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non-alcoholic beer in German

We are going to Munich. My husband loves beer but I don't drink alcohol. Do they have any non-alcoholic beer in Germany? If so, how easy is it to find? What brands are best?

Posted by
19171 posts

During my recent trip, I regularly saw non-alcoholic beer, called alkoholfreies Bier (thanx for the grammar reminder, Beatrix), on menus. In my opinion, "best" and "alkoholfrei" don't go together.

Posted by
11507 posts

Jane, I won't comment on non alcoholic beer, I don't like it so don't drink or order it, so don't notice where it is and isn't ..but I want to reassure you , you never HAVE to drink alcohol, there are always other choices , sodas, juices, etc.

Posted by
565 posts

I've seen Clausthauler at some places, but really, you're better off getting an espresso or mineral water. Bars/cafes/pubs in Europe always carry a large selection of non-alcoholic drinks, as they frequently allow children inside. Don't feel bad about not getting beer.

Posted by
2297 posts

Every bar and every store that sells beer will offer non-alcoholic beer as well. Just ask for "alkoholfreies Bier, bitte" More difficult is the question which one is the best. There are well over 100 choices ... and personal tastes plays a role. I did a quick google search in German and found a few hit lists: www.fhm-magazin.de 1.Erdinger 2.Weihenstephan 3.Paulaner 4.Krombacher Weizen 5.Holsten www.MensHealth.de 1. Lübzer 2. Krombacher 3. Holsten 4. König Pilsener 5. Bitburger www.chefkoch.de Erdinger Jever Becks Krombacher
Kapuziner I saw especially Erdinger mentioned as a top choice a few times. It falls into the Weizen category. Twenty years ago the negative comments were definitely warrented. But things have changed and taste of "alkoholfreies Bier" has improved considerably!

Posted by
1525 posts

Note; You can always drink soda or juices. If you're curious about very low-alcohol beer (none are truly devoid of alcohol) then by all means, try some. But if not, there is no need at all to "pretend".

Posted by
12040 posts

Any establishment selling beer will also have a several non-alcoholic options available, from tea and coffee to juice, bottle water and carbonated beverages. There's usually one brand of non-alcoholic beer available at a given restaurant or bar. I've only tried a few "alkoholfrei" beers. The only one I enjoyed was a Radler, and that was more for the lemon soda taste than the weak beer flavor. The rest were perfectly forgetable.

Posted by
12193 posts

As Randy said, "alcohol free" beers are typically about 1% alcohol. If you're truly avoiding alcohol, you probably shouldn't drink them. Soda and juices will be available. Again, use caution. If you're husband orders a beer and you order a "cider", you're likely to get hard cider unless you specify you want no alcohol. Mineral water is popular in Germany, you can always get a bottle of mineral water with or without "gas" (bubbles).

Posted by
2297 posts

By German law, you can call a beverage "alkoholfrei" (non-alcoholic) if it has less than 0.5% alcohol. And non-alcoholic beers usually have somewhere around 0.02 to 0.5% alcohol - which is close to the alcohol content you would find in regular fruit juices!! If you don't drink alcohol for health, personal or religious reasons this might still be an acceptable choice. Traditionally, "Radler" is a mixture made of soda (usually lemon) and alcoholic beer (usually whichever brand the bar has on tap). I.e. you can drink about twice as much as normal beer before ending up with the same blood alcohol level. In Northern Germany, this is often called "Alsterwasser". If you do not drink alcohol for whatever reason this drink is out of bounds for you! There are a few non-alcoholic Radler options available and you would have to specifically order them and insist on getting the non-alcoholic version. These are bottled and the bar would have to stock them instead of mixing them with whatever beer on tap they have.

Posted by
9044 posts

A Radler can be any kind of beer, mixed with Sprite. Some places may even mix it with Coke if you prefer and then it is called a Dirty Beer, or Dreckiges. Either you like it or you don't. If you want to mix a non-alcoholic beer as a Radler, you can. Personally, I find the idea of drinking fake beer a bit odd. It doesn't taste that great, so why pretend that you are drinking a beer? There are so many other drinks that taste so much better than this.

Posted by
91 posts

I normally don't care for non-alcoholic beer but last year in Frankfurt I tried a few. Becks was the clear winner. I was stunned at how much it tasted like real beer. The others tasted like cat piss.

Posted by
33337 posts

The others tasted like cat piss. Russ, do you often drink cat piss?

Posted by
2297 posts

Becks non-alcoholic is also easily available in Northamerica. You could try it to see if that's something you like. Another interesting way to make the planning of your trip more enjoyable ;-)

Posted by
14 posts

Non-alcoholic beer is now being marketed in Germany as "healthful" and "isotonic" as a way to refresh yourself after sport or when it's hot. So there are some new varieties out there that may have improved taste. I drink apfelschorle (bubbly apple juice) when I don't want alcohol. Or any of the same things you get in US (cola, water, ginger ale, etc).

Posted by
91 posts

"Russ, do you often drink cat piss?" Only if it's alcohol free.

Posted by
3050 posts

My manly German friends, when trying not to drink (or not drink as much) will secretly switch to getting a "halbe" ("half" as in a half-liter) of the above-mentioned apfelschorle in a beer mug so they appear to still be drinking beer. I find this hilarious! Anyway it's not a bad option if you want to feel like you're taking part, and it's a nice, light drink, since it's not as sweet as pure fruit juice, and it's fizzy, too. It won't look exactly like beer but if everyone else is drunk, they won't notice!