Refreshing Alcohol-Free Beers, Ranked For ‘Sober October’

If you’re partaking in “Sober October” this year, you can opt for water, hop water (a product which sounds odd but we really like!), or an alcohol-free brew that at least semi-resembles the beer you imbibe the rest of the year. But non-alcoholic beer is hotly debated because… well, a lot of drinkers think it’s always trash.

We disagree. We’re in a new age of NA beers with many big names and craft breweries mixed in. How big is the NA market? According to data from Drizly, the number of non-alcoholic brands available on their site has more than doubled over the past year. It’s also the fastest-growing category over the last two years. It’s clear drinkers have been craving an alcohol-free alternative.

Keep scrolling to see eight refreshing non-alcoholic (or extremely low alcohol) beers. Each ranked in terms of flavor.

8) Athletic Upside Dawn Golden

Athletic Upside Dawn Golden
Athletic

ABV: 0.4%

Average Price: $10.99 for a six-pack

The Beer:

In the past few years, Athletic has made a name for itself in the alcohol-free beer world with its vast array of beers created for athletes and anyone looking to drink beer sans alcohol. While they make some great IPAs, they also make a pretty decent golden ale called Upside Dawn. It’s known for its thirst-quenching, well-balanced flavor with Vienna malts and a mix of American and English hops.

Tasting Notes:

The nose is fairly dull with maybe some floral hops and lemon zest. It doesn’t really smell like a beer, but that’s to be expected. The flavor is grapefruit, orange, and some light hops. Really not much else going on with this one besides the light citrus flavors. Kind of dull to say the least.

Bottom Line:

If you want a non-alcoholic beer that tastes like a can of watered-down grapefruit Squirt, this is the beer for you. Otherwise, try something else.

7) Lagunitas IPNA

Lagunitas IPNA
Lagunitas

ABV: 0.5%

Average Price: $9.99 for a six-pack

The Beer:

Lagunitas is well known for its IPA prowess. It’s no surprise the popular California-based brewery would launch a non-alcoholic version of its popular flagship IPA. Brewed with English Crystal malts and dry-hopped with Citra, Mosaic, and CTZ hops, it’s hoppy and loaded with citrus.

Tasting Notes:

Notes of citrus peel, pine, and grass greet your nose before your first sip. While there are more pine resin, citrus, and fresh grass flavors on the palate, due to its NA status, this beer is maltier than it seems like it should be. The longer you drink it, the more all of the flavors begin to disappear and it begins to taste like hoppy, fizzy water.

Bottom Line:

If you really need to have an NA IPA and you want to try Lagunitas’ take on it be aware it won’t taste like your favorite West Coast IPA. If you’re not okay with that just grab the brand’s Hoppy Refresher instead.

6) Brooklyn Special Effects Hoppy Amber

Brooklyn Special Effects Hoppy Amber
Brooklyn

ABV: 0.5%

Average Price: $10.99 for a six-pack

The Beer:

The brewers at Brooklyn Brewing don’t want you to crack open its Brooklyn Special Effects Hoppy Amber and immediately realize it’s a non-alcoholic beer. That’s why they brewed it using a “special fermentation method” in order to create an alcohol-free amber ale that still has the flavors and aromas of the beer you love.

Tasting Notes:

This beer smells more like an herbal tea with a twist of lemon than a beer. Even with this start, it’s still welcoming and at least appears (aroma-wise) that it will be flavorful. The palate continues this trend with notes of fresh baked bread, wheat, citrus peels, and earthy, herbal notes.

It’s not a bad NA beer, it just tastes a little more like fizzy tea.

Bottom Line:

There are slight hoppy notes, but all in all, this NA beer tastes like you cracked open a can of fizzy iced tea with some lemon added.

5) BrewDog Hazy AF

BrewDog Hazy AF
BrewDog

ABV: 0.5%

Average Price: $7.99 for a four-pack

The Beer:

If you’re a fan of New England-style IPAs, you might be tempted to crack one open this month because you don’t think there are any NA versions worth trying. Well, the folks at BrewDog want to tell you you’re wrong. This NA hazy IPA is known for its juicy flavor highlighted by floral hops and tropical fruits.

