With trends like “dry January” and “sober curious,” many people committed to drinking less alcohol at the start of the new year. Whether you cut alcohol entirely out of your diet, stick to just weekends for drinking, or reduce your daily consumption, there are significant benefits to making this choice. Among the healthier alternatives to alcohol are non-alcoholic beer and wine, which are beverages designed to taste like alcoholic beverages but contain little or no actual alcohol. These products are becoming more common on store shelves and popular among people looking to curb their drinking .
Here is an overview of non-alcoholic beer and wine to help you make good decisions about your alcohol consumption and drinking habits.
What’s in Non-Alcoholic Beer and Wine?
As the demand for non-alcoholic beer and wine increases, beverage producers are looking into better methods of making these drinks and innovations to make them taste more like the real thing. When you remove the alcohol from beer and wine, the overall balance of the beverage is changed in terms of texture, taste, and smell.
Some of these beverages are made through the de-alcoholization of full-strength beers and wines, while others start with a non-alcoholic base liquid with added extracts and ingredients. Limited fermentation methods can produce in non-alcoholic beer, just as adding enzymes to juiced grapes can make reduced-alcohol wine. Alcohol-free beers are typically comprised of water, malted barley, yeast, hops, lactose, and carbon dioxide. Wines made without alcohol still often have a grape base but use vacuum distillation or reverse osmosis to take an alcoholic wine and turn it into a product with little to no alcohol.
Cons of Non-Alcoholic Craft Beverages
Something to know about non-alcoholic beer and wine is that they may not truly be free of alcohol. May of these products still contain about 0.5 percent alcohol, which isn’t enough to produce intoxicating effects but still may affect people who are sensitive to alcohol.
Some of these beverages are very high in sugar and calories in spite of their no-alcohol status. Therefore, they are not an effective way to control body weight or keep blood sugar levels in check. Although the flavor profiles are getting more authentic with ongoing experimentation, many people do not like the taste of non-alcoholic beers and wines, leading them to go back to alcoholic versions of their favorite versions anyway.
Are Non-Alcoholic Beers and Wines Worth Trying?
Although there are pros and cons of non-alcoholic beers and wines, they are still worth a try for many people. Moderation is essential with these beverages, however, since they still do typically contain some alcohol and more sugar and calories than you need in a natural diet.
Alternatively, you can make unique beverages of your own with a DIY attempt. Experiment with different teas and kombucha for a boost of antioxidants and more natural ingredients. You can also try substituting your favorite alcoholic beverages with no-sugar, flavored sparkling water, which mimics the taste and mouthfeel of hard seltzers that contain five to eight percent alcohol.
Have you tried non-alcoholic beers or wines? Let us know what you thought about them in the comment section below.