But those days are quickly fading. A bevy of brewers have invested effort and resources into making NA craft brews that come scary close to the real thing.
We think they deserve special recognition for their work. Here are 11 non-alcoholic breweries committed to producing amazing non-alcoholic beer for the health-minded drinker.
Related Article: 4 Best Mexican-Style Non-Alcoholic Beers on the Market
Non-Alcoholic Breweries Covered in this article:
- Athletic Brewing Co. (Stratford, CT)
- Partake Brewing (Calgary, AB)
- Big Drop Brewing Co. (Ipswich, England)
- Untitled Art (Waunakee, WI)
- Brewdog (Columbus, OH)
- Ceria Brewing Company (Arvada, CO)
- Bravus (Anaheim, CA)
- Sober Carpenter (Montreal, Quebec)
- Gruvi (Toronto, ON)
- Two Roots (San Diego, CA)
- Wellbeing (St. Louis, MO)
1. Athletic Brewing Co. (Stratford, CT)
Athletic’s mission is to “positively impact customers’ health, fitness and happiness while greatly impacting our communities and environment for the better.” It’s a mouthful, but they’re well on their way.
They have also built community outreach programs like Two for the Trails, which earmarks 2% of sales for restoring local trails across the U.S. We wholeheartedly approve. And so does Time Magazine, who in 2022 placed them on the TIME100 list.
I have a 1 foot vertical. And I feel like I can dunk on LeBron with an Athletic in my hand. That’s saying something.
2. Partake Brewing (Calgary, AB)
Partake (Calgary, AB) is another Canadian outfit with a broad offering of NA beers. Keeping with brewer tradition, Founder and CEO Ted Fleming brewed the first batch in his garage. By late 2020, their distribution went south of the U.S.-Canadian border and things blew up.
They offer nine styles, more than most non-alcoholic breweries. The flagships are their IPA, Pale Ale, and Blonde. Other notable styles are the Peach Gose, Dark, and Irish Red. We’d say their mission to “transform the NA beer experience” is going well.
Our favorite thing about Partake is their dedication to calorie control: all of their non-alcoholic beers are between 10 and 30 calories. Maybe this is why they’re the self-proclaimed “official beer of adulting”. It’s definitely why they’re a go-to brand for the health and fitness crowd.
We’ve never been crazy about Partake’s label design. But what they put in the can is worth the trouble.
WHERE TO BUY: The flagships are available at ProofNoMore and Boisson. (Amazon has mixed packs.) The IPA is a good place to start. Our favorite is the Pale Ale. The Gose will feed that sour tooth and the Blonde is simple and clean.
3. Big Drop Brewing Co. (Ipswich, England)
No non-alcoholic brewery list is complete without representation from the Old World. Big Drop’s Rob Fink and James Kindred brought in Johnny Clayton (formerly with Wild Beer Co.) to help develop their line.
The trio claims they’ve “perfected” NA techniques with their “brew-to-strength”, reduced amylase method that skips dealcoholization. This allows Big Drop to preserve the flavors and mouthfeel that often compromise the NA beer category. “Perfection” is a tall claim. But it’s hard to argue with results.
Their World Beer Awards medal haul in 2021 included “World’s Best” for the Galactic Milk Stout and Paradiso IPA. All told, Big Drop has raked in seven world’s best titles, establishing itself as the most awarded UK brewer of all time. Drink that in.
WHERE TO BUY: Pick up any of the flagships at Better Rhodes. Our favorite is the Galactic Stout. If that’s not your thing, you can’t go wrong with the Paradiso IPA or Pine Trail Pale Ale. Lager drinkers might prefer the Coba Maya (Mexican-Style Lager). Don’t dawdle, they go out of stock.
4. Untitled Art (Waunakee, WI)
To their credit, it seems Waunakers (Waunakites?) spend all their non-antiquing time mastering non-alcoholic craft brewing. And they’ve gotten weird with it (in a good way).
Wellbeing’s eight-style NA beer line up includes quirky options like Mango Dragonfruit Sour, Chocolate Milk Stout, and S’mores Dark Brew. Few non-alcoholic breweries can brag about such an eclectic offering.
Co-founder Issac Showaki described Untitled Art’s process as full-strength brewing followed by membrane filtration. (Whatever that means.) The end product is a tasteful, refreshing beverage that won’t damage your membrane.
5. Brewdog (Columbus, OH)
Brewdog is a Scottish multinational brewery with a penchant for controversy. With American operations in the heartland, it has quickly become one of the more visible brands for American NA beer enthusiasts and a certified B-corporation.
Their first foray into the NA space was Nanny State, a 45 IBU Pale Ale. Nanny State was originally (and cheekily) crafted in response to complaints about their high-ABV Tokyo Stout.
(Side note: fill out an application quick, because CEO James Watt is doing the sprinkler with $500 bills by the water cooler. Full disclosure: he may be compensating for past transgressions. But, hey, money is money.)
WHERE TO BUY: Selected brews can be found at ProofNoMore. You can find the whole line up at Brewdog. IPA drinkers should go straight to Punk AF, which is a very decent non-alcoholic IPA. But our favorites are Elvis AF and Hazy AF.
