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Some turn up their noses in front of such proposals while others may be attracted or at least intrigued. Beyond tastes and preconceptions, it is important to inquire to know what products such as the contain non alcoholic beer, which are born in a certain sense to meet the market but which distort the original drink or food. These are paradoxes that we find more and more frequently today and that we must learn to look at with a critical eye, understanding whether they can harm us or not. Let's find out chow non-alcoholic beer is made and what differences there are compared to the "normal" one.
Non-alcoholic beer: characteristics
When it comes to non alcoholic beer we mean a beer with an alcohol content so minimal that it can be almost ignored. Obviously, this is not a rough evaluation or that everyone can do according to their sensitivity, there is a law that identifies the threshold by which we can consider the small amount of alcohol or not. In Italy it is set at 1.2%.
The first thing to know, therefore, is that non-alcoholic beer is not really non-alcoholic, at least not always. In fact, we can distinguish the beers belonging to this category into two different sub-categories, that of "real" non-alcoholic, with a 0.05% alcohol, and those low in alcohol, in which alcohol is present but does not exceed 1.2%. Why did someone go to invent this soft version of a much loved drink and also why alcoholic?
It was thought that there was a slice of the market interested in sipping a drink with the taste of beer but not producing the classic effects of alcohol. Beyond the choices of individuals, beer so soft can come in handy when it comes to preventing Saturday night traffic accidents, often caused by people getting behind the wheel after drinking too much. To suggest this use, this beer is often also called "Drive beer".
What does non-alcoholic beer contain
We have already seen how much alcohol this beer contains, suitable for those who must to drive or to those who want to have a happy hour without getting drunk. Let's see how it is produced to understand its nature. We can choose between two modes, one very common, the other very rare to see applied.
In most cases the non-alcoholic beers they are obtained by stopping the alcoholic fermentation as soon as the desired alcohol content is reached, which I remember must never exceed 1.2%. When such an intervention is made while brewing beer, it also has consequences on its taste, which will be sweeter than what beer users are used to. This is easily explained: blocking fermentation, circulating sugars remain in the beer, which are not transformed.
As an alternative to this method there is another, much more complex to implement, very rare to be applied. It starts with alcoholic beer and removes the alcohol it contains by using complex technologies that take advantage of evaporation or boiling.
Non-alcoholic beers for sale
Most of the non-alcoholic beers that we can find for sale are those lager style. They are the best-selling in the world and the demand from the market is greater, even for theirs non-alcoholic version. In Italy the largest producer of non-alcoholic beer is undoubtedly Moretti who promotes it with the slogan "lots of taste, zero thoughts", there are other brands and also various craft breweries who try their hand at producing it, always taking into account that it is a niche product.
It doesn't usually have high prices, either 330 ml bottle it costs about a euro or two. Outside Italy, we find countries where, unexpectedly or perhaps not, alcohol-free beer is very popular. In Spain, for example, which is established as the leading European producer and consumer of low-alcohol beer. Non-alcoholic beer is also popular in the United States, also because it can also be legally sold to minors. Separate considerations are to be made for the Middle East market where a large part of the population does not drink alcohol for religious and cultural reasons. It is clear that there is a lot of demand here!
Is non-alcoholic beer bad for you?
When it is alcohol-free, it is clear that it does not cause damage from that point of view and this is already a great advantage considering that alcohol is the most critical aspect of what is a rather natural drink. When there is alcohol but it is very little, the negative effects on health are practically non-existent, unless you drink whole cases in one evening, a difficult undertaking given theswelling effect that has beer. If we keep below the amount of one liter a day of non-alcoholic beer, we can be calm, even if it is one that contains 1% alcohol. The quantity ingested is more important to evaluate considering the sulphites that we find there. These are not entirely healthy additives but they do not create noticeable effects if we do not exaggerate with the quantities. Maximum one or two beers per day.
Alcoholic beer in Italy
Beyond its distribution on the market, we can see that this type of beer does not arouse great enthusiasm in our country. On the one hand, it must be said that those who drink beer also wanteffect of alcohol, a bit of mild euphoria. On the other hand, it must be recognized that the taste is not quite the same, it is sweeter and ends up prevailing over the hop flavor which should be the characterizing one.
Non-alcoholic beers in London
A bar serving solo was opened in London in early 2020 non-alcoholic beers. It seems a paradox given the amount of beer that is drunk in England, even compared to Italy where wine is sometimes preferred. In the middle of the anti-alcohol campaign, Dry January, the Scottish craft brewery Brewdog, born in 2007 and soon became very well known also in Italy, it inaugurated the BrewDog AF Bar where AF is the abbreviation for "alcohol free". All proposed draft beers have less than 0.5% alcohol, well below the limit established by law. Those who love these beers will find here different labels to choose from while enjoying the different flavor to get an idea of what the market offers and to understand whether or not it is worthwhile to "convert" to "alcohol free" behavior.