A non-alcoholic beer review
Hey there, NA beer drinkers -- remember when I said we are starting to have some options when it comes to no and low alcohol beers? Well it is not slowing down. To continue my series on "can find it in the grocery store" non-alcoholic beer reviews, today we have Coors Edge (the reigning champ) and Budweiser Zero (the challenger).
I love Bud Zero on the golf course! I can keep up with my alcohol beer drinking friends without feeling left out.
Where is the Macro NA love?
I got a text from my friend the other day about BWAB that ended with "Don’t be hating on the big boys"
I don't hate on the "big boys" but it is obvious that Craft is having it's day in the sun. Why? The focus on flavor.
In my experience, most people who drink full-leaded macros do so because of a few reasons:
1. They are easy to find
3. Less calories
4. Easier to drink more of them (aka don't get too full before you get tipsy).
Obviously there are some people out there who love the taste of a good pilsner or American lager and couldn't care less about the ABV but I think it is fair to assume those folks are bit more rare. Until now.
The rise of "cheap" NA beer
When I say cheap unfortunately I mean light, not inexpensive. Because up to this point all NA beer seems to be priced pretty much the same. (with the exception of Busch NA -- a good deal online but in stores? I mean wow.)
My take on the emergence of macro NA beers as of late? Other than hopping aboard the non-alcoholic bandwagon, the timeline makes just makes sense.
Look at this craft beer timeline from craftbeer.com Think of all the people who were 21 right when the Craft Beer movement really took off they are about to hit the prime of their lives. Mid-40s. And what do mid-forty-year-olds drink?
That's right. #lawnmowerbeer
Now we have non-alcoholic lawnmower beer so let's talk about that.
The sweetness of most NA "yellow beers" doesn't work for me, but I could drink the Buds all day...
- Facebook reviewer
According to their website Budweiser Zero is made for beer drinkers who are looking to cut back on alcohol, but still want the refreshment of a Budweiser.
Makes sense -- any honestly I think they did it.
Funniest part of their website? How they talk about the water quality... "Our filtered water is tested daily for purity by our brew masters." I mean that is good, but water is like the #1 most important part of your drink I guess I would have thought you could throw some fancier words in there like reverse osmosis or something.
Speaking of marketing. It's pretty cool to see NA beer ads on during NFL games, on the sidelines of NBA courts, and during primetime with A-list names involved. Nice work, Bud!
Anyway... here are my thoughts.
Name: Budweiser Zero
Release date: December, 2020 (US) earlier version released as Prohibition
Style: Non-alcoholic lager
Cals/Carbs: 50 Cals, 11.5g Carbs, 0g Sugar /12oz
Avg. price (US): $8.50 - $10.50 / six-pack
Overview: Similar to the Coors, this Bud tastes just like a full strength Budweiser. A light body with a very crisp finish. It is refreshing and not overly sweet like some NA macros can be.
Look: Clear yellow. Mild carbonation and little-to-no head. Goes a little flat.
Aroma: Doesn't smell like much to be honest. Very mild, maybe a little bit of grain or rice.
Taste: What I notice right away is the lack of added sugar. This is more savory than sweet, which is nice. It also isn't overwhelming with flavor but I think that is the point. The carbonation is nice and when it is cold it really just tastes like a Bud.
Feel: Light and easy to drink. Super refreshing and feels hydrating.
Coolness factor (aka marketability): I actually think they did a good job with this. The can is pretty sweet and doesn't scream NA (I like the subtlety) nor does it follow suit of most of the Craft NA trend that seems to be loud, bright packaging that reminds you of seltzer water or kombucha. They seem to capture the attention and loyalty of non-bud drinkers with this one.
The takeaway? I think I'll still probably lean toward Coors but I'll keep this in the fridge.
As discussed in round one: Coors Edge vs. Heineken 0.0 -- Coors Edge is the current champ. And it's still my fave of the category.
Go read my thoughts on Coors Edge here.
"Tastes mostly like Coors Banquet but a little fruit note to it."
Budweiser Zero vs. Coors Edge: The Winner
For me, this one is less obvious to announce a winner. But all in all I'm going to stick with Coors Edge.
I'm eager to hear what you think.
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