It was here…then it was gone…now it’s BACK! If you’re a Guinness drinker looking for a non alcoholic version to satisfy your fix, this is music to your ears.
The good news gets better: Diageo focused on process improvement and delivered a SMASHING replica of the OG. But how close did they come?
In this Guinness Zero review, we’ll show you how it pours and tell you how it tastes. But let’s start with how they made this alcohol free masterpiece.
Guinness Zero Ingredients and Brewing Process
Guinness Zero is brewed the same way as Guinness Draught, but they use an extra cold filtration method to remove the alcohol without hurting the flavor. It has less than 0.05% ABV. The original came in at 4.6 percent.
Diageo also kept the nitrogen in the alcohol free version, including the little ball inside. You’ll see the similarities when you pour one: same dark color and thick, foamy head.
Guinness Zero has the usual ingredients we’d expect, with a few interesting additions:
- Malted barley (Roasted malt)
- Natural flavorings
It’s likely the natural flavorings and fructose are added to make up for any flavor lost in the alcohol removal stage. The addition of fructose, a natural sugar, is why Guinness Zero actually has more carbs than the full alcohol version. Which brings us to our next section…
Guinness Zero Calories, Carbs, and Sugar
Guinness 0 will save you tons of calories and sugar compared to alcoholic stouts. Each 12 oz. can clocks in at 57 calories and 12.4 g. of carbs. This is less than half the calories of Guinness Draught, which has 125. (Keep in mind the can is 15 oz, so there’s a little more.)
Interestingly, the alcohol free version has more carbs, weighing in at 12.4 g. versus the original’s 10 g. It also has more sugar, 2.5 g. versus the OG’s 0.7 g. This is thanks to the fructose added in the brewing process.
Guinness 0.0 is not gluten free or vegan friendly.
Enough lollygagging, let’s taste this bad boy.
Guinness Zero Review: (Score: 9/10)
To our biggest question: Is Guinness 0.0 any good? IMO, the short answer is YES. But how it stacks up to the original will take little more explanation. For now, we’ll focus on Guinness Zero as a non alcoholic beer. Then we’ll compare.
The Pour Test:
Guinness Zero beer pours the same dark roasted color as the original. The signature white, frothy head is also there, thanks to the nitrogen. I get more dark chocolate notes than coffee on the nose, like it’s a bit sweeter than the original.
Roasted malt showing up the same way it does in the original. The aroma is less sweet than Untitled Art’s S’mores Dark though.
The Taste Test:
Compared to other alcohol free stouts, it’s REALLY good. It’s right up there with the Untitled Art’s stouts and Big Drop’s Galactic Dark (not quite as good, though). The coffee flavor is standing out, much like the original version. The mouthfeel is great, again thanks to the nitrogen.
Body is a little thin, which is what might sell it out as a non alcoholic beer. I think the fructose is coming through a bit, it’s sweeter than I expected. Nice, dry finish.
How does Guinness Zero compare to the real thing?
Grizzled Guinness veterans will likely taste and feel the difference between Guinness 0.0 and the original. I think the biggest giveaway is the thin body. It just doesn’t hold up. It’s also not a fair comparison, since non alcoholic beer is known for this.
Having said that, casual Guinness drinkers will have a tough time distinguishing between the two. They have the same color thanks to the same roasted malt profile. Same goes for the creamy white head people love. Plus, they taste eerily similar.
Guinness Zero is sweeter, both in smell and taste. And the coffee notes are less potent in the alcohol free version. But I doubt most people would notice.
What other people are saying
The biggest complaints talk about Guinness Zero not living up to the full-bodied flavor and smoothness of the original. Others have said it doesn’t have the same mouth-feel they’re accustomed to in the original Guinness.
I don’t think these are fair comparisons—alcohol free beer isn’t the same. Take them for what they’re worth.
Guinness Zero is a great alcohol free alternative for stout drinkers who need options. Good alcohol free stouts are hard to find. And this one is not only a good alcohol free beer, but it stands up to it’s full-leaded sibling.
