My Week of N-A Beer
by  Bruce Daville

I recently had the misfortune to catch the flu.  It was a mild case but I
was still on medication which meant no beer.  Not good but non-
alcoholic beer was certainly okay.  And that's how I spent seven days
drinking the likes of Buckler, Kaliber, and O'Doul's.  It's also what
prompted me to learn a bit more about these N-A brews and send an
article into Bob.

I learned that one way to cook up a non-alcoholic beer is to brew a
regular one and remove the alcohol near the end of the brewing
process using a technique called vacuum distillation.  In essence the
beer is put under a vacuum and then – because alcohol has a lower
boiling point than water – it is boiled at a lower temperature to help the
alcohol evaporate. Neat.

Another method uses reverse osmosis. The beer is passed through a
membrane under high pressure. The tiny pores of the membrane allow
only alcohol and water to pass through. The alcohol is removed
through distillation, leaving the water to be added back to the sugar
and flavor compounds found on the other side of membrane.

Brewers also can manipulate the fermentation process to reduce the
alcohol volume. All of the processes, however, affect the flavor of the
final product, and it is up to the brewer to create something that is not
watery and uninteresting. Any beer’s flavor comes from the grain
used, as well as the aging process.

Of course the taste is not really good.  Think of a bad light beer.  Then
again some NA beers actually do taste better than many lights.  Even
more, you can get some of beer's health benefits in the NA kink.  One
Japanese study indicated that drinking non-alcoholic beer can reduce
the risk of cancer and heart disease, just like regular beer.

Actually there are many people select a non-alcoholic beer because
they like the taste but don’t want the buzz that comes with a regular
beer. Okay, maybe not that many but there are still some.  Others
choose it because they are designated drivers for the evening and
want the flavor of a beer and something to hold in their hand.

So which NA beers did I like best?  Kaliber (made by Guinness) was
decent enough.  The aroma was reminiscent of caramel candy and
caramelized sugar, but little else. The beer had a definite malt flavor
profile with only a hint of bitterness. Lots of toasted grain and corn
notes.  Ice cold it beats Coors Light.

I almost enjoyed the Penn's Best NA.  While the taste is virtually non-
existent except for some small hints of grainy malt and  hops, there's
nothing offensive about it at all which is more than you can say for
many beers, both NA and regular.

The largest selling NA is O'Doul's made by Budweiser.  The taste is
sweet corn, rice, and even a touch of hop bitterness. Simply put, the
overall taste  is very much like a weak US macro lager.

I can honestly recommend Clausthaler Classic from Germany.  It's not
a bad tasting brew but everything is minimal, minimal sweetness,
minimal bitterness, minimal hop notes, and thankfully, minimal corn
syrup taste at the finish with low duration.  This might be the best of
the bunch.

My NA days are now over but all things considered I learned that
having to drink NA beer is not the terrible ordeal I expected it to be.  
However I don't think you'll see me or Bob for that matter, ordering
one anytime soon.

Many thanks to Bob for giving me the opportunity to write this
month's column.  It's always fun to talk about beer, even NA beer!

BeerNexus proudly presents

Bob Montemurro
"the ombudsman of beer"

Bob and Friends Speak of Beer......
See you next time to
"speak about beer".
Bob Montemurro

Index of all articles
Bob and Friends Speak of Beer

Best Hobby For The Pandemic

Let's Talk Beer

Let's Talk BeerTips On Staying Connected

How To Age Beer At Home

Wellness Beer

It's A Health Issue

Is It Clean or Beer Clean???

Report From The Great American Beer Festival

A Case For Non-Alcohol Beers

Traits of Successful Brewers

Tips On Using Beer In Cooking

Inconsistent Hangovers

Drink And Save Mone

It's A Baseball Beer Party

Unfit for Consumption??

ow To Pack Beer For The Aiplane

The $200 Beer

Counting Calories

The Real Red Beer

Why I Stopped Drinking Light Beer

Attack on Breweries

Distributors Foll

Offensive Labels

Beer - No Food

Fakes and Frauds

Information Please

Drink Beer - Lose Weight

Beer In The Olympics

Flights of Beer Fancy

Do you Really Want To Know

Crowlers vs. Growlers

Beware of Beer In Cans

Presidential Drinking

Hops Humbug

Traveling and Beer Hunting

The Big Chill For Beer

Tastes Great - Less Filling

Semi-Humorous Beer Jokes

Defending Blue Moon

Hello From Upstate NY

It's Not Craft, It's Crafty

Mix It With Beer

My Week Of N-A Beer

Fact or Fiction?

Drink at the Bar,  Not at Home

Big Beer Responds

Beer Goes With Salad Too

Summer Beers

Bad Beer is Bad Beer

In (Semi) Praise of  Light Beer

Buena Cerveza de Mexico

Spices in Beer?

Try It, You'll Like It!

Trappist Tuesdays and Other Days Too!

In Defense of Beer

Beer for Dessert

What I Drank On My Summer Vacation

Pairing Food & Beer

A Bit of Beer History

Beer Code Secrets

Comeback for Beer In Cans

Hold the Coffee,  I'll Have a Beer

Perfect Together-  Beer and Summer

Think Belgium, Think Beer..... and Chocolate!

Count Me Converted

Sad Things Across the Pond

Make Mine Organic

Repeal Day

Ancient Beers Return

How Low Can They Go?

Finally Beer is Back


Contract Brewing
Want to be a "friend of Bob" and write a guest
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