There's this whole world of non-alcoholic craft beer

Up until 6 months ago I had tried non-alcoholic beer just once - a sip of my wife’s O’douls, some time during her pregnancy. That sip was okay. “It isn’t horrible,” I probably muttered.

It really wasn’t that horrible. Her NA beer lacked much reason to put any other adjectives around it, or even talk about it at all after that. It was nondescript and plain. I didn’t enjoy it or dislike it. I wasn’t surprised by its flavor. I surely wasn’t about to start a blog about it.

But here I am blogging about it. 

Fast forward a year or so later from that O’douls and I’m at the doctor with this nagging stomach issue that popped up out of the blue. My doctor ran a few tests and finally suggests I take it easy on drinking and eating hot wings for a while.  Specifically: eat cleaner and stop drinking beer for a while.

“This is *!@#$ BS!!” I thought to myself, masking my inner turmoil while casually nodding to the doctor’s instructions. Should I explain to him that I love to spend time with my family and my friends and drinking my favorite beers? Can I not just have, like, one beer with dinner sometimes? What if I’m at a freaking baseball game - can I not have a beer then!? 

Anyway I obliged and took my medicine: no beer.

How to find non-alcoholic craft beer (hint: not at the store).

A few beerless days passed since that doctor’s appointment and I find myself on the internet doing what you are doing right now - reading about non-alcoholic craft beer. I got pumped reading about all of the new non-alcoholic craft breweries launching everything from non-alcoholic IPAs to non-alcoholic stouts. So I set forth to my local beer store to see what they NA craft beers they would recommend for a newbie.

If it’s your first time- when you ask for non-alcoholic beer they’ll take you to one of the four corners of the store, which is where they keep it. Once you’re there you won’t see it at first because the beer is on the bottom level of the fridge. There were three options there: O’douls, Beck’s Non-alcoholic, and Heineken 0.0. I was disappointed. There were no non-alcoholic craft beers.

I learned that most of these non-alcoholic craft breweries are pretty new and still have limited regional distribution. Most stores do not carry non-alcoholic craft beers.

There’s one really special thing about non-alcoholic craft beer: you can buy it online.

Habit had told me that non-alcoholic craft beer would be at the beer store, with all the other beer. But if it wasn’t there, where could it be?

The one really special thing about non-alcoholic craft beer is that you can buy it online and have it shipped to your home. That is because it is not subjected to the same shipping limitations as alcoholic beer. Like that, my disappointment washes away; I’m excited again, and this pursuit of non-alcoholic beer has no been an emotional roller coaster a roller coaster ride.

For days I meandered the internet scouting NA craft beers to buy online. I was pretty impressed with the number of non-alcoholic craft IPAs, stouts, lagers, and wheats. The internet was messy and I needed this whole non-alcoholic craft beer situation organized.

Non-alcoholic craft lagers and kolsch

Non-alcoholic craft lagers can be your friend on hot summer days. These will carry a similar craft flavor from malt and hops with alcohol extracted. 

  • Athletic Brewing Upside Dawn
  • Partake Brewing Blonde
  • Surreal Brewing Natural Bridges Kölsch

Non-alcoholic craft wheats

WellBeing Brewery is the only US craft brewery with a wheat and they offer two. WellBeing is a bit unique because their beers are sometimes electrolyte infused. Negative hangover, yes please.

  • WellBeing Brewing Heavy Body Golden Wheat
  • WellBeing Brewing Victory Wheat

Non-alcoholic craft ambers

Non-alcoholic craft ambers will have that known medium/high malt profile and caramel character.

  • Bravus Brewing Amber Ale
  • WellBeing Brewing Hellraiser Dark

Non-alcoholic IPAs

The most prominent non-alcoholic brew in the U.S. is non-alcoholic IPAs. The IPA does well as a non-alcoholic beer: hop-forward, flavorful, easy-drinking. 

  • Athletic Brewing Run Wild IPA
  • Bravus Brewing IPA
  • Brewdog Nanny State
  • Surreal Brewing Chandelier Red
  • Hairless Dog IPA
  • Gruvi IPA
  • Partake Brewing IPA

Non-alcoholic Stouts, Porters, and Black Ales

If you love malty roastiness, an array of non-alcoholic stouts, porters and dark ales will keep you satisfied through the winter months. 

  • WellBeing Brewing Intrepid Traveler Coffee Cream Stout
  • Bravus Brewing Oatmeal Stout
  • Surreal Brewing 17 Mile Porter
  • Hairless Dog Black Ale
  • Hairless Dog Coffee Stout
  • Partake Brewing Stout

NA Crafthouse is the