What Does Non Alcoholic Beer Taste Like?
Both microbrewers and big-box beer producers have challenged stereotypes of non alcoholic beer and have helped the industry gain its own identity as a beer for beer lovers.
Little more than five years ago, non alcoholic beer was considered to be subpar beer. It was often viewed as either watered down and flavorless beer, or as a drink that tasted like carbonated oatmeal water.
Before 2015, few people drank non alcoholic beer for its flavor. People drank it because they wanted something non alcoholic that reminded them of beer. But that all started to change when more brewers started adding non alcoholic beer to their lineup.
As the market grew, brewmasters explored different ways to craft non alcoholic beer. They invested in better technology for removing alcohol, and suddenly non alcoholic and low alcohol (nolo) beers started tasting better. Customers were no longer confined to a handful of skunky, watered-down brews when they wanted a non alcoholic beer. They could choose between a variety of styles and flavors.
Exploring the Taste of Non Alcoholic Beer
It’s difficult to answer the question, “what does non alcoholic beer taste like?”
Like we said, non alcoholic beer brands of yesteryear had a similar taste. They were either bland or they tasted like carbonated grain water.
But those days are long gone. The non alcoholic beer market has expanded by leaps and bounds. The industry is predicted to generate $29 billion in market revenue by 2026, and is showing no signs of slowing down.
If you’re wondering what the industry’s market share has to do with what non alcoholic beer tastes like, the answer is simple. It has everything to do with it. because as the industry continues to grow, we can expect to see a greater variety of non alcoholic beers stocked on shelves around the world.
These days, non alcoholic beer comes in a variety of flavors and styles. You can buy non alcoholic pilsners, stouts, IPAs—the possibilities are endless. There’s a non alcoholic beer option for nearly every type of beer on the market.
How do they get non alcoholic beer to taste like beer?
Non alcoholic beer follows the same brewing process as regular beer, which means they both use the same ingredients that contribute to a beer’s signature flavor and aroma. But many non alcoholic beers lose some of their flavor in the dealcoholizing process. Until a few years ago, most non alcoholic beers were dealcoholized through two common methods
- Diluting concentrated batches of beer with water
- Boiling the beer to burn off the alcohol
These two methods were popular because they were cheap, easy, and effective. However, both methods had a tradeoff––they would change the beer’s flavor and body. Once non alcoholic beers started to become a popular alternative to traditional beer, breweries started exploring different methods for removing alcohol. They invested in better dealcoholizing technology that allowed them to remove alcohol without compromising the beer’s taste and body. This resulted in better tasting non alcoholic beer that doesn’t only match its alcoholic counterparts––in some cases, it rivals them.
The industry has completely changed with many people choosing non alcoholic beer for its flavor.
Non Alcoholic Beer Is a Delicious Alternative to Regular Beer
If you last drank a non alcoholic beer in the 2000s, you’re probably surprised to learn that people around the world are flocking to non alcoholic beer. But the industry has completely changed since then, with many people choosing non alcoholic beer for its flavor.
There are several factors behind this improvement, which we’ve covered in this article:
- Greater demand for non alcoholic beer
- Alternative dealcoholizing methods
- Eagerness to explore non alcoholic variants of different beer styles
But there’s another factor that contributed to what non alcoholic beer tastes like that’s often overlooked––its actual alcohol content (or lack thereof).
At seven calories per gram, alcohol is loaded with calories. Alcohol makes up 60-95 of the caloric value of many of the popular beers and light beers.
Non alcoholic beers, on the other hand, tend to have between 5-10 calories from alcohol due to their low alcohol content. This gives brewers the opportunity to add more flavor to their non alcoholic brews without turning the beer into a high-calorie drink. For people watching their daily calorie intake, this means you can drink a delicious non alcoholic beer without making it part of your cheat meal.
If you love the taste of beer but don’t want the calories and the intoxication that comes from drinking a few brews, non alcoholic beer is a great alternative.
Does Non Alcoholic Beer Taste the Same as Beer?
Whether non alcoholic beer tastes the same as alcoholic beer depends on who’s answering the question. Some people swear that Heineken 0.0 tastes exactly like a classic Heineken, while others claim there’s a subtle difference in flavor.
While it’s debatable whether non alcoholic versions taste exactly the same as their alcoholic twin, one thing’s for sure––non alcoholic beer does capture the essence of a good beer. If you love the taste of beer but don’t want the calories and the intoxication that comes from drinking a few brews, non alcoholic beer is a great alternative. That way, you can enjoy the flavor of a good beer without any of the negative effects.
One of the reasons behind the non alcoholic beer industry’s boom is Millennials and Gen Z. Both tend to drink less alcohol than other generations, and more than half of millennials surveyed consider themselves to be “mindful drinkers.”
What’s more, many of those who drink less do it for health reasons, not because they don’t like the taste of beer. As such, there was a greater demand for non alcoholic beers, prompting established breweries and microbreweries to step in. That’s why you can find great non alcoholic beer from a wide range of brands, like:
- Athletic Brewing Co.
- WellBeing and more
It’s safe to say that the non alcoholic trend isn’t going anywhere in the near future. Even bars have been serving up non alcoholic beer for the past couple of years. So, you can expect to find an ever greater range of non alcoholic beer styles and flavors in the future.
Now that you know what non alcoholic beer tastes like, try some for yourself. Check out our partners at nanobar, who have a wide selection of beers to choose from or read our article on where to buy non alcoholic beer.