The Best Non-Alcoholic Beer: Our Favorite Brews to Drink Right Now
The percentage of Americans who don't drink alcohol has been steadily rising for over a decade. Suddenly there's an entire cottage industry catering to the non-alcoholic movement. From the diverse array of zero-proof spirits and non-alcoholic wines on offer at high-end restaurants, to entire recipe books devoted to "mocktails," alcohol-free options are seemingly everywhere. For beer lovers, however, it's a bit more complicated. If you're a beer fan looking to leave alcohol behind—while sacrificing nothing to flavor—your choices for non-alcoholic beer have been frustratingly limited.
It's not that beer makers have been willfully ignoring the demand. It's more about the practical challenge of removing alcohol from a fermented product while keeping taste in-tact. A slew of innovative brewers are starting to find better ways through science, however, to make non-alcoholic beer. And, it turns out, this technological progress is quite pleasing to the palate. Let us prove it to you.
One of our favorites, the Blonde Ale from Partake Brewing offers a crisp, malt-forward beer that you won't feel guilty about enjoying at 15 calories a can.
Check out our list of the best non-alcoholic beers currently on shelves and you can enjoy all of the flavor with none of the ABV.
Partake Brewing, Blonde Ale
This light, American-style ale pours into the glass with a bright, crisp effervescence. It offers toasted brioche to the nose and a gentle mingling of banana fruit and hop bitterness on the tongue. There's certainly a pronounced approachability to the liquid, but many will find its most endearing characteristic to be the calorie count: at just 15 per 12 oz. can, it is among the least-caloric non-alcoholic beers on the market today. Shoppers appreciate that this ale is full-bodied enough to pass for a standard version. The balance of flavor and drinkability of this near beer will become a staple in your fridge and cooler.
Buy it: Partake Brewing Non-Alcoholic Blonde Ale, 6-pack, $10 at totalwine.com
Brewdog, Hazy AF
For all you hazebros out there, Brewdog presents a non-alcoholic take on a New England IPA, exhibiting all sorts of tropical fruit goodness from nose to finish. It's birthed at the company's Columbus, Ohio facility using a micro-fermentation process, which feeds the yeast exactly to the point of alcohol creation—cutting them off before they can carry it further than .5% ABV. Clever science results in a can of orange juice-hued beer that's equal parts crave-able and crushable. And like many of the offerings on this list, you can order it directly to your home off of Amazon.
Buy it: BrewDog 12-Pack of Hazy AF, 12-pack, $29 at amazon.com
This sparkling "malt and hops beverage" uses proprietary technology developed in Japan to remove everything from alcohol to calories—but not the flavor. There's a piney bouquet in the aroma and a subdued bitterness to the finish. Overall, it drinks like a traditional "light beer." So the fact that it contains neither alcohol nor calories is quite the head-scratcher, indeed.
Buy it: Suntory All-Free Non-Alcoholic Beer, 4-pack, $10 at totalwine.com
Athletic, Run Wild IPA
This hop-head crowdpleaser incorporates no less than five varieties of the famed bittering bud, all soured from the Pacific Northwest. More discerning palates might suss out the oats and wheat used to make it, in addition to more traditional brewer's malt. Pouring slightly hazy into the glass, it's the result of a production technique that creates .5% ABV during fermentation, as opposed to removing alcohol from an already standard-strength beer. The specialized technique works wonders in retaining flavor.
Buy it: Athletic Non-Alcoholic Run Wild IPA, 12-pack, $11 at totalwine.com
Deschutes Brewery, Non-Alcoholic Irish Style Stout
A zero-proof spin on the Bend, Oregon brewery's award-winning Black Butte Porter, this one's heavy on coffee and cacao while still preserving a dryness to the sip. In fact, the mouthfeel is maybe the most pleasing part of the entire experience. To capture that magic, Deschutes partnered with Sustainable Beverage Technologies, founders of the patented BrewVo process. It carefully removes alcohol content while safeguarding the underlying flavors and textures of the liquid.
Brooklyn Brewery, Special Effects Hoppy Amber
Fresh and zesty, this amber ale out of Williamsburg is as hip as its neighboring residents. It surrenders a measured dose of grapefruit bitterness and cereal maltiness and it goes down in a crisp finish. Living up to its name inside and out, it comes packaged in cans covered in an optical illusion.
Buy it: Brooklyn Special Effects NA Hoppy Amber, 6-pack, $11 at totalwine.com
Rightside Brewing, Citrus Wheat
This Georgia-based brand launched after founder Emree Woods was dismayed by a lack of options during her pregnancy. She took matters into her own hands, bringing to market a Citrus Wheat that drinks somewhat akin to a traditional Belgian Wit. It holds back some of those heavy clove and banana notes, supplanting them with citrus tang. Ultimately you're left with a refreshingly smooth sipping experience from start to finish.
Buy it: Citrus Wheat Nonalcoholic, 6-pack, $14.49 at totalwine.com
Dark beer fans rejoice: this Colorado craft outfit has made the N/A space safe for stout. The 45-calorie offering has the look and mouthfeel of its fully-alcoholic counterparts. On the tongue there's dark chocolate and roasted coffee riding a big, bold body. You might even detect a touch of nuttiness here, a product of authentic abbey malt used during fermentation.
Buy it: Grüvi Non-Alcoholic Stout, 4-pack, $8 at totalwine.com
Two Roots Brewing Co., Enough Said Helles Lager
Brewed in the style of a German-style lager, this crisp "near beer" took home gold at the 2019 Great American Beer Festival. It's built upon the 1-2 punch of Old World suds standbys: Pilsner malt and Hallertau Hops. Golden in color and only slightly bitter in the shortened finish, it's comforting—and instantly familiar—to any aficionados of classic German beer.
Buy it: Two Roots N/A Enough Said Lager, $12 at totalwine.com
Woodland Farms Brewery, Ruby Non-Alcoholic Sour
Even sour beer enthusiasts are finding a home in the NA movement these days. Woodland Farms out of Maine is making sure of that. The five-year-old craft operation out of Kittery removes the ABV from its popular Ruby Slippers recipe to come away with a tart wheat ale brewed with real raspberries. It holds a pleasant bubbly-ness, drinking not too dissimilarly from your common kombucha.