The following content might trigger the urge to drink for some people. If this is you, we encourage you to refrain from reading further.
“Maybe you should try a month off beers?”
I shuddered. My girlfriend was right since COVID-19 I was giving it a nudge more often than I usually would. I don’t drink a lot in one go but the time between drinks was getting shorter and shorter. Finished work for the day? Grab a beer. Was I doing some yard work? Better grab a tinnie. Just a bit bored? Yeah, go on, I’ll have a couple. So I decided to have a month off drinking with a twist, I could still drink beers, but they had to be Alcohol-free.
Since starting in my position as head of product engineering at Hello Sunday Morning, I had toyed with the idea of giving some AF beers a taste and seeing how they measured up with my go-to beers which are, for the record Resches, young henrys – Newtowner and balter – XPA. To be honest, I was not expecting much, I had always thought of non-alcoholic or low alcohol beers as pretty crappy with no taste, but I was prepared to risk it for my AF month.
After some chats to mates who have been trying AF beers for a while now, I had a few ideas of what I wanted to get, and I was ready to buy some beers! After a quick google I found what I wanted and where to get them from and put together a shopping list of beers, some I had heard of and some I hadn’t.
- Heaps Normal – Quiet XPA
- Sobah – Finger lime Cerveza
- Sobah – Pepperberry IPA
- Heaps Normal – Quiet XPA
- Big drop – Pine trail pale ale
- Holgate – Love all pale ale
- Upflow – Session IPA
So you know, none of these companies even know I’m writing this, I bought all the beers out of my pocket.
The big day arrived, and I was excited, it was a couple of days until I had said I would stop drinking, but I thought I should try a couple first. I cracked open a tin of Heaps Normal quiet XPA and knew that everything was about to change. I ended up having three more of them that night.
So far I have also enjoyed the Big drop – pine trail pale ale, Upflow – session IPA and the Sobah – finger lime Cerveza. I have been drinking these Non-Alcoholic beers for a little over a month now and can definitely see myself continuing.
Heaps Normal – Quiet XPA
Heaps Normal was co-founded by four mates whose purpose is just as good as their first beer, the quiet XPA. This beer was a game changer for me, while I had enjoyed all the others the quiet XPA is a beer which could easily be my new go to and replace ‘normal’ beers for me altogether. I took a four pack of these to a BBQ and no one had any idea it was an AF beer.
Big drop – Pine trail pale ale
Big drop is a brewery out of the UK with more awards than you can count and it shows when you try their beers. I picked up a 4 pack of the pine trail pale ale and wished I had gotten more, this beer has received two World Beer Awards – World’s Best Style Winner.
“Rosy floral aromas are immediate as you pour, with a light and limey citrus bite on the palate and a balanced but obvious bitterness to finish”
Upflow – Session IPA
Judged the best tasting non-alcoholic beer in Australia in The Crafty Pint Blind Tasting Summer 2020 it’s easy to see why, the Upflow session IPA is easy to drink and tastes amazing.
Sobah – Finger lime Cerveza
Aboriginal owned and led Sobah has an aim to raise cultural awareness and promote Aboriginal arts, language and history. The finger lime, aka ‘gulalung’ is an Australian native citrus fruit naturally occurring around Northern NSW and SE QLD throughout Bundjalung Nations lands. There are some great beers in the Sobah range and I really enjoyed this particular one, a great beer for a day in the sun or mowing the lawn.
Cam Lazell is the Head of Product Engineering team at Hello Sunday Morning. He is passionate about building user-centric products with a focus on quality and clinical outcomes for our Daybreak app. Cam is currently training to complete an ironman in 2022 – any tips are welcome!