Erdinger Alcohol Free

Erdinger: Weissbier Alkoholfrei (Germany: Low Alcohol: <0.5% ABV)

Visual: Yellowed grain. Very large white mounds of bubbles for a head. Moderate carbonation. Slightly hazy.

Nose: Tea bags. Wheat.

Body: Tannins and tea. Slightly tart and acidic. Light banana. Apples and green grapes. Cloves. Smooth texture.

Finish: Green apples. Tannins. Tea. Cloves. Light grapes.

Conclusion: When is a beer not a beer? Possibly when it tastes mainly of tea. Now, I’m a Brit, so beer and tea should, hypothetically be the greatest thing ever for me. After Doctor Who.

Is it?

Well let’s take a look at the beer itself first. At less than half a percent of alcohol it is facing as its peers mainly a bunch of crap, with occasional moments of mediocrity. With the exception of Nanny State I cannot think of another that low alcohol beer that I like.

This manages to call back to the standard weiss Erdinger beers with a touch of wheat, banana and cloves. They are, however, secondary behind a slightly tart and acidic body of light green fruit and, yes, huge amounts of tannins and tea.

It really does taste like some one has left a drying tea bag in it. Now this isn’t unpleasant, but not overly beer like as a hinted at in the opening line. The rest of the characteristics however are more spot on, the texture is smooth and the look and head of the beer are spot on. The aroma is a bit dull, but that thickness of texture is something that is very hard to catch in a low abv beer so is very impressive.

The flavours, though only mildly beer like are enjoyable, especially when compared to other similar beers. Nanny State tastes more like a beer, this feels more like a beer on the tongue. It is a trade off. So, moderately enjoyable. As a higher abv beer it would be an interesting quirk but not overly good. As a low abv beer it is actually my standby when I can’t get hold of Nanny State despite the aforementioned tea influence.

So, no, not a godsend to Brits everywhere, but it does well for what it is.

Quite refreshing, lightly acidic and works well on a hot day.

Background: I have gone through a fair few bottles of this. Most alcohol free (which in this case means less than half a percent) are shit. Whatever ones I find I can enjoy I tend to get in whenever I can, so I can have something beer tasting without the booze. Yes, as you may have guessed I enjoy beer for the taste, getting intoxicated is an optional, though often pleasant, extra. So, I thought to myself, let’s give the old standby a review, eh? So here it is.