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Alcohol-Free Beer Guide - Why 0.0 are Sponsoring the World Cup

Alcohol-Free Beer Guide - Why 0.0 are Sponsoring the World Cup

After Gareth Southgate’s team came so close to lifting the 2020 Euro trophy, they have been on everyone’s radar as potential World Cup winners in 2022. This football fever was only exacerbated when the women’s team broke England’s 56 year losing streak earlier this year.

Of course, as Brits do, we all celebrated with a pint. But will we be able to raise a glass to the sport with the drinks we typically associate with football as we head towards Qatar 2022?

When alcohol-free beer exists, the answer is yes! Which is why, at Wise Bartender, we thought we’d create a guide to explain what alcohol-free beer is, and why football fans are making the switch this December.

So let’s kick off.

What is alcohol_free beer?

Alcohol-free beers are beers that have a low ABV (alcohol by volume) level. Alcohol-free beer can still contain alcohol, but the volume is so little that it is counted as not being there.

There are 3 different levels of alcohol-free beer:

  1. Alcohol-free beer: beer that contains no more than 0.05% ABV
  2. De-alcoholised beer: beer that contains no more than 0.5% ABV
  3. Low alcohol beer: beer that contains no more than 1.2% ABV

If the beer contains more than 1.2% ABV then it is considered alcoholic.

It is very common for de-alcoholised beer to be referred to as ‘alcohol-free’.

What is alcohol free beer?

How is alcohol-free beer made?

If you’ve read our Alcohol-Free Wine Guide then you’ll know that in order to produce the flavours of wine that we recognise and love, it still needs to go through the process of fermentation. This is the same for beer.

However, there are different ways to achieve the final result:

1/ Controlled fermentation

Controlled fermentation involves beginning the fermentation process as usual except the temperature of the liquid is monitored to prevent fermentation from occurring as normal.

This means that the yeast only produces small amounts of alcohol.

This method is usually used to create alcohol-free beer and brands like Heineken 0.0, who are sponsoring the Qatar World Cup, use a condensed version of steam distillation known as vacuum distillation.

2/ Dealcoholization

Dealcoholization is the process of removing alcohol from beer that has been brewed traditionally. This is most commonly done through steam distillation, which is the process of heating the beer to evaporate the alcohol.

Dealcoholization can also occur through vapour stripping and reverse osmosis. Reverse osmosis requires high-tech equipment that forces the water and alcohol molecules through a membrane to create a concentrated beer flavour without the alcohol.

3/ Dilution

Dilution involves adding water to beer to reduce the ABV.

To do this, brewers create a highly concentrated beer using traditional brewing methods, and then add water until the ABV lowers to their desired result.

This helps to keep the body and hops flavour of the beer. Most breweries will re-carbonate their beer after it has been diluted.

4/ Fabricated Fermentation

Fermentation can be stimulated, although most breweries prefer not to use this method. This is because fermentation can be crucial to creating the flavours we love and without it, some may claim that the result isn’t truly beer.

However, stimulating fermentation does make beer completely free from alcohol and the breweries that choose to avoid fermentation altogether have become very good at replicating the taste of traditional beer.

Why does alcohol-free beer still contain alcohol?

Why does alcohol-free beer still contain alcohol?

As you can probably see from the process of making alcohol-free beer, fermentation is pretty important to creating true beer. Once fermentation has occurred, it is very difficult to remove the alcohol completely.

But the alcohol content in alcohol-free beer is so tiny that it is unlikely to have an impact on the drinker. This makes it entirely safe for even your designated driver to drink.

Alcohol-free beer options

Beer drinkers will already be familiar with the wide range of flavours, brands and categories on the market, and breweries around the world have refused to stray from this when it comes to alcohol-free beer.

This means that anyone who is nuts for hops can enjoy their favourite type of beer on a quiet sober evening.

These include:

  • Craft beer
  • Table beer
  • Ales & stouts 
  • IPA 
  • Lager & pilsners
  • Gluten-free 
  • Fruit beer

Now we’ve reached half-time, feel free to go grab yourself a non-alcoholic beer and we’ll resume discussing why the World Cup is raising awareness of alcohol-free drinks amongst football fans when you return.

Why are Football Fans Switching to Alcohol-Free Beer in 2022?

Why are Football Fans Switching to Alcohol-Free Beer in 2022

Alcohol rules in Qatar

It is not illegal to drink alcohol in Qatar, however drinking alcohol and being drunk in public are strictly prohibited.

The legal drinking age is also higher in Qatar than it is in England, with only those aged 21 and above allowed to consume alcohol.

Can England fans drink in Qatar?

Yes, England fans are perfectly welcome to drink in Qatar, as long as you are respectful of the rules and only consume alcohol within designated areas. Qatar has relaxed its rules to allow football fans to enjoy the atmosphere, however it is recommended that you limit your consumption to account for their culture.

Alcoholic beverages will be available in licensed hotels, restaurants and festivals. ‘Sober zones’ will be set up at festivals to help people who have drunk excessively remain safe, as well as to protect the people around them.

Smuggling alcohol into the country will result in a heavy fine or deportation.

Who is sponsoring the Qatar World Cup?

Budweiser are proud sponsors of the Qatar World Cup and are getting stuck into the football spirit with competitions and chances to play with the pros in New York.

Will alcohol be served in Football Stadiums?

Organisers have confirmed that alcohol will be served ‘in select areas’, but it will not be permitted within the stadium bowl. These drinks will be served before kick off and after the final whistle, and are only available to ticket holders.

Only non-alcoholic beer and soft drinks will be served inside stadium bowls, which means you can still grab an alcohol-free pint to enjoy alongside the match.

This is a fantastic opportunity to appreciate the flavours that are typically associated with football without the effects.

The growing awareness of alcohol-free beer has given rise to a number of recognised companies brewing their own non-alcoholic beverages and this has only increased the amount of Brits who are choosing to go alcohol-free in British pubs. You can now sample Guinness Zero from multiple establishments across the UK which, alongside Heineken and Budweiser Zero, is an absolute staple amongst football fans. So why not give it a go in 2022?

If you plan to enjoy the World Cup festivities from the comfort of your own home in the UK, then there are plenty of other alcohol-free alternatives available to you.

At Wise Bartender, we stock a wide range of alcohol-free ginciderwine and even fruity soda options that you can crack open before kick off.

But for now, the game is over and the result for the 2022 World Cup is:

Alcohol-Free Beer 1 - 0 Alcoholic Beer