Non-alcoholic beer options for the holidays

Updated: Dec 2, 2021

A while ago, I completely stopped drinking. I was someone who genuinely enjoyed the flavor of beer though. I tried some of the non-alcoholic beers that were available at the time, like O'Douls, but they were nothing like the craft beers I enjoy. I decided to remedy the problem by learning how to brew my own beer and take out the alcohol. While the recipes were delicious, the process was long and time-intensive. Plus, I didn't always remove as much alcohol as I thought and a couple of times, I ended up with a pretty strong buzz when I had a few glasses.


A couple of years passed, and I started seeing some craft NA options on shelves. The first one I saw was a dry-hopped Clausthauler. It actually had extra hops and was much closer in flavor to the NA beer I'd been brewing at home. I stuck with it for some time, but then more and more options started appearing. Before I knew it, there were at least six or seven really tasty styles of NA beer to choose from.


If you're looking for something to drink this holiday season that doesn't leave you with regrets, I recommend trying some of the following NA beers. I'm going to list them in the order of my personal preference, which is a less sweet, more balanced beer. Some of them can be ordered online and all of the ones I'm listing are stocked at the Total Wine outlets in Minneapolis and Saint Paul.


Athletic Brewing

https://athleticbrewing.com/



Brewed in Connecticut, these beers are my favorite by far. I don't know what their brewing process is, but the beer quality is way ahead of the rest of the pack. I've only tried two of the five offerings they currently have, since the new ones are always sold out. Athletic seems to struggle with keeping up with demand, but I also imagine they have a bigger demand to keep up with.


Styles of non-alcoholic beer offered by Athletic (as of 12/8/2019)

- Run Wild IPA

- Upside Dawn Golden

- Free Way Double Hop IPA

- Stump Jump Autumn Brown

- All Out Extra Dark


Wellbeing Brewing

https://wellbeingbrewing.com/



Wellbeing Brewing based in St. Louis also has high-quality non-alcoholic beer offerings. They are still just behind Athletic Brewing, if only barely. I've tried all of their beers which are regularly in-stock at Total Wines in the Twin Cities.


Styles of non-alcoholic beer offered by Wellbeing (as of 12/8/2019)

- Heavenly Body Golden Wheat

- Hellraiser Dark Amber

- Intrepid Traveler Coffee Cream Stout

- Victory Wheat (with electrolytes)


Bravus Brewing

https://www.bravus.com/



California-based Bravus says they are the first NA brewery in North America. While I can't dispute this, they aren't in my opinion, as far along as Athletic or Wellbeing. The beers have a lot of flavor, but are on the malty, sweet side. There is also a unique aroma to their beers that may be distracting. That being said, I have to highly recommend purchasing the Gose, a raspberry ale brewed just for the holidays! It's a perfect option for being festive without the guilt.


Styles of non-alcoholic beer offered by Athletic (as of 12/8/2019)

- India Pale Ale

- Oatmeal Stout

- Amber

- Gose


Conclusion

While there are many other NA breweries out there right now, these are the three that I can recommend the most. I hope you can find at least one NA beer on this list that can help you to socialize and enjoy the holidays while still staying committed to your personal well-being. Please let me know if you have a favorite NA beer that isn't on this list.

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