Go low, but go strong in flavour
By Malin Norman
Last month, millions of people embarked on Dry January, abstaining from alcohol for the first 31 days of the year for a fresh start – and perhaps with the intention of drinking more moderately going forward. Whether this was a mission of yours or not, there might be occasions when you want to enjoy a beer, just without the booze. The good news is, you don’t need to compromise on flavour. Here are some tips on tasty beer styles that work well with low or no alcohol.
It might sound like a contradiction, as these beers are usually between six and seven per cent in strength, but the amped-up style called India Pale Ale can be an interesting option when the alcohol has been stripped out. Heaps of hops bring bitterness but also refreshing notes of citrus fruit and pine, and often tropical fruit such as pineapple, passionfruit and mango. Be brave, try an IPA without alcohol and you might be pleasantly surprised.
Another beer style that hits the spot is wheat beer, with a lovely balance of wheat, hops and yeast character, often accompanied by banana and clove flavours, or orange peel and coriander. Wheat beers also have a creamy texture and a hefty head, which make up for the lack of body that comes in full-strength beers.
Alcohol-free stout and porter also work surprisingly well, with rich flavours of dark bread, roasted coffee and decadent chocolate. With or without alcohol, these beers are comforting and can actually give the sensation of a cold-brewed coffee. Did you know that some breweries collaborate with coffee roasters, who supply roasted beans to incorporate in the brewing?
These styles are just a few examples of flavourful options for low and no alcohol beer. Remember, never compromise on flavour, and enjoy your beer regardless of its strength!
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