Low- and no-alcohol beers may be drops in the proverbial bucket of total U.S. beer sales, but as more options come to market — the volume of NA beer is expected to increase close to 11 percent in 2022, according to Global Market Insights — it’s impossible to ignore its growing prominence in boutique beer shops and health-oriented craft beer drinking communities.
We tasted close to 50 different NA beer brands to determine the best non-alcoholic beers available right now. Whether you’re a pale ale or amber fan looking for caramel malty sweet notes, tropical-flavored hop lover with an affinity for hard seltzers, or someone who has never tried NA beer before, the variety of options, flavors, and use cases abound.
Here are 20 of the best non-alcoholic beers to drink right now.
At its worst, a non-alcoholic IPA tastes like wet cardboard. At its best, it tastes like IPA. Partake IPA falls into the latter category, with the appearance, aromas and flavors reminiscent of an old-school West Coast IPA. It pours a deep orange color with a caramel-scented nose. On the palate, it’s crisp and flavorful, and almost gives the impression of malty sweetness but actually is quite bitter, and pleasantly so.
Samuel Adams Just the Haze
Just the Haze delivers on visuals: It’s bright yellow-orange, nearly as opaque as orange juice, and topped with a frothy head. On the nose, it’s malt-forward with a ripe banana note; and the flavor is fruity and juicy with a spicy hop finish. Truly, it’s not so different from Samuel Adams New England IPA.
This half-and-half-like radler is made with Partake’s non-alcoholic blonde ale mixed with citrus, including grapefruit, orange, and lemon juices. It’s like an Arnold Palmer — falling in a category of flavored seltzer or sparkling tea — with a very spritzy mouthfeel that’s lemony, tart, and begging to be spiked with vodka.
Wellbeing Heavenly Body Golden Wheat
Light gold with a wispy head, this Golden Wheat has aromas of freshly milled grains, witbier reminiscent of Ommegang Witte, and a toasted sourdough taste. It’s bright and sharp, metallic, mineral flavors are present, along with a little hint of apple or white grape juice, and a zesty finish.
Golden Road NA Mango Cart
A sunny, hazy yellow sight in the glass, this alcohol-free wheat ale is all mango from start to finish: scented as sweet, ripe mango dripping down your chin; fresh mango flesh flavor; and so fruity, it’s like drinking sparkling mango juice with a hint of wheat on the finish. This could mix nicely with blanco tequila or vodka.
Brooklyn Special Effects IPA
Candy-scented, light-bodied, and very refreshing, Brooklyn’s first NA IPA is both citrusy and herbal on the palate. The citrus notes are candy-like (think orange Skittles) accompanied by traces of dried herbs, such as sage and thyme. Though the aromas, flavors, and ultra-light body are not fooling anyone in terms of being an IPA, it does evoke tropical lime seltzer.
Untitled Art West Coast IPA
This golden, cloudy NA West Coast IPA smells of aged hops. Its flavor is fruity and bright, hinting at red berries. The body is well balanced and has a botanical, bitter finish.
Untitled Art Florida Weisse
Coral-pink and exceptionally aromatic, Florida Weisse, a non-alcoholic version of a beer by the same name by Untitled Art, is remarkably similar to a fruited Berliner Weiss-style sour ale. Its guava, strawberry, and passion fruit aromas are so prominent, we salivated from its scent alone. Taking a sip is like biting into a real, sour, seedy passionfruit. This is an unexpected, delicious addition to the NA sour beer game.
Untitled Art Italian Pilsner
Another trendy choice by Untitled Art, this begins with a sweet wort aroma, but tastes bitter and crisp (as an Italian-style pils should). We love the Italian-style pilsner trend, so this was a tough sell — and we’re sold.
A star of non-alcoholic beer tastings every year, Heineken 0.0 holds up its reputation yet again with the simple fact that it tastes, smells, and feels like drinking a Heineken.
Rightside Brewing Citrus Wheat
Soft, citrusy, and lemon-scented, this tastes so much like a lemony American Wheat Ale, we had to double check the label — then triple check, too. (Confirmed: less than 0.5 percent ABV.) It’s one of the best NA beers we’ve tasted — and one of the best beers, period, that we’ll be drinking this summer.
