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Let’s cut to the chase: lots of guys who want to lose weight struggle when it comes to beer. It may be that they’re used to relaxing at the end of a long day with a few cans, or it could be that their weekends consist of chats with mates over a pint (or 15). Let’s bypass the health and Drink Aware issues for a second and focus on calories.
A pint of Stella will give you 256 calories. That’s a whole lot of calories. Then you add in the less-than-healthy decisions you might make after you’ve had a few and the fact that weight loss is stunted for a day while your liver processes the booze. Suddenly, you realise that your one night on the pop has seriously dented your weight loss ambitions.
That’s why we’re mildly in love with Stuart from Dry Drinker. We’re going to share his Amazing Loser story in the future, but suffice to say that he’s made a huge difference to his own weight loss by ditching the beer for some near beers. In the course of that he also discovered that the UK was being very poorly served by the low/no-alcohol beers on offer and set about fixing that.
We asked him to put together a list of his favourites which we’ve ranked here by calorie content (lowest to highest). We’re still shocked that there’s no place on the list for Brew Dog’s immense Nanny State but having supped all of these we salute his choices.
2 – Veltins 47 cals per bottle 14 per 100ml
Stuart says: Veltins is one of Germany’s best low alcoholic Pilsner largers and is brewed in Sauerland, near Dortmund to the German Purity Law of 1516. Using natural spring water from its own mountain, Veltins has a superb delicately dry and clean palate with a fine carbonated body that gives a slight bitterness with a light citrus finish. 0.5% ABV
MAN v FAT says: It’s a big lemon taste, but that’s not unpleasant at all. Nice near beer for watching the footy with.
3 – Budvar 51 cals per bottle 15 per 100ml
Stuart says: Budvar has been available in the Czech Republic since the 1990s, is brewed in a similar fashion to Budvar Original, using Saaz whole hops and Moravian barley malt. This refreshing low alcohol beer with it’s distinct flavour is best enjoyed ice cold from the fridge – you won’t be disappointed! 0.4% ABV.
MAN v FAT says: Stop the clock. This is incredible, and you could have five of these for the same damage as a Stella.
4 – Moritz 56 cals per bottle 17 per 100ml
Stuart says: Aigua de Moritz is a premium non-alcoholic beer made with mineral water, a new healthy drink that stands out for its aroma. It is the only non-alcoholic beer made entirely with natural mineral water from the Font d’Or springs of Montseny and is perfumed through the cold extraction of the aroma of the Saaz hops flower.
MAN v FAT says: Hmmm, this one challenged us. It’s ok but I’m just not sure what I’m experiencing. It’s like the drink equivalent of accidentally calling your teacher “mum”.
5 – Paulaner 99 cals per bottle 19.8 per 100ml
Stuart says: Paulaner, a German beer with less calories than an apple spritzer without any compromises! Even though it has less than 100 kcal / 500 ml, our Hefe-Weißbier Non-Alcoholic has the same full Weissbier flavour as its big brother: Unfiltered, refreshing and vitalising. This great non alcoholic thirst quencher, which can turn a break in your day into a Bavarian taste experience! 0% ABV
MAN v FAT says: Wow. Some of these you’d have to check twice that there was no alcohol in them. This is a corker in the same line as Hoegarden.
6 – Maisels 100 cals per bottle 20 per 100ml
Stuart says: No beer is more synonymous with Germany than Weisse Beer. According to the Rheinheitsgebot, Weiss Beer (wheat beer) was allowed to be brewed only for the aristocracy. So, here’s a upperclass non-alcoholic beer from Maisel’s – brewers of the world’s finest wheat beers in Bayreuth, Bavaria. 0.5% ABV
MAN v FAT says: Again, another Hoegarden-a-like but the flavour on this is deeper. Really smashing beer.
