What is the history of non-alcoholic beers in Australia?
Although European brands were making alcohol-free beers that were being imported, there were no home-grown zero beers until Aboriginal owned Sobah launched in 2017.
Fast-forward to 2021 and the industry has exploded and the alcl-free beer shelves are full of the good old classics and new and innovative craft breweries too.
It seems that the Australian (and international) non-alcoholic beer market is on the rise with no plans to slow down. By 2023, it's expected to reach $5.91billion according to Nielsen data. So, why the huge buzz about alcohol-free beer? Well, more and more people are joining the sober curious movement...
What is the sober curious movement and why are Aussies loving it? In a similar vein to mindful drinking, being 'sober curious' means questioning, changing or gradually leaving behind an alcohol-fueled lifestyle in order to be healthier both physically and mentally.
Adopting a sober curious lifestyle doesn't mean the same thing for everyone. For one person it could mean swapping out every second alcoholic beer with a non-alcoholic beer. For someone else, it might mean taking a dry month or year.
The sober curious movement has sparked life into the alcohol-free industry and has given people the freedom to make better choices. It's not about forcing people to give up alcohol entirely - it's about being open to other, healthier alternatives.
What are the best non-alcoholic beers made in Australia?
Australia has a reputation for producing some of the most delicious beers in the world, and drinking our fair share of it too. Now that alcohol-free drinks have become popular, large breweries and smaller craft breweries alike are creating some seriously tasty no alcohol and low alcohol beer.
Here are the best alcohol-free beers Australia has to offer.
The blurb: Founded by four friends who wanted to drink less, Heaps Normal set out to create an alc-free beer and normalise mindful drinking.
The taste: A deliciously refreshing pale ale with balanced bitterness, a subtle malt sweetness and notes of tropical citrus.
Worth noting: Vegan friendly, low in sugar and only 22 calories per 100mls
What customers are saying: It has a fantastically refreshing taste and so like alcoholic beer you wouldn't know the difference. I could happily drink this beer forever!
The blurb: Proudly Aboriginal owned, Sobah is changing the way Australians combat the societal issues surrounding alcohol consumption by smashing stereotypes, promoting inclusion and choosing to drink ethically superb non-alcoholic craft beer.
The taste: Light, sour and aromatic ale with Earthy aromas, a refreshing mouthfeel and a thirst quenching finish. The taste of Davidson plum brings a tart flavour with slightly bitter undertones.
What customers are saying: “Really outstanding beer with the most amazingly complex, uniquely Australian flavours.”
The blurb: Australian brand, NORT, make alc-free craft beer that is full of flavour.
The taste: With a rich golden hue and aromas of tropical passionfruit, this flavoursome craft beer has a light body and a long refreshing finish.
Worth noting: At only 49 calories per serve, this is one of the lightest alc-free beres on the market. The full range of NORT beers includes; NORT XPA, NORT All Day IPA, and NORT Non Alcoholic Refreshing Ale.
What customers are saying: “I can't believe that they have packed so much flavour into a non-alc beer”
The blurb: With 20 years brewing experience, Paul Holgate, the brewer behind ZERO+ completed extensive product development in order to brew to below 0.5% alc/vol.
The taste: Brewed with Australian Hops, this Pale Ale has notes of caramel and a crisp and refreshing finish.
Worth noting: Added health benefits from Magnesium, Potassium and Calcium for muscle recovery and Polyphenols for energy and hydration. It’s also low in sugar and only 14 calories per 100ml.
What customers are saying: "A really nice tasting beer that is very refreshing."
The blurb: The team behind award winning Upflow have ten years of brewing experience behind them.
The taste: With both Halletauer and Saaz hops alongside Munich malt, this Pale Ale has a deliciously balanced flavour.
Worth noting: The addition of carefully selected minerals (including Magnesium to prevent cramps), as well as carbohydrates and water, provide low energy hydration, replacing lost electrolytes and nutrients to support recovery. The Upflow range also includes, New World IPA, Stout and a Lager Beer.
What customers are saying: “The UpFlow Pale Ale has a delightful bitterness to it that beer drinkers will love and the malt and yeast tastes make for a beautiful finish.”
The Blurb: Brewed in Melbourne, UK beer brand Big Drop is an award-winning non-alcoholic brewery that naturally brews beer to less than 0.5 per cent rather than removing the alcohol.
The Taste: With rosy, floral aromas this dry-hopped pale ale has a light and limey citrus bite on the palate with and a balanced, bitter finish.
What customers are saying: “A very enjoyable Pale Ale with a good depth of flavour.”