For anyone following along, the variety and volume of non-alcoholic beverages available on the market has exploded in recent years. And although U.S. craft beer production has more or less plateaued at this point, the NA beer space continues to expand. According to Global Market Insights, the NA beer market was valued at over $22 billion in 2022, and is expected to nearly double over the next 10 years. Naturally, many emerging brands are eager to get their piece of the pie.
When you remove alcohol from beer— one of its most appealing features — its taste becomes even more paramount. But composing a pleasing profile without booze to back it up can be an uphill battle. Some, though, have been able to master the art of near-beer and pull off what was long thought to be impossible. Let’s just say we’ve come a long way from O’Doul’s.
We tasted through brews from dozens of brands to determine the best non-alcoholic beers on the market going into 2024, and aimed to include a wide variety of styles. Sure, there are seven IPAs below, but that’s arguably a fair representation of the craft beer market at large. And luckily, nearly all the breweries listed below offer direct shipping to most states through their respective websites.
So, get ready to hunker down for another Dry January and crack into the 22 best NA beers of the year.
Table Of Contents
Best Non-Alcoholic IPAs
Athletic Brewing Company Free Wave Hazy IPA
Despite turning only 6 this past year, Athletic Brewing is an industry heavyweight in the NA game, and is largely attributed for bringing NA beer into the American craft brewing landscape. True to its reputation, the brand continues to deliver consistent hits, and the Free Wave Hazy IPA is no exception. It has an all-American hop profile of Amarillo, Citra, and Mosaic, making for a delightfully dank and hoppy beer that tastes like a West Coast IPA in all the right ways.
Good Time Brewing Company IPA
New York City
Everything about Good Time Brewing’s IPA is nostalgic. Its old-school Americana packaging gives it the feel of a regional beer from decades past, and its classic West Coast IPA flavor profile is piney, bitter, and familiar (à la Sierra Nevada Pale Ale). Head brewer Dylan Collins is making his industry debut with this project, and we’re excited to see what he has in store down the road.
Rick’s Near Beer Hazy IPA
Rick’s Near Beer was founded in 2022 by former owner of Austin’s Hops & Grain Brewing Josh Hare. The brand is named after a fictional character Hare dreamed up, described on the company website as a grassroots, everyday American, and that’s reflected in the beer’s understated macro lager-adjacent packaging. Rick’s Hazy IPA pours an opaque amber-orange hue with a frothy, stable head up top. A barrage of Pacific Northwest hops hits the palate, balanced by a malty sweetness and a dry, crushable finish.
Go Brewing Not Just Another Story Double IPA
Go Brewing set up shop on the outskirts of Chicago in Naperville, Ill., in late 2022 with the mission of making delicious NA offerings built for an active lifestyle. This past year, the brewery’s Suspended in a Sunbeam Pilsner took home the gold for the best NA beer category at the Best of Craft Beer Awards, but the brew that impressed us the most was the Not Just Another Story Double IPA. Though there’s no ABV bump to differentiate it from a standard IPA, the beer captures the style’s bold flavors with a massively hoppy profile. On the nose and palate, we get Citra, Mosaic, and all the usual suspects in the American hop lineup. With solid head retention and a full-bodied flavor, this one’s an instant classic.
Samuel Adams Just the Haze
For a second year in a row, Samuel Adams Just the Haze stood up against the competition with this phenomenal hazy. Visually, it’s gorgeous, with bright, orange juice opaqueness and an unwavering, quarter-inch head. The taste matches the image, as notes of peach rings, honey, oranges, and overripe pineapple precede a rich, velvety mouthfeel.
Kit NA Brewing Here We Go Hazy IPA
A stellar brew from Portland, Maine, Here We Go Hazy IPA pops with notes of lemon, lime, and a hoppy bitterness to keep the sweetness as bay. Thanks to a hops blend of Idaho 7, Simcoe, and El Dorado, undertones of dank pineapple rise to the forefront on subsequent sips. As far as hazies go, this one’s pretty light-bodied and surprisingly crushable without skimping out on flavor and finish.
