Non-alcoholic beer has exploded in popularity in recent years, as people become more health-conscious and companies get better at making great-tasting alcohol-free beer. In the first half of 2021, sales of non-alcoholic beer increased by almost 60%. What was once a niche category on a tiny shelf in the supermarkets is now a massive market with a pretty overwhelming amount of options. We've made it our mission to try as many of these non-alcoholic beers as we can so we can finally decide what the best beer in this category is. Here are our picks:
Days Brewing Co. 0.0% lager and pale ale
San Miguel 0.0%
Brewdog Nanny State 0.5%
Brewdog Punk AF
Hop and Hemp alcohol-free
Beavertown Lazer Crush IPA
Stella Artois alcohol-free
Tiny Rebel Clwb Tropica Non-Alc
Innis & Gun 0%
Birra Moretti Zero
Sainte Etienne 0% Premium Lager from Aldi
Days Lager and Pale Ale 0.0% alcohol - Best overall
We think that the overall winner for best taste and closest to a great normal beer is the beer we tried from Days Brewing Co. Their lager was great and wouldn't feel out of place on the tap of any pub, but the Pale Ale really knocked our socks off. We also love the branding and love that the brand gives 2% of their profits to mental health charities.
You can explore the Days Brewing Co. website here - daysbrewing.com
San Miguel 0.0% - best for a taste of the real thing
For many people, the main thing they're looking for is a taste of the real thing, even if the real thing isn't that special to begin with. That's exactly how we feel about the San Miguel 0% alcohol beer - it tastes pretty much like real San Miguel beer, but we're not the biggest fan of that beer in the first place. This won't be one for any craft beer hipsters, but for anyone who simply wants something that tastes like a generic beer, this is a great chocie.
Brewdog Nanny State 0.5% - best for a non-alcoholic beer with an interesting taste
If you want your non-alcoholic beer to taste a bit better than a standard lager, then Nanny State from Brewdog is probably more up your street. It's by no means a taste sensation, but it is much more interesting than most of the non-alcoholic beers that we tried.
Heineken 0% - best to drink all night
If you're heading on a night out but want to stay alcohol-free, you need a non-alcoholic beer that you can drink all night. We'd probably give that award to the 0% alcohol beer from Heineken, because it tastes smooth and we managed to drink a six-pack of these cans very easily.
Brewdog Punk AF
The Punk IPA beer from Brewdog is already one of the best and most popular beers you'll find in most pubs across the UK, but what's even more impressive is that Brewdog managed to make a non-alcoholic version of this beer which tastes very very similar. For us, this is probably the best non-alcoholic beer we tried and the one that we'd be most likely to crack open at the weekend (or on a Monday afternoon, why not).
Hop and Hemp - best for an added health boost with your beer
This is perhaps a slightly controversial inclusion but we're sticking by it. The non-alcoholic beer from Hop & Hemp is listed as 0.5% and each bottle contains CBD (8mg). They do an IPA and a lager, both of which we loved the taste of.
Budweiser Zero - best for a zero-sugar beer
Despite having zero alcohol in them, some non-alcoholic beers actually have quite high levels of sugar. Sometimes that his been added to enhance the taste, and sometimes this is just naturally ocurring. What we love about Budweiser Zero is that it is totally sugar free but still tastes pretty good.
Lucky Saint - best for a craft beer experience
We have to admit, it was an absolute joy to drink the non-alcoholic beer from Lucky Saint. Not only did it taste great, but it also felt great - the bottle design is classy, and we just enjoyed the experience of it. Now, despite how pretentious that might sound, we think these things matter (particularly when you've got a case of proper beer in the fridge that you're trying desperately to avoid).
Get your own case here - luckysaint.co
Beavertown Brewery Lazer Crush - best for a non-alcoholic IPA
Beavertown makes great beers, and we're big fans of their standard range. But we also really enjoyed their alcohol-free Lazer Crush IPA. We managed to pick up a case at a cost of about £1 per can which was really reasonable. The flavour is described as peach and mango, which is an accurate description. However, it still has the distinct taste of beer that every good non-alcoholic alternative should have.
