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14 Non-Alcoholic Beers You Have To Try For Dry July

Going sober doesn't have to be boring.

Australia seems to be experiencing a surge in the availability of non-alcoholic beers right now, and that’s something we’re more than happy to get behind.

It’s practically a guarantee that we’ve all said “I’m never drinking again,” following a particularly booze-laden night out at some point in our lives. Fortunately, you can follow through on your word and still enjoy the delicious taste of beer thanks to a selection of non-alcoholic beers.

While it’s undoubtedly true that some of the best craft beers can make or break a Sunday session, non-alcoholic beer and low-alcohol beer offer just as good of a drinking experience, without the hangover. What makes non-alcoholic beer even more attractive is the fact, in most cases, they’re packed with fewer carbohydrates than their alcoholic brethren. So, they’re not only good for the following morning but for your waistline, too.

How is non-alcoholic beer made?

Any beer than has less than 0.5% ABV (alcohol by volume) is classed as non-alcoholic. So, while it does still technically contain alcohol, it’s not enough to get you drunk. As a comparison, 9 non-alcoholic drinks equals 1 standard drink in Australia.

To make non-alcoholic beer, brewers go through much of the same process as when making alcoholic beer, in that it requires making a mash, adding hops and fermenting. But, once this process is completed, things change. Non-alcoholic beers, naturally, have to then have the natural alcohol removed.

To do this, brewers will most commonly subject it to a high heat so that the alcoholic part of the brew to evaporate, since alcohol has a lower boiling point than water.

Another method brewers use is called vacuum distilling, which lowers the boiling point of the alcohol even further and allows more of the flavourings from the hops to remain in the brew. Using the first method of exposing it to high heat, can also take away some of the flavour along with the alcohol.

Alternatively, the non-alcoholic beer could go through a reverse osmosis process which sees the brew passed through a filter which only the alcohol and water can pass through. Once this process is completed, the alcohol is removed from the resulting liquid, and the water, complete with any acids that made it through the filtering process, are added back into the mixture that didn’t make it through the filter. It’s this mixture that contains the sugars and flavours.

Dry July

Dry July is an annual fundraising campaign, started in 2008, that encourages people to go sober for the month of July in order to raise money for those affected by cancer. Since its foundation, Dry July has increased in popularity and has helped people to start rethinking their relationship with alcohol.

In fact, Dry July says more and more Australians are beginning to lead more ‘Sober Curious’ or ‘Mindful Drinking’ lifestyles. This doesn’t mean they’re giving up alcohol entirely, but they’re starting to question if they always need to be drinking alcohol, or restricting the amount of alcohol they consume.

The foundation says “over the past 15 years, alcohol consumption has decreased in Australia, from 10.8 litres per capita per year down to 9.4 litres, the lowest seen in 50 years.” And, contrary to what you may think, it’s the younger generation that are getting behind the mindful drinking lifestyle, with “the number of people in their 20s abstaining from alcohol increasing from 8.9% in 2001 to 22% in 2019.”

It’s this shift in mindset that has been the catalyst for more and more non-alcohol beers (and non-alcoholic wines) to enter the market.

Best Non-Alcoholic Beers

So, if you’re new to non-alcoholic beer and are considering giving it a go for campaigns such as Dry July, which ones should you be looking out for? We’ve put together this list of the best non-alcoholic beers to help get you started.

We’ve deliberately skipped the likes of Peroni Libera and Great Northern Zero because, whilst they may indeed be non-alcoholic beers, we don’t think they truly showcase what is possible when it comes to taste, i.e. they don’t provide much evidence to prove making the switch to non-alcoholic or low-alcohol beer doesn’t have to be boring.

So, for the most part, the non-alcoholic beers on this list are either produced by established craft breweries or they come from breweries dedicated solely to producing great-tasting non-alcoholic beer.