Wellbeing Brewing Victory Wheat
Printed on this impressive 16-ounce tallboy can is the short description: “Sports brew with a hint of orange.” It’s not a hint: It’s orange. On the nose and palate, we get orange water, orange blossom, and grapefruit. It is lighter than light, even for a near beer — like orange sparkling water to crush on a hot summer day, or as one taster said, “When you’re at a cookout and want another beer, but also want to pace yourself.” On a second tasting, we discovered it is made with electrolytes and other nutrients added for post-sweat refreshment and replenishment.
Untitled Art Juicy IPA
This hazy NA IPA is soft and pillowy, with tropical citrus and herbal notes playing on the palate. There’s a prickly, hop-pellet bitterness that carries onto the finish, but the texture of this beer is impressive — it has body, balance, and fortitude. “It actually tastes like a juicy IPA,” said one panelist; truly, it is the closest to “real” hazy IPA we’ve tasted in NA beer.
Brooklyn Special Effects Hoppy Amber
Brooklyn Brewery’s Hoppy Amber was one of the first non-alcoholic beers on the market, and then as now, it’s one of the best. It smells like a brew day — milled grain, sweet wort — and has black tea notes on the nose and palate. It’s still very light in comparison to an amber ale at full strength, but it’s a worthy substitute at only 95 calories.
Clausthaler Original (formerly Clausthaler Classic)
A non-alcoholic beer pioneer that’s now exported to more than 50 countries, Clausthaler offers an aroma of freshly milled grain, followed by balanced malty and bitter flavors on the palate. The nuance of this beer is expertly complex; it’s a little sweet at first, but a wave of flavor comes in for the finish.
Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier Alkoholfrei
The best thing about alcohol-free Weihenstephaner is this: It is still Weihenstephaner. The centuries-old Bavarian brewery has produced its Hefeweissbier since the 1500s, and its NA version lives up to its legacy — it has all the flavor and distinct banana ester aroma we expect, and a short, bitter finish. It could pass for Weihenstephaner light.
Athletic Brewing Upside Dawn Golden
Citrus and cereal flavors play off each other in this crisp, hoppy NA golden ale that’s so convincing, you’ll be three-quarters of the way through before remembering it’s alcohol-free. This is an undersung brew in Athletic’s portfolio with as much of the X factor as its more celebrated NA IPAs.
Athletic Brewing Run Wild IPA
As soon as this can cracks open, hop aromas burst into the atmosphere. In the glass, it’s a hazy golden color, and on the palate it’s light, bright, and softly carbonated. Fresh, clean, balanced, and bitter without any lingering bitterness, it’s no wonder Run Wild is the brewery’s most decorated label.
Athletic Brewing All Out Stout
Stout lovers looking for a short respite from bourbon-barrel-aged or s’mores-flavored pastry stouts (which, of course, have their time and place) will massively appreciate this NA offering from Athletic. It’s chocolaty, roasty, and marshmallow-y yet feather light, and a good one to keep in rotation.
Athletic Brewing Free Wave DIPA
A favorite of ours since it first debuted in 2017, Free Wave continues to prove that there’s room for all types of IPAs in the NA market. Although less overtly hoppy on the nose than traditional (alcoholic) double IPAs, it is bolder in flavor than other NA IPAs. Its body is fuller, it has a frothier head and texture, and in a word, it is “more” — more robust, more bitter, and more flavorful than many NA IPAs in the game.
What are the 5 best selling non-alcoholic beers? (by sales)
According to Drizly’s Bev Alc Insights, the top-selling non-alcoholic beers include Heineken Non-Alcoholic 0.0, Athletic Brewing Run Wild Non-Alcoholic IPA, Lagunitas IPNA, Clausthaler Original Non-Alcoholic, and Brooklyn Special Effects Hoppy Amber Non-Alcoholic Brew.
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 would provide the best drinking experience possible in the non-alcoholic beer category.