Non-Alcoholic Beer Brands You Should Try ASAP

For many people, beer has a refreshing, unique and pleasant flavor — and what with all the styles (ale, lager, stout, pilsner, and IPA, to name but a few) it's no wonder beer is so popular. Also, when you crack open a cold brewsky or even order up a pint with friends, you're enjoying a part of history, imbibing essentially the same magical combination of water, grain, and hops that have been used for thousands of years.

But let's be honest: One of the main reasons people drink beer is because there's a significant amount of alcohol to be had, which can get a person intoxicated. While that's a goal for some, there are plenty of people who like the taste of beer but don't want to consume alcohol — for myriad reasons (i.e., sobriety, you're an athlete, pregnancy, weight loss, you don't like the effects of alcohol, and certain health conditions are a few that come to mind). 

Fortunately, there's a huge marketplace for non-alcoholic beer. As big breweries continue to compete in the face of upstart regional and craft beer-makers, the options for near-beer have exploded. Here are some of the tastiest and best non-alcoholic beers currently available.

WellBeing Victory Citrus Wheat

WellBeing Brewing produces exclusively non-alcoholic craft beers. They begin with lovingly made regular beer and then purge the alcohol via special machinery that maintains the particular nose (scent), mouthfeel, and strong flavor of craft beers.

The company's Victory Citrus Wheat is a notable beer in that it's purportedly "the first non-alcoholic craft beer enriched with a full spectrum of all-natural electrolytes, vitamins, protein, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatories." And the World Health Organization maintains that this draft meets all the hydration requirements. Marketed as "The World's Healthiest Beer," it also tastes good, hearty and refreshing like a full-alcohol wheat beer and including just enough sweet and tangy orange zest.

Two Roots Brewing Company Enough Said Lager

At the 2019 Great American Beer Festival, Two Roots Brewing Company defeated 16 competitors to win a gold medal in the Non-Alcohol Beer or Alcohol-Free Beer category. The California beer maker specializes in alcohol-free brews while not holding back on experimentation. Two Roots brews a passion fruit-flavored beer, a CBD-infused beer, and with its prize-winning selection, a helles, a very old variety from Germany, according to Craft Beer – it's pale in appearance ("helles" means "pale"), heavy on the sweet malt, with floral hops, and a moderate dose of bitterness. 

It's a deep cut and all-time classic for big beer aficionados, so the fact that Two Roots made one worthy of helles' substantial history and reputation — with no alcohol whatsoever — is a significant accomplishment. Two Roots Brewing Company's Enough Said Helles Lager is crisp, casual, and unassumingly simple — a great choice for a not-too-filling drink, perfect for almost any occasion.

Rightside Brewing Citrus Wheat

According to Craft Beer, witbiers have been brewed in Belgium for centuries but "fell into relative obscurity" until the early years of the craft brewing movement of the 20th century. The Flemish language word "wit" translates to "white," which could refer to the beer's bright and inviting appearance or its extra-frothy head; it doesn't have anything to do with the similar-sounding "wheat," even though a non-malted form of that grain is the main ingredient. Traditionally Belgian-style witbiers pack a strong and distinct spicy flavor, on account of prominent coriander and orange peel. 

Witbiers have their devotees, among them Emree Woods, founder of Rightside Brewing in Georgia, who couldn't find a non-alcoholic beer she liked when she quit drinking during a pregnancy (according to Atlanta Magazine). So, Woods devised a witbier-referencing Citrus Wheat, cutting down somewhat on the spice and tropical notes in favor of more orange. The result is a smooth, Session-style beer so full of flavor that you might not even notice (or miss) the lack of alcohol.

Heineken 0.0

The taste of a Heineken is among the most familiar and instantly recognizable sensations to the avid consumer of regular beer — a Dutch-made, pale-in-color lager that's light on the palate and not too heavy. It's made from barley, water, crisp and extremely prominent hops, and very little else. Made with virtually the same recipe since the late 19th century, it's a quintessential, highly influential macro-brew, and to re-create all that in a non-alcoholic version must have been a high-stakes challenge for the brewers at Heineken. 

