want the taste of Beer yet want to reduce your calorie consumption, they are a fantastic choice.
Is the best alcohol-free Lager terrible for you?
If you are drinking over the limit, which is in the UK is 14 units, then of course not. But it’s like anything too much of a good thing.
The one confusing thing is what is one unit of alcohol when it comes to your drink.
This confuses most people, but as a guideline, say one unit is one standard alcoholic drink.
So half a lager or a small glass of wine is one unit more or less.
People often think it’s a large beer or a large wine.
Trust me; it isn’t.
It is why those wine promotions do a lot of harm.
With alcohol-free, I can think of a lot of worse things to drink.
Alcohol-free lager also has a lot of natural ingredients and vitamins included.
So if you are off your face every time on alcoholic Beer, why would alcohol-free Beer be wrong for you?
However, I hear people say it all the time.
What they mean is that if it is a trigger for you to drink lots of alcohol, of course, don’t go near it, and that is the same for alcoholic drinks as well.
Is the best alcohol-free lager alcohol-free?
Well, it isn’t.
So I will give you that.
Giving up alcohol only to find out it could be alcoholic, albeit naturally like in your banana bit of a shock.
But fermentation is natural, and so many non-alcoholic beers and lagers that use specific processes will have a so-called trace of alcohol.
But it does take some navigating, and the good news is the labelling is probably of a high standard.
The website drink aware can help us out but check with the label and a medical professional if you have concerns.
- It is the reason I keep to 0.0 per cent abv.
- Alcohol-free, beers must include less than 0.05% alcohol by quantity (ABV).
- De-alcoholised beers no more than 0.5%
- Low-alcohol’ beers under 1.2%
I hope that helps.
Summary and Alcohol-Free
Yes, you may be still feeling a freak for asking for an alcohol-free lager and not just because it’s alcohol-free.
Just ignore the naysayers as you are in good company from Heinekin to Bud.
Plus, there are many other great beers like Free Star, challenging what we think of as the alcohol-free drinks market.
Just try them out as we need choice, and it’s the only way to keep them.
I would love your view on the best alcohol-free lager 2021, so leave them below.