Tasting Notes:

Aromas of grass, grapefruit, and dank pine make up this beer’s nose. All are fairly light, but it at least smells like an IPA (albeit slightly watered down). Drinking it reveals bright, floral, piney hops right away. There’s also some tropical fruit, lemon, and grapefruit, but really not much else. It’s slightly piney, watery, and still fairly refreshing.

Bottom Line:

This is a tough NA IPA to rate. It’s piney and has some citrus and fruit flavors. It’s just that it tastes more like fizzy flavored water than beer — which is, not too surprisingly, pretty common in this space.

4) Partake IPA

Partake IPA
Partake

ABV: 0.5%

Average Price: $9.99 for a six-pack

The Beer:

Partake IPA was the non-alcoholic beer brand’s first beer. Its flagship offering is only ten calories, two carbs, and is a mix of sweet malts and citrus-filled, floral hops. this piney, effervescent NA beer is brewed with Cascade, Amarillo, and Citrus hops and is sure to scratch your IPA itch this month.

Tasting Notes:

There’s a ton of fruit on this beer’s nose. Lemon zest, grapefruit, and slight tropical fruits. There are also some grainy, malty notes mixed in there to remind you this is a beer even if it’s an NA brew. The palate is a mixture of sweet, bready malts and slightly bitter, piney hops. It’s not overly exciting but does the trick.

Bottom Line:

This beer won’t replace your favorite IPA forever, but during sober October it won’t make you feel bad about deciding to take a month off from alcohol.

3) Heineken 0.0

Heineken 0.0
Heineken

ABV: 0.5%

Average Price: $8.99 for a six-pack

The Beer:

If you’re a Heineken drinker, you’re going to miss that earthy, herbal, piney, slightly skunky flavor of your beloved beer. Luckily, there’s a non-alcoholic version. Heineken 0.0 is known for its balanced of yeast, malts, hops, and classic Heineken flavor.

Tasting Notes:

Cereal grains, sweet corn, honey, and lightly floral, spicy hops are prevalent on the nose. While much waterier than regular Heineken, it still has the classic cereal grain, sweet corn, slightly hoppy, skunky flavor profile of the original. The finish is crisp and refreshing.

Bottom Line:

If you enjoy the flavor of classic Heineken, you’ll still prefer it to this NA beer. That said, Heineken 0.0 is a great substitute.

2) Wellbeing Intentional IPA

Wellbeing Intentional IPA
Wellbeing

ABV: 0.3%

Average Price: $8.99 for a four-pack

The Beer:

If you’re looking for the classic flavors of your favorite IPA this month, look no further than Wellbeing Intentional IPA. Brewed with Mosaic and Citra hops, it’s known for its refreshing, complex flavor profile featuring tropical and citrus fruits.

Tasting Notes:

Complex aromas of herbal hops, peaches, grapefruit, mangos, and light malts greet your nose before your first sip. The palate is centered around notes of cereal grains, bready malts, ripe berries, grapefruit, and spicy, herbal, floral hops. It’s very fresh and highly drinkable.

Bottom Line:

In a market of watery, fizzy, lackluster NA IPAs, Wellbeing Intentional IPA is bursting with complex aromas and flavors. You should definitely grab some this month.

1) Untitled Art Italian Pilsner

Untitled Art Italian Pilsner
Untitled Art

ABV: 0.5%

Average Price: $15.99 for a six-pack

The Beer:

When it comes to early fall refreshment, it’s tough to beat a classic European pilsner. In a month when you’re refraining from Alcohol, the brewers at Untitled Art have the answer with their Italian Pilsner. Brewed with Hallertau Mittelfruh and Strata Hops, it’s crisp, hoppy, and refreshing,

Tasting Notes:

Grassy, floral, slightly herbal hops are the first aromas you’ll notice when you nose this NA beer. Surprisingly, this isn’t where it ends. There are also notes of bready, sweet malts. The flavor continues this positive trend with cracker-like malts, honey, wet grass, citrus peels, and herbal hops. The finish is crisp and memorable.

Bottom Line:

When it comes to NA beers that actually taste like beer, it’s tough to beat this Italian-style pilsner. Hoppy, malty, crisp, and delicious. We’d drink this all month long.

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