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Best non-alcoholic beer 2023: Enjoy alcohol-free options from Adnams, BrewDog, Budweiser and San Miguel

Fancy beer-drinking, but minus the hangover? Take a look at these non-alcoholic and low-alcohol beers

More and more people are waking up to the merits of non-alcoholic beer. Maybe you’re a teetotaller. Maybe you’re pregnant. Or maybe you want to keep tabs on your alcohol consumption. Either way, one reason that non-alcoholic beers are soaring in popularity is that – drum roll – they taste good. Many international and independent brewers have at least one non-alcoholic or low-alcohol brew in their portfolios of products.

But if you’re planning on picking up some beers for a party, you want to make sure you buy one that doesn’t have you rushing back to the real stuff. That’s why we’ve put together this guide to buying the right non-alcoholic or low-alcohol beer for you, followed by a list of our favourite tried and tested tipples.

Best non-alcoholic and low-alcohol beer: At a glance

How to choose the best alcohol-free beer for you

What type of beer do you like? Lager? Ale? Stout?

Just because you’re drinking non-alcoholic beer doesn’t mean that you can’t be fussy – you’ll be surprised to find the amount of choice there is on the market. Lagers, ales, pale ales and stouts are all available in non-alcoholic versions.

Non-alcoholic or low alcohol?

A distinction worth noting. Lots of beers that are labelled as non-alcoholic in fact do contain very small amounts of alcohol, usually to the tune of 0.5%. You’d have to drink insanely large amounts to even feel remotely tipsy, so if that’s what you want to avoid, you’ll be fine drinking these. But if – perhaps for religious reasons – you don’t want any alcohol to pass your lips, seek out the 0.0% beers. (By that logic, you may want to reconsider drinking orange juice or putting vinegar on your chips, though – they can contain 0.5% and 0.2% alcohol respectively.) We’ve divided them into two categories below.

Are you old enough to (not) drink?

Actually, we’re being serious. When it comes to low-alcohol beers, you’ll still have to be 18 to buy them as they contain alcohol, albeit in trace amounts. Amazon (who we’ve linked to in our selections below) mitigates this by insisting upon signed delivery when you’ll have to provide proof of age – if you’re lucky enough to look younger than 18, that is.

The best non-alcoholic beers you can buy in 2023

1. San Miguel 0,0: A crisp non-alcoholic lager

Price: £17 for 12 | Buy now from Beer Hunter

The first high-profile name on this list is a cut above its rivals Heineken and Budweiser, whose non-alcoholic offerings we found to be underwhelming. The flavour to San Miguel’s 0,0 is distinctly sweet, but once that fades, you can really start to enjoy a pleasantly authentic bitter flavour. It’s not our favourite on this list, but it’s a decent non-alcoholic beer from a major international brewery.

Key specs – Volume: 330ml; ABV: 0%; Beer type: Lager; Country of origin: Spain

Buy now from Beer Hunter

2. Budweiser Prohibition: A light, tasty 0% take on Bud

Price: £32 for 24 | Buy now from Amazon

If we’re being honest, that light, carbonated Budweiser tang makes it perfectly suited for a non-alcoholic equivalent – and we were quite taken with this zero-alcohol Bud. It’s got that familiar fizzy bite, and the malty sweetness gives way to a banana-esque flavour. A good one to wash down at a BYO curry house.

Key specs – Volume: 330ml; ABV: 0%; Beer type: Lager; Country of origin: US

3. St Peter’s Without: The best alcohol-free ale

Price: £14 for 6 | Buy now from Dry Drinker

The second beer from a Suffolk brewery on this list – and one that St Peter’s spent nearly £1m on developing. You’ll find it says 0.05ABV on the label, but purists can rest easy knowing that recent tests to the brew calculated it as closer to 0.009% – you’ll find more alcohol in a glass of orange juice. More importantly, it’s also very tasty: sweet, bitter and complex. You may also want to take a look at the lighter-hued Without Gold, too.

