Asahi Zero – alcohol free “beer”

In the beer (or beer substitutes) we’ve explored so far there have been two basic approaches to achieving a non-alcoholic beer. Most options use some manner of alcohol removal (such as cold-distillation), and then the forgettable 3 Horses Weetbix water tried using all the ingredients of beer except the yeast and fermentation. Asahi take another approach, meticulously recreating the flavour of their lager in a manner more like a soft drink.

And the award for the busiest looking beer can label goes to….

And you know what? surprisingly this approach actually works. The final result is not that different from Asahi lager. Except you get a product with no malts, no hops, no fermentation – but also zero alcohol and zero calories (another bonus for some drinkers.)

There’s a nice tone of barley in the flavour, and overall it’s a very decent lager-type beverage. If the barley were any stronger it would become unpleasant – the flavour brought barley sugars to my mind (forever associated with the 40 hour famine and long car journeys for me – so maybe I’m a tad hypersensitive to that flavour.)

I’d personally rate this ahead of other lager-type options, which is impressive given it’s the brewing equivalent of Frankenstein’s monster – adding bits and pieces in a lab to recreate a natural product.


Style: Lager styled carbonated beverage
Origin: Japan

The Verdict

Although really a soft drink, this is a very good lager substitute
Rating: 4/5

Where to Find

Available at Moore Wilson, also found at New World and a number of bottle stores

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