Christmas time is always a period for over-indulgance which, when it comes to alcohol, can be problematic. Many of us have had those wild Christmas nights out or evenings with family round that have transformed into huge arguments as a result of one too many.
At the same time, more and more of us are giving up alcohol too, turning to non-alcoholic alternatives to improve our health, while there are an increasing number of us seeking help for alcohol problems.
Christmas can be a difficult time of year for those in recovery, with Banbury Lodge, one of several alcohol and drug rehabilitation centres in Oxford, often noting a spike in people returning to their centres after relapsing over the festive period.
What’s making life that little bit easier is the burgeoning non-alcoholic beer scene at the minute, and plenty of us will be turning to it this festive period to enjoy the social element of a beer with friends, without the aggravation and problems that alcohol can so often cause.
So, if you’re thinking the same this Christmas, here are five great non-alcoholic beers you should be stocking your cupboards with…
Adnams Ghost Ship 0.5%
Easily the best non-alcoholic real ale out there, this is a zero alcohol take on Adnams’ popular Ghost Ship. It’s been lauded by many experts in the space and provides that same brilliant citrusy flavour without the booze.
It’s brewed in the same way as the 4.5% Ghost Ship, but they then use a de-alcoholiser to remove that and give you an incredibly refreshing brew.
Mash Gang Cold Coast
Moving on to a lager, Mash Gang are a 0% specialist brewer and offer a fine array of non-alcoholic options. Their Cold Cost is a take on a west coast pilsner and is incredibly hoppy and incredibly flavoursome.
That provides you with a refreshingly crisp lager experience, that actually tastes tons better than the bog-standard Madris and Carlings you get on the pumps.
Actually marketed as an isotonic drink and commonly handed out post marathon, Erdinger Alkoholfrei is a non-alcholic wheat beer for those looking for something outside of lager and bitter.
It’s been around for a number of years now and is a favourite among non-drinkers. You get citrus as well as caramel-sweet nuances and a truly great flavour.
First Chop Ooh
A little more out there now, we turn to Manchester’s First Chop brewery, a specialist in gluten free options but also excellent in their non-alcoholic beers. The Ooh can only be picked up from specialist shops but is well worth a try. It’s a pineapple sour and while not very Christmassy in its flavour, it’ll certainly get you and friends talking.
It’s punchy, refreshing and a really unique beer to keep in your cupboard, or fridge, this Christmas.
Big Drop Pine Trail
Finishing with a pale ale, Big Drop has become huge in recent years, with many of their beers available in supermarkets as well as craft beer bars across the country.
Big Drop are an alcohol-free brewery and the Pine Trail pale ale is one of the best out there. It’s light and citrusy and has won multiple awards. And with it being so accessible it’s a great option for you.