Make the most of Dry January with these 10 no- and low-abv beers

Imbibe

Imbibe

13 January 2020

With the multitude of delicious no and low beers that were launched last year, you can really make your profits skyrocket this January. To exploit the full potential of Dry January though, make sure you stock a varied and quality driven selection.

To help you in your picks, these are some of the best no and low-abv beers that made the headlines on Imbibe.

Krombacher Non-Alcoholic Weizen and Pils Alkoholfrei

Krombacher launched its Non-Alcoholic Weizen (0.5% abv) to the UK on-trade last March. The new wheat beer is made using Hallertau hops, soft water sourced from wells found within 3km of the brewery and Krombacher’s own cultivated yeast. It pours cloudy and golden in colour, showing characteristic scents of banana.

Later in the year it also unveiled a Pils Alkoholfrei 0.0%, brewed using the same ingredients as the standard version – two-row summer barley, Siegel hops and the brewery’s own cultivated yeast. It’s brewed to full strength and de-alcoholised via reverse osmosis. The aroma is pleasantly bready, while the palate – surprisingly rich – shows a balance of sweet malty notes and herbaceous, hoppy flavours.

Big Drop collab series

Suffolk-based low-abv brewery Big Drop launched four products in collaboration with beer expert Melissa Cole and four leading UK craft brewers. The beers, which are the first in a world collab series, include Jam Session Raspberry Gose, Lil IPL India Pale Lager, Going Swimmingly Hibiscus Saison and Big River Black IPA. The brewers are, respectively, Fyne Ales, Salt, Harbour Brewing Co and Fourpure. 

Northern Monk Striding Edge

Back in January 2019 Northern Monk added the lower-alcohol (2.8%) Striding Edge to its core offerings. This light IPA was originally brewed as part of the Patrons Project series, but has been brought back due to its popularity.

Peroni Libera

Also in January 2019 the UK drinks industry welcomed Peroni’s 0.0% expression, dubbed Libera. Seeking to offer the same ‘crisp and fresh taste experience’ as its flagship lager, it uses a dedicated yeast strain, which the brand claims produces a rich and intense citrusy and hoppy scent, followed by delicate fruity aromas.

Small Beer Co Session Pale

The latest creation by session-beer specialist Small Beer Brew Co is aptly called Session Pale. This 2.5% abv golden ale is the brewery’s first top-fermented beer. It pours slightly hazy and generates an inviting creamy head. Like the entire Small Beer core range, and despite the modest abv content, this brew delivers a lot more than its name suggests. The nose has a warming malty personality, balanced out by a green yet gentle herbaceous hoppiness. On the palate it shows all the characteristics of a classic golden ale, unveiling flavours of bread crust, malt and hay, then hints of freshly cut grass and a touch of peppery spiciness in the finish.

Brooklyn Special Effects

Carlsberg UK-distributed Brooklyn Brewery unveiled its first alcohol-free beer last April. While most no- and low-abv beers are de-alcoholised after fermentation has taken place, the new Brooklyn Special Effects reaches its 0.4% abv by using a fermentation method that limits the amount of alcohol generated in the first place.

Brooklyn says that the new beer has a marked hoppy character from the use of Mosaic, Citra and Amarillo, ‘with a piney aroma and bitter finish’. It pours golden and on the palate presents a pleasant ‘bready sweetness’ and herbaceousness coming from the dry-hopping, a technique rarely used to produce no- and low-abv beers.

Van De Streek Playground non-alcoholic IPA

Launched in its Dutch homeland back in 2016 to great success, Van De Streek’s non-alcoholic IPA landed this month in the UK. Pineapple, mango and orange zest on the nose of this accomplished beer, following onto the palate. While the five-strong hop blend continues the zesty interest, light malt notes and pleasant, balanced bitterness finish the package. Anything else? The Van De Streek brothers Roland and Sander began brewing beer in their flat in Utrecht, Netherlands, before crowdfunding themselves into commercial reality, swift success and rapid expansion.

Harviestoun Wheesht

Scottish brewery Harviestoun also released its first low-abv beer last year. We gave it a go at our Shine a light on dark beers tasting last Autumn and beer sommelier Annabel Smith, who was on the panel, was impressed with the brew. She said the beer had ‘dark mahogany colour, redcurrant and blackcurrant aromas. A touch of tartness, very fruity with a hint of chocolate brownie’.

Green Times Brewing CBD Low-Alcohol IPA

Last but not least, Manchester’s Green Times Brewing tapped into both the no and low and CBD trends with the launch of a 0.5% abv CBD IPA. The new product, Low-Alcohol IPA with Cannabis oil, contains 10mg of CBD per 330ml can.

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