Alcohol-Free Beer: How It’s Made & Brands to Try

Whatever your tipple, alcohol free beer is a great alternative to your regular drink of choice this summer. Discover the world of alcohol free beers, whether they’re healthy, and how they’re made. Find out the best alcohol-free and low alcohol beers to try this year as you relax in the sunshine.  

What You’ll Learn:

3 Sustainable Alcohol Free Beer Brands to Try

When you’re looking for an alcohol free beer to try, why not select from our top picks of breweries that consider the planet too. 

Toast Ale 

Enjoy a pint responsibly with Toast, a UK based brewing company that wants you to raise a toast and save the world. They use surplus bread to replace barley in their beers, which saves land, water, and energy. 

They give their profit to charity, they’re funding systemic changes across the world. Their low alcoholic beer is 0.5% ABV with a taste of citrus, spice, and hoppiness. 

Drop Bear Beer Co. 

Put down your usual lager and pick up a low-alcohol beer crafted in the UK by Drop Bear Beer Co. Officially launched in 2019, they’re on a mission to offset their emotions they can’t eliminate, and are certified Carbon Neutral. 

All their 0.5% ABV beers are vegan, low calorie, and gluten-free. With four unique brews to try, you can even get a subscription to this B-Corp and have low-alcohol beer delivered to your door!  

Lucky Saint

You may have already taken a long rewarding sip from Lucky Saint, and for good reason! This delicious low-alcohol beer (0.5% ABV) is brewed using centuries-old techniques, and unfiltered to allow for exceptional flavour without the alcohol. 

Having achieved their B-Corp status, they’re committed to continuous improvement, transparency and accountability throughout their business. You can enjoy a bottle, a refreshing pint on draught, or even visit their very own pub in Marylebone, London.

Is Alcohol Free Beer Healthy?

The answer isn’t yes or no. Alcohol-free beer, and low alcohol beer are great options if you often find yourself reaching for an alcoholic beverage at the end of the day. We know alcohol can harm your health, and even low amounts on a regular basis aren’t a great idea. Why not swap out your regular choice for an alcohol free beer? 

Whilst alcohol free beer does have the health benefit of no or low ABV. This means you can stay within recommended guidelines more easily, and means you can stay within the legal limit for driving more easily. In fact, one in four adults reached for low or alcohol-free beer in 2021

two hands holding glasses of beers over a white outdoor dining table

Despite this, alcohol free and low alcohol beers are not exactly healthy. While they may be better than a regular pint, they are still high in carbohydrates and should still be consumed in moderation. 

How is Alcohol Free Beer Made?

Alcohol free beer is made with very similar ingredients to your expected pint. Whilst each beer’s ingredients will vary slightly, these are the building blocks: water, grains, hops, and yeast  

Sugar from the grains allows the yeast to ferment, which is what creates the alcohol. Hops are where the signature flavour and smell comes from. 

The four methods of brewing alcohol-free beer are: 

  1. Controlled fermentation
  2. Dealcoholisation
  3. Dilution
  4. Stimulated fermentation

1. Controlled Fermentation

This is the most common method to make alcohol free beers. This means making the beer as usual, but then stopping the fermentation before the usual level of alcohol is produced. That way, a low alcohol or non alcoholic beer is produced. 

2. Dealcoholisation

This process is removing alcohol from beer to reduce the ABV. This is commonly done by adding water or steam and boiling the liquid. The alcoholic vapour is then collected and sent away, leaving an alcohol free or low alcohol beer.  

a copper alcohol brewing apparatus

3. Dilution

Diluting means adding water to the beer to reduce the proportion of alcohol content. Depending on how much alcohol is in the first batch, the amount of water used to dilute differs. The result? A beer alternative with a lower ABV. 

4. Simulated Fermentation

Another way to create an alcohol free beer is to stop the sugars and yeast fermenting altogether. Enzymes and other ingredients may be added to recreate the similar effect, without the fermentation.  

a lit up pub garden sign saying "beer"

What Counts as Alcohol Free Beer?

Laws for the ABV values of regular and alcohol free beer are not the same across the world. 

In the UK:

  • Low alcohol beer must be at 1.2% ABV. 
  • “Alcohol free” means 0.05% or less
  • Some breweries remove the alcohol from their beer after fermentation, and this will be labelled “de-alcoholised” if it’s up to 0.5%.  

Be Better for the Planet

At The On Edit, we’re passionate about empowering people to make better choices through the products they buy. Whether you’re searching for vegan milk-alternativessustainable food boxes, or ethically-sourced coffee, we’re on hand to help. Join us as you explore the world of eco-friendly options, and see what you discover!