Key specs – Volume: 500ml; ABV: 0%; Beer type: Ale; Country of origin: England

Buy now from Dry Drinker

The best low-alcohol beers to buy

1. Adnams Ghost Ship 0.5%: The best low-alcohol pale ale

Price: £40 for 24 | Buy now from Amazon

Suffolk-based brewery Adnams has devised a clever process to brew a low-alcohol version of its popular Ghost Ship. The beer is made by reverse osmosis: the alcohol is removed and the resulting concentrated liquid is diluted with water and carbon dioxide. This rather unappetising recipe results in a golden, citrus-flavoured pale ale that’s light, malty and delicious. It’s a great choice for those who aren’t so keen on lagers or heavily hopped American-style IPAs.

Key specs – Volume: 330ml; ABV: 0.5%; Beer type: Pale ale; Country of origin: England

2. Pistonhead Flat Tire: The best low-alcohol lager

Price: £23 for 12 | Buy now from Amazon

Pay close attention if and when you buy this one as Pistonhead actually does two beers with the same name. One may leave you with a hangover, while the other most certainly will not. But what’s remarkable is how, unless you drink one after the other, it’s almost impossible to taste the difference between the two. The 0.5% Flat Tire might be a little sweeter, but that fades swiftly into a refreshing, aromatic, citrusy lager.

Key specs – Volume: 330ml; ABV: 0.5%; Beer type: Lager; Country of origin: Sweden

3. Small Beer Brew Co. Dark Lager: The best 1% beer

Price: £16 for 6 l Buy now from Dry Drinker

With the highest alcohol content on this list, Small Beer’s Dark Lager is a sublime choice for the low-alcohol drinker that doesn’t mind sipping a beer with 1% ABV. Small Beer’s Dark Lager could best be described as more of a dessert-like beer, with toasted coffee and chocolate undertones. It’s quite a rich drink, so you won’t be drinking many of these in quick succession, but Small Beer’s Dark Lager is the perfect evening treat after a hard day’s work (and a hearty dinner).

Key specs – Volume: 330ml; ABV: 1%; Beer type: Lager; Country of origin: England

Buy now from Dry Drinker

4. BrewDog Nanny State: A brilliant 0.5% hoppy pale ale

Price: £4 for 4 | Buy now from BrewDogDespite its stratospheric rise to international success, BrewDog still retains its punky, independent vibe – and it’s evident in the amusingly named Nanny State. BrewDog hasn’t skimped on care when it comes to this low-alcohol beer: eight different malts and five hops going into the blend. Much like BrewDog itself, proof of Nanny State’s popularity lies in its ubiquity: it’s a “craft” low-alcohol beer you’ll find in your local supermarket.

Key specs – Volume: 330ml; ABV: 0.5%; Beer type: Hoppy ale; Country of origin: Scotland

Buy now from BrewDog

5. Erdinger Alkoholfrei: The best low-alcohol wheat beer

Price: £24 for 12 | Buy now from Beer Hunter

Bavarian brewery Erdinger claims that the low-alcohol version of its world-famous wheat beer also works as an isotonic recovery drink. In each 500ml bottle, you’ll find 26.5g of carbs, plus surprising amounts of folic acid and vitamin B12. It certainly goes down terribly smoothly. A great choice if you’re feeling a little fragile after a few too many rounds of the hard stuff in the bierkeller the night before.

Key specs – Volume: 500ml; ABV: 0.5%; Beer type: Wheat beer; Country of origin: Germany

Buy now from Beer Hunter

6. Ilkley Brewery Virgin Mary: A refreshing, low-alc English ale

Price: £27 for 12 | Buy now from Amazon

As a non-alcoholic pale ale, Ilkley Brewery’s Virgin Mary pulls off some pretty impressive feats. First, it has a lovely orange aroma, even though it doesn’t contain any citrus. Second, it actually tastes like beer despite coming in at only 0.5% ABV. It has a good body and mouthfeel and isn’t watery in comparison to many of its non-alcoholic counterparts. It might not be doing anything exciting or innovative flavour-wise, but this is a perfect substitution for anyone craving a classic beer, without the high alcohol content.

Key specs – Size: 330ml; ABV: 0.5%; Country of origin: UK

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