Alcohol-free series: Great beers in your local supermarket

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One of the most common obstacles the dry drinker faces is finding a good brew. You will be hard-pressed to find a non-alcoholic range down at your local pub, and many of the new and exciting breweries are only available on online retail sites, like Dry Drinker and Alcohol Free or independent bottle shops.

So for the casual dry drinker looking for an easy one-stop shop to pick up a drink, having a decent range available in major supermarkets is invaluable.

Luckily, Suffolk-based St Peter’s Brewery, which already makes cask ales and bottled beers for pubs and supermarkets, has spent nearly £1m developing an alcohol-free beer range which you can find in most major supermarkets and several pub chains.

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The idea began in 2013 when St Peter’s owner John Murphy was diagnosed with cancer and could no longer drink alcohol. Today, the “Without” brews contribute to around 25% of the brewery’s overall sales.

Bursting with flavour, the three non-alcoholic beers in the range – Original, Gold and Organic – are all made with water, malt, yeast and hops and brewed using a combination of attenuated fermentation and stripping out the residual alcohol.

St Peter’s Without Original – 4/5

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St Peter’s Without Original is a particularly enjoyable brew. Dark amber in colour with a good head on it, this beer is well-balanced with nice malted cereal flavours. It has a lingering sweetness to the finish which reminded me of maple syrup and plenty of body. As it is quite heavy, I’d suggest saving this one for the winter months and switching to St Peter’s Gold when the sun is out.

St Peter’s Gold – 5/5

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St Peter’s Gold is another nicely balanced and well-rounded ale. Full of flavour, this beer boasts flavours of malt and hops combined with a citrus bitterness to finish. It’s light and refreshing and you certainly don’t feel like you’re “without” – it has everything you could ask for in a golden ale. Well suited for the summer months, I would highly recommend it as the perfect accompaniment to a BBQ.

St Peter’s Organic – 3/5

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St Peter’s Organic aims to target the more health conscious consumer who is looking for a pure, natural zero-alcohol beer. I’m not completely clear about what makes this beer organic compared to its Gold counterpart, but it is very similar in appearance, smell and taste but not quite as well-rounded. I found that it had quite a bitter finish by comparison and tasted harsher overall. While still an enjoyable brew in its own right, it fell short when compared to the Gold.

Where to find them

The St Peter’s Without range is available at major supermarkets such as Tesco, Sainsburys, Aldi and Morrisons and even in pub chains Wetherspoons and Stonegate, so it is the ideal go to brew for any dry drinker.

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