If you’re ready to take the plunge into the non-alcoholic beer sector, your first stop should be Dry Drinker – an online retailer that can deliver over 100 non-alcoholic beers, wines and spirits to your door by next day delivery.
Dry Drinker is the home of interesting non-alcoholic brews you won’t find on supermarket shelves. The retailer promotes pioneering UK breweries such as St Peter’s, Nirvana and Big Drop as well as beers from Germany, Belgium, Italy, Russia, Sweden, Denmark, Portugal, Spain, the Czech Republic, and more — all countries with an established market for alcohol free beer.
Founded by Stuart Elkington in 2016, it’s aims is simple – to give people in Britain some good, non-alcoholic drink options. The founder gave up alcohol himself four years ago to lose weight and start a family, but recognises that there are many reasons why someone may choose a non-alcoholic option. He’s keen not to preach, and instead wants to “introduce customers to a great new range of alcohol-free drinks they can enjoy anytime, for whatever reason”.
Overall, I was very impressed with Dry Drinker. A case of 12 well-packed beers arrived on my doorstep including foreign and local breweries ranging from light to dark styles in both cans and bottles. The style, variety and ease of delivery was ideal and I really enjoyed rating each of the beers. Some I preferred over others, but in many respects that was part of the fun of working my way through the case!
The very best….
Mikkeller’s Drink’in the Sun (0.3% ABV) – 5/5
This beer is without a doubt my favourite so far. An American-style wheat ale, it boasts a hazy straw-gold colour, lively carbonation with a persistent head and a full mouth-feel. With a nose of lemon and cut-grass, this beer brings back fond memories of summertime drinking. Very moorish, I kept wanting to go back for more. Incredibly well-balanced, it has a refreshing citrus hop flavour and aroma. It boasts excellent craftsmanship and will remain a favourite, whether I’m drinking alcohol or not!
Mikkeller – Drink’in the Snow (0.3% ABV) – 5/5
I was eager to try the second Mikkeller beer and was pleased that Drink’in the Snow is an excellent counterpart to the summer brew. A traditional winter beer, it is dark in colour with a good, long-lasting head and is quite clear, despite some sediment at the bottom. It has a strong aroma of Christmas spices and tasted like a Christmas pudding with spicy hops and caramel malts. With a full body and lively carbonation, I don’t think you could pick this brew out as non-alcoholic and I would definitely order more.
Kehrwieder u.NN IPA (0.4% ABV) – 4/5
This is another impressive example of a German non-alcoholic beer. Brewed with a “special yeast” that cannot process maltose, the brewer claims that it undergoes the full brewing process without any alcohol content. Copper in colour and slightly hazy, it has a decent head on pouring and hoppy aroma. A slightly sharp bitter balance to it with nice malt caramel flavours gives this beer a thick body and hoppy finish.
Pistonhead Flat Tire (0.5% ABV) – 4/5
A dry-hopped lager, Flat Tire is gold in colour and slightly dull in its clarity but with good head upon pour. It has lively, prickly carbonation and a dry, full mouth-feel with floral and citrus aromas. Another great accompaniment to summer sunshine, this beer is full of flavour and well-balanced with marked bitterness. With hints of tropical fruits, it is easy to picture yourself enjoying it on a sunny beach.
Rothaus Tannenzapfle (0.4% ABV) – 4/5
My first impression of the Rothaus was that I loved the bottle – it looks like a unique, one-of a kind Black Forest brew I would choose at a beer bar. Gold in colour with brilliant clarity, the beer has a good persistent head with lots of carbonation to it. Packed to the brim with hops, it boasts a lot of taste and manages to be thirst-quenching and incredibly moorish at the same time. Nicely balanced with grainy malts and grassy hops, I think this is another great beer to enjoy over the summer months.
Birra Moretti Zero (0.5% ABV) – 4/5
I usually wouldn’t go for a Birra Moretti as they’re everywhere, but I really enjoyed their zero lager! Straw coloured and clear with good carbonation, this is your classic lager which tastes just like the real stuff. I didn’t find anything missing – it has a lovely, prickly mouthfeel and intense aroma. Well balanced, light and pleasant to drink with flavours of barley malt and hop flowers, this brew is a good bet for lager-lovers.
All of the rest….
Krombacher Pils (0.0% ABV) – 1/5
I struggled to rate this Pils highly because overall I felt that it was far too sweet. While I usually love a good wheat beer, this was a bit too cereal-flavoured for me. The redeeming qualities was that it poured very well with a long-lasting head and a brilliant clear body. It’s unfortunate that the intense sweet bread/ grain flavour overpowered any other tastes.
Krombacher Weizen (0.0% ABV) – 3/5
By contrast, I found the Krombacher Weizen much more palatable. Hazy and amber coloured in appearance with a good head, it has nice carbonation and strong flavours of banana, honey and clove. While the flavours made for a nice wheat beer, it was a bit thinner than most and had a very light mouthfeel despite some lively carbonation. It was good, but it didn’t quite blow me away.
Free Damm (0.0% ABV) – 2/5
I like the name of this beer – it has a very American ring to it! Clear and amber in colour with a strong head, it didn’t have much of an aroma but is a classic Spanish lager. It also claims to be one of the lower calorie beers on the market with just 10 kcal per 100 ml. I thought the taste was a bit lacking – it was slightly grainy and sweet leading to a watery finish which made it a bit too weak for me. While refreshing and carbonated, the flavour wasn’t powerful or lasting enough to make this a brew that I would go back to a second time.
Palm NA (0.2% ABV) – 2/5
Palm is a Belgium brewery which uses palm yeast to produce beer characterised by cutting the fermentation process short. Unfortunately, a side effect of this method is that beers tend to be much sweeter than normal, and this beer was no exception. Copper in colour with good carbonation and a decent head, this beer had some nice caramel and toffee flavours to it. However, the balance was far too strong and sweet, and I felt like I needed to wash it down with something afterwards.
Aigua de Moritz (0.0% ABV) – 2/5
Straw-coloured in appearance with a small head and plenty of carbonation, this is a typical Spanish lager. It has aromas of grains, citrus and straw, a bitter taste and a semi-dry finish. It is quite refreshing, but I didn’t think it boasted anything special with regards to its flavour – it has almost a chemical tart taste to it and was not something I was that fussed about finishing.
Nirvana’s Karma Pale Ale (0.5% ABV) – 2/ 5
This pale ale might be light and refreshing, but it didn’t come close to being a beer in my books. Upon pouring, it wasn’t very carbonated and a very faint taste – I had to check the label to see that it was supposed to taste of citrus floral hops. I definitely got a hint of “flower” to it, but overall I thought it was lacking in body and flavour. On that note, I do really enjoy other beers by Nirvana Brewery – you can read my full review on their beers here.
To find all of these beers and many more, visit Dry Drinker yourself at: https://drydrinker.com/
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