Sober Carpenter Black IPA
This black IPA carries all the draws of a proper Guinness. It’s roasty, chocolaty, slightly earthy, and has a foamy head that hangs around until the show’s over. On the other hand, it’s surprisingly light-bodied, but to its benefit. Sober Carpenter’s Black IPA makes for a sessionable alternative to a stout, with some of the hop bitterness of a classic IPA to keep all of your taste buds happy. This is a limited-edition release, so get it before it’s gone.
Best Non-Alcoholic Wheat, Golden, and Blonde Ales
Rightside Brewing Citrus Wheat
Returning for our 2024 list is VinePair crowd-favorite Rightside Brewing Citrus Wheat. This amber-tinted NA brew has it all: a soft palate, notes of citrus, wheat, and black pepper, and smooth carbonation to round out the whole package. The brand also has a great IPA, but of the pair, this one remains the standout in our eyes.
Eighteen Twenty Brewing Co. Vienna Suite Golden
After spending many years in the beverage business, husband-and-wife team Alan and Robin Lapoint started Portland, Maine’s Eighteen Twenty Brewing Co. (often stylized as 1820) in 2022, and they’ve been crushing it ever since. Among a few recent additions to their core lineup is this Vienna Suite Golden, and frankly, it checks all the boxes: It’s sweet, creamy, a little malty, and very of-the-style. Maine has been a big brewing mecca for a long time, and 1820 shows equal prowess in the NA space with this brew.
Athletic Brewing Company Upside Down Golden
Athletic Brewing makes its second appearance on our 2024 roundup in the form of its Upside Down Golden. Brewed with Vienna malt and a blend of English and American hops, this ale is sweet, malty, and well rounded with woody earthiness, a touch of spice, and some citrusy notes to back it all up. It may not be an Oktoberfest lager, but if you have a Bavarian pretzel in one hand, we recommend that this brew be in the other.
Partake Brewing Blonde
Award-winning NA brand Partake Brewing has managed to keep all of its brews under the 30-calorie threshold without skimping on flavor and texture, and this NA blonde ale clocks in at a mere 15. The nose dishes up alluring floral notes with a hint of earthy black pepper, followed up by a sweet, malty palate, persuading any hop bitterness to take a back seat. This beer is as refreshing as they come, so when the Association of Pickleball Players (APP) recently named Partake Brewing the official non-alcoholic brewery of the upcoming 2024 APP Tour, we felt they made the right choice.
Shiner Rode0 Golden Brew
Legendary Texas brewery Shiner is putting its right foot forward in 2024 with the recent release of Rode0. It pours a quintessential bright lager gold with lively carbonation, and tastes just like the real thing. It’s crushable, light, slightly sweet, and there’s not one off-flavor to speak of. For any macro lager fan, this beer offers one of the best representations of the style on the market.
Best Non-Alcoholic Lagers, Pilsners, and Amber Ales
RationAle Brewing Mexican Lager
If there were a world without Mexican lager, we would want no part of it — unless it had RationAle Brewing’s version as a substitute. This even-keeled Mexican-style lager truly tastes like it belongs on the shelf in between Corona and Modelo Especial: It’s clean, crisp, and a perfect tool for combatting a summer day’s heat.
Though Heineken suggested its 0.0 brew tastes different from its flagship beer upon its release due to its soft malty body, we honestly can’t tell the difference. And in our eyes, that’s a good thing. This is a no-frills NA twin of the original Dutch lager with less than half the calories, if you’re looking for something light.
Untitled Art Italian Style Pils
It’s not often that one comes across an NA craft Italian-style Pilsner. For that reason alone, we felt compelled to include Untitled Art’s NA Italian Style Pils to this list. Thankfully, the product is actually really good, too, and lands like a dry-hopped Peroni. It’s floral, creamy, not too sweet, and an all-around solid brew.
Wellbeing Brewing Hellraiser Dark Amber
Last year, we highlighted Wellbeing Brewing’s Victory Wheat, but this time around, the Hellraiser Dark Amber stole the show. On the nose, we pick up coffee cake, roasted malt, and a touch of maple syrup. The palate opens with a robust bitterness and hint of sweetness, along with floral rosewater notes on the back end. This brew looks like an amber, feels like an amber, and sips like an amber, all at a modest 80 calories per can.