Fortunately, alcohol-free beers tend toward the watery and tangy, as Heineken is already those things, the non-alcoholic version tastes almost exactly like its traditional counterpart, and it's downright uncanny. According to the brewer, Heineken 0.0 reportedly took years to perfect, balancing out a soft malt body with fruity and friendly notes and made with the same proprietary yeast as original Heineken. It even arrives in that signature tall green Heineken bottle.

Golden Road NA Mango Cart

Alcohol doesn't have a particular taste by itself, but when it's a naturally-occurring part of a beer, it makes its presence known, interacting with the other flavors and ingredients to create something more than the sum of its parts. To take the alcohol out of a beer risks removing a lot of notes and texture, which would explain why so many mass-produced non-alcoholic beers taste and go down like beer-flavored water. 

Inventive non-alcoholic beer brewers choose to see this potential dilemma as an opportunity — if they're removing the booze, they might as well fill in the holes with bold and inventive flavors. Nothing else on earth tastes like a mango — sweet, bitter, spicy, and elusive all at once — traits that could also describe a powerful craft beer. Craft beer company Golden Road Brewing's NA Mango Cart brings the mango where it belongs: Into a beer. The aggressive flavor mixes nicely with the assertive wheat beer elements. The mango is so prominent that Mango Cart resembles the yellow flesh of its central ingredient and even tastes like bubbly mango juice at first, and then concludes with a subtle wave of wheatiness.

Deschutes Non-Alcoholic Irish Style Stout

Oregon's Deschutes Brewery is one of the country's leading craft brewers and has been at the forefront of the independent beer movement, creating strong, intense, and progressive beers as a matter of course. Deschutes' first ever beer, and probably still its signature brew, is the Black Butte Porter. It's a dark brown, very chocolatey, coffee-forward, sweet, smooth, and dry drink that reinvented an old form developed in the British Isles in the 18th century, according to Craft Beer Club. The multiple award-winning Black Butte Porter is a standout among the well populated craft beer sector, and Deschutes has developed a rich and creamy product, allowing non-drinkers to finally enjoy a slightly different recipe. 

The Non-Alcoholic Irish Style Stout is similarly not shy with the coffee and cocoa and maintains that dry and retreating mouthfeel in its porter cousin. And it's all booze-free, thanks to Deschutes teaming with Sustainable Beverage Technologies, creators of a process called BrewVo, who strips the already brewed beer of its alcohol without undermining the taste or textures.

Suntory All-Free

Suntory is primarily known for its distilling operations — it's among the most famous and acclaimed brands in the burgeoning Japanese whiskey industry. But it also makes beer, or at least something close to it that can evoke the flavor, aroma, and layers of the kind of low-alcohol light beers designed to quench thirst and refresh without getting its drinker too intoxicated. 

Suntory All-Free does all that, and arguably better, because it doesn't contain any alcohol. Marketed by the Suntory company not as an alcohol-free beer, but rather as a "no-alcohol" and "beer-alternative refresher," an All-Free is reminiscent of a mega-light beer, like a Michelob Ultra. The fragrant hops, malted barley, and sparkling mineral water merge to form a calorie-free, beer-adjacent beverage that's probably technically more of a beer-flavored seltzer — but it's so crisp and forward with the flavor combo that this could reasonably replace most any summertime Session lager.

Weihenstephan Hefeweissbier Alkoholfrei

Germany's Weihenstephan claims to be the oldest active beer maker in the world, brewing in Freising for just shy of 1,000 years. But it hasn't rested on its laurels; in fact, it continues to collect them. In 2022, one of its Hefeweissbiers, or wheat beers, won a gold medal at the 2022 International Beer Challenge. That flagship style has a relatively contemporary non-alcoholic counterpart: Weihenstephan Hefeweissbier Alkoholfrei.

It's hard to believe that this tradition-packed, ancient European-style beer is almost totally free of booze and contains just 75 calories a bottle, because it tastes like a classic German Oktoberfest beer. It's brewed in such a way where time flavors the beer, with Weihenstephan allowing it to sit to let the taste develop, at which point the alcohol is taken out by a technique called "falling film evaporation," which the company developed itself with the Technical University of Munich-Weihenstephan. The end product contains notes of yeast, honey, and cloves.

