Some of you will be aware I had an alcohol-free week a short while ago and was pretty frustrated – not by the absence of drink in my life, which was fine, but with the variety of non-alcoholic items on offer in a standard supermarket.
Help may be at hand. I was sent a press release about Bavaria, a brewery which produces not only a standard lager but an alcohol-free version. And, more interestingly to me – never a lager drinker – a zero alcohol wheat beer called Bavaria 0.0%. It’s available from Waitrose and Sainsbury’s and last week was on offer at half price, so of course I got a six-pack for just over two quid and tried it.
I’m not going to say I don’t miss the slight kick of an alcoholic beer. I’m not going to claim that the depth the alcohol flavour offers, say, a Heffe Weissbeer isn’t something I miss. But in terms of tasting like something you’d volunteer to drink, something that compares reasonably to some of the full-strength offerings on the market, it’s pretty good. I’d compare it with some of the citrussier wheat beers, more like the Meantime Brewery than Heffe – and I do prefer the Heffe if I’m honest. But it’s a long way from the low-alcohol tosh we were sold in the 1980s, quite drinkable and if you must have beer – even for breakfast – then this one will do you no harm and allow you to drive afterwards.
That said, my wife wasn’t a fan and prefers a good ginger beer from Sainsbury’s – which, because of the ginger, actually tastes stronger than a whole load of actual beers and also doesn’t contain any alcohol at all.