Demystifying Non-Alcoholic Beer: What You Need to Know
Non-alcoholic beer, once a boring niche product, is gaining popularity and recognition like never before. We get new beers here every week!. If you've ever been curious about this alcohol-free alternative or have wondered how it's made, you're in the right place. In this blog post, we'll demystify non-alcoholic beer and provide you with everything you need to know.
The Brewing Process: Crafting Flavor Without the Alcohol
Non-alcoholic beer starts its journey much like traditional beer, with the brewing process. Hops, malt, water, and yeast are combined to create a flavorful base. However, the magic happens during a critical step: the removal of alcohol or the alcohol product is stopped and is not able to begin to be produced.
There are several methods to remove alcohol from beer or stop it before it begins to ferment, but the most common ones include vacuum distillation, arrested fermentation and reverse osmosis. These processes are carefully controlled to ensure the flavors and aromas remain intact while the alcohol content is reduced to less than 0.5% alcohol by volume (ABV).
In vacuum distillation, the beer is heated in a vacuum chamber so that the alcohol evaporates out. The vacuum lowers the boiling point of the alcohol, allowing it to evaporate at a lower temperature, which helps preserve the aromatics and flavor of the beer.
In reverse osmosis, the beer is filtered through a membrane that separates the alcohol and water from the other components of the beer. This process removes the alcohol while leaving behind the flavor and aroma compounds.
Arrested fermentation is a method used in the production of non-alcoholic beer. It involves fermenting the beer similarly to regular alcoholic beers, but stopping the fermentation process before it reaches its normal, alcohol-producing conclusion. This is done by removing or inactivating the yeast through chilling or heating before it can produce high amounts of alcohol, often through rapid cooling of the beer undergoing fermentation. All of these processes allows for the production of non-alcoholic beer with a similar taste and mouthfeel to regular beer, but without the alcohol content.
Pasteurization: The Importance of Pasteurization in Non-Alcoholic Beer
Non-alcoholic beer often needs to be pasteurized because it has a very low alcohol content. Pasteurization is the process of heating beer to a temperature that will kill any living microbes and eliminate the chance of alcohol creation in the can. It is used by many brewers to sterilize and stabilize their product without changing the chemistry or flavor. Non alcoholic craft beers tend to receive more PUs (Pasteurization Units) compared to beer with alcohol.
The Flavor Spectrum: More Than Just "Beer-Like"
One common misconception about non-alcoholic beer is that it all tastes the same or mimics a standard lager. In reality, non-alcoholic beer comes in a wide variety of styles, each offering a unique taste experience. Here are a few examples:
Hoppy Delights: If you love the bitterness and aroma of hops, you can find non-alcoholic IPAs that maintain those distinctive hoppy notes. Here is a link to our IPA Section Non-Alcoholic IPA – Designated Drinks
Malty Marvels: For those who prefer malt-forward brews, non-alcoholic stouts and porters offer rich, roasted flavors. Here is a link to our Stout Section Non-Alcoholic Stouts – Designated Drinks
Refreshing Lagers: Crisp and refreshing non-alcoholic lagers are perfect for a hot day or any occasion. Here is a link to our Lager Section Non-Alcoholic Lagers – Designated Drinks
Fruit-Infused Varieties: Some non-alcoholic beers incorporate fruit flavors, adding a delightful twist to your beverage. Here is a link to our Sour Section Non-Alcoholic Sours – Designated Drinks
Health Benefits and Reasons to Choose Non-Alcoholic Beer
Beyond the great taste and variety, non-alcoholic beer has several advantages:
Lower Calories: Non-alcoholic beers typically contain fewer calories than their alcoholic counterparts, making them a choice for those watching their calorie intake.
Hydration: With no alcohol, non-alcoholic beer can help with hydration, making it an appealing option for active individuals.
Safe for Everyone: Non-alcoholic beer is suitable for designated drivers, people who hate hangovers, and those who wish to avoid alcohol for health or personal reasons.
Full Flavor: You can enjoy the full flavor of beer without the effects of alcohol, making it a versatile choice for various occasions.
Non-alcoholic craft beer seems to be more than a trend; it's a growing category in the beverage industry with its unique flavors, brewing methods, and health benefits. Whether you're looking for a refreshing drink after a workout, a designated driver's choice, or simply a way to enjoy beer without the alcohol, non-alcoholic beer has something to offer.
At Designated Drinks we strive to offer the best tasting non-alcoholic craft beer in Canada. Consider giving one non-alcoholic beer a try. You might be pleasantly surprised!!