Bravus Oatmeal Dark

The California-based Bravus Brewing Company initially put their ambitious alcohol-free stout on store shelves under the name Oatmeal Stout, but then rebranded it the Oatmeal Dark, perhaps not to create any preconceived notions for stout-loving, booze-avoiding customers before they've even had a sip. Bravus needn't ever worry about such things, because no matter what it's called, Oatmeal Dark is a surprisingly stout brew that could give Guinness, the well-entrenched market leader, some true competition. 

The Oatmeal Dark tastes of wholesome roast grains, like any oatmeal beer should, as well as of minerals, chocolate, coffee, and caramel, all hitting simultaneously. It's not too sweet and not too strongly flavored in spite of that, making this beer a great choice for pairing with savory and creamy foods, and one that won't allow drinkers to get too full so as to lose their appetite. There's also something quite nice about the satiny head and the hint of smoke at the end of the sip.

Brooklyn Brewery Special Effects Hoppy Amber

Brooklyn Brewery, the New York-based producer of many craft brew favorites like the Brooklyn Lager, Brooklyn Summer Ale, and Brooklyn Oktoberfest, have ventured into non-alcoholic brews, which it called its "Special Effects" line to draw attention to the innovative process it uses to make potent, pleasantly sense-assaulting beers that don't have any booze in them. 

Along with the Special Effects IPA, comes Brooklyn Brewery's Special Effects Hoppy Amber. A clever fermentation process keeps the flavors in the beer while removing the alcohol — the deal is sealed with a round of dry hopping. Obviously the brewers must use a lot of dry hops, because Special Effects Hoppy Amber is almost as hops-centric as it is a wet liquid. Those hops compete with (but always win out over) other prominent ingredients in this sort-of-sweet, medium-brown brew — notably a bright citrus blend. At the end of the day, the Hoppy Amber is exactly what it says it is and what it should be: hops-oriented, bitter, and somehow non-alcoholic, too.

Athletic Brewing Run Wild IPA

India Pale Ale, or IPA for those in the beer know, is the big dog of craft brewing. "Pale" and "ale" imply that the drinker is in for a light and brisk beer-consuming experience, only to be hit with a wallop of spices, bitterness, hops so present they could almost be chewed, and heft — all of which leave a taste in the mouth that lasts for several minutes. Of course, this is what makes an IPA so great, and why craft beer took off in the face of its extraordinary different competition from the likes of Budweiser and Pabst. 

In addition to the big taste, IPAs usually have a high alcohol content — the booze contributing to the almost overwhelming weight and taste of the beer. Athletic Brewing Company out of Connecticut only makes non-alcoholic beers, so it was a bold act to even attempt to make a beer so alcohol-forward as an IPA, but they pulled it off. The Run Wild could easily be mistaken for a bold West Coast style IPA, what with its extraordinarily high level of malting, along with the explosive notes of fruit.

Athletic Brewing of Connecticut only makes non alcoholic beer, but they approach it with the passion and precision of any other craft brewer. Their IPA is as thick and strong as other brew masters, just without the booze. It's heavily malted, and tastes of fruit and hops.

Bitburger Drive 0.0

Beers produced and sold in Germany must adhere to Reinheitsgebot, a rigorous set of food safety laws that have been on the books since they were enacted in the state of Bavaria in 1516, according to Wine Enthusiast. Traditional-style beers still follow these laws, which dictate that only malt, hops, yeast, wheat, and water can be used. Now, to get a decent tasting and viable non-alcoholic beer going today, a major brewer usually has to involve some cutting-edge technology — but German beer Bitburger makes its booze-free pilsner — Bitburger Drive — naturally, while following the German Beer Purity Laws to the letter. 

As such, the taste of hops and malt are extremely prominent, balanced out with a bursting brightness and notes of fruit that naturally occur when a beer such as this comes together. There's a pilsner-appropriate bitterness present, but only just slightly so, and a poured glass makes the aroma of hops hang in the air for a moment. The Bitburger Drive is as old-fashioned a beer as one could find at a specialty beer shop today — never mind the fact that it doesn't have any alcohol in it.