The taste is unmistakably Guinness and the difference is minimal. And at half the calories, it’s hard to complain about this non alcoholic version. I still think Untitled Art’s S’mores Dark and Big Drop’s Galactic Dark are better. But not by much.
I highly recommend giving Guinness Zero a try.
What may have helped Guinness put out such a good product is experience. They were the birth place of Kaliber, one of the earliest alcohol free beers on the market. And they also put out Pure Brew through their experimental Open Gate line.
Where to buy Guinness Zero:
For U.S. shoppers, we recommend buying Guinness Zero from ProofNoMore. The coolest thing about PNM is that you can buy singles and 4-packs. This means you can either save a little OR follow our biggest recommendation to sample a variety.
If you’re looking for other stouts to try, they also have Atmos Brewing’s Peanut Butter Stout, Untitled Art’s S’mores Dark and their Chocolate Milk Stout, and Woodland Farms Double Chocolate Dark Stout.
Is Guinness Zero Full of Iron?
The iron content of Guinness 0.0 has recently become a topic of interest among consumers. This is because the original Guinness is known to have 0.3 mg of iron per serving.
But there is no indication that Guinness 0.0 has the same amount. There’s also no information pointing to any additional iron being added to Guinness Zero. So if it has any, it’s 0.3 mg or less.
It’s worth noting that 0.3 mg of iron is not a significant amount. The recommended daily amount for adults is 12-15 mg. But I guess every little bit counts, so feel free to grab an alcohol free Guinness Zero to get 1/60th of your daily amount.
Does Guinness 0 contain any alcohol?
Guinness Zero has trace amounts of alcohol, with an alcohol by volume (ABV) of 0.05 percent. This is why it’s rated as “alcohol free beer”.
Diageo uses a process called “cold filtration,” which refers to a reverse osmosis system in which the liquid is forced through an very fine filter. This leaves the flavor ingredients on one side and the alcohol/water mixture on the other.
Once this process is complete, an alcohol free version of Guinness is what’s left.
What is the calorie count of Guinness 0?
Guinness Zero contains just 57 calories per 12 oz. serving. This is about half the amount of the original Guinness. There are
The carbohydrate count is 3.8g per 100ml with 0.7g of sugar, again lower than the 2.7g of carbs and 0.2g of sugar in the full-strength version. This makes Guinness Zero a healthier choice than many other alcohol-free beers.
Can You Drive After Drinking Guinness Zero?
Unless you drink 1200 ounces of it in an hour, the answer is yes. Guinness 0.0 is a non alcoholic beer that contains 0.05% alcohol by volume. This is why it qualifies for the “alcohol free” classification. At this concentration, you’d have to drink 75 pints to get a standard serving of alcohol. (Any takers?)
Even then, in most places you can drink two servings and still drive legally. In those cases, you’d have to ramp it up to 150 pints.
This is one of the payouts of non alcoholic and alcohol free beer. They’re safe alternatives to ordinary beers and you can drive without concerns.
Is Guinness Zero High in Sugar?
Yes, Guinness 0.0 is a little higher in sugar compared to the original Guinness. It has about 2.5 g of sugar in a 12 oz. serving (0.7g per 100ml), which is slightly more than the 0.7 g per 12 ounces (0.2g per 100ml) in full strength Guinness.
The brewers at St James’s Gate probably adds the sugar to help the mouthfeel and fullness, so it holds up better to the original. This still isn’t a ton of sugar, though.
Why was Guinness 0.0 Recalled?
It’s true, Guinness 0.0 had a bumpy start. Diageo had to do an early recall in October 2020 due to fears of microbiological contamination (mold, supposedly). They reviewed their production methods and re-launched in August 2021.
The recall was put in motion to ensure that customers wouldn’t consume a potentially dangerous product. Since the re-launch, they haven’t had any hiccups. (Knock wood.)