6. Ceria Brewing Company (Arvada, CO)
In Colorado, survival demands quality—and weed. This is where husband-and-wife tandem Keith and Jodi Villa set up Ceria Brewing Company, a family operation with family values—and weed.
The former Founder and Brewmaster of Blue Moon, Keith has now dedicated himself to Ceria’s alcohol-free and THC-infused lines. They feature a West Coast IPA (Indiewave) and a Belgian-style White Ale (Grainwave).
Yes, only two styles. But both get wide respect. And both are available with THC or as standard NA beers, allowing Ceria to access less, um, “progressive” markets. How’s this for respect: FoodDive anointed Ceria startup of the year in 2018.
WHERE TO BUY: You can order standard (non-THC) NA brews from Boisson. Ceria also has a mixed pack if you wan to jump in head first.
Side note: Buyers in CA and CO can head to a local dispensary to snag the THC-infused versions (5 mg, take it easy). Move quickly—the original launch in 2018 sold out in four short hours.
7. Bravus (Anaheim, CA)
DrinkICD recognizes Bravus as the first dedicated non-alcoholic craft brewer in North America. (Sorry, Wellbeing, dates don’t lie.) On a list of game-changing NA breweries, being first has to count for something.
Founder Philip Brandes is mum on their proprietary brewing methods, but insists that they don’t vacuum distill, don’t remove alcohol, and don’t employ arrested fermentation. (Just tell us!)
Whatever the case, their successes have made them regulars on retail shelves and one of the most widely distributed NA brands on the market.
Reviewer’s note: it’s worth pointing out that their beers get lower scores than other non-alcoholic breweries on BeerAdvocate (Average 2.54/5) and Untappd (2.86/5).
WHERE TO BUY: The best variety is at Boisson. For our money, the Oatmeal Dark is their best brew. The Raspberry Gose is a respectable sour, good for a hot summer day. The IPA is decent, but there are better ones out there (see Athletic’s Run Wild IPA).
8. Sober Carpenter (Montreal, Quebec)
Sober Carpenter is a Canadian sibling operation spreading NA love across North America. As the story goes, two brothers started brewing beer in their parents basement, yelling at mom between batches that they wanted meatloaf—NOW.
When they had kids of their own, the brothers wanted to cut back but also continue their passion. Today, every pint-sized can of NA passion comes in under 70 calories.
Grab a 16-oz can, slip it in a paper bag, and strut like you’re getting away with something.
WHERE TO BUY: Most of their line-up can be found at ProofNoMore. The Blonde and IPA are the biggest crowd pleasers. But our favorite is the Organic Session IPA. Want something different? Try the Irish Red for some coffee and caramel flavors.
9. Gruvi (Toronto, ON)
Toronto-based Gruvi has a simple mission: help people be healthy while staying social. This is music to our mindful ears at DrinkICD. So we’d be remiss if we didn’t talk about their line of amazing brews.
It’s worth mentioning that Gruvi does a lot more than other non-alcoholic breweries and have a healthy offering of non-alcoholic wines. This is probably why Co-founder and CEO Anika Swani was on Forbes’ “30 under 30” list.
Take note, this company is doing amazing things and will be a staple for years to come.
10. Two Roots (San Diego, CA)
Rounding out our West Coast representation is Two Roots Brewing Company. Having recently established a second home in Auburn Hills, MI, they’ve been able to expand distribution all the way to Massachusetts.
Like other non-alcoholic breweries, Two Roots leans on their flagship brews. These include an IPA, Hazy West Coast IPA, Helles Pilsner, and Black Out Dark. But don’t get it twisted, there’s a lot going on here.
The Hazy West Coast IPA is one of the best NA beers out there. And it has the stripes to prove it, winning a bronze medal at the Great American Beer Festival in 2020. Not to be outdone, their Helles took Gold in 2019 and 2021. They also make their brews rich in Vitamin B12 and electrolytes, opening the door for something other than Gatorade at high school football practices.
11. Wellbeing (St. Louis, MO)
Wellbeing Brewing Company is basically thumbing it’s nose at Anheuser-Busch by brewing in their back yard. (Take that, big alcohol.) Their LinkedIn page claims it’s the “first non-alcoholic craft brewery in the U.S.” We can’t confirm, but it sounds impressive.
(Edit: Bravus’s Philip Brandes says he was first. He also says his kids are smarter and better looking.)
Wanna know what else is impressive? Wellbeing employs a vacuum-distilling method developed at the University of Munich, which lowers the boiling point and preserves flavor. What other non-alcoholic breweries can say that?
They’ve now vacuumed their way to five styles, including Heavenly Body Golden Wheat, Victory Wheat (with electrolytes), and Hellraiser Dark Amber (delish). But our favorite is the Intentional IPA, brewed with Mosaic and Citra hops. It might be the best non-alcoholic IPA we’ve tried.
As the non-alcoholic segment of the beer market continues to grow, we’ll surely see more non-alcoholic breweries wade into the space. This will only give the non-alcoholic beer enthusiast more (and hopefully better) options. But the non-alcoholic breweries featured here are bold pioneers who boast quality products.
You can get a good sampling of NA beers from these brewers through Better Rhodes or ProofNoMore. However you decide to jump in, choosing from this list of non-alcoholic breweries means you can’t go wrong.