For many years alcohol-free drinks were few and far between, often the only options available were limited to J2O and Becks Blue. There was perhaps the view that these non-alcoholic drinks were more of a necessity rather than something people actually enjoyed drinking. The token offering to appease a nominated driver that somehow made up for them missing out on the opportunity to enjoy a cold beer or glass of wine.
Thankfully times have changed and non-alcoholic drinks have become a large market sector attracting increased creativity and innovation when it comes to the products now available.
The reasons for limiting one’s alcohol intake are many… Whether you’re participating in a challenge such as Dry January, having a general detox after the indulgences of the Christmas period or just trying to avoid alcohol altogether as part of your New Year’s resolutions.
Whatever your reasons for doing so, there is a large range of alcohol-free products now available with many of them very similar in both appearance and taste to their alcoholic counterparts. There are now many alcohol-free beers that cover a range of styles, low-alcohol ciders that taste just like the real thing and even high-end, non-alcoholic spirits.
Find out more about vegan drink and food on the forkandcarrot.com website or follow Oliver Coningham on Twitter @forkandcarrot.
Nanny State (0.5%) – BrewDog RRP £1.25 for 330ml (Sainsbury’s)
Nanny State is packed with bucket loads of hops including Centennial, Amarillo, Columbus, Cascade and Simcoe. The hops are balanced by a backbone of 8 different speciality malts. For a low alcohol beer, Nanny State is difficult to surpass, with its all encompassing tropical aroma and taste. Pineapple, mango and pine are vivid in flavour with a hint of orange and pine. Some caramel sweetness underlies the hop character and provides a little balance. Nanny State ends with a long, hugely bitter finish.
BrewDog have the majority of their beers registered with The Vegan Society with a small handful of exceptions – beers that contain milk (such as Jet Black Heart) and those that contain honey (Dogma, Electric India).
Described as “zero alcohol, yet zero compromise on flavour”, Innis & None is created differently to other alcohol-free beers. Where others are brewed and then de-alcoholized resulting in some of the flavour being removed, Innis & None is brewed, but not fermented, leaving all the flavour untouched. With the addition of ginseng and Vitamin C, it’s an intriguing combination of zesty Pale Ale and health tonic. Full of juicy sweet orange it’s incredibly moreish with ginseng providing a subtle earthy and herbal note.
Innis & Gunn do not use any animal ingredients nor do they use animal products in the filtration process.
Stowford Press 0.5% (0.5%) – Westons Cider RRP £1.00 for 330ml (Ocado)
Stowford Press 0.5% contains all the flavour and taste of Stowford Press, but in a 0.5% lower alcohol format. Still matured in their characteristic oak vats, this cider is then delicately blended to create a thirst-quenching, low-alcohol drink. Despite the lack of alcohol, there’s still the same quality and character drinkers have come to expect from Westons Cider. Not only suitable for vegetarians,
vegans and coeliacs, Stowford Press 0.5% contains no artificial colours, flavours or sweeteners.
Westons Cider products are suitable for vegetarians, vegans and coeliacs.
Spice 94 (0.0%) – Seedlip RRP £26.00 for 70cl (Tesco)
Spirits have received somewhat of a resurgence recently with the arrival of many “craft” products, especially within the gin industry. Seedlip are the world’s first non-alcoholic spirit and are served in some of the leading bars, hotels and restaurants around the world. There are two varieties available: Garden 108 with a herbal profile and Spice 94 which is more aromatic. Spice 94 is made using botanicals including allspice, cardamom, oak, lemon and grapefruit.
Seedlip Drinks are suitable for vegans and also free from the majority of dietary allergens.
Karma (0.5%) – Nirvana Brewery RRP £2.39 for 330ml (EeBria.com Online Shop)
Nirvana Brewery are the UK’s only craft brewery that are dedicated to brewing a range of low alcohol and alcohol-free beers. Only high quality ingredients are used to brew their beers, with some sitting at 0% and others at 0.5%. Each beer is bottled in their distinctive packaging featuring bold colours and stylish branding. Karma, a light and refreshing Pale Ale, is a recent addition to their range. Timeless citrus and floral hop aromas lead to a refreshing dry and bitter finish.
Nirvana Brewery beers are all vegan friendly.
Low Alcohol G&T (0.5%) – Tesco RRP £1.00 for 250ml (Tesco)
Canned drinks have become increasingly popular in recent times due to their light weight, recyclability and increased protection of their contents. Not to mention the fact they can be taken into many places that bottles cannot. With cans of pre-mixed G&T now a staple at outdoor events such as picnics and concerts, Tesco’s Low Alcohol G&T is perfect for those wishing to stay clear headed. Packaged in a simple and unassuming green can featuring clean botanical illustrations.
Tesco own label products are clearly marked when suitable for vegans