The title of this blog is precisely what I want to know; where is all the non-alcoholic beer?
I quit drinking on July 15, 2012, at the age of 25. I needed to make a sensible decision before it was too late. I’m not certain I had a drinking problem, but I definitely had some issues. I did it for a better, safer, happier and healthier life. Once I realized I needed to put the bottle down, it was an easy decision and one that I’m glad I made. Almost five months sober and I don’t miss alcohol at all.
I recently took up the consumption of non-alcoholic beer, or “near beer” as it is also known. I enjoy the taste of beer. What’s more, I enjoy going out with friends and that typically entails going to bars, taverns and ale houses. I make a great designated driver.
The beverage commonly associated with non-alcoholic beer is O’Doul’s, which some bars in York carry. At Cobblestone’s and White Rose, I can count on an ice-cold, 12-ounce bottle of the Anheuser-Busch product that is the official non-alcoholic beer of the PGA Tour. The First Capital Dispensing Company does not serve non-alcoholic beer.
Holy Hound Taproom offers Buckler, a Holland product brewed by the makers of Heineken. It is a refreshing brew that I prefer to O’doul’s. At a recent visit to Holy Hound, I inquired about Hoegaarden 0,0, a non-alcoholic Belgian wheat beer. The bartender told me that they had just put in an order for Hoegaarden and that they would add that to the order. I anticipate a trial run of the Hoegaarden 0,0 sometime this week.
My girlfriend, who also recently decided to abstain from consuming alcoholic beverages, enjoys non-alcoholic beer as well as non-alcoholic wine. We’ve recently stocked her fridge with various non-alcoholic drinks, including Fre wine, Kaliber (Guinness’ non-alcoholic counterpart), O’Doul’s Amber (a darker, thicker version of an otherwise bland and boring beer) and Warsteiner Alcohol Free (a German brew that so far is my favorite non-alcoholic beer).
I’ve tried every beer mentioned in this blog as well as Old Milwaukee NA and Busch NA, both solid but nothing to write home about.
The other night, my girlfriend questioned why bars primarily carry O’Doul’s and not beers like Kaliber and Warsteiner.
“They’re so much better than O’Doul’s,” she said.
I could only agree with her. Which is why I decided to write this blog. Bars, particularly York County bars, why don’t you step up your non-alcoholic beer game? And what about non-alcoholic wine? Do any bars or restaurants carry non-alcoholic wine around here? I realize it is a small portion of your customer base, but keep in mind, NA beverages give designated drivers something to enjoy. You cannot deny the importance of the designated driver.
For whatever reason, non-alcoholic beer lives under a rock and is widely desolate. It is seldom talked about as an alternative for alcoholic beverages and, as I wrote earlier, difficult to come by for those genuinely interested in drinking something that is not addictive and won’t make you tipsy or fat. Non-alcoholic wines have roughly half the caloric intake of alcoholic wines while the calorie comparison for beer is similar to that of wine. Old Milwaukee NA has 50-some calories. Warsteiner and Kaliber, heavier than the average non-alcoholic beer, are in the 70-80 calorie ballpark per 12 ounces.
More needs to be done in the way of advertising and education so people are aware of non-alcoholic options when drinking. We live in a society where alcoholic beverages are pushed and made to seem like such an integral part of a happy lifestyle. How does anyone watch a sporting event without imbibing? How can anyone relax on the beach without an alcoholic concoction? And, my word, how can one enjoy company with friends and family without consuming alcohol?
I was being sarcastic. Once an avid drinker, I now engage in all of the above whilst remaining sober and find them all more fulfilling and enjoyable. It is nice to know I’ll never suffer another hangover again or luckily survive another alcohol-related amnesia episode.
I suppose I’ll keep fighting the good fight that is so often waged within society. Just like exercise guru’s struggle known as “fit America vs. fat America,” I find myself entangled in a “sober America vs. drunk America” battle.