Love beer but want to cut back on booze? Try these tasty brews

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Whether you’re a full-time teetotaler or just tasting a break from beer for Dry January, there is a great choice of non-alcoholic and low-alcohol beers to choose from. The non-alcoholic beers of years past were sometimes lackluster, watery, and flavorless, but now, some breweries are working hard to make no-and-low alcohol drinks that compare favorably to their alcoholic counterparts. Here are five beverages that make tasty options if you’re looking to limit your alcohol consumption this month.

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1. Lagunitas IPNA, Lagunitas Brewing Company

This beer launched in 2020, after more than a year of careful research and development. The beautifully complex, slightly floral hop character of this beer makes this a truly great choice for the nights when you’re craving the great taste of a West Coast IPA, but you’re on driving duty. Naturally, the non-alcoholic version is a little lighter in the body than the classic Lagunitas IPA that you may already know and love, but for a non-alcoholic beer, Lagunitas IPNA still packs one hell of a punch. There’s a deep, fruity aroma of citrus and melon, a rounded mouthfeel, and a pronounced bitter finish.

Image Credit: Hollie Stephens.

2. Erdinger Non-Alcoholic, Erdinger Weissbräu

Erdinger is the largest family-owned wheat beer brewery. It is based in Bavaria, Germany, and was founded in 1886. The alcohol-free version of this classic German favorite is a refreshing drink, and with just 82 calories – which is 43% less than the regular Erdinger Weissbier – it’s certainly a healthier choice. Erdinger Non-Alcoholic has a brioche-like aroma with a hint of banana. It has a full mouthfeel with a gentle malty caramel sweetness, making for a satisfying alternative to an alcoholic beverage.

Image Credit: Hollie Stephens.

3. Schöfferhofer Hefeweizen Grapefruit Bier, Schöfferhofer

Here is yet another great tasting option from a German brewery, and in this case, the German Beer Purity Law goes out of the window to create a beer and fruit juice blend that’s perfect for warmer months, but great in winter too! This unique beer is a sparkling blend of Schöfferhofer beer and fresh grapefruit juice. It is a delicious lower alcohol alternative to a classic Hefeweizen, at just 2.5% ABV. There’s a balanced sweetness to the citrus bite, and lingering bitterness, with hints of sour orange candy. The surprisingly bright tangerine color of this beer is absolutely stunning and reminiscent of sherbet.

Image Credit: Hollie Stephens.

4. Just The Haze, Samuel Adams

Samuel Adams has been making beer since 1984, and this <0.5% ABV beer is their Dry January friendly take on Wicked Hazy: the brewery’s juicy New England style IPA. The alcohol-free version is packed with the same tropical aromas and flavors as the original. This beer is made with Citra, Mosaic, Sabro, and Cascade hops, and has a powerful pineapple note. There’s a soft mouthfeel thanks to the white wheat and oats in the grain bill, giving this beer a slightly creamy, yet refreshing, finish. Just The Haze clocks in at just 98 calories, making this a great way to get a healthier hoppy fix.

Image Credit: Hollie Stephens.

5. River Pirate Ginger Ale, Halyard Brewing Co.

Halyard Brewing Co specializes in producing craft ginger beer using fair trade and organic ingredients, and the newly released River Pirate is the company’s first foray into the non-alcoholic sphere. It has 53 calories and 13g of sugar in each 12oz serving, and is great for drinking either alone, as a mixer, or as part of an alcoholic or non-alcoholic cocktail. More floral and complex than many other ginger ales on the market, it’s also pleasantly fragrant and spicy, with a delicate sweetness that gives way to a dry finish. And if you prefer your gingery drinks spiked, there’s also the Octopus Queen, which is brewed with Madagascar vanilla and Ceylon cinnamon. It has a rich, full flavor and a rounded mouthfeel with lingering hints of warm winter spice.

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Image Credit: Hollie Stephens.

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