De-alcoholized / non-alcoholic beer - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 2013-11-04, 02:58 PM Thread Starter
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De-alcoholized / non-alcoholic beer

A couple of months ago, I gave up alcohol. After donating my stock of bottles to a few fortunate friends, the next step was finding a tasty de-alc replacement that I can enjoy at home.

Most de-alc beers I've tried are flops. They're either watery, with a light fizziness and little flavour (O'Douls, Exel, PC brand, etc.) or they have a strong, metallic bitterness that's not particularly pleasant and which leaves a bit of an after-taste (Beck's, Grolsch).

(And every de-alc wine I've tried tastes like grape juice.)

I recently stumbled up on Erdinger Alkoholfrei. Erdinger makes a very tasty Weißbier and, as it turns out, they also make a very tasty non-alcoholic beer! It has a relatively rich body, a light wheat-beer flavour, and a very pleasant German-beer bitterness with no disappointing after-taste.

According to McClelland Premium Importers, there's only one distributor for it in Ottawa and, oddly enough, it's a micro-brewery: Kichesippi Beer Co.

So, are there any de-alc / non-alc beer drinkers out there? Any brands you've tried that you'd recommend?
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Beers I've tried recently:
- Beck's Non-alcoholic
- Erdinger Alkoholfrei
- Grolsch Non-Alcoholic
- Molson Exel
- O'Doul's (Original and Amber)

In the past, I've also tried:
- Labatt's Blue De-Alcoholized
- President's Choice De-alcoholized (Lager and Red)
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 2013-11-04, 06:15 PM
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Many many years ago when my wife & I lived in Ottawa, we used to get wine & Champagne from a place in Ottawa called "The Other Beer & Wine Store". They specialized in non-alcoholic beer, wine etc. from various sources.

I have no idea if this place still exists, but it sure worked for us.

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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 2013-11-04, 06:15 PM
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A good ginger beer is a fine replacement. It doesn't taste like beer and isn't meant to. I prefer it to any non-alcohol beer. Similarly, a good grape juice is a substitute for non-alcohol wine. It isn't meant to taste like wine but is often made from grape varieties used for wine.
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 2013-11-04, 06:42 PM Thread Starter
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CamDAB: Sounds like a great place but, unfortunately, a couple of quick Google and YellowPages searches come up empty.

ExDilbert: Those are good non-beer alternatives. I'm partial to apple juice, cranberry juice and iced tea. But with certain foods - say, a BBQ'd burger or a good stir-fry - a cold beer is nice to have.

The Erdinger is a great find. I'm hoping to add one or two more to the list.
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 2013-11-04, 07:24 PM
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Canadian Beer News just posted an article on that topic:

Premium Near Beer Aims to Offer Canada’s Best Selection of Non-Alcoholic Beer

Quote:
The shop currently offers 14 brands of beer with alcohol levels of 0.5% or lower, with selections including award winners Clausthaler Premium and Brew Dog Nanny State, along with alcohol-free versions of such well known brands as Krombacher, Sagres and Weihenstephan. More brands are planned to be added in coming months.

Delivery is by the case – including a mixed pack featuring all of the available brands – and is currently limited to the Greater Toronto Area, with a Canada-wide rollout planned for 2014.
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 2013-11-04, 10:33 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Premium Near Beer Aims to Offer Canada’s Best Selection of Non-Alcoholic Beer
I like the sound of that! Thanks for the info!
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 2013-11-10, 04:29 AM
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Now we just need a great source for non-alcohol Wine / Champagne... :-)

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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 2013-12-01, 03:45 PM
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From The Toronto Sun - Sunday, December 01, 2013 :

Best non-alcoholic beers

Quote:
It turns out that removing the alcohol from beer does interesting things to the flavour profile. The unfermented sugars come out higher in the mix, meaning that the hint of grain you might have gotten on the aroma turns into grain tea. Since many of the brands that offer a de-alcoholized version are German, the bottles are green glass and the hops skunk out because of the UV light exposure. In some cases, the sour lager yeast finish becomes accentuated.
Jordan St.John recommends several brands in the article.
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 2013-12-01, 07:33 PM
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Eljay I didn't see Butter Beer on that list?

I joke but there are actually recipes out there.

Also, I seem to recall you being a fine single malt Scotch drinker. Your friends were indeed lucky!

