No, and ultra low, alcohol drinks are all the rage. Have you tried this out? You may be very surprised. “Surely the flavour is lacking” or, “what’s the point” many are asking, but the reality is brewers, distillers and winemakers are getting very very good at how they de-alcoholise, or even stop the alcohol forming in the first place. There are quality NOLO products hitting the shelves, but which are going to pass the test on delivering flavour and mouthfeel?

Only one way to find out, and that’s to ask the experts. We asked the man who has bought more beer than Bill Worbeniuk, David Boon and Andre the Giant combined (we should add that is was due to his role as a buyer for a major Australian retailer). Ian Kingham (That Beer Bloke), beer expert, judge and educator, reviews two new entrants to the market from Big Drop Brewing.

Name: Big Drop Brewing co. Paradiso Citra IPA

Style: IPA

Size:  330ml Can

ABV: 0.5%

Glass: Tulip

Food Match: Herb Crusted Chicken Breasts.

Comments: More akin to a Pale Ale than an India Pale Ale, (but the clever use of US Citra hops, may have lead to challenges in complying with traditional naming conventions for a non traditional beer), with good body weight for a reduced alcohol beer.

 Lawyer Rob Fink and mate James Kindred founded Big Drop Brewing Company for the specific purpose of producing ultra low alcohol beers. Johnny Clayton (ex Wild Beer Co) is their brewer and their beers use a mix of grains and malts, without de-alcoholising the beer. Winner of best specialty IPA in the UK beer awards, this brew offers good citrus and herbal notes on aroma. A Pale Ale with a white head on appearance.  The palate is light and complex, offering good malt layering and full notes of citrus and tropical fruit. Some light lingering bitterness completes a well-balanced beer. Technically superb and very drinkable.

Name: Big Drop Brewing Co Galactic Milk Stout

Style: Stout (Milk)

Size:  330ml Can

ABV: 0.5%

Glass: Chalice

Food Match: Chocolate Ganache 

Comments: An excellent milk porter as opposed to milk stout and unbelievable how it presents with almost no alcohol. Technically excellent beer and quaffable.

After successfully winning the world’s best-flavoured low alcohol beer in 2020, it’s no surprise this brew is flying off the shelves. Deep dark brown in appearance with a light tan head, the beer offers an aroma of chocolate, cream and light tips of cocoa. A palate of soft milk chocolate, suspended lactose and some malt bitterness. Medium bodied with good complexity, balance and palate length. The finish offers lingering malt sweetness.