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  1. #1
    Apprentice
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    May 2007
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    Non-Alcoholic Beer

    A friend has come down with some health issues recently and is not supposed to drink for a while. This is one category that I can't help him with. Does anyone have any experience/recommendations for any non-alcoholic beers that are decent? He is not that picky when it comes to beer (Budweiser is his regular but he will drink Shiner or some of the dark German stuff at my house). I have just heard that some of the N/A's can be downright nasty. Any suggestions?

    Thanks - BPT

  2. #2
    Connoisseur
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    Re: Non-Alcoholic Beer

    I suppose anyone that has a love of beer will feel a little let down from a NA Beer because they don't taste the same. A long time ago, when I was an uninvited guest in the Magic Kingdom of Saud, we were forced to drink NA Beer to slack our powerful thirst. I found the Michelob products tasted pretty close to the original. Once we got our clandestine still going we added our alcohol to the NA Michelobs and they tasted identical to the original. But thats a different matter. Odouls makes an NA beer but some folks don't like it. I thought it tasted like Coors without the headache. This is probably an opportunity to experiment. Good luck to you and your friend.
    Often I am forced to deal with the fact that I prefer bourbon over dealing with facts.

  3. #3
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    Re: Non-Alcoholic Beer

    my pregnant wife likes Coors NA. I'm not fond of it but it tstes more like beer than Coors light.

  4. #4
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    Re: Non-Alcoholic Beer

    If he likes Bud, then his standard is not too high and he doesn't have much too worry about. I think the Coors N/A is the best of the Mega-house releases.

    If he is looking for something a bit better then he could try St Pauli Girl N/A or Kaliper by Guinness.
    Hope is subversive, for it limits the grandiose pretensions of the present by calling into existence the possibility of something better.

  5. #5
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    Re: Non-Alcoholic Beer

    Thanks for the replies. He called me from the store closest to his house and ended up buying some Bitburger. He'll give me a report later. They also had St. Pauli Girl which he said he would try next if the Bit wasn't any good. Strangely, he didn't mention seeing any Coors. I would think that would be a more common one here.
    I saw a few mentions on the net about Clausthaler being good but they didn't have that one where he was. And I also saw several posts about O'Douls Amber being OK, even good. They only had the regular O'Douls.
    Yeah, I agree about the Budweiser not being all that great. But I had always heard about the N/A's being really bad. I haven't had any so I can't say. As mentioned, he will drink better stuff and enjoy it, but his "daily" is Budweiser.
    He is also a long-time smoker and in addition to no alcohol, he has had to give up smoking at the same time. He'll have to stop that for good but might be able to go back to enjoying beer if things get better. So I figured that since he is suffering doubly at the moment, he should at least have something decent if he will be trying the N/A beer route.
    Thanks for the suggestions. I might even end up trying some with him so I'll make sure to post my findings if that happens.

  6. #6
    Guru
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    Sep 2008
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    Re: Non-Alcoholic Beer

    Quote Originally Posted by bpt View Post
    Thanks for the replies. He called me from the store closest to his house and ended up buying some Bitburger. He'll give me a report later. They also had St. Pauli Girl which he said he would try next if the Bit wasn't any good. Strangely, he didn't mention seeing any Coors. I would think that would be a more common one here.
    I saw a few mentions on the net about Clausthaler being good but they didn't have that one where he was. And I also saw several posts about O'Douls Amber being OK, even good. They only had the regular O'Douls.
    Yeah, I agree about the Budweiser not being all that great. But I had always heard about the N/A's being really bad. I haven't had any so I can't say. As mentioned, he will drink better stuff and enjoy it, but his "daily" is Budweiser.
    He is also a long-time smoker and in addition to no alcohol, he has had to give up smoking at the same time. He'll have to stop that for good but might be able to go back to enjoying beer if things get better. So I figured that since he is suffering doubly at the moment, he should at least have something decent if he will be trying the N/A beer route.
    Thanks for the suggestions. I might even end up trying some with him so I'll make sure to post my findings if that happens.
    You'd think Clausthaler would be better than it is, given its price and provenance, but I didn't care much for it. My recollection was that it was skunky, but maybe I got a bad six pack. I'm guessing none of the NA's are really any good, so it's just a matter of choosing the least offensive one that's got a bit of real beer flavor.
    "I distrust a man who says 'when.' He's got to be careful not to drink too much, because he's not to be trusted when he does." Sydney Greenstreet

  7. #7
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    Re: Non-Alcoholic Beer

    I was going by a couple of reviews on the Clausthaler but it was also one of the brands that I had heard of and knew had been around for a while. I think that you phrased it perfectly as far as what I was thinking - not expecting any to be really good, just trying to find the least offensive. If one exists that actually tastes like real beer then that would be a bonus. I thought that if I could find honest opinions on this anywhere, it would be here. I get the feeling that a lot of the people rating them on the net are comparing them to regular beer and I am not sure if that is a fair comparison.

  8. #8
    Connoisseur
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    Re: Non-Alcoholic Beer

    I drank O'Douls after several years of not drinking anything, and found it to be acceptable as a beer-like substance. I would certainly not describe it as 'really bad'. Also, the Fre Merlot (NA red wine) was not bad.
    Mark Edwards - Proof of Sanity Forged Upon Request

  9. #9
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    Re: Non-Alcoholic Beer

    I am pleased to report that my friend had a few N/A Bitburgers over the weekend and was not too traumatized by the experience. His first words were "Not too shabby" and then "It actually tasted like beer". He seemed surprised and not too disappointed. I asked him if he would be able to tell if someone gave him one and didn't tell him that it that it was N/A and he said "Maybe not" but that it was a little bit different. He said it tasted lighter than a normal beer but not too watery like some of the regular "light" beers. He also noticed a little bit more bitterness than usual but not necessarily in a bad, skunky way. We figure that it might just be hoppier than the Bud that he normally drinks, in the way that some of the German ones can be.
    Overall, he made it sound like it wasn't too bad. He said the taste was OK and that it did almost fix the craving that he had been having for a cold one. The place where he bought the Bit had a small selection. He plans to go to one of our bigger ones around here and see about getting some singles of various brands and doing some testing. I'll make sure to post the results.

 

 

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