You can pick up a case here - beavertownbrewery.co.uk
Stella Artois alcohol-free - best for a surprisingly good pour
This alcohol-free Stella Artois really surprised us - we're not even massive fans of normal Stella Artois beer, so we were shocked at how much we enjoyed this. Firstly, it was a great pour. The beer had a lovely frothy head and it had the sort of fizz you'd expect from a normal lager. Secondly, the taste was very similar to a normal Stella, and didn't have the sweetness that some of the other non-alcoholic beers we've tried tend to have (and that's a positive for us). Overall, very pleasantly surprised with this one.
You can buy the alcohol-free Stella Artois from Sainsbury's for less than £1 pound per bottle here - sainsburys.co.uk
Tiny Rebel Clwb Tropica Non-Alc - best for a party in your mouth
This is a non-alcoholic IPA from Tiny Rebel, a beer brand based in Newport, South Wales. Not only is their branding really exciting, but so are their flavour combinations, and this Tiny Rebel Clwb Tropica is no exception. Flavours that you'll pick up include mangoes, peaches, pineapples and passionfruit - a nice mix!
You can grab yourself a can of this IPA here - tinyrebel.co.uk
Clausthaler non-alcoholic beer - best for a perfected process
The team at Clausthaler have been perfecting their non-alcoholic recipes for more than 20 years. They used craft beer methods and add special savoury hops after fermentation in a process called dry-hopping. This helps to recreate the bitter characteristics of a normal beer. It's this process and the mastery within the team that really sets this apart in the alcohol-free beer sector.
You can buy a bottle from here - drydrinker.com
Guinness 0.0 - best for an iconic stout without the alcohol
We'd put this non-alcohol option as our first choice if Guinness wasn't such a love/hate beer. We happen to love it, and we think the Guinness 0.0 is absolutely brilliant. It has the iconic black look and the creamy head, and it tastes alcoholic. It's probably the best we've tried in terms of similarity to the real thing. We also wrote a post about how good this Guinness is for you.
Getting your hands on this can be hard (we visited a few shops and found only empty aisles), but we eventually got some from Tesco. You might be best buying it online, which you can do here - tesco.com
Innis and Gunn 0% - best for a non-alcoholic take on a Scottish favourite
If you like the golden oat-y taste of Innis & Gunn lager from Scotland, then you should definitely give their 0% alcohol lager a shot. The non-alcoholic version of their great lager retains the citrus taste of the normal version and is very drinkable.
Birra Moretti Zero - best for an Italian favourite without alcohol
We recently had a Birra Moretti Zero at the pub and we have to say, it's one of the best we tried! The taste was great and it still had a bit of that alcoholic taste like a normal beer. Definitely one of our favourites in this list.
Brooklyn Special Effects Alcohol-Free Lager
Brooklyn Lager is a well-known brand here in the UK, and we're not surprised to see them launching a non-alcoholic version of their popular lager. What did surprise us was how great it tasted - this seriously tastes like a craft beer, and every sip ends with the bitter taste you'd expect from a real beer. We highly recommend you check this one out.
Sainte Etienne 0% Premium Lager
The Sainte Etienne 0% Premium Lager from Aldi is a great low-cost option and a nice non-alcoholic version of the main Aldi own-brand beer. This costs less than £1 per bottle which is seriously cheap for 500ml, but the taste is actually pretty good - definitely better than some of the more expensive non-alcoholic beers we've tried recently.
Beck's Blue alcohol-free
Definitely not the sexiest choice in this list, but certainly one of the safest - you'll be able to find Beck's Blue in most places, and it'll usually be pretty cheap. Beck's gets a bad rap but we're actually pretty fond of this beer, especially given how cheap it is (usually under £2 for a bottle even in pubs). Definitely a safe bet when you're looking for a non-nonsense alcohol-free beer.