Being the designated driver can be difficult. You watch your friends with drinks in hand, having fun and letting loose. You crave for something alcoholic just to take the edge off, but you have a duty to your friends to get them home safely.
So, someone recommends non-alcoholic beer. For me, it brings back an embarrassing moment of when I ordered non-alcoholic beer at a P.F. Chang’s and the waiter laughed at me. You may know someone who believes that non-alcoholic beer tastes like something I find too crass to write in this blog post right now. (What can I say? I’m a classy lady.)
However, when the music is on and the night is young, beggars can’t be choosers. You decide to take a leap of faith to order a non-alcoholic beer to make you feel part of the group. But which beer do you purchase?
Before I go into what I’ve found regarding the best non-alcoholic beers, there are a few important points I should mention. Non-alcoholic beer is not 100% non-alcoholic. Most non-alcoholic beers have 0.5% alcohol in them. Because of this, drinking non-alcoholic beer is not a good way to help with alcohol addiction. The little bit of alcohol, and even the taste, can trigger a relapse. Additionally, if you were drinking non-alcoholic beer, you should drink as much as you would (or less, even) if you were drinking normal beer. Drinking non-alcoholic beer does not mean you can increase your intake. Because it does have alcohol, drinking a large amount of non-alcoholic beer can be a risk.
And now, designated drivers, after asking around and combing through the internet, here’s what I’ve found to be the five best non-alcoholic beers.
Clausthaler is a German beer that has 0.45% alcohol. Clausthaler is brewed in a different way than most non-alcoholic beers and many people find it to be the best substitute. For a richer, darker taste, try the Golden Amber, which is only 0.3% alcohol.
Buckler is a product of Heineken and has 0.5% alcohol. This has gotten a few good reviews and oddly enough, I learned on Wikipedia that it was once the beverage of choice for both Joe Biden and George W. Bush. See? Democrats and Republicans maybe do have something in common…
Kaliber is brewed by the so-called beer gods themselves, Guinness. Kaliber gets so-so reviews online and a lot of people find its sweet taste to be… interesting, to say the least. Kaliber is brewed as a regular beer and then the alcohol is removed after. The total alcohol content is 0.5%.
St. Pauli Girl
St. Pauli Girl is probably the most well-known non-alcoholic beer in the United States. With 0.5% alcohol as well, a lot of people find this beer to light and crisp. Like Kaliber, it has an “interesting” sweet taste.
I’m going to call this the dark horse of the list. A lot of people I know are not impressed with O’Doul’s. However, I found a surprising number of people online who say that O’Doul’s Amber isn’t terrible. Since it is an amber ale, the caramel malts give it more of a flavor than the tasteless original. However, you may need to try it for yourself. It can be hard to find at most places, I hear, so if you’re ever in a situation where it is the best option, you may as well give it a try.