Myths About Non-Alcoholic Beers [and also, the truth]

Ever since the introduction of non-alcoholic beers, there has been a lot of back and forth about its pros and cons. While 99% consider it a healthy alternative to traditional beer, for very few others, NA beer is seen as no different than their fully-alcoholic cousins. How? Good question.

The claims about NA beer being identical to regular (low ABV) beers are of course, false. In fact, there are many things that you may have heard about NA beers that are a myth. So let's dig into some of these misconceptions and get things cleared up.

Myth 1: Non-alcoholic Beers Are Intoxicating

In the US, non-alcoholic beers hold an ABV content of up to 0.5%. With this percentage, a healthy adult can't get physically get drunk. That's because when you consume such little alcohol, your body processes it almost instantly.

There have been studies done on this.

The results of the study suggest that even after consumption of unrealistically high amounts of non-alcoholic beer negative forensic implications are not to be expected.

A pint of 0.5% ABV beer means around 0.28 units of alcohol. Our body processes this alcohol amount within 16 minutes, which is pretty quick. It's similar to other beverages with naturally lower alcohol percentages -- like apple juice.

However, if you consume a 5% ABV beer, your body will take around 3 hours to process it. So comparatively, it takes much more time than NA beers.

So if you want to get buzzed, pull out the juice boxes for the next party?

Because of our body's processing mechanisms, you really can't get drunk even if you tried (like chugging in some extra bottles of NA Busch). So have a six-pack tonight, why not!

BrewDog Non alcoholic Beer
BrewDog NA Beer Line Up

Myth 2: NA Beer and Regular Beer Have Equal Calories

If you have ever opted for a non-alcoholic beer on a night out on the town, then you may have heard this before. Or, "why not just have a coke"?

Since beers do not have any fat, the majority of calories come from alcohol. Alcohol holds around 56 empty calories per unit. Empty calories are derived from food with negligible nutrients.

Now obviously NA beers have little or no alcohol. So, when you are switching to NA beer, the ABV content drops from 4.5 % to 0.5%. That's like 145 calories less than what you consume otherwise.

Compare that to a soda? Not even close.

One of the biggest draws of non-alcoholic beer is that when choosing NA beers, you will decrease your calorie consumption while enjoying the same taste.

This brings us to the next myth regarding the drink: taste.

Brooklyn Special Effects Non-Alcoholic IPA
Brooklyn Special Effects Non-Alcoholic IPA

Myth 3: Non-alcoholic Beer Tastes "Meh"

One of the most pervasive myths of all is that non-alcoholic beer simply does not taste as good. However, in the modern era, NA beers are becoming less and less different than conventional beers in taste and aroma. The ingredients are the same. The craft is the same.

NA beers are winning gold medals against full-strength competitors. People are unable to distinguish between the two during blind taste tests. The beer is getting really, really good.

Keep in mind that most Alcohol-free beers are made through advanced technologies, getting more advanced by the year it seems. Brewers are working hard to ensure the characteristics of the drink are not altered.

Almost all styles are now represented in the NA beer map - from coffee stouts to pilsners to pumpkin ales. Now is a BEAUTIFUL time to be drinking NA.

Heineken 0.0% alcohol free beer
Heineken 0.0%

Myth 4: Non-alcoholic Beers and The Gym Don't Mix

Did you know ancient Olympians consumed non-alcoholic beers post-workout? Lots of research has gone into this one, and the truth is NA beer is not only not bad for you but it is actually good for you. It's a health drink!

NA beers hold the ability to hydrate and provide electrolytes within a low-calorie container. Both of these factors make it a no-brainer drink option for post-workout recovery. Plus who doesn't love a cold beer after a run?!

This study shows non-alcoholic beer has even proven to reduce inflammation and incidence of respiratory tract illness among runners.

Myth 5: Non-alcoholic Beers are Bad For You

Another common myths regarding non-alcoholic beer is that it's harmful to your health. Where this comes from? Who knows. However, if you compare NA beers with alcohol, the former is undoubtedly a better option because NA beer is filled with essential vitamins and minerals, including iron, zinc, and potassium but no ethanol.

Studies have claimed that NA beers can lessen the risk of cardiovascular disease and thrombosis. When a study was conducted, researchers found that beer is confined with organic compounds called phenols. These phenols play a crucial role in preventing atherosclerosis (accumulation of fat and other substances on artery walls).

It also holds potential effects in limiting stress, promoting a good night's sleep, and preventing body dehydration. NA beers are certainly not harmful to our health.

Budweiser Zero non-alcoholic beer
Budweiser Zero

Myth 6: NA Beers are Costly

In some countries outside the US, brewers are subject to pay tax according to the alcohol amount in their product. These charges are included in the bottles that you purchase.

We know that NA beers contain negligible or less alcohol. So, as per ABV content, brewers have to pay less tax on NA beers. As the tax decreases, the charges on the bottle decrease too.

That is not the case in the states, but an encouraging note -- NA beer is REALLY EXPENSIVE to produce. After speaking with dozens of producers about the special equipment, time, and resources we should be thankful that our case of NA beer doesn't cost more than a case of alcoholic beer. I'm fine paying the same prices as other high-quality craft beer.

Wrapping Up

The truth is beer with little or no alcohol content provide the same (sometimes better) taste as that of standard beers. Due to the lack of intoxicating effects, the health benefits, and the ever-increasing quality being produced these drinks are being welcomed with open arms among beer devotees and teetotalers alike.

Cheers 🍻

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