Sales of Heineken 0.0 grew 8.3 per cent last year. Source: The Times

Sober Truth: 8 of the Best Low and No-alcohol Beers

Non-alcoholic beverages are booming. A bold statement you may not believe at first read. However, the opening of Australia’s first dedicated non-alcoholic bar in Melbourne, the Brunswick Aces Distillery is a sober sign the market is in the middle of a shakeup. And the launch of Perth’s first online booze-free bottle shop – another indication of the growing trend.

Alcohol-free beer is now far more than an afterthought for big brewing companies and independent craft beer producers. Non-alcoholic craft beer pioneers are blessing the lips of drinkers with alternatives to full strength beer that are now worth attention. Those seeking the same fine taste without the wobbling effects and hated hangover can now enjoy a higher quality product.

While everyone has their own reasons for wanting to reduce their alcohol consumption, it’s not simply about being the designated driver anymore. In the midst of the pandemic, people seem to be pivoting towards pints that are healthier and have less long-term impact on their bodies. Let’s take a look at the alcohol-free furore and give you a few of the best non alcoholics beers to feed your curiosity.

Australia’s first non-alcoholic bar

The Brunswick Aces Distillery in Melbourne is Australia’s first dedicated non-alcoholic bar. The city’s no-alcohol cocktail lounge is run by the local distillery and booze-free gin producer Brunswick Aces. The 150-person venue is a neat spot for teetotallers and the sober curious or for when alcohol’s not part of your plan.

The inside of the bar offers an industrial baroque vibe with a luxury feel. Glance around and you’ll notice lots of fancy furniture, soft fabrics, walls filled with gilded frames and floral arrangements. The menu is as tempting as any alcoholic offering. Enjoy an extensive list of bespoke cocktails, premium beers and wines from around the world. Think non-alcoholic versions of your favourites like the Negroni, Espresso Martini, Tom Collins, and a Gin-and-tonic.

Perth’s first online booze-free bottle shop

The Free Spirit Drink Co, the brainchild of mother-of-two Sarah Rusbatch, launched in March providing no-alcohol-enthusiasts with a place to purchase their drinks. The idea was born from the Perth Sober Socials meet-up group and developed into a booming online business.

The website caters to all tastes, delivering a wide range of non-alcoholic beers, wines and spirits across Perth. Settling for sugary soft drinks or water is a thing of the past as Perth’s teetotallers are delighted by the diversity and the quality of the products.

On top of the launch of the no-alcohol bars and online shops – the two Australian liquor heavyweights; BWS and Dan Murphy are reporting the same growth in zero alcohol drinks. The sales of non-alcoholic beverages have more than doubled in the last year. They’re now stocking premium selections with a flavour focus and tastes to rival their alcoholic cousins.

Here’s a few of our favourite non alcoholic beers that offer all the flavour with none of the ABV.

Heineken 0.0% Non-Alcoholic Beer

International Dutch brewing company Heineken, launched their non-alcoholic beer offering in 2019 thanks to a surge in demand. It’s a popular pilsner with fans lauding the virtually indistinguishable taste from the full-ABV version. The archetypal lager, Heineken is easy-to-drink with a stronger, bitterer taste than most mass-produced lagers.

Heaps Normal

A full-flavoured XPA without the downsides, Heaps Normal is an Australian made independent craft AF beer. The non-alcoholic beer has everything a normal craft beer has, just minus the alcohol. Taste-wise, this Unfiltered XPA is a deliciously refreshing pale ale with balanced bitterness and a subtle malt sweetness with notes of tropical citrus.

Mornington Free Non-alcoholic Pale Ale

Straight from Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula Brewery, their first ever zero-alcohol beer is as fresh and approachable as the rest of their craft ales. The fruity pale ale gives you tastes of juicy passionfruit and citrus aromas, and drinks easily like a proper pale ale should.

Big Drop Brewing co.

Big Drop was one of the first to really take Australia’s non alcoholic beer market by storm. They introduced the concept of non-alcoholic craft ales to the masses. Big Drop’s success spans the country with their reinvention of three classic Australian brews; a lager, a pale ale and an IPA, all of which are non alcoholic and all pack big hop notes.

Sobah

West Burleigh’s Sobah brewing Co. is a purely Aboriginal-owned and led company, that use traditional bush tucker ingredients to make its non-alcoholic beers. Their craft beer not only tastes good but is breaking down the stigma of socialising sober. The range they offer is extensive; a stout, an ale, a lager, an IPA and even gluten free options are available for all types of beer drinkers.

Carlton Zero

Carlton, the nation’s biggest brewer launched its nonalcoholic beer in August 2018. The idea behind Carlton Zero is simple: provide beer drinkers with the same clean, crisp flavours of their alcoholic beers. This beer is a great alternative to one of Australia’s favourite classic draughts, Carlton Dry and it’s even been rated the best-tasting non-alcoholic beer of six tested.

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