I am always curious what our neighbors offer in terms of 0.0 choice and I don’t mean Alfred and Gladys next door. I mean different countries. My experience with Spain has been a fantastic one with no weird looks when ordering alcoholic free beers or options. In fact, it is part of their culture. Even at the airport it’s in the fridges so you go and just help yourself and pay at the counter. So with Belgium being one of my favorite destinations, what’s on offer?
Brussels not really the 0.0 abv haven
If you have never been to Brussels I’d give it a go with direct flights from the UK, Eurostar and an international airport. It’s very accessible. The politics is slightly complicated with Flemish and French as the languages spoke and it never seems the twain shall meet. Having said that I have found it friendly and the feeling, smells and the sights are unique I would say to many a European country. So before we dive into the choices here are some unusual facts I have discovered about my journeys there.
- More chocolate is sold in their airport than any other airport in the world. ( How cool is that?).
- The “Galleries St Hubert”, was opened in 1847 and it’s one the oldest in the world.
- There are more restaurants per mile than most cities, it really is amazing to see.
- They love their comic books and many of the walls have references but you need to look up not at your mobile phone.
- Fries are everywhere and they come with mayonnaise. I hate mayonnaise but love this for some reason. They even have a museum dedicated to yes fries.
- I got lost in the Atomium in Brussels. It’s like some kind of sci-fi thing but it’s really cool look it up.
So as you can see it is a pretty cool place with great hotels and the manneken pis which is dressed up and urinates beer. It’s actually really cool. So I love it but is it the place for 0.0 alcohol free beer?
Thanks to Jupiler 0.0 %
It’s not really known for its alcohol free options and why would it beer its muscles beers, fries and chocolate. However, the history is amazing and the Grand Place is stunning so don’t let that put you off. There is a savior in Jupiler 0.0 an alcohol free beer that comes in the famous smallish bottle. However, the brand has lots of beers that look very similar so you will need to be very specific which is easy because if you ask for a beer with no alcohol in Brussels the answer “we have one” however to be fair it is a good offering and is served certainly in specialist bars in the UK although I have not seen it go mainstream yet. In summary the beer can be a bit sweet and syrupy but certainly more drinkable than becks blue in my view and you can get some good deals online. If you are buying it when out and about make sure you have it very cold and although I always recommend drinking 0.0 beer out of a bottle with Jupiler 0.0 I suggest a very cold glass really makes a difference.
I am talking freezer if possible! The brand is properly known in craft beer bars. Certainly a good choice overall but if you are walking around Brussels I am afraid I found this to be your only option. However, if you know different please let me know by commenting below. This site is all about having choice so if you know of another 0.0 abv option please shout and tell the world
Then came Stella 0.0 Alcohol Free
So this is a new addition and to be honest I have never seen it out and about but my friend Ian who was brought up in Brussels sent me a photo of Stella 0.0 in his hand. He was very excited as Stella is definitely his drink of choice at the weekend. However, to be fair to him since I have gone alcohol free after my near death experience and was told alcohol is a no go area he is always on the lookout. I remember my first visit to Brussels with him and we went to the Grand Place and Stella Artois was flowing and bizarrely its tastes different over there after all it was famously brewed and created in Belgium.
Everything to the glasses and the chilling of the beer was perfect sitting overlooking the square with that in your hand is rather special – a great people watching spot. You could feel history all around like this old photo of the view. So the Stella 0.0 is actually a great addition and comes in a nicely shaped bottle with all the taste but none of the alcohol, it seems under the radar at the moment so hopefully it will become a bit more prominent.
So two options on the table
The two options for a 0.0 abv choices are Jupiler 0.0 and Stella 0.0 both branded zero alcohol so if you are planning a trip to the city that is Brussels best be prepared for limited choice. However, as a city for food options and smells, noises and people there could not be a better choice. From the fries to the chocolate it is a wonderful array of food desires and although the alcohol free options appear limited there is plenty to keep us occupied. In terms of online both can be bought and delivered to your home so if you are a fan of Belgium Beer so won’t go thirsty.
Countries run at different paces.
What I am finding is that different countries run at different paces when it comes to alcohol free choices and it seems driven by demand and culture. However, if you are part of increasing the demand you have to be part of that and ask for it and celebrate it where it’s available. There are two things you can easily do:
- Write a review on trip adviser or some other site and mention it specifically
- Where they do supply it, say thank you to them and explain why it’s important to you.
- Walk the talk – so if they sell it and serve it, buy it, it’s simple.