What’s the Point of Lower Alcohol Beer…?

I’ve been meaning to write a post about 2.8% beers for ages, I’ve got a load of tasting notes and everything. Since I decided to stop doing reviews and had a break, I’ve been waiting for inspiration about how to write about these beers without being too derogatory. I like to go by the if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all maxim, but I think I’ve finally found a way to put a positive spin on them.

By and large all the ones I’ve tried have been pretty terrible, don’t take my word for it either, read Duty calls: lower alcohol beer taste test which was published on the Guardian word of mouth blog last week. From bottle or can, they’ve all been pretty thin and over carbonated, with varying levels of flavour. I’ve only managed to try one from cask, Adnams Sole Star which was really nice with oodles of flavour. I have a sneaking suspicion that this kind of beer is more suited to cask dispense then from a bottle or can, but I’d need to try a few more before stating this as fact.

So if they’re all pretty terrible for home drinking, what use can they possibly have? Well, if you’re a bit of a lard arse, like I was in January, weighing in at over 85Kg, you might want to go on a diet to loose a bit of weight. Beer isn’t exactly calorie free, especially the big imperial stouts and what not, even a bottle of Thornbridge Jaipur will set you back 275 calories. However, a bottle of 2.8% beer will probably set you back around 120 to 130 odd calories, or there abouts, quite a saving.

So if you’re calorie counting and you’re still wanting to have more than one beer in an evening, then a couple of bottles or cans of 2.8% beer might fit the bill. If you can stomach the taste…

5 Replies to “What’s the Point of Lower Alcohol Beer…?”

  1. A diet is required. But… I think I’d rather have one bottle of Jaipur, than two bottles of 2.8% if they are that rubbish! Can’t say I’ve tried one though… must do, so I can make an informed comment!

    1. I managed to loose just over 12 Kgs, some days there just weren’t enough calories for a Jaipur. It was a lower alcohol beer, or nothing…

  2. I’m guessing you didn’t try the 2.5% BBC2 from Brentwood at the Cambridge beer fest this year…an excellently quaffable pint and it actually won beer of the festival. The Felstar 2% was surprisingly good too but a bit fruity for my tastes

  3. I think it’s significant that in the 1976 Good Beer Guide there were 54 or so breweries (out of 150+) making beers with OGs of less than 1033, of which six in 10 were dark milds, and just one was less than 1030. That suggests to me it’s damned hard to make a consistently commercially successful beer at a level less than 3.2 or 3.1 per cent alcohol unless you’re getting flavour from roasted grains, and to do so at less than 2.9 per cent is almost impossible. We shall see. But I remember the big predictions made for NABLABs (no alcohol/low alcohol beers) in the early 1990s, and they never came anywhere near living up to the hype.

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