My neighbor is nursing and was a beer lover. She said the other day she really misses beer. Especially when the boys get together with a growler of Ashton Vanilla Stout or a Tom Green milk stout.

Ok so the next time I am hosting I will be able to pull something from here.

Thanks for the Kichesippi tip.
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 2013-12-01, 08:03 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Exid0r
Jordan St.John recommends several brands in the article.
Thanks for the link. The article refers to Premiumnearbeer.com - I think I'll give 'em a call next time I head down to the Oakville area to visit my buddies, and see if I can pick up a couple of cases of something interesting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jake
Eljay I didn't see Butter Beer on that list?

I joke but there are actually recipes out there.
I've never heard of butter beer, but it sounds (and the recipes sure make it seem) artery-clogging tasty!

Quote:
Also, I seem to recall you being a fine single malt Scotch drinker. Your friends were indeed lucky!
I was, and they were! They got some good Scotch, bourbon and port, and quite a few bottles of nice red wine.

Quote:
My neighbor is nursing and was a beer lover. She said the other day she really misses beer. Especially when the boys get together with a growler of Ashton Vanilla Stout or a Tom Green milk stout.
My sympathies to your neighbour.

Quote:
Thanks for the Kichesippi tip.
You're welcome. I hope you and/or your guests enjoy it as much as I do.
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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 2014-03-09, 03:59 PM Thread Starter
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A couple of weeks ago, on my way to visit my buddies in Oakville & Grimsby, I swung by PremiumNearBeer's depot in Brampton (just north of the 407) to pick up my order:
- one case of Krombacher Weizen and one of Pilsener; and
- a mixed-case containing two each of 12 different (near) beers.

Here's my take on the one's I've tried so far:
Krombacher - Weizen Alkoholfrei (5/5)
- Rich wheat-beer body, with delicious citrus-y flavour and a clean finish.
- Very nice, and even better than the Erdinger.

Krombacher - Alkoholfreies Pilsener (4/5)
- Crisp, clean, a little fizzy but quite nice!
- This promises to be a good patio beer.

Sagres - Sem Álcool (3/5)
- Light, with mild fizziness and pleasant bitterness.
- I look forward to trying a cold one of these on a hot day.

Clausthaler - Premium Classic Non-alcoholic (3/5)
- Light, with mild fizziness and bitterness.
- Tastes like a milder and more pleasant Becks or Grolsch. Nice.

Unicer - Super Bock Dark (3/5)
- Light, smooth, with a nice molasses flavour to the body and a very mild bitterness.
- Interesting, but not really much of a dark beer.

Clausthaler - Golden Amber Non-alcoholic (3/5)
- Light, thin, with mild fizziness and bitterness.
- It looks better than it tastes, and although it's not bad, it's not particularly interesting, either.

Gerstel - Alkoholfrei (2/5)
- Light, quite fizzy, mild, uninteresting.
- Not much different from a Molson Exel.
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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 2014-03-10, 10:35 AM
 
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While this isn't as low as 0.5% ABV, the Bellwoods Stay Classy India Session Ale is 2.3%. It's quite good for such a low ABV. Flavourful with a nice aroma. The second version is circulating around Toronto at the moment. It's a little less thin and they've added Citra hops which gives it a little more character in addition to the Nelson Sauvin hops.
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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 2015-02-26, 12:54 PM
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Further to the topic at hand...

Can Nonalcoholic Beer Save Big Brewers?

Quote:
Beer giants have been contending in recent years with saturation in what are traditionally their biggest markets -- the U.S. and Western Europe -- as drinkers turn increasingly to craft brews and boozier spirits. With options for growth limited to buying craft breweries or creating new craft-like brews, big-name beer makers are looking to corner the market on drinks that have little or no alcohol.
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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 2015-02-26, 01:15 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the article. I look forward to more quality options (as opposed to more Exel-like options) becoming available.

I also hope to find more good-quality de-alc wines. So far, I've only found one decent white.

And some passable whisky or bourbon would be nice, too.

(This stuff - Arkay - exists but, by all accounts, it's pretty bad. That said, I may try a bottle of their Scotch...to find out for myself just how bad that is. )
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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 2015-02-27, 08:29 PM
 
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Ever thought of brewing your own?
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