Non-Alcoholic: everything you need to know.

The term ‘non-alcoholic’ refers to both distilled and brewed drinks which have been filtered to remove the alcohol, and those made without alcohol.


In either case the ABV (alcohol by volume) content of a non-alcoholic drink is below 0.5%. By comparison the minimum ABV of an alcoholic beer is 4% and rises to 7% (some specialty beers go even higher).


You should also bear in mind that many everyday foods also contain alcohol – you might be surprised by some of these:

  • Brioche burger rolls – 1.28% ABV
  • Banana (very ripe with dark sections) – 0.4% ABV
  • Orange Juice - 0.16% - 0.73%ABV

Why do some non-alcoholic beers taste and smell odd?

There is a huge number of different brands in the marketplace, all of whom are trying to re-create the taste and smell of their alcohol equivalent, and many others trying to create a unique taste and flavour for their drinks.


Many producers brew as they would for their alcoholic products, but once the fermentation process is complete, the alcohol is then extracted from the beverage using a series of processes such as reverse osmosis or vacuum distillation. This then requires the brewer to rebalance the flavour profile, often resulting in an unusually sweet taste, or bitter finish.

Nirvana is the UK’s first, and only dedicated no/low brewery, and we brew to strength, meaning our beers require no de-alcoholising and no re-balancing. Our beers are brewed with all their flavours and subtleties intact, resulting in a true Bavarian Helles lager, and our delicious Lemon Gose to name but two. Have you tried the full range?

What is alcohol-free?

There is a lot of confusion about what "alcohol-free" means. The term can be used to describe anything from drinks that contain no alcohol whatsoever, to beverages that have been watered down so much that they contain only a tiny percentage of alcohol.


The most accurate definition is probably the one provided by the UK's Department for Transport: "a drink which contains less than 0.05% ABV (alcohol by volume)". This means that any drink with an ABV lower than 0.05% is considered alcohol-free.


If you're looking for an alcohol-free alternative to beer you are already in the right place. For some delicious spirits, check out our friends over at Anon.


Further Reading