Keep your New Year’s resolutions with these non-alcoholic beers

There’s plenty of delicious non-alcoholic beers available for those who want their beers without the booze. Rob Mangelsdorf photo

It’s a new year, and many of us are turning over a new leaf and cutting down on our alcohol consumption, whether it’s to support our mental and/or physical health, or just to give our wallets a break.

I’m not one of them, mind you. But I do drink a lot of non-alcoholic beer, because here’s the thing: you don’t need to be off the sauce to enjoy non-alcoholic beer. There’s no requirement that it’s only for teetotallers or those in recovery.

That may have been the case in the past, but these days, there are alcohol-free beers that are actually, legitimately delicious.

For me, I’m responsible for two tiny humans and picking them up from school in my car with a healthy buzz on is something both myself and society at large would prefer that I didn’t do.

But I will happily crush non-alcoholic beers all damn day: with lunch, with breakfast, in the shower, on the toilet. There’s no bad time for a non-alcoholic beer. I mean, German athletes use it as a sports drink.

A few years ago, we took a look at what few non-alcoholic beers were on the market and I’m happy to report that there are WAY more options available now. Most notably, craft breweries are getting into the non-alcoholic game, and the results are pretty delicious.

So whether you’re on the wagon or you’re the designated driver tonight, here are some of our new favourites that offer delicious beer flavour without that pesky alcohol.


Coors Edge

This lager has body and some depth of malt character with subtle notes of biscuit and grain. A mild, grassy hop note rounds things out nicely. Clean, crisp, dry and refreshing, but with a hint of actual flavour, too. Which is nice.

Does it taste like beer? Yes!


Red Racer Street Legal Pilsner

Rumour has it that Central City Brewing bought some fancy machine from Europe to suck the alcohol out of their beer so they could manufacture marijuana beverages, but the Feds weren’t crazy about that idea, so non-alcoholic beer was Plan B. And what a Plan B it is, because this hop-forward pilsner is pretty damn delicious. Clean and crisp with notes of biscuit, citrus and pine. Light-bodied, but not overly so.

Does it taste like beer? Yes! Pretty good beer, actually.


Partake Brewing Pale

The first non-alcoholic craft beer on the market is available just about everywhere these days; from restaurants to grocery stores to even liquor stores. The Pale has some lovely hop character to it with notes of citrus and grapefruit, but not much in the way of malt character and a bit thin in terms of body. It’s very refreshing, but I don’t think you’ll be fooling anyone.

Does it taste like beer? Pretty much.


Sober Carpenter White

Montreal-based Sober Carpenter has a wide range of styles, and if they’re anything like this Belgian-style witbier, they’re all worth a try. They’ve managed to nail this fruity ale, with notes of orange, coriander and cereal. Nice colour and body. A great option if you’re looking for something other than your typical non-alcoholic lager.

Does it taste like beer? Yes!


One For The Road Brewing Saskaberry Blonde Ale

This Calgary-based brewery might have the most non-alcoholic options of any brewery in the world (I have absolutely nothing to back up that claim), with six different boozeless beers in its roster, currently. The Saskaberry Blonde Ale is… interesting. I’m not sure if LaCroix has a blackberry flavour, but if it did, this “beer” would be a dead ringer. Very thin, no discernable malt or hop character. I guess it’s not bad, if you’re feeling nostalgic for Flintstone’s Chewable Vitamins.

Does it taste like beer? Not really, no.


Phillips iOTA Pilsner

Victoria’s Phillip Brewing has jumped into the non-alcoholic beer scene in a big way, with a Pilsner and Hazy IPA released just this past week, and more varieties likely to come, I’ve been told. The Pilsner tastes very much like a pilsner, as opposed to some of the more non-descript “lagers” crowding grocery store shelves. There’s malty notes of grain and biscuit supported by a balanced, earthy hop character and bit of body, too. Very refreshing and totally crushable.

Does it taste like beer? Hells yes!


Heineken 0.0

Unlike regular North American Heineken, the 0.0 doesn’t taste like a cross between Seth Rogen’s ashtray and skunk’s asshole. It’s actually super clean! There’s a nice grainy malt note here supported by an earthy, grassy (not that kind of grass) hop note. Honestly, I prefer it to regular Heineken.

Does it taste like beer? Absolutely.


BSA Sour Framboise

BSA stands for Bière Sans Alcool, which means “non-alcoholic beer” in French, and this Montreal-based brewery’s bold, minimalist can designs are hard to miss. And you should definitely not miss them, because they are pretty damn delicious. The Raspberry Sour has notes of raspberry (duh), rhubarb, sweet cherry, wheat, with a balanced acidity and a lovely dry, effervescent finish. Pro tip: after you get home from picking up the kids, add a little vodka to this one.

Does it taste like beer? Yes! Pretty good beer, actually.


Erdinger Alkoholfrei

The Germans know what’s up. Germany drinks more non-alcoholic beer than anywhere in the world and Erdinger is my personal favourite of the toned-down Teutonic tipples available here. This wheat beer has some legit flavour, with malty notes of bread, caramel, fruit and spice, with a clean, dry finish to keep you coming back for more. Which isn’t an issue, since, you know, there’s no alcohol in it. It’s also fortified with B vitamins and is “isotonic” (whatever that means), so it might actually be good for you.

Does it taste like beer? Absolutely!

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