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Non-alcoholic beer: Is it nice? Can you still drive after it? We investigated

Here’s what you need to know.

beer Source: Flickr


Unless you’re driving and don’t fancy sipping on sparkling water all night, then you probably haven’t had any reason to try it.

For many, the concept of non-alcoholic beer remains an impenetrable mystery with many going so far as to ask, “What’s the bloody point?”

So, what’s the story with them?

giphy (19) Source: Reddit

Non-alcoholic beers are, well, beers with no alcohol. Or just about anyway. Most have 0.5% volume of alcohol in them, but they’re still a safe alternative to regular ol’ beers if you’re driving, pregnant or indeed a non-drinker.

Does anyone actually drink them?

giphy (20) Source: dextershowgif/Tumblr

Weirdly, they’re really popular in Spain.

In Ireland, however, they’re still not massively popular. According to the Herald, however, recent research seems to indicate that 49% of people would feel comfortable ordering a non-alcoholic beer in a pub.

For the moment, though, Irish people seem happy enough to stick to soft drinks.

What’s the selection like in Ireland?

BJg_jb2CIAEMy0H Source: Rob/Twitter

…not great.

There’s generally only a small selection of non-alcoholic beers available in pubs/restaurants — Beck’s, Erdinger, Paulaner or Bavaria. The general consensus on this Boards.ie thread is that Erdinger is the best, though not by much.

If you’re into craft beers, Brewdog has a non-alcoholic beer, the aptly named Nanny State, that you can get in select off-licences around Ireland.

Does non-alcoholic beer taste the same as alcoholic beer?

In a word: no.

As Gizmodo explains, non-alcoholic beer is made by boiling the alcohol out of regular beer and carbonating it later.

So it’s really sort of a beer-flavored soda.

That’s not to say there aren’t nice ones, though. As we mentioned earlier, the non-alcoholic Erdinger and Brewdog are both solid bets if you aren’t drinking, but want the taste of beer in your mouth.

Finally, are you completely safe to drive after drinking them?

giphy (18) Source: Giphy


Unless you’re drinking buckets of it, you should be fine.

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About the author:

Amy O'Connor

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