7 – Schneider 100 cals per bottle 20 per 100ml
Stuart says: Schneider & Sohn is a Bavarian brewery company founded in 1872 by Georg Schneider and his son, after they acquired the Weisses Brauhaus in Munich, the oldest wheat beer brewery in the city. In 1927 the owners, who to this day are descendants of Georg Schneider I, expanded their brewing operations into Kelheim and Straubing. After the breweries in Munich were destroyed in 1944 by bombing, the entire production was relocated to Kelheim. Schneider Weisse Alkoholfrei ranks amongst the best non-alcoholic wheat beers available in Germany. 0.5% ABV
MAN v FAT says: This is starting to get silly. We’d drink this all day long AND YOU COULD.
8 – Estrella 53 cals per bottle 21 per 100 ml
Stuart says: Estrella is brewed with the same ingredients that are used to make alcoholic beer then, thanks to an advanced technique called ‘vacuum distillation’, the percentage of alcohol is brought down down to 0.0% without changing the beer in any way – what could be better; full of flavour and zero alcohol!
MAN v FAT says: Another lighter number, but the calories are still low. Not our favourite but would be a winner with the seasoned lager drinkers.
9 – Super bock 76 cals per bottle 23 per 100ml
Stuart says: The complete pleasure of drinking an exceptional beer without restrictions. SUPER BOCK low alcohol Pilsner is produced from a unique de-alcoholisation process which maintains the genuine flavour of an authentic beer. 0.5% ABV
MAN v FAT says: This is actually better than the alcoholic Super Bock (we drank a couple side-by-side for comparison).
Stuart says: Filled with flavour and full bodied, SUPER BOCK low alcohol stout guarantees the pleasure of the finest black beers without any restrictions. It holds plentiful and lasting foam, which maintains the character of an authentic black beer. 0.5% ABV
MAN v FAT says: Richer, rounder flavour – another absolute corker. Our powers of criticism are failing. These are all just too bloody good.
11 – Erdinger 125 cals per bottle 25 per 100ml
Stuart says: ERDINGER Alkoholfrei is a refreshing low-alcohol isotonic recovery drink. It provides the body with essential vitamins such as folic acid and vitamin B12 which help reduce fatigue, promote energy-yielding metabolism and support the immune system. 0.4% ABV
MAN v FAT says: Ok, I’m calling shenanigans on the health claims but you don’t need isotonic as a reason to neck this, it tastes bloody good too.
12 – Jupiler 65 cals per bottle 26 per 100ml
Stuart says: Jupiler is the low-alcoholic beer by one of Belgium’s biggest breweries. The beer is brewed by Piedbœuf brewery in the village of Jupille-sur-Meuse, a municipality of Liège. Jupiler is a sturdy beer with a slightly bitter finish. An excellent thirst quencher! 0.5% ABV
MAN v FAT says: Corrrr blimey – this is another winner. Full of flavour (not sure I’d say bitter, it’s more of a bite) and moreish.
13 – Krombacer 89 cals per bottle 27 per 100ml
Stuart says: This great lager is the ideal thirst quencher after sports. Refreshing, isotonic & natural! This great low alcohol beer is full of taste and has a vastly reduced calorie content! Krombacher is a pilsner beer brewed with natural spring water. It is to this brewing process as well as the cold, gentle fermentation and storage that this beer owes its convincing taste so typical of Krombacher beer. 0.5% ABV
MAN v FAT says: Again, not sure you’d ever get us to swap the Nuun for a Krombacher, but it could make for some fun in the gym.
Stuart says: Brewed exclusively in Bitburg, Germany since 1817, tradition and perfection are the rules that make Bitburger Premium low alcohol German Beer so special. A combination of traditional brewer’s craft and state-of-the-art technology has not only created one of the world’s leading breweries, but also a world-renowned classic Pilsner. 0.05% ABV
MAN v FAT says: Ok, this is personal preference but this one was a bit weaker. Not bad, just not up to the incredible standards set by the other contenders.
Conclusion – this has been an absolute eye-opener. So many of these are instant favourites that all we could do is arm-wrestle Stuart until he gave us a discount so you could try them. Add man-vip to your order for 10% off. This isn’t a paid editorial by the way, although it’s starting to sound that way, the beers are just bloody good and a complete no-brainer for anyone trying to lose weight. Try them!