Best Non-Alcoholic Fruited Beers
Bockale Tropic Fruit White Ale
This fruited ale from Quebec’s Bockale was brewed with clementine and lychee, and both fruits are well represented on the nose. It offers a balanced, citrusy profile with a light hoppy dankness that still gives the impression of a typical beer. On the finish, there’s a strong, nostalgic Creamsicle note that reels you back in for another sip.
Eighteen Twenty Brewing Co. All That Razz Raspberry Sour
Yup, another 1820 brew made it onto this year’s list. The All That Razz Raspberry Sour tastes and smells like raspberries with a capital R. It’s tart, refreshing, and ready-made for the spring and summer.
Dos Equis Lime & Salt Zero
If an NA Mexican light lager and a Margarita had a kid, it would be Dos Equis Lime & Salt Zero. This beer is packed with huge lime and salt aromas with a light hop bitterness that prevents the taste from becoming cloying or overwhelming. It may lean on the acidic side, but its dry finish and drinkability make it one of the more thirst-quenching NA beers on this list.
Best Non-Alcoholic Dark Beers
Not that they need the press, but we feel It would be remiss not to include Guinness 0 in this year’s roundup. The popularity of Guinness is not to be underestimated, and the brewers in Dublin have managed to craft a damn-near-identical twin of the Irish Nitro Stout without the alcohol. Albeit, Guinness doesn’t have much alcohol in it to begin with, but this NA version packs the same velvety mouthfeel we’ve come to love, without any of the bite.
Leader Brewing Night Strike Irish-Style Dark Brew
Palm Bay, Fla.
For the Guinness diehards who want something a little different, consider Leader Brewing’s Night Strike. It’s rich, roasty, and packs an almost chewy mouthfeel. Flavorwise, bold notes of coffee, chocolate, and pine-forward hoppiness round out the palate of this exceptional NA brew. Night Strike also won the bronze medal at the 2023 Great American Beer Festival in the NA beer category, and needless to say, we feel the award was well deserved.
Woodland Farms Brewery Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Dark
If first impressions are everything, Maine should be proud that Woodland Farms Brewery’s Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Dark is “Maine’s first non-alcoholic stout.” This decadent brew is an absolute beast, bursting with rich notes of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups on the nose that give way to malted milk balls and pralines on the palate. For any pastry stout fan looking for an alternative, this should be your go-to.
What are the best-selling non-alcoholic beer brands? (By Sales)
According to Drizly’s Bev Alc Insights, the top-selling non-alcoholic beer brands are Heineken, Athletic Brewing Company, and Guinness.
Is it OK to drink non-alcoholic beer regularly?
As with anything else, non-alcoholic beer is OK to drink in moderation. Though non-alcoholic beer may not contain alcohol and provides an alternative to regular beer, it offers very little nutritional value and should therefore be avoided in excess.
Are all non-alcoholic beers totally alcohol-free?
No. In the U.S., beer containing less than 0.5 percent alcohol can be labeled alcohol-free. If you’re looking to steer completely clear of booze, be sure to read the label closely before consuming.
VinePair’s Tasting Methodology
Throughout the year, VinePair conducts numerous tastings for our popular Buy This Booze column and beer, wine, and spirits reviews. Our mission is to provide a clear, reliable source of information for drinkers, providing an overview applicable to day-to-day buying and drinking.
Tastings are not typically conducted blind. In alignment with our reviews mission, we believe in purposefully tasting all products as our readers typically would, with full knowledge of the producer and the region.
For Buy This Booze roundups, we typically include a maximum of one expression per brand, though we do allow multiple products from the same production facility (i.e., released under different labels).
For this roundup, we considered a number of different factors before finalizing the list. Our aim was to provide a comprehensive picture of the ever-growing non-alcoholic beer category and as many varieties available today. Ultimately, we wanted to highlight the beers we’d reach for given the chance of choosing any, even if from the same producer, in different styles. We are confident that every product that made this final list delivers on flavor, balance, depth, and complexity, and will provide the best drinking experience possible in the non-alcoholic beer category.