Alongside the excess of Christmas boozing, I’ve kept drinking alcohol-free beer too – it’s better than nauseatingly sweet fizzy drinks and has more body than water. Also, it lives in the fridge, so it’s always nice and cold, and the good stuff can trick you into thinking you’re still drinking!
I was delighted to find a new one (for me) in Tesco: Brooklyn Special Effects. They describe it as an alcohol-free hoppy lager. Nice, slightly psychedelic repackaging of their more famous Brooklyn Lager – a perfectly nice lager with a bit of body to it which you should definitely drink if there’s nothing else vaguely craft beerish available. It’s utterly trashed by almost every other beer they produce (drink their Naranjito). I guess it’s their Fosters, in a world where Fosters is quite good rather than undrinkable foaming piss.
This is much nicer! It actually smells like beer, and it’s only a little bit hoppy, which I was pleased about as I was expecting a hop punch in the face. In fact this is pleasantly sweet. According to their website they’ve dry hopped it with some citrusy hops, and it seems to have paid off. It’s a nicely malty mix without the oddly dusty aftertaste the super-malted alcohol-free beers like St Peters ended up as, where you think you’re choking down the liquidized contents of your uncle’s loft. This is very drinkable and even has decent mouthfeel which I’ve found rarer in the alcohol-free stuff. I’m surprised to find myself drinking it slowly to savour further.
0.4%, £1.20 for a 355ml bottle (or 3 for £3 in a good supermarket), so definitely more on the fancy side, but I’m hoping to find it in cans somewhere cheaper.
Verdict: Billy Goat Gruff. Kicks the shit out of trolls.