Jan 4, 2024 - News

Taste test: The best NA beers for Dry January

Illustration of a beer can with a declining alcohol by volume.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Just because you're drying out this January doesn't mean you need to stop drinking beer.

State of play: The increasing popularity of better-for-you beverages is leading to more nonalcoholic beer options.

  • And the newest NA beers actually taste enough like beer to be satisfying, writes our resident beer expert John.

What to know: We put more than 30 NA options from a variety of styles to the test, all scored by a diverse panel of beer drinkers.

  • Here were the seven favorites, and runners-up.

Hazy IPA: Sam Adams Just the Haze. Bursts with tropical fruits and finishes with a soft mouthfeel.

IPA: Athletic Run Wild IPA. A go-to with the right balance of hops and malt.

Pilsner: Untitled Art Italian Style Pils. Light, refreshing, and tastes like beer.

  • Also good: Brooklyn Special Effects Pils

Dark beer: Deschutes Black Butte Non-Alcoholic. Rich and smooth without being filling.

  • Also good: Bravus Peanut Butter Dark

Fruited beer: Bravus Blood Orange IPA. Fruit in NA beer really amps the flavor.

  • Also good: Brooklyn Special Effects Grapefruit IPA

Lager: Athletic Upside Dawn Golden. Classic and clean-flavored.

Wheat: Blue Moon Non-alcoholic Belgian White. A lot of orange and spice character in a full-body sip.

  • Also good: Ceria Grainwave

My thought bubble: I entered this taste test with plenty of skepticism because NA beer is just so different from the real thing. But I came away plenty impressed with how much the best ones emulated the beer-tasting experience.

  • Pro tip: Get an Untitled Art, Athletic or Brooklyn mix-pack so you can try multiple styles and find your favorites.
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