At some point, most people that are super into physical training will come to the unexciting realization that alcohol seriously impacts performance in a negative way.
For me – I always knew that alcohol was unhealthy, but I didn’t truly understand the impact on my performance and recovery until I started wearing a Whoop in 2020.
After just a couple of beers..My heart Rate would skyrocket, HRV would plummet, and my sleep would be trash. As someone who takes performance and recovery seriously, I knew I had to ditch the fun of regular beer.
This realization led me into the world of non alcoholic beer and I have tried dozens of nonalcoholic beers in the past several years.
In this article, I will highlight the top 5 non alcoholic beer options available online in 2023.
What is Non Alcoholic Beer?
Non-alcoholic beer is beer that has had the alcohol removed. The alcohol content in non-alcoholic beer is typically less than 0.5% ABV.
How is Non Alcoholic Beer Made?
Non-alcoholic beer is made in a variety of ways. One way is to start with regular beer and then remove the alcohol through a process called distillation. Another way to make non-alcoholic beer is to start with a low-alcohol beer and then dilute it with water.
Why Drink Non Alcoholic Beer?
Non-Alcoholic beer is an amazing option for people that take their health seriously. If you love the taste of beer but do not want to deal with the signifcant health impacts, NA beer can be an excellent addition to your life.
Over the past 5-10 years, breweries have been popping up throughout the United States with a focus on non alcoholic beer.
What are the Best Non Alcoholic Beer Options in 2023?
Kevin’s Overall Favorite:
Athletic Brewing Company was founded in 2017 in Connecticut by Bill Shufelt and head brewer John Walker. Their idea was to create a non alcoholic craft beer that actually tastes amazing.
Today, Athletic Brewing is America’s leading producer of non alcoholic beers and arguably launched the NA beer craft brew revolution.
Upside Dawn is one of Athletic Brewing’s flagship beers and has taken home 10+ awards in the last several beers.
- Golden style beer with flavors of Citrus & Honey
- Light bodied w/ bright flavor
- 45 Calories
After trying dozens of different NA beer options on the market, I always find myself coming back to Upside Dawn. This is my favorite NA option for a daily drinker.
Upside Dawn is a super crisp and refreshing beer with only 45 calories. It’s a perfect option to drink after a hard workout or after mowing the lawn.
Athletic Brewing makes NA beer that tastes almost exactly like the real thing and I think Upside Dawn is about as good of a beer as they produce. While I love some of their limited releases (ex: Tucker’s West Coast IPA), Upside Dawn is the beer that I always keep a six pack of my fridge.
Best Light Beer:
You’ll quickly find out that I am a huge fan of Athletic Brewing Company and their beer dominates the first 3 spots on my list.
Athletic Light is Athletic Brewing’s take on a light beer, think a non alcoholic version of mass produced American light beer.
- Light, Malt, Refreshing
- Simple American light beer
- Gold Winner at the World Beer Challenge & European Beer Challenge
- 25 calories
If you are a fan of American light beer, you will love Athletic Light. This is a super simple and no frills light beer that is perfect for the summertime.
One of the reasons I love Athletic Light is that it only has 25 calories. If I’m going to an event or meeting friends for happy hour, I can have a few Athletic Light’s and not worry about drinking a ton of unnecessary calories.
Best Hazy IPA:
Continuing the trend, my 3rd beer on the list and winner for Best Hazy IPA is the Free Wave Hazy IPA from Athletic Brewing Company.
Free Wave is the best non alcoholic IPA that I’ve ever had and tastes closest to the real thing of any other NA IPA I’ve tasted. It packs a punch and has just the right amount of hoppy bitterness.
If you’re a serious IPA fan, Free Wave will likely be top of your list of best NA brews.
- Hazy IPA w/ Citrus & Hoppy Flavors
- Heavy on the Hops, very strong IPA flavors
- 70 Calories
Free Wave IPA is probably the best overall non alcoholic beer I’ve ever tasted when it comes to flavor and tasting like a regular beer. If you are debating between this and the Run Wild from Athletic Brewing, I would recommend Free Wave all day.
This is an awesome IPA that has tons of hops and that powerful IPA taste.
The only reason it did not make my top overall choice of NA beers is that I prefer the lower calorie and less powerful Upside Dawn for my daily drinking. I keep this IPA for the special occasion kind of night.
Bottom line – If you love the taste of a floral and bitter IPA, Free Wave IPA from Athletic Brewing is the beer you should try next.
Best Fruity IPA:
Brewdog is one of the top craft beer options in Europe and they are pushing the envelope when it comes to non alcoholic beer.
Brewdog is unique on this list as they produce both regular beer and non alcoholic beer. Currently Brewdog is offering over 12+ NA brews on their website and their beers can be found all throughout the world.
Elvis is Brewdog’s non alcoholic version of one of their most popular alcoholic beers (Elvis Juice). This is a super citrusy IPA with a fantastic taste.
Each one of these brews is only 20 calories, so this is an excellent low calorie NA beer option that has more flavor than you would expect.
- Fruity IPA w/ flavors of grapefruit and citrus
- NA version of the famous Brewdog IPA Elvis Juice
- 20 Calories
I love the taste of Brewdog Elvis and also the fact that it is only 20 calories.
While it doesn’t have the strong imposing flavors of some of the Athletic beer IPA’s, Elvis tastes like a high quality craft IPA. This is the best fruity IPA I have drank in the NA beer space.
What sets Elvis apart from other NA IPA options is that it is only 20 calories.
Many other NA IPAs (including Athletic beers) can be 100+ calories, so I enjoy the fact that I can drink Elvis without having to worry about consuming a bunch of unnecessary calories throughout the night.
Best Dark Beer:
Bravus launched in 2015 and was the first brewery in America dedicated specifically to non alcoholic drinks/beers.
Based out of California, Bravus has 6+ NA Beer options for sale and also an assortment of other drinks (Hop Water, Non Alcoholic Wines, etc).
The Bravus Peanut Butter Dark is everything you could want in a NA dark beer. It is rich, sweet, and has hints of both hazelnut and chocolate.
This is the perfect NA beer to be drinking with friends on a cool night in the fall or winter.
- Stout Style Craft Brew
- Flavors of Caramel, Roasted Coffee, Chocolate
- 110 Calories
While I typically prefer Light Beer’s and IPA’s, I do love a good dark beer in the fall. My go to non alcoholic dark beer is the Peanut Butter Dark from Bravus.
Not everyone goes for unique flavored brews like the Peanut Butter Dark, but if you have an open mind you will really enjoy this stout style craft brew.
The only thing that I dislike about this beer is that it is 110 calories, so I try to limit it to just one per night.