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Is there a good one out there?
Published on September 18, 2007 By adnauseam In Blogging
The words: "Non-Alcoholic beer " are enough to send any sane, dedicated beer drinker into a fit of coughing, strange facial expressions usually to do with the tongue--or a torrent of expletives one of which is usually the word "piss" Why is non-alcoholic beer so unpalatable and why can't they get the taste right?

As Egypt is a Muslim country and that type of beer sells well here (in supermarkets), and as I am a real beer drinker, I decided to do a taste test. I chose 4 non-alcos and here are the results:

(Some may be sold world-wide but I'm not sure.)

Amstel Zero: Advertised as refreshing and natural having all the right ingredients (the hops, barley etc), I found Amstel Zero an unpalatable beer with a sickly sweet and sour taste. I tried one but could not face a second. In fact 3 or 4 of these would make me ill--or depressed.
Becks Non-Alcoholic: The familiar green can has malted barley and hops listed as ingredients and the taste is foul--like a mixture of dishwater and old beer mixed together. I could not drink more than one of these and hoped that all good Germans avoid it like the plague.
Barbican: Barbie may well enjoy this beer. I didn't. It is a mixture of water and water with a few hops thrown in. Disgusting stuff!
Busch NA: I found a reviewers comments on this beer."Not applicable to my life", he said, "even the cons in Shawshank prison would have turned this down!"

I decided that there were three types of people who drank NA beers: Ex-Alkies trying to pretend it was real, Muslims who abstained normally and found them refreshing---not having tasted a great 5% brew (or wanting to), and men who have no taste buds.

Can any Joeuser name me a non-alco that is like the real thing? I doubt it. The secret is not in the ingredients but in the sugar and the fermentation.

Some interesting facts here for real-beer drinkers:

Egyptian beer (Sakkara 4%), brewed from Nile water, is one of the finest tasting beers in this country ( Egypt caters for non-Muslims too).
South African Breweries (owners of Castle, Miller and many other brands), brought out a 2% beer five years ago Sterling), and it was one of the greatest beers they ever produced--marvellous taste). It died a natural death as South Africans (like Aussies and Kiwis), don't do 2%! Is not the done thing to flash a two percenter at a party or a barbie, mate!

Fosters beer (Australian) is one of the biggest selling beers in the UK.

Last word from my Aussie mate, James: If my Sheila's drinking an NA beer stubbie at a barbie, mate, she's out!

What do Joeusers think?

on Sep 18, 2007
There was one NA beer I tried a long time ago that was pretty decent. And so as to be of no use to you at all, I can't for the life of me remember what it was called. I tried google - couldn't find it.

For what it's worth, ex-alkies won't drink even NA beer. Too close to home and no NA beer is completely devoid of alcohol.
on Sep 18, 2007
You know, I LOVE beer, but I absolutely cannot get my head around the idea of NA beer. It's like cheese in a can, nutrasweet, or watching a fight. It's better when it's the real thing.
on Sep 18, 2007
Kaliber by Harp is a "fair" near-beer.
Since they invented beer near your location, I am glad to hear that they still make and sell actual beer.
on Sep 18, 2007
O'Doul's tastes flat, but otherwise the taste and texture is not too bad.  Of the ones you listed, I have tried the Amstel before.  I think you were being kind.
on Sep 18, 2007
One group of NA drinkers you left out was the diabetics...done in moderation, of course, cause NA still has carbs...but the absence of alcohol is a definite plus. Having said that, the best NAs I have tasted were all brewed in Germany and Holland.

Thomas Brau from Bavaria...a product of Paulaner Brau.

Tucher is from, I think, around the Nurnberg area.

St Pauli Girl is out of the North somewhere.

LowenBrau is from Munich.

Of course, none of them has the final something that "real" beer has...but of the NAs, these are my favorites.
on Sep 18, 2007
Yuck. NA beer is like what they used to say about a tie score in kid leauge baseball: it's like kissing your sister.

on Sep 19, 2007
Great comments. Keep em coming.
on Sep 19, 2007
I actually like O'Doul's. Due to my job there are times when a cold one sounds good but for obvious reasons I can't have any alcohol, that's when I have an O'Doul's. I tried them a while back when I was on some medication that couldn't be mixed with alcohol.

on Feb 24, 2009
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